Sunday, October 26, 2014

Bugline-Last Bike Ride of the Season

Today was a beautiful fall day and according to the weatherman, the last nice weekend before the dreaded cold and snow set in.  Ugh!
I wish we could have two more months of this crisp fall weather.
Today John and I took, what will more than likely be, our last bike ride of the season.
Our bikes will hang on their hooks in the garage until Memorial Day when we will ride the trail at Point Beach State Park just like we do every Memorial Day.
We chose the Bugline since we had not ridden it at all this season yet and we heard it was now paved.
We hopped on in Merton and rode the 12 miles to Menomonee Falls and back to Merton.
The trail was full of other cyclists as well as joggers, walkers, and roller bladers.
Here are a few photos of the great ride.

 Bathroom stop

 Mile 12, the turn around point
 Our snack along the way!

What a wonderful way to spend this beautiful fall day!

Leaves, Leaves, Everywhere and A Silent Auction to Boot

We have planned Pumpkin patch trips with the girls two weekends in the past.  Both of those weekends were rainy, windy, and cool.
This weekend, the weather could not have been better for any outdoor activity, but it was not our weekend with the girls, so our big pumpkin patch trip to Waldvogel's will not happen this year.
We did get to visit that much smaller patch last weekend in between rain showers and it was very nice, but I still miss the "glitz" of the big commercial patch.
We started out our weekend on Friday  night with dinner and a few beers at Bismark's with  my mom, Kev, Vikki, and Mallory.
Always a fun to drink and chat with them.
On Saturday, John and I had to do the grocery shopping since we were not able to do it on our Friday night, which is our usual routine.
I do not do schedule changes very easily, but the Saturday shopping went fine and I survived.
On Saturday afternoon we tackled our leaf filled yard and by "we," I mean John.  I raked a bit, but I get bored and distracted easily.  I would much rather photograph the leaves than rake them.
 Our new patio is buried somewhere under a foot of leaves.

 And the raking is not done since the tree still has a few leaves left on it.

 Our garden is ready for next spring.  The only things left growing are my strong marigolds and some cosmos.

 Just told my kids the story of the burning bush, love having one in our backyard.
I also love how the blue sky looks against the leaves and branches.
Today, Sunday, we are planning on one last bike ride.
The weather looks to be perfect for it.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Grandparent's Day Recap

As I mentioned in the previous post, we celebrated Grandparent's Day at St. John's last Friday.
It was a huge success.
We are so blessed to have such amazing grandparents as part of our school family.
My mom and John (Gigi and Grandpa) came to school with Soliana.
Talk about blessings, how blessed am I to have the privilege of being Soliana's preschool teacher.
Here are the pictures of Soli with Gigi and Grandpa at the big day.
 Here are the three before chapel.
 Their first station was in the cafeteria for a snack.
 Gigi has found a friend and is engaged in a deep conversation.
 Their second station was in the Kindergarten room for stories and songs.
 I love how Soli is totally focused on me and the camera.
 Next stop, my room for Fruit of the Spirit necklaces.
 This is very tedious for the big fingers of Grandpa and Gigi.
 I was even able to spend a few minutes working on the necklaces with Soli.
 After the necklaces, they played Bingo, but I didn't get any pictures of that.
The final station was in the gym playing with the parachutes.

Personally, I think this was everyone's favorite place to be.
It was such fun to watch the older people enjoying the parachute play.
I always say, "there is nothing more fun than a parachute."

Tizita has a Grandparent's day this Wednesday.
Neither John nor I are able to go, but Gigi (my mom) will be going.
Courtney will come and get her tomorrow and return her on Thursday.
I know there will be many memories made for her and Tiz.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Grandparents Day at school followed by Grandparents weekend in Oshkosh

On Friday we hosted Grandparent's Day at St. John's. 
We had our first ever Grandparent's Day last year and it was a huge success.
I, in all humility, like to think that it was my idea to try a Grandparent's Day last year and many of the activities this year were also my idea.  I don't get involved in too many school functions for a few reasons:
1.  I don't get paid enough to do extra curricullars
2.  At my age, I really have no interest in many of the extras, been there, done that
3.  I am happiest in the privacy of my preschool room with my little students and their parents.
4.  And, lastly, my preschoolers are usually too little to participate in many of the extras

But, being a grandparent, myself, makes me more interested in this activity and having seen it work so well at many other schools, I thought it was time to try it here at St. John's.
Last year, it was mainly a day for the younger children to enjoy with grandparents, (Grades Pre. -3)
This year, it was decided that we should include the entire school body and we did.
We had different stations for everyone and they participated in activities which included the parachute, a craft project, a snack, Bingo, and story/sing time.
I will share a few pictures in my next post since our principal has my camera card to download all the pictures that I took.
My mom and John attended this special day with Soliana while I took care of the crafting station.

Soliana had spent the night with us on Thursday so she could be here for the big day.
We ate at Culvver's on Thursday night after taking the Escalade out for drive.
She helped us grocery shop at Aldi's and Walmart.  She is such a great helper and was so happy to ride the elephant and horse at Walmart as payment for her help with the shopping.

On Friday after our Grandparent's Day, John and I took Soliana back to Oshkosh.  We surprised Tiz by picking her up at school and then the fun began.
We made Halloween cupcakes and pumpkin pie play dough.

I am not sure why they are punching the play dough.  Must be like punching bread down when it is rising.
John captured this moment and thought it was so funny.
We met mama and papa for pizza after the baking/punching.
Yummy pizza at Christiano's.
We watched some TV and called it a day.

On Saturday, we had hoped to go on our annual trip to Waldvogel's pumpkin patch in Beaver Dam, but the weather was not cooperating with drizzle and cold weather, so we opted for a trip to mama's craft show followed by lunch at, wait for it, Culver's!  Soli loved the grilled cheese.
Here is one of her newest hats.  It is an Elsa hat from Frozen and very popular.
We bought a few very necessary items and went to a little pumpkin farm right outside of Oshkosh.
It filled the bill for a pumpkin patch experience at a much smaller and cheaper venue than Waldvogels and the girls seemed to enjoy it every bit as much.
The sun was out, but there was still a chill in the air.

There were two small bounce houses that were just the right size for two small girls.
They loved them and it was hard to get them out to move on other things.

There were the usual animals.
Neither girl is really all that "into" animals, they take after their grandparents in that area, but the animals were cute enough and served a purpose at the little farm.

 There was a very cute little home made golf course with some very nice obstacles.
I liked this course much better than the bigger one at Waldvogels which does not have near as much personality as this one does.
Here is Tiz in her "hole in one" pose which dates back to the days of mini golf with Mallory when she was Tiz's age.
There were the usual photo op wooden things, but just not as many.

You could play a friendly game of corn hole.  The game with John and the girls got a bit crazy, but their laughter was such music to my ears.

The real treasure of this little farm was the actual pumpkin patch where the pumpkins were still attached to the stems and you really got to "pick" them.
The girls found other treasures, too, like gourds.
It took quite awhile for each of them to find that perfect pumpkin/
It took Tiz a bit longer to find hers, so while she and I continued to search, Soli and John took a ride on this home made train type thing.  It actually had folding chairs as seats.  It was so funny to see them riding in it.

And, yes, it was driven by a big pumpkin lady.
We just had enough time to leave the farm and get to the theater where we watched,  "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"  What a fun movie.  We all enjoyed it so much.
It was funny, but had such a sweet message, too.
We took two very sugared up girls home and dropped them off.
We had dinner at Fazoli's and headed home with another head and heart filled with  memories.
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