Friday, October 30, 2009

Coretta's School Halloween Party

Today Coretta will be celebrating Halloween at school and was able to put her costume on in the morning before leaving for school. They have a full day planned with several different Halloween festivities and later after school she will be taking the bus home with her friend Melanie where they will then go back to the school for Trunk and Treating. Coretta is very excited!
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Geno's School Halloween Party

This morning, I dropped Geno off at school where all the children were dressed up for Halloween. There were children dressed as witches, princesses, bees, frogs, and even Spiderman and Zoro made an apperance. Parents were busily taking pictures of their children. Geno, however, refused to put his costume on. He apparently wanted to wear his Minnesota Vikings Favre Number 4 jersey instead. Geno calls this his football jersey. After much prodding and negotiating and me promising chocolate and popcorn later he reluctantly put it on. Here are some pictures of him in his devil costume at school today.
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fall Harvest

I have decided that it is time to start experimenting with cooking, and have done fairly well recently making home made potato soup, lentil soup, as well as several other main courses, so today I have decided to tackle the apple pie. I am actually quite disappointed in myself because I always thought that baking would be too hard or I wouldn't have the patience for it. To my surprise, I have been enjoying making new desserts as well as new entrees. Here are a couple of pictures of my pie. I sure hope it tastes as good as it looks!! If it does, I will be making these for Thanksgiving along with our 12 pound turkey.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Geno Baking Apple Pies at School

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Today the Beehive Preschool Play Group spent the morning learning how to make and bake apple pies as part of their thematic unit titled Autumn and Harvest. Every child helped wash the table and then their hands making sure that they had a clean working surface. They then started out with singing a song about apples and reviewing the sounds apples make while eating them such as crunch and munch which are the some of the words they are learning this week. They also put wooden apples into a pan to practice counting.

The teacher then carefully explained the crust as she rolled out onto the baking sheet and pan. She explained how the baking sheet would help the apple pie so it would not stick to the pan. Each child then had the chance to feel the dough patting it as they sang:

Patty Cake, Patty Cake, Bakers Man. Bake me a cake as fast as you can. Pat and prick it and mark it with a B. Put it in the oven for the Beehive and Me.

The teacher then showed them how they needed to peel all of the apples before putting them in the pie and demonstrated what this looked like.

They then put the sugar, flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon into the bowl with each student having their turn to stir and pour in the ingredients. Once this was done, each child sampled an apple with the mixture on it. Some liked this better than others. They then hid the apples with the top of the crust while the teacher pinched the bottom and top together and putting slits at the top so the pie could breath.

This lesson used all of the senses such as seeing, feeling, and tasting and fit in perfectly as one of the fruits we eat during Autumn and the Harvest. The students really enjoyed this process, but I bet they will enjoy eating the final product even more. Below are a couple of videos from their day creating apple pies. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Geno makes Play Dough and Juice

Geno's therapist came for a visit today. They decided to make play dough and homemade orange juice. He loved being able to see that by adding certain ingredients you could create something completely different. These activities definitely keep him interested and motivated to learn.

He then fed his favorite puppet Neelie the wonderful ingredients he made. The best part was that he ws able to drink the fresh squeezed juice he made. Geno enjoyed each of these steps so much! Here is a picture collage from his session.
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Part of Your World by Coretta

One of Coretta's many past times is music. She loves to listen to, play, or even sing all types of music. She has been practicing this song for the past two months, and asked me to record it for her. I apologize for the background noise. Enjoy!

Happy 61st Birthday Grandpa and Dad!

My Dad turns 61 today and Coretta and Geno wanted to wish him a Happy Birthday from Switzerland. We love you Dad and Grandpa!! Hope your day is as special as you are!

Halloween Preparations Continue

So far, my Halloween Costume Party is at around 86 people, and needless to say I have been busy working on 36 treat bags for the kids as well as multiple decorations and party ideas. So far I have filled around 60 popcorn hands, created spooky faces on several pumpkins, created bats, witches, ghosts, creating pumpkin and monster rocks, murals, and even made monster candy trophies for the kids to be given out for scariest, most creative, cutest, most original, and best overall costume. I am getting a lit apprehensive of having that many people in my house, but hopefully I will be able to keep everything under control and still manage to enjoy myself. Planning the party has been a great time and allows me to put my creative skills to use. I decided to put my costume together and see how it looks, and I am pleasantly surprised. I have never worn fake eyelashes, but was amazed with how easy they were to apply. My vampiress costume will definitely be a hit. Here is a couple pictures before vampire teeth and with vampire teeth.

Coretta's Fall Holiday

Coretta has just started her fall holiday and has a couple weeks off. This past weekend, the weather was rainy and cold, so we decided that the family would call this a mall day, so off we went. We started the day by eating at the Zugerland cafeteria, the kids favorite, and then we all split up to do some shopping. How did I get Nick to agree to this you may ask? I dangled a new International DVD player and a home theatre system in front of his nose, and he immediately said yes. Coretta ended up buying a few things from Claire's and two sweaters with the money given her from Grandma and Grandpa Earnest for her birthday. She, being the bargain shopper ended up leaving with 50 dollars left.

