Monday, May 31, 2010

Sakatah Lake State Park

Isabel really enjoyed going out with canoeing with us. We each went out with her separately. We will have to take her canoeing on other occasions this summer.

We had a little picnic at the state park as well and this was was right by where our picnic table was. She was having fun exploring the stream.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

More Pictures

This was on Tuesday. Our friends Cheri, Cole & Jacqueline came over to use our little pool, play with water toys & use the slip & slide with us. It was a good time.
This was Saturday night. We let her stay up an extra 1.5 hours so she could enjoy the bonfire with us and have some roasted marshmallows.
This was Thursday (there was a clothing change this day) and we made the stepping stones that came in a kit she got from her friend Aleah for her birthday. They turned out very nice and are in her raised garden. We have enough mix to make a couple more stepping stones.
This was Wednesday (I think!). She is trying out her inline skates we gave her for her birthday and trying to do it on her own. It will take some practice this summer.

Isabel & Kendra

Isabel really attached to my friend Kendra. Kendra was just so sweet and would do Isabel's hair and gave her a lot of individual attention and would play a lot with her. The picture on the right is from Sunday at Henry's Baptism and the one on the left is from Saturday night at our bonfire.

Lots of Pictures

I am playing catch up from this past week with photos, so they are not in order, but these are all from this week.

The top picture is from Saturday when we celebrated her birthday with my family & friend Kendra that came to visit. This was her third party (of sorts). The first was lunch & Nickelodeon Universe that I took her too and met one set of grandparents at on her actual birthday. Then the day after her birthday we had a birthday party with a bunch of friends and finally we celebrated one last time with my family. Oh, I guess we had a small family party for breakfast with just out family on her birthday.
On Saturday we went with grandma S. to the nature center. She had never been there before. We found some wild strawberries while we were there.

Here is Isabel walking into school on one of her last days of 3-year old preschool with her friends Casey & Dani. This was Thursday morning.
This is Thursday afternoon and the Fed Ex guy dropped off her butterfly garden & caterpillars. This is very exciting and the caterpillars are eating a lot and growing huge. It is like seeing the Eric Carle book in real life, except our caterpillars are a dark brow & kinda fuzzy and not green.
This was Friday went we went to the FFA Baby Farm Animal Day at the school. They had a scavenger hunt which she thought was pretty neat. Her favorite animal there was the three little piggies.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Isabel's Birthday Party

Planning out Isabel's birthday party was confusing at first because there were several options we were considering. Then I decided to do a playgroup for her party in addition to her party with four friends. But then I was accepted to do a McDonalds McNuggets & Shrek House Party, so we decided to just do a big playgroup and invite our playgroup and some friends from preschool. So, we ended up with 19 kids and 11 adults in our house today. It was originally planned to be at a park, but today turned out to be the one day this week it is chilly & rainy.

She had a lot of fun and got way too many presents. It was chaotic but all the kids got a long and played well. I could not have asked for a better playgroup in my house.

We will take a break from the birthday festivities for a week and then my family will be here to visit to celebrate her birthday and witness Henry's baptism.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday Isabel!

She started out the morning waking up to 4 helium balloons tied to her bed. Then she opened presents from mommy, daddy & her brother. Then I made a breakfast of pancakes. I made her four small pancakes with whip cream & sprinkles on top.

Then she went to preschool where they made her a crown to wear. I showed up to read for storytime with books Isabel had picked out and to deliver her birthday snack (sundae cups with whip cream & sprinkles and animals crackers.)

Then it was off to the Mall of America to meet up with grandma & grandpa M. We went to Bubba Gump Shrimp Company for lunch then to Nickelodeon Universe and Butterfly Bay. She went on 17 rides and had a great time. She was kinda bummed that the only character she got to meet was Sponge Bob, as she REALLY wanted to meet Dora & Diego again.

She thought it was pretty neat that she got to hold a butterfly.


This was from yesterday. Grandma M bought her a cheerleading uniform and she looks so cute. She loved being right up by the teacher as her helper. Tonight was her last class. I still have not decided if I will enroll her in summer cheerleading, as I am still hoping she gets into summer dance since she is first on the wait list and cheerleading would interfere with dance. Plus I am not sure I want to add another thing to our schedule. We are pretty busy as it is.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

4 Year Old Pictures

I took pictures of Isabel ( & Henry & the family) today for her 4 year old pictures. I didn't want to deal with going to the portrait studio at Wal-Mart (plus I wouldn't get them back in time for her parties so I can pass them out because I have been slow at getting pictures out these days unless I see someone.) And we'll probably do professional pictures in October/November for Henry's 1 year (Isabel's 4 1/2) and family pictures for the Christmas cards.

Plus, I needed to get a picture of her standing nicely so that I can make her life-size poster like I have done the past 3 years. I save each one and plan to display them all in order at her high school graduation party. Neat idea?
As you will notice, there are many more pictures on here than I posted on FB.
I can't believe my baby girl turns four years old on Thursday. The past 4 years has been a whirlwind of craziness and has gone by so fast.

