Thursday, May 31, 2007

Last day of school and the farm field trip...

I know. I'm behind. Again. Only a couple weeks late on the farm field trip and the last day of school was only LAST Thursday. And now, as the girls tell me, "It's summer vacation!" I volunteer at the school on Thursday's serving the hot lunches with my SIL. She was gone on vacation so I was just there by myself last week. It's always fun hanging out with the kids. It rained that day, so recess was inside. I brought my camera and snapped a couple pics that day. We were in the grade 1-4 classroom. I think all the preschoolers had fun being in a different room with different toys.

The girls teacher made up all the parents a little book of cute phrases said by her students throughout the year. Mrs. P keeps a little notebook handy and when a child says something funny or insightful, she writes the date and what they said in the notebook. What a wonderful idea! I will cherish this book!

And now, a couple of the funnies...

Sydney told us this morning that "A slow song makes the caterpillar sleep."

"Mrs. P!" exclaimed Lindsey when she came into the classroom, "I had frosting on my window today!"

At the drinking fountain Lindsey said while filling up her paper cup after snack, "I just want a little bit, cause a big bit might spill!"

"There's only 2 monies left!" exclaimed Lindsey at afternoon play time. "Bank robbers!" suggested Cameron.

And a picture from the last day of school...

Kindergarten Readiness 2006-2007

The week before this, I went on a field trip with the girls to the farm and then out to the lake for a picnic and play at the park. LOADS of fun!

Sydney & Buttercup The girls brushing down Buttercup.

Preschool & Kindergarten class, 2007

Lindsey and friends on the swing...ahhhh.... Sydney having fun on the teeter totter.

You can view all the pics on Flickr...FIELD TRIP

We've been enjoying our summer vacation so far. Nothing scheduled until next weeks. Soccer is starting on Tuesday nights. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Check this out!

This is what Dad heard the other morning when he was getting ready for work.
"Dad...there's a big grey squirrel with stripes on its tail in our front yard!"
Dad...there's a grey squirrel with stripes on its tail in our yard!'s dead. A dead raccoon in our front yard. DH went outside with his gloves and a shovel. It was stiff as a board and he picked it up and disposed of it. L & S thought it was quite interesting and they do know now that it's a raccoon.

Other things going on this past week...

More shenanigans when it comes to going to bed at night. Nothing major. No wild play or anything, but after months of the girls going to bed and STAYING in their beds. This is what we find a lot of the time when we go down to check on them before we go to bed.
Hmmm...where did Lindsey go?
and then we check the other bed...
Awww....THERE's Lindsey!

I guess they just like sleeping and being together. SMILE

The girls have gone back to napping almost every day again. Maybe they are going through a growth spurt. I don't know. They are up early. Usually at 6 a.m., Lindsey a lot of the time, before that. When they nap, they do end up staying up later at night, but honestly, I don't mind it that much in the summer. I guess I'd rather have them nap and being able to enjoy the evening more as a family with dad around. A lot of the time in the summer, we are up later due to activities, being outside, and frankly, who wants to go to bed with bright sun shining in your room? LOL! So, we'll just play it by ear.

Mostly, we've just been playing...having fun with the neighbor...
Having fun with the hose!

practicing our cutting (they are SO good with the scissors, much improved from the beginning of the school year)...
Sydney practicing her cutting.

and we've been watching the neighbor's horses. Seems like almost every day this week there as been another new foal born. The girls are fascinated. There were four as of this morning.
New foal Mom and babe
Another new foal at the neighbors...

By the can click on any of the pics to see them bigger or click HERE to see more of our Flickr photos.

TODAY is the last day of the girl's first year of preschool. And what a fun year it has been. Last Friday, the PreK and K classes had a field trip to a small farm and then a picnic at the lake and playground. It was a great morning and we all had fun. I'll post some pics of that in a separate post. The girls are excited for summer vacation and they are anxiously awaiting playing soccer. Their soccer games don't begin until June 5. We are also signed up for swim lessons during the second session, every day June 25 - July 6. I just hope they will actually participate in these things. They've definitely come a long way since last fall. I guess time will tell.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Preschool Questions...

