Saturday, September 19, 2009

Super Saturday 2009

Super Saturday is here again! It will be held November 7th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lunch will be served, and we will also hold our annual Christmas Cookie Contest. The last day to sign up for projects and turn in money to the teachers is Sunday, September 27. Here are the projects we have going on this year:

Magnet Board - $3.00

Teacher: Helen

This can be used for pictures, for to-do lists, for recipes...anything you would like! You can have any saying on the bottom...just let Helen know what you would like! (Magnets and pictures not included.)

Magnetic Advent Calendar - $27.00

Teacher: Melissa M.

This project will be great to count down to the big day! Each tin or box is fastened to the board by a magnet...just add your own scripture, treat, or story inside. This project does require a prep day before Super Saturday for painting.

Cinnamon Stick Candle Holders - $9.00

Teacher: Tiffany

Real cinnamon sticks surround a glass candle holder.

Choose the Autumn or Holiday design.

Girls' Applique T-shirts - Christmas Tree $2.25, Snowman $1.75

Teacher: Mercedes

A one-of-a-kind gift for the little girl in your life! You supply the t-shirt; ribbon choices may vary from the sample.

Boys' Applique T-shirts - Winter Tie $1.25, Santa Hat $1.00

Teacher: Mercedes

Adorable designs for your little guy. You supply the t-shirt.

Family Conversation Book - $6.00

Teacher: Taryn

A great way to start a conversation at meal time, or at any time! Also contains ideas for family traditions...a perfect gift. You choose between Red or Earth-tone covers.

Glass Magnets - $3.00
Teacher: Stacey E.

Set of 4 Magnets, including the gift box. Choose from a variety of coordinating scrapbook paper for the backing, or bring in your favorite photos. Makes a unique gift!

Personal Picture Puzzle Blocks - $5.00

Teacher: Stacey P.

A fun and unique way to display your favorite photos! You will need to bring in 6 4x6 photos.

Puzzle Blocks - Personal Photos with Initial $6.00, "Come Follow Me" $6.00

Teacher: Stacey P.
The initial block features a vinyl family name initial on one side. You will need 5 4x6 photos.

"Come Follow Me" features 5 color photos of the Savior.

Puzzle Blocks - Green Sports $7.00, Pink Princess $7.00

Teacher: Stacey P.

A unique gift for kids. Choose from a sports or princess theme.

Holiday Cheer Puzzle Block - $7.00

Teacher: Stacey P.

A great way to decorate for Christmas!

Savior / Nativity Ornament - Free

Teacher: Keri

This year we are offering a free project. Choose from one of these beautiful images: the Savior or the Nativity. Limit 1 per family. In order to make one of these, please sign up before Sunday, September 27. (We need to know how much of the materials to purchase before Super Saturday.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Summer Fun: State Fair

The State Fair has started to be a end-of-summer tradition around here. I have to admit, I have not always been a fan of the State Fair. We went when we first moved here, and again when Trevor was little, but I'd always found it to be totally overwhelming and overpriced. Over the past few years, however, it's started to grow on me. I think I'm slowing turning into a Minnesotan. I've come to accept the fact that to be truly Minnesotan, you have to go!

Grandma Sandi has decided to make it an end-of-summer tradition, as well. Yes, we couldn't find parking remotely close to the Fair. Yes, we paid $10 to park in some nearby business' parking lot. Yes, we walked about a mile to get to the entrance. But, we were ready for some Fair fun.

Our family highlights of the fair:
#1. All of the farm equipment. Kevin had to sit on anything remotely tractor-like.

This year, we also added cars and boats to the equipment we had to try out. Ethan has recently taken an extreme interest in cars and we had to seek out each car-maker's latest catalog of the their models. (The Ford exhibit was pretty cool, I have to say.) He was also enthusiastic about us buying this boat. Sorry, kid...not happening.

#2: Free stuff. Our favorite free stuff this year: building kits from Home Depot. Each child got a free kit to assemble there.

Ethan made a boat.

Trevor made a helicopter.

And Kevin made a helicopter. (I have to say, one of the helicopters did not make it home it one piece. I wasn't prepared for that large of an object to carry around!)

#3: Food. Our favorite this year: corn. It was also our favorite last year. We are not die-hard fair-goers, so we haven't tried all of the deep fried candy bars, alligator on a stick, and other crazy stuff like that. We just like the corn...and the Sweet Martha's cookies.

#4: Cool stuff to see and do. This year we had a lot of fun at the Twins' exhibit. They had a pick-up game of baseball going on. Trevor and Ethan joined in. I loved the blow-up stadium backdrops!

I'm sure this guy didn't get paid enough for all of the wiffle balls he pitched to the kids!

Too funny. You've just got to love your Minnesota turkeys. We also visited the "Miracle of Birth" Center. You get to see baby farm animals, and, if you're lucky, the actual birth of some of those animals. We missed out on the birthing scene...Robert was so disappointed. We also stumbled upon one of the rodeo shows. The boys were totally enthralled...Kevin pretended to rope cows for days afterward.

#5: The Rides. Our favorite ride: the Giant Slide, of course. The best deal at the fair, in my opinion. We went on this thing at least 5 times. Here's Trevor with some random kid next to him. Up a little bit, in the red shirt, is Ethan. For some reason they just couldn't manage going down together.

Grandma Sandi and Kevin!

