Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013 Recap

 Our turkey was smoked this year.
 Chris with his fellow residents and friends, Daniel & Alonso.  They were keeping watch over the turkey fryer.  Also feasted on sweet potato fries and jalapeƱo poppers thanks to the fryer.  I mean, why not?
 Bringing the turkey in for inspection and cooling.
 God bless this bird who sacrificed so we could be thankful.
 This is how Minnesotans do bundled.  Daniel, Casey & Issac model how to stay fashionably warm.
 A nip in the air was not about to stop the guys from playing some street football.  Even Ben got in on the action.
 You die, right?
 10 minutes outside and this guy was not having it.  Little man gets ANGRY when he's cold.
Even gloves couldn't refresh his mood.  He went back to the warm and cozy house to wait on Thanksgiving goodies.

 Lakin curled right up with Mrs. Hoffman for some reading.  Issac was very interested in the story.
 Photo of us all getting after the meal.  It was fantastic.  Much better than last year's frozen pizza.
We napped, watched football and took turns entertaining Ben and Lakin.

If we can't be with family on Thanksgiving, the next best thing is our friend family.  Thanks, Casey and Daniel, for hosting all of us.

welcome to crazy town

I set up the tripod to get a little family picture on Thanksgiving.

They are less than perfect but absolutely wonderful.

Please enjoy this series.  A tiny glimpse into our little corner of crazy.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful for Preschool Thanksgiving Day Parties

Got a chance to attend Lakin's Thanksgiving day party.  It was adorable.  The students had prepared several Fall themed songs for the event.  We dined on pumpkin pie and ice cream (at 10:15 in the morning) and Aunt Betty's Spiced Tea - Lakin's teacher's grandmother's special recipe.

Lakin got a little weird when I arrived and was very shy for the first part of the program.  She also was so not into the singing and motions.  Pretty much stood there and looked bewildered.  Then she began randomly jumping and wiggling.

 This may be my favorite photo of my daughter, ever.
 Bewildered little pilgrim girl.
 Chilly little pilgrim girl.
 Making a turkey.
 I think there was more glue on the paper plate than feathers.
 Lakin got really shy when I asked if she'd take a picture with Mrs. Leif.  We love her teachers.
Sometimes you just gotta go with it.

So thankful for preschool, Mrs. Leif, and opportunities to support Lakin at her school.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Brilliant Plan

This year we're doing something a little special on Monday mornings.  We've started a home preschool playgroup and we rotate which mom hosts each week.  This last Monday it was my turn.  My objective: teach the letter F to my fine preschool pupils.

With the help of Pinterest and Google I came up with a few fun activities for the girls.

When the girls first arrived we walked the letter F which I taped out with painter's tape on the floor.  Good thing we did this activity first since Ben ripped it right off the floor the instant he discovered it.

We then moved upstairs for some Letter Practice.  I demonstrated writing the letter F while the girls watched and each took a turn on the chalkboard.  The results were interesting.

 Online I printed some letter practice sheets.  With the exception of one friend, all the girls were totally not into the worksheets.  There was a lot more attention to the color of the firetruck than to tracing letter F.

Next we read Fancy Nancy for a little transition.  Lakin loves the Fancy Nancy books and they really build sophisticated vocabulary, as well as, make you laugh.

After our story time, we moved to the dining room to do a little craft.  I used a die cut from school to make a large fish and the girls practiced gluing by putting colorful scales (scraps of paper cut small) on the fish.

We took a tiny break and read from our Jesus Storybook Bible.  Our focus was on God's forgiveness.  I had a little craft with our verse and we made flowers out of cupcake liners.  No pictures of this because it went over like a lead balloon. Win some, lose some.

By this time the children were restless and eager for snack.  We had fruit salad and to incorporate a little learning I had them assemble their own fruit salad by giving them a number for each fruit to put in their bowl.  So they had 5 blueberries, 4 banana slices, 3 grapes, 2 pineapple chunks and 1 strawberry.  

Our final organized activity was stations.  Two girls sorted pom poms into the appropriate colored bowl.

Two girls practiced cutting with foam and childproof scissors.

 And then the last center was at our sliding glass door.  I found these window clings in the dollar bin at Target, I encouraged them to place them on the window to create an ocean scene.

Those activities pretty much filled our two hour play date.

Ben wanted to be right in the middle of all the action.  I ended up putting him down for a nap since he was really fussy from constantly being removed from the girl's activities.  He cried a bit from his crib and all the girls kept saying, "Poor Bennett, poor Bennett."  Such little mommies.

Annie gets after the rainbow fish.

Adelyn was very proficient at the gluing.  She always focuses really well during craft time.

Halle and Lakin share a love of accessories.

Sweet Annabelle with the smile of her momma.

 Lakin refining her cutting skills.

I have loved having these Mondays for Lakin to play and practice her letters, as well as, a little alone time with Ben and opportunity to get errands ran or clean house.  For each time I host, there are four other times I just drop off and have two hours with my boy by himself.  It's a pretty sweet gig.

Monday, November 25, 2013

taking a stab ...

... in the world of fashion blogging.

inspired by this Instagram feed...

and this hilarious blog...

I decided to bust out my tripod and attempt a little fashion blog post.

 Bennett was all kinds of interested.

 If there's one thing I know, it's that fashion bloggers look down a lot, they often appear sad or contemplative and they never look at the camera.
 This is not your typical fashion blog post.
 Attempting the stance.  But feeling all kinds of ridiculous.
 Bennett's photobomb is epic.  I should make a coffee table book of all Ben's bombs over the last year- there are that many.
 Lakin was assisting at the tripod and hitting the shutter.  She wanted her own fashion pic as well.  I'd say she nailed it.

On Sara
plaid button down ... Old Navy (old)
pink sweater ... Old Navy (current)
necklace ... Banana Republic (clearance)
Jeans ... Target (old)

On Lakin
striped dress ... Old Navy (old)
socks ... (Smartwool)
bow ... handmade by my mom

This was a nice change from my fleece pull over and yoga pants.  That's my regular uniform.  ;) 

Watch out, this girl knows how to use a tripod.  This opens the door wide for all kinds of wonderful photo opportunities featuring yours truly.  Stay tuned until next time ...

My apologies for the gross overuse of the ellipses punctuation ... I couldn't help myself. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Some Special People

Guys, the other day we dined out with one of our favorite Rochester families.  The Shuperts have become like surrogate family to us in this season where our biological family is a day's drive away.

Amanda was home from Chicago for a long weekend and we were finally able to find a time to go out and celebrate Miss Cathy's 29th birthday. ;)

Miss Nancy, mom to Miss Cathy, has been in Rochester since this summer and she has been so sweet to Lakin and Ben.  In fact, I think Ben has a little crush on Miss Nancy.  He giggles at the sound of her voice and easily favors her over every other lady in his life.  He's going to be devastated when she returns home to Michigan in a couple weeks.

Olive Garden was the perfect spot for us all to dine and catch up.

Here's a couple of photos we snapped to commemorate the afternoon.

The Jaeger family is so thankful for your friendship, Cathy,  Nancy and Amanda.