So, I've been having a few preschool questions running through my mind and I'm trying to figure out what to do. I think I need some other opinions. I am leaning one way, but I keep thinking that I'm probably just putting too much thought into all this. I mean, really, it's preschool. I guarantee you that my mother never thought about any of this. You turned five and you went to school. End of thinking.

No, I guess she did think a little bit more than that, but it was when I was older. I was a very early reader (4) and apparently in 1st grade I was reading encyclopedias. My mom told me that she did worry that I wouldn't be challenged enough once I was in school, but I don't think she though much of it prior to going to school. In 2nd grade, I was tested and was reading at a 7th grade reading level, but they decided to keep me with my peers. Probably a good idea since I had already been with them for three years.

But back to my girls and MY thinking. I don't why I'm thinking so much about it all. I know part of it is the fact that they are twins, that they were micropreemies and I know they are still at risk for different learning problems, etc. And I can't help think how different school is now than it was 30 years ago.

So, to get to it. Currently my girls are in a private Lutheran school that has grades Preschool-Grade 8. It was their first year and they are thriving in this environment. I love their teacher and so do they. It's small, only 10 kids in the class maximum. Depending on the day they are there, there may only be 5-6 six kids. It's also a mixed age group with 3-5 year olds. I really like this too. They went three days/week from 8-12 and then after they got used to the school, I started sending them for full days once or twice a month. They love it! They love eating lunch with the big kids and are paired up with an older kid to help them with lunch. Plus my niece goes to school there too. My nephew will be going there next year. The main reasons I decided to send them there this year (rather than the community ed preschool) was the flexibility of sending them different days, changing their days, flexibility in the hours and smaller class size.

My girls are easily overwhelmed in new situations and freak out a little in larger groups of kids, especially if they are really loud. It takes awhile for them to transition. They can be quite shy at first until they know you well, and then well, they'll talk your ear off. I have already enrolled them at this same school for next year, MWF for the full days. We have full day kindergarten here so I want to transition them to that this year. They love school and sometimes they don't want to go home!

Sounds all good, right? What I am also thinking of doing now and I'm just not sure I should or that I need to, but I've been pondering on enrolling them at the community ed preschool too in their 2 day a week program for 4-5 year olds. They would then go T/TH from 8:30 - 11 a.m. at this other school. My reasons for this is to expose them to more kids and most likely the kids that they will be entering Kindergarten with. At this point, I'm not planning on sending them to the private school so that is why I'm thinking of doing this. But really...I'm probably thinking too much into it. It's not for academic reasons. Their teacher told me yesterday that they are just as sharp as the almost six year olds entering kindergarten next year; that they really know their letters, sounds, numbers well. I know that. They are already reading some sight words and doing basic addition and subtraction.

I guess I'm just worried about the transition stuff and I want them to be as prepared as they can be with large groups of people. With the PreK class through community ed, there can be up to 18 kids (w/two teachers) in the 4/5 class. But then I keep second guessing myself too...thinking that I'm sure they'll be just fine going to the one preschool. Why spend the extra $1200-1300 for the year for the two of them? (Yes, I know it's cheap! LOL)

What to do...what to do...I guess I could just pay the $60 to register them both and decide later. I am just all over the board here. Of course this is just me analyzing things to death! Any thoughts? Any readers out there? What would you do?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Things going on over the past week..

Seems I have a little bit of catching up to do. The girls and I have mostly been hanging out. Last week, we spent a little time planting some seeds that we acquired. I'm not sure where, but thought, hey-we'll try these out and see how it goes. It was fun just letting the girls do their thing. We planted three things, Zinnia, Helicrysum and Gypsophila. I don't know how they'll fare as it has been HOT here. Monday it was over 90*F! Too darn hot for us, especially in May. Plus it's been so dry. Our grass is already turning brown so we're having to water it. We'll keep you posted on how they do.

Planting flower seeds... A job well done!

My perennial gardens are doing well, really coming in nicely. It's been so fun seeing what's coming up. I'm sad though, as the crabapple trees are done blooming and the lilacs are on their way out too. It smelled SO GOOD here for several weeks!

Front garden...