The swings...another favorite. My kids aren't huge ride-goers, but they do like a few of them.

You can just make out Ethan in the red sweatshirt, and Trevor a couple of swings behind him.

Kevin is probably the most enthusiastic ride-goer. We had to tear him away. I think his favorite was this airplane ride.

Robert got Ethan and, later, Trevor to go on the Tilt-a-Whirl...a new frontier for us!

All in all, it was a great day! We were totally exhausted and stuffed with junk food, but isn't that what it's all about?

Summer Fun: Camping

I must preface this post by saying "Summer Fun: Camping" is a little misleading. Although we did sleep outside in the great outdoors, and we had a campfire, and we slept in a tent, I'm not sure it's technically camping. You see, we did all of those things in our backyard, about 10 feet from our house!

We also purchased a fire bowl. It's been fun having campfires in the backyard. We've consumed more than our fair share of s'mores, I must say.

I've discovered that it is difficult to capture the feeling of a campfire in a photograph. I suppose if you have some fancy equipment you could do it. But, I lack that fancy equipment. What I was trying to capture was how beautiful this particular evening was. It was a full moon. If you look at the sky above Trevor's head, it looks fairly light. That's because the moon is right behind that tree.

I kind of got the feel of the fire here, but I had to hold the camera very still as it did the slowest "click" you've ever heard!

Again, the night was perfect! And the moon was beautiful, our own little night light. And, yes, I lack the correct photographic equipment.

It took an inordinate number of sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, couch cushions, air mattresses, extra clothing layers, and trips to the bathroom to get us ready to sleep in our tent. How do people do it out in the wilderness?
As you can see, we are camping novices. This was a big step for us. Maybe next year we'll venture to the campground just a few miles down the road!

Summer Fun: Schulze Lake

I have always wanted to go canoeing at Schulze Lake. It's so close to our house and looks so fun! One day the week before school, I said, "We are doing!"

Ethan and Robert tried the kayak first.

Trevor, Kevin and I took the canoe. I was a little concerned about how Kevin would do in the canoe for an hour, but he did great! There was a small crisis when he tried to steal the oar from me and throw it overboard, but we managed to get things back under control.
It was a perfect day to be on the lake: calm winds, sunshine, 70 degrees. Halfway through our time, we decided to switch boats. We even handled it without going to the docks!
In the end, Trevor and I decided we liked the canoe better, while Ethan and Robert liked the kayak better.
We saw 9 turtles, 2 fish, lots of birds, and a goose. I loved how these turtles were sitting there in the sun in order of size, like unstacked stacking cups. Once we got closer, they all plopped back into the lake.
It was a great summer afternoon activity!
We all feel very Minnesotan now.

Summer Fun: Minnesota Zoo

The day after our trip to Como Zoo, we headed to the Minnesota Zoo. You can never have too much zoo! We met Cathy and her kiddos there, and we immediately hit the butterfly garden.

It's such a calm, peaceful place. Kevin really got into trying to find the different butterflies.
I think his favorite part was the plastic hanging down at the doors to keep butterflies from flying out. He called it a "car wash." He's obsessed with carwashes.

I thought this butterfly was particularly handsome.

I wonder how many pictures I have of my kids sitting on this turtle?

We unanimously decided that our favorite part of the day was the reef aquarium and the shark tank. We spent a lot of time there. Ethan said he would like a large aquarium with a cubby hole just like this in his bedroom. I told him to ask Grandma Sandi.

We tried out the new play area at the zoo. Kevin waited very patiently to have his turn with the fishing pole. He seems way more interested in fishing than his brothers.

I love the expression on his face here. Apparently this was one wild fish ride!

I thought this was a cute one of Ethan. Apparently the animal statues were more interesting than the actual animals that day.

Of course, everyone had to have a turn. I think I have a hundred shots like this one, too.

My second favorite part of the zoo is the farm. This pumpkin was enourmous! the end of zoo tour day two, we were officially "zoo"ed out!

Summer Fun: Como Zoo

Como Zoo has to be one of my favorite places. I love the concept of a "free" zoo and park. We hit the zoo on a beautiful, sunny, yet cool August day.

First stop, Cafesjian's Carousel: a beautifully restored carousel from 1914.

As you can see, 3 people in this picture are excited to ride the carousel. 1 is scared stiff. A nice lady from Sweden took our picture for us, after giving me lots of great travel tips I can use if I ever travel to Sweden.

Kevin and I rode this handsome horse together. Kevin refused to look at me after the ride because he felt it was "too scary."

What's not to love about giraffes? Actually, I don't have any other pictures at the actual zoo part. The boys were more interested in Como Town.

Here's Kevin riding the only 1 ticket ride at Como Town.
He rode it 5 times in a row, selecting a different color car each time.

Trevor opted for the bumper cars.

So did Ethan. By the way, Ethan's hair looks matted down because he felt the need to stand underneath the misters for 10 minutes, despite the 70 degree outside temperature.

After Como Town, we headed to the nice park just on the other side. Someone is a little too big for the baby swing. Hard to believe he ever fit in one! (Actually, I had to help pry him out of it...his posterior was quite stuck.)

Ethan zipped across the zip line about a thousand times.
You've got to love the free-ness and fun of Como Zoo, although I still laid down quite a bit of cash for the carousel ride, some tickets for Como Town, and ice cream treats for everyone. What happened to "free"?