That Monday, Coretta and I decided to start this holiday with dropping Geno off at school, and heading into Zug for a little Starbucks, and a lot of shopping. Coretta was excited to spend the remainder of her fifty dollars that had been burning a hole in her pocket. After a lot of shopping, she bought a hat and Guitar Hero game system for the Wii. Here is a picture of her modeling her new hat, one of her sweaters and her new Wii game. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Monster Mash--Happy Halloween

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Purple Pride

Nick has finally returned from his trip back to the United States and came bearing gifts for everyone.

First of all, we all received our Halloween costumes and they all fit perfectly. Never know if that is going to happen when you order online. Coretta also received a pair of black converse and black boots, an Abercrombie and Fitch sweatshirt (in case you didn't know, labels mean everything these days), and a lot of books which included a few classics like Johnny Tremaine, Where the Red Fern Grows, Number The Stars, and Coraline. She also received a Brain Quest workbook and Brain Quest flashcards so we can supplement where we feel is needed.

Geno received the coveted possession of all, with his number four Brett Favre Minnesota Vikings jersey. Although it is as long as a dress, he still wears it with purple pride. Amazingly enough, they do not have jerseys any smaller than an 8. Geno will have a couple years of growth out of it though.

Although I didn't ask for anything, Nick brought me back the most beautiful necklace and earrings set in the same stone. He also bought Coretta one as well.

Although he had fun in the States spending time with Grandpa Tom and seeing his old childhood friends, he was happy to be home with his family who equally missed him.

Below is just a collage of Geno sporting his new jersey!

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pre-Halloween Party Decorating

We are planning our Annual Halloween Costume Party and so far the guest count is at 63 people. I have been busily working on decorations, and still have a lot more to do. Since it is hard to find Halloween decorations in Switzerland, because it isn't really celebrated, it has allowed me to be creative. Creativity has always been a good outlet for me: writing, photography, and art being the top three on the list.

We are also having games for the children and adults such as pumpkin bowling, mummy relays, bobbing for apples, as well as a treat bag filled with candy for all my little haunted friends.

More pictures to follow of the actual party October 31st!
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Coretta turns 10 years old!

Yesterday was my lovely daughter Coretta's 1oth birthday. It was on this day then 10 years ago that she came into my world and forever changed my life for the better. I remember at the age of 26, looking in the mirror and trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I was going to be a mother. Nick was working at a gas station full time and going to law school at Hamline University in Saint Paul.

I, having one dreaded class left to complete to finish my degree, was waitressing. I remember thinking to myself that the first thing I needed to do was get my degree. From that day on, my life changed, and I being 9 months pregnant in August, was sitting in a non-air conditioned room at the University of Minnesota completing my last class in child psychology. I remember I was too big to fit in the desks at this time, so I had my own chair without the desk. Needless to say, I did get that degree and a year and a half after Coretta was born, I also had a teaching job.

I never thought that motherhood would change me in the ways it did, but I am grateful every day that I have had the privilege to be a Mom. Coretta, being my first child, and not knowing what I was doing, was an easy baby. I remember, however, that she had this special talent of always waiting until Daddy was holding her to puke (usually all the way down his back). I can't even count how many times while feeding her or burping her that she threw up on him. I remember Nick's face, when we could finally bring our little girl home, watching him feed her the bottle and listening to jazz music.

Coretta is as unique and dynamic as her name. That is why I chose it. I wanted my daughter to stand out from the crowd, be a strong individual who was grounded, opinionated, intelligent, with the ability to bring people together and always be a good friend. Without her even knowing this, she has completely and utterly lived up to this ideal more than I ever thought. I am so very proud of all of her accomplishments and the fact that she still makes time for family and realizes how special that bond truly is.

For her big tenth birthday, we took her to Europa Park early, but on her actual day, we had homemade lasagna, bread, and cake. She received many great presents from her Grandma Marilyn, and Grandma and Grandpa Earnest such as money, books, cards, and movies. From her Mom, Dad, and Geno she received clothes, Wii Singstar, earrings and a necklace.

Coretta on your birthday, as well as every day, I want you to know how truly special you are to your family, your friends, your teachers, and your community. I love you with all of my heart and as Mom and Dad have both said "Stop growing up!" because although we are equally happy and sad to see you grow up into your own person, it is hard to let go. Happy that you seem to be a well adjusted kid with morals and values, but sad because we know how hard the world can be: living on your own, the pressures of finding a career, your first heart break (and yes Coretta some day you will have on of these). This is why we would like to bottle up this moment and keep you this age forever. We love you my darling always and forever.
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