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Friday, December 17, 2010

Dance, Preschool, Swim and Last LLL Class

Tuesday October 19th, Kaitlynn had dance class. After class, Ms. Julie gave each of the girls a laffy taffy. Kaitlynn loves laffy taffy! We came home, ate lunch and Kaitlynn got ready for preschool. While packing her snack (grapes and chex mix), I noticed there was an issue with her lunch box.
Apparently, it was on the stove (but not near the burners) and the heat from the oven melted the handle.
So I scrambled to find her another lunch box and thankfully she was happy to use it.

We were still having issues with the laptop. It mysteriously started working, so I immediately started backing the files up. It still wasn't working right though.

We got to preschool a few minutes early, so Kaitlynn played in the Commons area. We saw Ms. Amy, her PAT Educator. She complimented Kaitlynn's shoes matching her outfit. Kaitlynn was happy to see her.

While Kaitlynn was at school I went to Target. When I picked Kaitlynn up from preschool the daily schedule said they read "It's Pumpkin Time", played at the pumpkin patch area, drew jack-o-lantern faces, played store, went outside to play on the playground and sang a Halloween song. Kaitlynn brought home a leaf she collected from the playground. We got her special drink and then went home to rest before swim class.

It was the last night of the Tuesday Tadpole Swimming class. I am going to miss a couple of the moms from that class. I hope to stay in contact with Jessica and her little girl Helen. There only ended up being 3 kids in the last class. They found the rings in the shallow pool, poured water on themselves, popped the bubble, practiced their swim strokes and kicking. In the deep water they used a noodle to help with swimming, floated with the instructors and jumped in the pool to the instructors. At the end of class, the instructors gave each kid a treat bag. We had to borrow Helen's towel because we left the house without grabbing Kaitlynn's! Another good parenting moment!!!


After swim class, I went to my last LLL class. We all brought in a snack to share with the group. We had a smorgasbord of stuff to eat all while finish up on learning about Love, Limits and Laughter (with our kids).

Thursday, December 16, 2010

GiveBack

GiveBack allows you to do all your giving in one place, without hassle or any complexities. Any charity, any time, any amount. It's free (no cost to you or to the charities you support). It allows you to manage all your giving through one account (one receipt for tax time). You can give to any charity registered with the IRS. 100% of donations goes to charities. GiveBack covers costs through their sponsors.

Starting an account is super easy. Basically, you create your foundation (which is just the charities you support). There are several ways to add money to your foundation. You can earn up to 15% of each purchase when you shop at GiveBack's merchant partners. You can make a donation directly using your credit card. Get the tax deduction now; give when you're ready.

You can also spread the word by promoting your charities and sharing your stories.
If you want, you can highlight your favorite charities on Facebook. Small donations add up: now you and your friends can donate together. Soon you'll be able to create campaigns on behalf of your favorite charity, so you can manage local fundraisers through GiveBack.









*I am a One2One Network Member. This post is in participation of the GiveBack campaign.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fairy Tales

Sunday, October 17th, the laptop shut off and wouldn't turn back on. Thankfully a friend on facebook gave me a name of a computer guy to call to get the laptop fixed.

Monday, October 18th, I babysat Max. Kaitlynn and I attended Fairy Tales at ECC. They had free play, then circle time, and then started on the crafts. I was a little frustrated that they started putting some of the crafts up before asking if everyone got to do them. It seemed like it was rushed to do the crafts, so they could get to snack time. At snack, the kids ate the gingerbread cookie they made while one of the teachers read a story. It was difficult for all of the kids to see the book that teacher was reading to them. I liked the crafts that were made, but this was one of the few I thought wasn't put together so well.

Afterwards, Kaitlynn and I went to get a special drink. In the parking lot this guy started talking to Kaitlynn and after he went inside she said "I'm a beautiful princess and everybody likes me!" I love her self-esteem! Wouldn't it be great if we could all feel this way about ourselves? (I do realize some people feel this way and it's called narcissism. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about genuinely thinking you are worth something and special.)

Kaitlynn and I ran some errands then met Tia, Annabelle and Alayna at Larson Park. The girls played awhile and then we went to Yo My Goodness for dessert before dinner!

