Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Other August fun...

Somehow, the end of August is almost here...crazy how fast the summer went!  Besides visiting Flandrau State Park, swimming lessons, and Abby's jump start kindergarten class, we squeezed in some other fun activities this month:

*Zoo date with friends...we had perfect weather for an afternoon at the zoo at the beginning of August with the Guses and Clarks (minus husbands).  We had a great time, except for when Abby and Alex told us they were going to look at the sheep and forgot to tell us they were then going to visit the cows...very scary parenting moment!

*Teddy Bear Band picnic at the library--I didn't take any pictures, but Abby was right up front and center dancing along to the whole concert--she loved it!

*Community Days--car cruise and parade.  Norah LOVED the car cruise, especially when the drivers revved their engines (she'd say, "Vroom, vroom!" every time).  Dave's mom joined the girls and me for the parade--can't believe how much parade candy/loot the girls got from our small town parade.

*Norah's first movie--we went to the last of the free kids' movies for summer at the Lakeville theater last week.  I thought it was a good opportunity to take Norah to the movies for the first time, since it was free and Abby could stay with our friends if I needed to take Norah out of the theater.  She did pretty well for about an hour, then spent the rest of the movie running along the side aisle.

*Twin Cities Live--I had the opportunity to be in the audience of a Twin Cities Live show last Friday.  My college adviser contacted a bunch of us Gustavus education alumni and invited us to the show.  The producer that day was a Gustavus education grad himself, and he wanted a bunch of us in the audience.  I went with my friend Kristina, and it was fun to see some of my coworkers and a bunch of people I hadn't seen in a long time.  

*Quilt auction--we made it down to the Good Earth Village quilt auction on Saturday.  We were a little bummed that so many of the traditions have changed, but had a good time anyway.  Dave's parents joined us and requested a trip to A&W afterwards:

*Pool get-together at our friends Adam and Jodi's house--the weather warmed up enough to enjoy their beautiful backyard pool on Sunday.  Jodi made some amazing food, and we had fun with them and our friends, the Geers, as well.  Abby especially loved sweet baby Evelyn:

*And last but not least, I finished up the Couch to 5K program that I've been working on this summer...9 weeks of workouts.  I definitely won't win any races, but I'm happy to have met this goal over the summer.  I used an app called "Run Double" on my phone, and loved it!  I upgraded to 5K to 10K, but am not sure I'll have the time once school starts to do that.  We'll see...

I have a workshop tomorrow, and then our week officially starts on Monday...soaking up the last few days of freedom!

Parks with the Clarks edition #1

We had a great time on Tuesday with our friends, the Clarks, at Flandrau State Park.  It was a bummer that Pat wasn't able to join us this time, but Tiffany braved it by herself with her two kids.  We had such a fun time hiking, picnicking, geocaching, and swimming in the sand-bottom pool.  The weather was perfect, and we enjoyed sharing a state park experience with good friends.  Hopefully we can find a time this fall to check out another park when Pat can join us.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Fair time

Just like last year, Dave's mom thought it would be fun to have Abby enter some things in the Freeborn County Fair this year.  With Dave's dad's health being rocky this summer, we didn't get organized until the very last minute this year.  Dave's parents came up the weekend before the fair, and we got some pictures Abby had taken this summer ordered, chose/worked on some projects, and picked some vegetables from our garden that Abby and Dave have worked so hard on this summer.  In the end, she had way more entries than last year, and did very well.  Mostly blue ribbons, several red, and even a grand champion ribbon for her yellow wax beans, a reserve champion ribbon for some of her photos, and a horticulture award for having the most entries for her age group in the floral/garden building.  She ended up making $53!

We checked out the fair and got her picture taken for the Albert Lea paper a week ago from Thursday, then went back with Dave last Sunday to spend the day at the fair.  Norah LOVED petting the baby piglets and Abby kept working on convincing us that we need a kitten (never going to happen).  The weather was nice and cool, the food was yummy, and we had a blast!

Mmm...Norah's first taste of mini donuts!
Too much fair...

Swimming lessons

A week ago, Abby and Norah had swimming lessons in Montgomery.  We tried out the New Prague pool last summer for lessons, but weren't too impressed...this year, I mainly signed up for the ones in Montgomery because they were back-to-back and had the baby and me class that I did with Abby as a baby.  We were so happy with the lessons this year, and will definitely go back in the future!  We were supposed to start a week ago from last Monday, but there was a "sanitation issue" so lessons were canceled and rescheduled for this past Monday.  We started Tuesday instead.  Abby's lessons were first, and she was one of 8 kids in the pool with 2 teachers.  She could touch on her tiptoes, but hung onto the edge when she wasn't doing an activity with the teacher.  She worked on her back float, front float, front crawl, jumping, etc. one-on-one with the teachers--they demonstrated and then went down the line with each of the kids.  They played games like "Red light, green light" and sang songs.  Abby loved jumping in the most, and I thought the "train" they made with the pool noodles was really cute.  Her confidence in the water was definitely built up with this week of lessons.

Norah's lessons were next, and she wasn't as much of a fan.  After about 5 minutes in the pool, she'd say "all done".  There were only a few other babies in the class, so it was a small group.  It was much less structured, but more for her to get used to the water/swimming.  They handed out laundry soap lids to pour water, which was one of Norah's favorite things (she called them "buckets").  Then they played with beach balls and we worked on floating on their fronts and backs.  She got to practice jumping in the water and sing some songs (another favorite part--she liked to sing along loudly).  She wasn't a huge fan of the songs where I had to dip her underwater.  The last 10 minutes were always free time, and she only ever wanted to play with her "bucket" or beach ball.  She especially liked having Dave and Abby there watching her--she always made sure to call out for Daddy or Abby to make sure they could see her.

Abby also finished up a fun class this past week--a jump-start kindergarten class at a local elementary school.  It was 8 mornings for 2 1/2 hours, and she got a feel for what a kindergarten class might be like.  She LOVED the teacher, especially walking at the front of the line and holding her hand.  She enjoyed recess time, bringing a snack each day, playing games on the computers, bringing home a special project she had made each day, and the stories they read.  She is definitely ready for the real thing!  She noticed that a boy was crying when his mom dropped him off on the first day, so I asked her why he was crying.  She told me he missed his mom.  I asked her why she didn't cry, and she told me, "Because I didn't miss you."  Yep--definitely ready.  While she was at class, Norah and I found a variety of things to do around town so we wouldn't have to make the drive back and shopping, parks, library, bringing clothes to the consignment store, going for a run, going for a walk, getting our car fixed, etc.  That was the last of our "scheduled" summer activities, so now we are ready to enjoy what the next two weeks brings before it's back to school time!