Also last week, Dad took Lindsey on an errand and Sydney stayed home with me...AND with no tears! THIS is a big deal. We have been trying to ease our way into having a little separation between the girls. Literally, I can count on my two hands, the number of times they have been apart in their 4.5 years. The few times that we do separate them, there is always crying. THIS last time, NO crying! I guess the little trips more often are working. One thing that I've been doing with whoever is staying home with me (and it's usually Sydney), is trying to do a fun little thing; do a new craft, a project, etc. This last week, we popped popcorn on the stove and Sydney got to help from start to finish...and of course, then we ATE it! LOL! I have to is pretty cool to watch those kernels pop!
That is SO cool, Mom! Mmmmm....can I have some now?

And last but not least, I've been really getting into the thrifting these days. I'm just getting my feet wet, seeing what I can find, but it's been really fun! Last week I found these great children's books. The first was called The Hungry Fox and the Foxy Duck and the other was called A Garden for Miss Mouse. The girls LOVED them! Great illustrations. They took them to school for sharing time and they were a HIT! I'm always on the lookout for good books!
Thrifted books

The girls absolutely LOVED this book!

This week, we will be heading on a field trip with the girl's preschool class; to the farm and then a picnic at the lake! Should be fun!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Can I just say how proud I am to be my mother's daughter? And my grandmother's granddaughter? I am just so very blessed and thankful to have two such wonderful, strong and inspirational women in my life. They have always supported me in anything I chose to do, whether they agreed with me or not; always with encouraging words that lifted me up, not bringing me down. They taught me to be caring and compassionate, yet strong and independent. They listen and care and are there with a hug or shoulder whenever I need it. They are women that I've always tried to be like. I hope that I can be the same kind of role model for my daughters.

I had such a wonderfully normal childhood, able to live close to my family, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. I think by having that close-knit bond is part of what made me the person I am today. Being able to provide that same opportunity to my children; the ability for them to be able to foster those same type of relationships with their grandparents, is very important to me, and a big part of the reason why we chose to move back to my hometown last year. I can only hope and pray that my girls will be able to learn, grow and gain some of the same strength and wisdom that I did.

Thank you Mom! Thank you Grandma! I love you both so very much! And as my girls tell me every day..."You're the BESTEST momma EVER!"

This is one of my most favorite pictures. It was taken while the girls were still in the NICU. There were about three months old. FOUR generations of women...
Four generations of women

A VERY proud great-grandmother...
A VERY proud great-grandmother

And my mom and her granddaughters last Halloween.
Having fun with grandma!
I hope you all are able to spend the day with someone who is important in your life. We never know how long we have with each other. God's Blessings to you all!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Weekend in the Dells...

I can't believe it's already been a month since we snuck off for a long weekend in the Wisconsin Dells and I'm just now getting my pictures uploaded. I guess that happens though. After we got back, I was so busy with WalkAmerica coming up. Being on the planning committee and the Ambassador family took a lot of extra time, but was worth it and so fun!

We headed down to the Dells on Thursday night. It's about 2.5 - 3 hours from here. We stay at our timeshare at Christmas Mountain Village. We love staying here, and especially in the spring, the off season. It's not so busy, but still can be nice weather. Granted, a lot of the waterparks aren't open, but my girls aren't really big into that yet anyway. They like the little zero entry pool right at Christmas Mountain.

Sisters in the Pool
What do you guys think of their swim suits? Do they look too small? You know L & S are 4.5 now. I'll tell you a secret...those suits are size 18 months! ACK! They are getting too small and we are retiring them, but I'm amazed they could still get them on!

One of the days there, we took the girls on the Original Wisconsin Ducks tour. Very cool! I loved it too. You can read about it HERE. It's about an hour long tour where you go on land and on water (the Wisconsin River). It's very scenic. The girls loved it.

We also made a trip down to Prairie du Sac and toured the Wollersheim Winery. SO beautiful and the tour was so fun. Great wine too! We came home with a few bottles.
Beautiful winery - great wine!