This is just one of the family photos that I approves of. Man! It's hard to get everyone looking at the camera at the same time, not to mention trying to get people smiling. The other acceptable picture is on Henry's blog.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Playing Outside

Notice in the collage jst 2 days ago the kids were wearing gloves & winter hats and now we are outside barefoot & without jacket. What crazy weather we have in Minnesota.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Clinton Falls FSA Farm Tour

Today we went to a local CSA for a tour with our playgroup. I would love to say I learned something, well, I did, just not about gardening. The Clinton Falls Farm is an organic CSA and has veggies, berries, flowers, rhubarb & herbs. The partner with a nearby farm to provide eggs (you can buy shares of eggs and/or CSA shares). What I did learn is that they are partnering with another farmer who will raise chickens & turkeys on their property that will then be available for purchase in late summer & fall. We also got to taste Chevril, which is like a parley but has a black licorice flavor to it (I didn't care for it). It is an annual herb. They also let us sample mint if we wanted, but since we have some & Isabel doesn't like mint we didn't try theirs. What Isabel liked the most was seeing the flowers they have in bloom currently. She loves flowers.
After the tour we made a visit to the library and then had a playdate with our friends Caitlin, Amelia & Gavin at McD's so the kids could burn off energy in the playland. This dreary rainy weather sucks.
And this afternoon Isabel had her last Tae Kwon Do class. This was the end of the session and we won't be signing up again. She gets scared by all the boys yelling loudly "POW!" when they kick the bags, which is what they are supposed to do. But Isabel can't handle really loud noises (it does get really loud) and it is kind of scary sounding, but it's supposed to be.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Weekly Theme: Clouds

We have had a lot of fun with our weekly theme so far this week. We started out the morning by making cotton ball clouds. It wasn't merely just gluing cotton balls on the paper, we would stretch them & shape them and see what they would become. The one picture with the scorpion is a cloud she stretched and she thought it looked like a scorpion claw. There are also clouds that are a butterfly, baby dolly, a heart, a marshmallow & ear muffs.

In the above collage you can see all the game we played with a couple of straws and a couple cotton balls. It was fun and when we were finished we used the straws for our cloud drink (see bottom collage.)

She was super excited about this activity because I told her it was magic. We talked about what happens when you color white on white and she told me it is camoflaged, then I asked what would happen when we paint over it and she didn't know. So, I had her color a cloud on the white paper with a white crayon and then we painted with blue paint. She thought the end result was pretty neat.

We had so much fun with our cloud snacks today. The popcorn clouds were her idea. She comes up with such great ideas some times. Anyways, we didn't just pop it & eat it, well, we did but there was more to it then that. First, we made popcorn in a brown paper bag in the microwave so there wa so measuring and adding of ingredients. Then when it was time to eat we would pick out one piece at a time and see what it looked like, just liek you do when you look up at clouds in the sky.
Next came our cloud drink. She was a little nervous pouring the 7UP on top of the vanilla ice cream because she knew something was going to happen, she just wasn't sure what. She thought it was fantastic that it foamed up and made a cloud on top.
We also read the book Little Cloud by Eric Carle during storytime with her brother. And with each cloud image she would act/sound it out. It became a very interactive storytime. When I had told Isabel about this theme she went in search of the books because she knew it would be perfect.
There is more to come this week. We have some videos of clouds to watch. Hopefully the weather will clear at some point and we can get out & watch the clouds & look for shapes. We are going to have a tactile activity of playing with colored clouds. We will also make a cloud in a bottle. And finally we are going to talk a little bit about cloud types and try this matching game online (which means mom has to learn this stuff too!)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Today we went to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for Mother's Day. And what a deal it was! Seriously! I was expecting to pay for parking, but that was free too (& in a ramp!) Each month they have a Free Family Fun Day that is sponsored by Target. I really think this is the way to go with young children because we were sent on a scavenger hunt which got us around to see some of the exhibits, otherwise I am not so sure Isabel would find it interesting for very long. Plus, they had a little class (both parents & kids learned from this class), got to make a tambourine, & made artwork while listening to music. Plus there was a harpist playing in one gallery & there was a jazz trip playing in the "cafe" area. Also, there was a display where you could look at & touch different parts of various instruments and there was an area that allowed kids to create art with shapes, plus there were some other things we never got to. We had a good time.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Hyacinth Flowers

Our flower theme continues for the week. Today she painted Hyacinth flowers and thought that was kind of fun. The idea for this project came from Frugal Family Fun. Tomorrow she will go with her daddy to Lowe's to do a Build & Grow Clinic of a Trellis Planter.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Busy, busy, busy

Yesterday, we went to a Cinco de Mayo playgroup. We had yummy food, great conversations & a fun pinata filled with candy. The whole time we were there, Isabel kept checking in to see if it was time for the pinata yet.

This was on Tuesday. She had fun using dandelions, lilacs, apple blossoms, leaves & dried flowers as tools for painting & printing.

Last night was her first night of cheerleading. SHE LOVED IT! All the jumping & yelling was right up her alley & she looked so cute doing it.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Weekly Theme: Flowers

This week our preschool-at-home theme is Flowers. Today we planted some marigolds in her raised garden bed, made some wildflower seed packets, made some coffee filter flowers, and read the book The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. Great book by the way, very educational.

The other things we have planned for our theme this week include painting with a dandelion, apple blossoms & lilac; making a trellis planter @ the Lowe's Build & Grow Clinic; Color a Lily-of-the-Valley (her birth flower) & show her the ones we have planted in the yard; making a Hyacinth painting as inspired by Frugal Family Fun.

Earth Day Party

This was our third annual Earth Day party. We had to have it as a belated one due to scheduling issues. We liked to have people over & introduce them to gardening & planting.

This year we had a whole bunch of seeds for them to choose from, pansies to plant, & thyme to transplant & one family dug up some mint to transplant. We also gave them some Organic Valley coupons, an activity book, some homemade cranberry-apple bread, a roll of recycled toilet paper, and gardening cloves & shovels for each of the kids. Plus we had a potluck for lunch, which was yummy!

Maybe some time we will have taught everyone enough about gardening that we can plant trees.

Visit to RBNC

This top picture is at the end of our visit to RBNC when she was sad that we had to leave and there were other kids who came to play with the log house they had built. Sharing is hard sometimes.

We went to RBNC with our good friends Caitlin, Amelia & Gavin. Isabel & Amelia worked really hard at building their log house, Gavin (see below) worked really hard at playing in the mud. He got even messier than I have pictured.