Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cocoa with Santa & Mrs. Claus at the Art Center

This was the best picture I could get of them with Santa. Plus he's a much better looking Santa than the one at Wal-Mart that we paid to have pictures at. He was creepy and the pictures were awful and it was not a good experience. They rushed the kids and it was not fun, just stressful. This was good. The kids were not rushed.

The first picture is of Isabel telling Santa what she wants for Christmas and what Henry wants. The second picture is of Santa showing his special pocket watch to the kids.

Our family with Mrs. Claus who was playing Christmas carols on the piano while kids waited in line to meet with Santa. 

Enjoying a cookie & hot cocoa with daddy. 

 Only picture I could get of both of the kids looking in my general direction at the same time.

 Showing her jingle bell that she recieved after hearing the story of the Polar Express.

Eating her candy cane from Santa.

Listening to the head librarian read the Polar Express.

State School Orphanage Museum

Isabel was so suprised to learn that our house used to once be the home of the headmaster for the State School Orphanage, before it closed and the house was sold moved to it's current location.

Daddy wasn't so sure that this wouldn't be way over her head, but the girl is so in to Annie that it wasn't. She was very curious about all of it and even through she doesn't quite get that living in an orphanage isn't desirable (she just sees the fun of being with your friends signing & dancing) I think seeing some of the stuff & pictures from the orphanage gives her a little idea that she has it really good.

Speaking of which, the whole Toys for Tots things is working itself out in her brain and today she has been playing "donation site" and made up bins and asking us to come put toys or money in the bins to pretend donate. We do have some more toys to donate, so I think it will be more meaningful this time around.

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

I took the kids to see the Candadian Pacific Holiday Train (which was not easy since it was cold and they are little & it was hard to see over people so I had to hold them both up - good thing I have been working out!)

Anyways, there was also a firetruck there decorated up that the kids sat on for pictures.

The train was quite long, at least a dozen cars that were all lit up and decorated very brightly. And then in one of the car it opened up into a stage and there was a band inside that played a concert for Christmas songs for a half hour.
Santa was also on the train and he got off the train and came out to greet the kids and gave them mini candy canes.

I would go to this again, but will need daddy to come along for assistance. It was just too much by myself. The kids did enjoy seeing the decorated train and hearing the music. Isabel liked meeting Santa; Henry is scared of him.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Fall Dance 2011

 Isabel loves taking dance with Miss Tia and we will continue to take it as long as she can.
 This is her new dance outfit for this year. She received it as a birthday present from us earlier this year.
 This is the start of their dance to "It's a Hard Knocked Life', and you can watch that video here.
There were 21 girls in her class this year, didn't quite get them all in this picture.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Kindergarten Christmas Concert

 They sang 7 songs total and here they are singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
 This is about all of the kindergarteners in her school, didn't quite get them in the frame, but there is about 65 of them.
Isabel is wearing her new holiday dress and the new glitrery flower hair ties I made her.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Operation Christmas Child, Toys for Tots & Hat/Mitten Drive

I wanted to get Isabel in the spirit of giving and understand that there are other less fortunate than us and to give to them is a Christ-like thing to good and feels good. I admit, it is going to be a work-in-progress, but we a start. I did buy a scarf for her and one item. She was ok with buying loads of other items knowing that she got a couple new things too. She came shopping with me for a lot of the items and picked them out herself.

When she was picking out hat/mittens/scarves she wanted them all to match (relatively closely) and to give all three because she didn't want anyone to have anything cold. So, we purchased 3 sets of scarves, hats & mittens. I have not seen any signs yet for a Hat/Mitten/Scarf drive, but maybe those signs will start to pop up soon, otherwise we will deliver them to our county public health department for them to give to clients they need. They take in pretty much any donations that clients will need, at any time. Last year we went to Bath & Body works and bought a bunch of soaps & shampoos and donated it to them to pass out to clients during the holidays.