Mom and girls, self portrait

One evening we ate at this German restaurant called the Essen Haus, where all the wait staff dress in traditional dress. It was quite enjoyable! Virtual Tour Then, afterwards, we tooled around the square (that you see in the virtual tour and headed into the ice cream shop where Lindsey quite enjoyed her Cookies & Cream ice cream.
Lindsey enjoying herself at the ice cream shop!
Sydney was more interested in the games and the bubble gum machine!

We came home Sunday evening, via Dh's parents. We had a nice couple hour visit with them. We don't see them that often since they live three hours away. We weren't planning on coming back until Monday, but they were airing my radio interview for the March of Dimes on Monday morning and I didn't want to miss it. We had a quiet ride home.
Another great weekend in the Dells

All the pics from our weekend away and tour of the winery can be seen HERE.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pediatric Opthamologist appointment update and other things...

I took Lindsey to the ped opthamologist yesterday where it was decided that we need to treat the Amblyopia with more than glasses. It was totally up to me as to whether to go with the patch or the drops and if one doesn't work, we can always switch to the other. I really wasn't sure which one to do, but after thinking about it for a bit, I decided on the patch. She doesn't like eye drops, so I figured that she would tolerate the patch well, knowing that if she doesn't, then we'll have to use the eye drops. She was pretty enthusiastic about that.

She has to wear the patch for four hours a day, so she will not have to wear it to school. We're planning on wearing the four hours before bed. Then, we'll go back again in another eight weeks and see how she is progressing. Here's a pics of my little sweat pea...
Lindsey with her eye patched

After the appointment, we went out to lunch and we tried one of my favorite Chinese places, Leann Chin's. Boy, did Lindsey surprise me! I ordered the Lemon Chicken and fried rice and we split it. She ate all hers and asked for more chicken! She loved the fortune cookie!

Then, we headed home to pick Sydney up at school, after which, we ran a few errands. One of our stops was at the Salvation Army where the girls picked out a few new books and items. I LOVE going there and coming out with all kinds of neat stuff for $5! I'm definitely heading back there, as there was some table cloths and crocheted afghans that I was looking at. There's another thrift store in this town too, that I need to check out. Next time, sans two little girls though.

The girls sure make me chuckle every day. I'm pretty adept at reaching into the back seat of the van, picking things up off the floor, handing them to the girls, etc. (as I'm sure MANY of you moms are!). As I was doing that for the millionth time yesterday, Sydney says to me, "Mom, it sure is a good thing you have really long arms!"

Gosh, there was something really funny Lindsey said too, but the ole Mommy brain hasn't kicked in this morning yet. I imagine I will remember it, but I think I need another cup of coffee first.

We have been having the most beautiful weather. My flowers and trees our blooming and we have so many birds here. I love waking up to the birds. Here's to a wonderful week!
Trees are blossoming! DSC_0047
It's Spring! DSC_0049

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

WalkAmerica was a SUCCESS!

Thank you all for your generous donations and support! We were, once again, Top Team for our walk location. We raised over $3,500 and I was able to exceed my personal goal as well! It was a beautiful day! 85*F and sunny to start. I will not complain about the weather, as the previous two years were rainy and snow flurries! But I will say that I was glad it clouded over a bit for most of the walk. A nice breeze off the Mississippi kicked up too. VERY nice!

Since I was on the planning committe and we were the Ambassador Family, we had to be there early to help set up and to take pictures. We set up a table with pics of the girls through the years. Amazing! In my last post, I posted a pic of our local newspaper. Here is another town's paper where we made the FRONT PAGE! It was a very nice article.
Ambassador Family - Red Wing, MN

And here is our Photo Display...
Lindsey & Sydney's Story board

Here are a couple shots during the walk at the first fun stop...
At the first Fun Stop...

Our little "Ambassadors"

And here are our little Ambassador's modeling our TEAM shirts!
Modeling the TEAM shirts!

I want to thank all the team walkers, Grandma Gloria, Uncle Darren, Aunt Kristy, Chelsea and Dylan, Aunt Jane, Brandon, Brenda, Ryan & William, Lisa and Andrea, Sandy and a special thanks to Mrs. Palla, Lindsey & Sydney's preschool teacher, who showed up to walk with us! We didn't expect her and it was such a nice surprise!

We had such fun and can't wait until next year!
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