Thursday, October 27, 2011

MN Zoo with Grandma and Grandpa

Earlier this month, we took advantage of the beautiful weather and invited Grandma and Grandpa Gustafson to go to the Minnesota Zoo with us. We also had an ulterior motive - my dad just purchased a new SUV and we wanted an opportunity to take a little ride in it!

Amaya loves going to the zoo and loved it even more having her grandparents along!

Just like last year, the zoo was decorated for autumn.

Finally Amaya is tall enough and confident enough to play at the Woodland Adventures.

Since there are two playgrounds at the zoo, we had to limit our time there. But if Amaya had her way and if it wasn't quite as warm, she just might have wanted to play there all day.

We were a little disappointed that so many exhibits were closed and under construction. We figured with it closing in on the end of the busy season, it's probably the best time to do maintenance, repairs, and work on new exhibits.

However, we still were able to see most of our favorite animals.

We love visiting the zoo in the fall for several reasons. Tt's not quite as busy - at times we felt like we had the zoo to ourselves. And we love seeing the vibrant colors of the changing leaves.

Amaya was cranked out for the first few hours - we think she was just too hot. But after playing at another playground, for whatever reason, she changed her attitude and the remainder of our time at the zoo was much more enjoyable.

These are a few of my favorite pictures from the day.

She loves her daddy a lot!

Steve's favorite exhibits are the tigers and we got to see one up close.

One of my favorites are the wolves.

Amaya, Grandma, and Grandpa

We were quickly running out of time since the zoo is back to their off season hours, but we were still able to get through the last trail - the Tropics Trail.

Thank you Mom and Dad for a wonderful day and for sharing the awesome pictures!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


This is Amaya's first year in Awanas and I'm sure it won't be her last. For those who don't know about Awanas, it is a program that helps churches and parents work together to develop spiritually strong children who faithfully follow Jesus Christ.

There are between 80-100 preschoolers in Cubbies this year at our church and Amaya is part of the red team. Every Wednesday night, there is a Bible lesson, craft or activity, songs, and snacks. Amaya enjoys working on the crafts the best. Here are a couple of the crafts she's done:

She's most excited about getting to wear her Cubbies vest.

Amaya even has a special place for her vest - right next to her backpack and coat.

Every week, she learns a new Bible Verse and each time she completes a series of verses, she gets a new patch!

Here are the verses she's memorized so far:

God loved us and sent His son. 1 John 4:10

All have sinned. Romans 3:23

God is love. 1 John 4:8

God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. John 20:31

And she's memorized the Cubbies Motto: Jesus loves me!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Successful Bake Sale!

Whew! The bake sale for United Way was a smashing success! We raised over 225 dollars in just a few short hours! I have the most amazing co-workers and without a doubt, I couldn't have done it without them. I ended up making: Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies, Special K Bars, Rice Krispy Bars, Blueberry Macadamia Nut Coffee Cake, Pumpkin Bars, and Raspberry Cheese Danishes. I'm glad that I made a few extra things since the turn out was great! And all of my co-workers are such amazing bakers and they made some pretty tasty treats! I ended up purchasing a few of my favorite goodies too! Our next event is a Chili Cook-Off... but I'm not going to start thinking about that quite yet...