Toys for Tots boxes just started popping up this week, so we have several to choose from. Last year we didn't get our donation done very early and had to call around to find a place that the box was not picked up yet and luckily we had found one place that it was still there and their scheduled pick up was happening about an hour after we brought our items. This year I think I will take her out right way this weekend to make our donation.

Operation Christmas Child is a new one for us. The church we have been going to participates in this one and we asked for a box. With this one, Isabel can write a letter to the recipient and they may write her back (I won't tell her that just in case they don't). But because I paid for the postage online I get a reference number and we can follow the box online and see when it gets delivered and to what country. So, that will be a good lesson in geography for her.

We stuffed the box as full as we could including many of the suggested items (school supplies, toys, hygiene) that we could. In all we got in 20 items in the box and this weekend is the dropoff for those boxes. With OCC you get to pick a gender & age range of the child who will receive it, so we picked to have this box go to a girl who is 5-9. It was much easier for her to think of the things she likes and pack a box accordingly.

Usually the school will also put up a tree with tags on it for local children in need of Christmas presents. So, we will be keeping our eyes open for that and then I can take her shopping again.

1st Quarter of Kindergarten

Isabel had a really good first quarter of kindergarten. The quarter ended last week Friday and report cards came home on Wednesday. The grading system here is X = mastered it, D = developing skill, not yet mastered but showing improvement & N = needs work, little to no improvement shown. She got X's on all the areas that they were tested in for 1st quarter.

Also in her report card as a letter from the teacher asking that she participate in the AR (Accelerated Reader) program. I told her about the program and what it entails as a kindergartener in the program (she brings home an AR book and we read it to her once or more if needed, then she reads it to herself a couple times, then we ask her comprehension questions to prepare her to take a quiz on computer that consists of comprehension questions.) She is very excited to do this and yesterday was sent home with her first AR books (about bats - the animal, not the sports equipment.) She is only 1 of 4 kids in her classroom of 23 that are in the program. The other 2 kindergarten classes also have kids doing it.

And if that isn't enough to be proud of, she got an award/ribbon from her gym teacher for doing well and showing good effort. She said that he gives one out each month to a kid in each class, so she got one for October.

I am such a proud mama!

I've only bragged to a couple of friends who have kids who do not go to the same school as her and are not the same age because I don't want to be that braggy mom at our school. I know we have some friends whose children are still developing skills & some that did not agree with their teacher's assessment of their child's skill, so it's hard to mention how well Isabel did without coming across as braggy. I'll let the grandmas do that to their friends. :)

Art Work

 Here is Isabel's painting for the Kids ArtsVenture at the Art Center this coming Tuesday.
Both the top picture and the next two are art projects from school.

This last one is a coloring she did at the Frbo Kids' Harleyween Party and won their coloring contest.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


 Isabel takes gymnastics again this year. We started in the summer. She says she likes taking gymnastics, but doesn't like how sweaty it makes her. She gets to take class with her friend Lili, whose mom is the one who took these pictures.
 What a sweetheart!

 Doing a straddle jump over the blocks.

MOA Fun With Friends

 Last night we went to the Mall of America right after school with a bunch of friends to go the MN SEALife Aquarium (we are really getting our money's worth from the membership), then met Sponge Bob.....

 We are missing 2 kids that didn't want their picture taken with SpongeBob.

Then on to Legoland, and dinner at the Rainforest Cafe, and another trip through the aquarium.

Our friends Rebecca, Scott, Casey & Dani are moving in about a month, so we won't get to do all these fun trip with them anymore as they are moving to Arkansas.

Kindergarten Volleyball

 This is about half the kindergarteners that were in volleyball. Guess a lot couldn't make it for the lats practice. Isabel had a lot of fun and I could see so much improvement at this practice compared to when they started 5 weeks ago.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Beaver Lake Beach

So, I have been having a heck of a time with brother's blog. I have 2 things as drafts that are not posting, so we'll see what happens with this one.
This was our first time to this beach. Isabel played in the sand most of the 2 hours we were there she played in the sand.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011