Sunday, October 31, 2010

Star Student

Each week in preschool, one child is chosen to be the "Star Student" and this past Friday was Amaya's day to shine as the Star Student! We worked diligently on a poster to capture some of her "favorites" - favorite food, favorite books, favorite things to do in school etc. I wrote out her answers and put the pictures on, but other than that, she created this masterpiece on her own. I had a difficult time "letting go" and wanting it to be "perfect", but in her eyes... it is perfect and that's all that matters! To celebrate, we bought some pencils the night before to hand out to her classmates. Her teacher ended up giving her a great big star sticker and she wore it with pride! AND - she also learned her first Bible verse by memory! Here a few pictures my dad took before taking her to preschool.

With her poster...

Congratulations to our favorite Star Student!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Night Off...

The past few days I haven't been feeling very well.... tired all the time... weakness... muscle aches... low grade fever... sore throat. I've been able to manage to go to work drugged up on tylenol and ibuprofen and finally, last night I felt great! So great that I was excited to get back to Bible Study after having a week off from MEA. Amaya and I were eating supper (Steve had grad school) and I told her we were going to Bible Study tonight... here's our conversation...

Me: "Amaya, after supper we're going to go to Bible Study."

Amaya: "No!"

Me: "Don't you want to play with your friends?"

Amaya: "I want to play with you!"

Me: "How about we play tomorrow?"

Amaya: "I haven't played with you in forever! I want a night off!"

Me: (suppressing laughter) "Okay, sweetie... we'll play tonight."

Amaya: "We can study the Bible at home too!"

And so... we took a "night off" just to play and I'm glad we did! (And we studied the Bible a little bit too!)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sekapp's Apple Orchard

Welcome to Sekapp's Apple Orchard! We haven't come here together as a family, but maybe I came here as I kiddo, I just can't quite remember. Anyway,this year we put this on our list of things to do every fall because it was a lot of fun and we got to sample some mighty tasty apples!

Amaya tried several different kinds, but overall Honeycrisp is still her favorite!

Pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins!

They had a small hay bale maze. Nothing quite as exciting as the corn maze at Tweite's Pumpkin Patch, but it was still fun.

Nearing the end!

Gorgeous Apples... next year we may pick our own!

Another great shot of Steve and Amaya.

We ended up getting 10 pounds of Honeycrisp apples and we've enjoyed each and every one!

How to Make a Leaf Pile

1. Rake the leaves in a big pile.

2. Put more leaves on top of the pile.

3. Throw some leaves up in the air to make the pile soft and fluffly.

4. Test it Out! Get running start and jump in the pile!

5. Bury yourself in the leaves!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Another Trip to the Zoo

We were spoiled during the month of October with gorgeous warm weather and as were nearing the end of the month, I know that the cold isn't very far away. We took advantage of the warmer temps two weeks ago and made another trip up to the zoo. Our trips to the zoo are never the same even though we're up there several times a year. In years past, we've visited primarily in the spring and summer, so it was fun to go during the fall to see the changing colors of the trees and the zoo decorated for Halloween.

On this trip, the wolves were particularly exciting. While we were approaching the wolf exhibit, we heard lots of howling and barking. All four of the wolves were "playing" and howling up a storm! This was one of our favorite things of the day.

My new favorite picture of Steve and Amaya.

The zoo is constantly renovating and updating with new exhibits. Both of them are located on the Tropics trail... the alligators:

And the Colombus Monkey. The monkey was another one of our favorite exhibits and they drew in quite a crowd.

We can't go to the zoo anymore without Amaya wanting to sit on the baby tiger.

I've always thought that the Minnesota Zoo was beautiful... but on a day like this one... it was spectacular....

One of Amaya's favorite things to do is walk on the "blocks" with a little help from Daddy.

This next picture is a little unusual... we had just played at the playground and Amaya got quite a bit of sand in her sandals. Amaya can't stand having sand or rocks in her shoes and she really can't stand having sock fuzzies in between her toes. So... she's thoroughly checking each and every toe for sand. There are so many quirky little things about her, so I had to capture this on camera so when she's older we'll remember these things.

The tapirs haven't really ever been on our "Must See" List, but this time....

...the mama had a baby!

The leopards always impress us, and this time was no different. At first, we couldn't find them so we moved on, but as we turned the corner, we saw one jump from a branch and got a close up view!

We're hoping to get up there at least one more time before the snow comes and Amaya really wants all her grandmas and grandpas to come!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Deal of the Week!

Lately we've been cutting out coupons, digging in the couch cushions for change, and even "borrowing" some money out of Amaya's piggy bank for a couple dollars! Okay... maybe it's not that bad, but irregardless... we're looking for great deals. And today, we found an incredible coupon at Hy-Vee - so incredible that I believe it's blog worthy. We bought 6 boxes of General Mills brand cereal and received 10 dollars off, plus a coupon for 6 dollars off our next purchase at Hy-Vee! I especially love General Mills because they have box tops to collect and after turning them in, they donate money to the school of your choice - Amaya's preschool! So... we got 6 boxes of cereal for just a little over 3 dollars... 52 cents per box! Score!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dear Parents...