Fright Fest

Sunday, October 17th, we ate lunch at McDonald's and then went to Six Flags for Fright Fest (again). Hanna and Adam met us there. Kaitlynn wore her new Alice in Wonderland costume. There was a Zhu Zhu pet table and play center set up that Kaitlynn had fun going through. She had fun doing the kids crafts (decorating a cookie, pumpkin, making a mummy and a bookmark). She did the Trick or Treat trail, rode some rides with Hanna and participated in the Kids Costume contest. She won the contest, but they gave prizes to all the kids that participated. She got a Wiggles DVD. She has never even seen the Wiggles before, but she had a fun time. We watched a show, but Kaitlynn was a little afraid of it. She rode some more rides. We had a great time! It was such warm beautiful weather we were blessed with!

Forest Park, Ottertoberfest and Pumpkinland

Saturday, October 16th, we went to Forest Park. It was a beautiful day to walk around the park!

We went to the Zoo for Ottertoberfest. Kaitlynn made a River otter, dressed up as a River otter and played a game and got a bag of candy for completing 2 crafts / games. We went through River's Edge and had a snack before leaving the Zoo.

We went to Pumpkinland at Thies Farm. Kaitlynn fell asleep after we left the Zoo, but woke up when we got to Pumpkinland. She had a blast. We looked at the animals first. Then Kaitlynn and Dave went down a slide together, she swung on a tire swing with 2 boys pushing her, she went down another slide like a million times, played on the pirate ship, climbed up the pyramid / haystack, did the zipper line, swung on the horse tire swing, rode a tricycle, went through a maze, spun in a tire with some other kids and swung on another swing. She really had a great time!

We went to church after that. As we got closer Kaitlynn was saying "I see my church!" and then kept repeating "I'm going to church!" We continued our series titled "Unfrozen: How the prayer of Jesus changes us." We started a conversation about forgiveness. We talked about how we can really learn to forgive ourselves and each other. I served on the Communion team this month as well.
Kaitlynn enjoyed her class. They learned that "The Bible says "Jesus loves everyone." They heard the story of Jesus and the little children. They worked on remembering "Jesus loves everyone. Jesus loves our families."
We ate dinner at Qdoba. When we got home I had a headache, so Dave and Kaitlynn went to get some hot chocolate while I showered.

Grant's Farm Halloween

Friday, October 15th was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It's a day where we remember all babies born sleeping or those we have carried but never met, and those we have held but could not take home.

I babysat Max. Later Dave, Kaitlynn and I picked up MawMaw and had dinner at Bread Co. Then we met Tia, Mike, Annabelle and Alayna at Grant's Farm for their Halloween event. It was a fun night. We rode the tram, Kaitlynn and Annabelle fed the goats and we watched the Halloween show (which Kaitlynn was scared the entire time). The show wasn't scary, I think she was just fearful because of the train ride from Fright Fest. Kaitlynn loved having a Grant's Farm stroller. She loves those big strollers and they were free to rent that day. Kaitlynn and Annabelle rode the carousel. We walked around looking at the animals and decorations. Kaitlynn stirred the witch's brew pot. Kaitlynn and Annabelle decorated a pumpkin and then we went to the Beer Garden, where Hanna and Adam met us. Hanna brought Kaitlynn some SpongeBob silly bandz. Kaitlynn's first set of silly bandz. Kaitlynn's costume was shot. I can't believe she only wore it 2 or 3 times and it's already ripped. Oh well! We ate, drank and enjoyed the music at Grant's Farm. We had a great time!

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

Thursday, October 14th, Kaitlynn, MawMaw and I met Tia, Mike, Annabelle and Alayna for dinner at Denny's before heading to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Barnum's FUNundrum. I was hoping to get there early enough for the preshow, but we didn't. Kaitlynn got a program (from Feld). Our seats were pretty high up (higher than last time). We had to buy a ticket last minute because we had someone else want to go with our group, so that's probably the only place where there was an extra ticket so we could all sit together. The show didn't keep Kaitlynn's interest at all. I'm not sure if it was because we were so high up or because Annabelle was with us. But she just wasn't interested in watching the show. I thought it was a good show. The animals didn't seem to be out as much like in previous shows we've seen, though.


Thank you Feld for the complimentary tickets!

9th Week of Preschool

Wednesday, October 13th, I had another early morning appointment then babysat Max. Kaitlynn ate lunch and got ready for preschool. We packed her lunch (popcorn and raisins) in her lunch box. We arrived early so she played in the Commons area. When she saw Dominic (a boy in her class), she told me he was her "favorite friend at school."