Dear Parents:

It's that time of year again. Flu shots. Your little ones need it as do you. Maybe you've already made that appointment and you're trying to prepare your little one for that big needle. Let me give you some pointers. Please, please, please do NOT tell your little one that it won't hurt, because it will. But fortunately, the pain goes away. And please, please, please don't freak out when they cry because they WILL cry. Please, please, please do NOT call the nurse "mean" or "the bad guy." We are there to take care of your child and truly care about their health and safety. And please, please, please don't promise them Sponge Bob or Princess stickers or Dora Band-aids because we may have run out! And please, please, please set a good example for your child and get your flu shot too!

Forever Grateful,
Nurse Jan

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Special Mom...

Since becoming a mom... I have a newfound appreciation for my mom. I think of her spending tireless nights of walking around trying to soothe me as a cranky baby... rejoicing with my first steps... comforting me with each owie I got... watching me with backpack in tow as I headed off to kindergarten... anxiously awaiting my arrival home from school... giving hugs when I felt left out, discouraged, or sad... calming my fears... giving advice... encouraging me... loving me... supporting me... praying for me... and even when I fast forward through my junior high, high-school, college years, and young adulthood my mom has always been there for me every step of the way... She still has long nights thinking, worrying, and praying about me... still rejoices with me... still comforts me... still watches me... still anxiously awaits for my arrival... still gives hugs... still calms my fears... still gives advice... still encourages me... still loves me... still supports me... still prays for me.

What I appreciate most about my mom is her generosity. She's generous with her love, generous with her time, and generous with her talents. She's always willing to take care of Amaya, always willing to bring us a meal (she's an awesome cook too!), and she's always willing to do whatever we need and sometimes before we even realize that we need it! I love watching her play with Amaya... it gives me a glimpse of how my mom cared and played with me when I was little. Amaya absolutely adores my mom and I'm so thankful that Amaya gets to spend so much time with her! And I'm thankful for all the life lessons my mom has shared with me and values she's instilled in my life. Mom - you are amazing and I'm blessed to be your daughter!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Horning's New Boat!

Awhile ago... Steve's parents got a new boat! The last week of August, they invited us to go back to Lake Pepin and take the boat out for a spin. What an improvement from the last boat!

Lake Pepin is absolutely breathtaking and I couldn't resist taking a few snapshots of the scenery.

Grandma Horning and Amaya getting situated in the boat.

Their new boat has a few more seats and Amaya wanted to sit up front with Grandma - in her own seat!

We made some pretty impressive waves!

We hadn't been on Lake Pepin in the evening and were glad we were able to see the sun set.

At one point, Steve took over driving and went pretty fast! So fast, that I was unprepared and nearly fell off the seat! Amaya was pretty excited too and wanted to sit with Grandma, but didn't want Steve to slow down.

One of our captains for the evening...

Our lovely host and hostess for the evening... and their beautiful boat! Thanks for the great time!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tweite's Pumpkin Patch

We're definitely enjoying the warmer weather! On the radio yesterday, we heard it got up to 90 degrees - in OCTOBER! Last Sunday, we went with the Hull's to the Pumpkin Patch. It was pretty cold last year when we went, so I was glad for the warmer temperatures.

There is so much to see and do, so we tried to do a few things that we didn't do last year.

Here are Steve and Amaya in one of the castles.

Amaya, Steve, Steve, and Cooper

Little Miss Tess

We decided to try out the corn maze this year. There was a kiddie trail and an adult trail. (I'm glad we chose the kiddie trail, otherwise we probably would have been lost for hours!)

Amaya and Cooper did most of the navigating.

Cooper: "Hmm... which way should we go?"


The best I could do getting the three of them to all look up and smile.

Cooper: "Hey Amaya! Check this out!

Amaya: "Let's do it again!"

Giant Tee-Pee

Amaya: "Hey Cooper! Come get me!"

Cooper: "I'm coming!"

We took a little walk through the Enchanted Forest and tried to find gnomes and fairies throughout the woods.

Our little gnome and fairy.

Amaya: "Bring on the slides, already!"

King and Princess of the Hill!

Tess... desperately wanting to play on the slide...

Amaya and Steve coming down the big, bumpy slide!

Enough of the playing... off to the pumpkin patch on the wagon!

Amaya: "Look at all those pumpkins!"

Cheesy smile in front of the pumpkins and corn stalk.

Amaya: "That pumpkin looks just my size!"

Amaya: "Yup! This is the one!"

Cooper found a good one too!

Cooper: "Come on guys! We're ready to go!"

Tess: "This one is a good one! Can't wait for some pumpkin seeds!"

Amaya, me, and Steve... awesome day!