On the 12th, I received my new cell phone that I had been waiting on. ‎It's my 6th cell phone in less than a year! What the heck is up with that? These phones are not my friend! ‎I've had 3 LG VUs, 1 Samsung Impression, 1 Nokia Go phone and now a Samsung Solstice. I just want a working phone! I just started using it on the 13th and seem to like it so far. Hopefully this one lasts.
Pictures from my new phone


The 12th, we had received some news that really had us feeling very overwhelmed. It seemed to be a time we needed to start thinking big because big decisions = big changes! Everything was kind of on the table at that point.

When I went to pick Kaitlynn up from preschool, I got there a little early. It made my day to see Kaitlynn playing on the playground with her classmates! The daily schedule said they read "Talk and Work It Out," built with Duplo blocks and pretended to have "emergencies", played a pumpkin patch collection game, went outside to play on the playground and in music gave clues and solved the "I Like Somebody" guessing game. Ms. Maureen gave Kaitlynn a thank you card for all the special treats she has brought into her. We received another memo regarding the hearing screening later in the month, the October newsletter and a fact sheet on the Flu.

We went to get our special drinks and as we were driving there it became apparent to me that Kaitlynn may be watching too much Dora. She said "I see Circle K. Is it this path or this one? Path 2 that's correct!" I felt like I was in a Dora cartoon, even though it was cute!
We went to visit MawMaw. She watched Kaitlynn so I could attend a Pediatrics First Aids Basics class at the ECC. I received some really great and helpful information from this free class.

On Wednesday the 14th, I had my Women's Bible Study. I am so thankful for this group of women. When I got home, Kaitlynn had to get ready for preschool. We packed her snack (chips and an apple) in her lunch box. Kaitlynn was doing something while getting ready for school and I said something to her. She told me to "watch and learn!" Where do they get this stuff from?

While Kaitlynn was in preschool, I picked up MawMaw. MawMaw and I went to get Kaitlynn's special drink for her, then picked her up from preschool. The daily schedule said they read "Making Friends," had a puppet show - Five Little Ducks, practiced writing their names in salt trays, went outside to play on the playground and had Yoga. They learned a new pose - the Down Dog.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dance, Preschool, Swim, LLL Class

Tuesday, October 12th I had an early morning doctor appointment then I babysat Max. Kaitlynn had dance class. There were 5 kids in class (1 was making up a class from Saturday). The girls looked through books and picked out the costumes they liked for their recital. After dance we went home to eat lunch and get ready for preschool. We packed her lunch (apple, doritos and granola bar) in her lunch box. We got to preschool a little early, so Kaitlynn had a few minutes to play in the Commons area. Kaitlynn received her Scholastic books that we ordered.

When I picked Kaitlynn up, the daily schedule said they read "Friends at School," worked with a friend to make colored glue projects: 1 person squeezed the glue and 1 person spun the lazy susan, they went outside to play on the playground and in music they sang "I like somebody." We received a memo that later in the month the kids would be receiving hearing screenings. They had a special helper in class (an older lady).

Ms. Maureen said that one of the stories they read in class talked about the kids painting the fence at school, so the kids asked if they could do that too. They asked the director and she said the kids could. They had fun painting the fence surrounding the playground. Kaitlynn had red paint in her hair! She kept saying she had chickenpox because Ms. Maureen told her she had red spots (paint) all over her and that sometimes when people have red spots on them they have chickenpox.

Kaitlynn got her special drink and we went home to rest before swim class.
At swim class there4 were 6 kids and 2 instructors. The kids dove for rings, poured water over their heads with a cup, popped the bubble with their noses, played red light/green light, then all the kids seemed to need to take a potty break before heading to the deeper pool. The used a noodle to swim with an instructor, Tori used Kaitlynn to be the demo for floating and then the kids got to play in the shallow water (going down the slide - which Kaitlynn refuses to do anymore).

After swim class, I took Kaitlynn home, where she and Dave hung out while I attended LLL class.

Stuckmeyer's and Fright Fest

Sunday October 10th, Dave, Kaitlynn, MawMaw and I met Hanna and Adam at Stuckmeyer's. We had a fun time. Kaitlynn had fun playing with Hanna and Adam on the slides. Kaitlynn helped us all find our way out of the maze. She enjoyed some kettle corn. Kaitlynn and Hanna made a couple Halloween crafts: door knob hanger and a bookmark. We picked out a big pumpkin and took some photos. Kaitlynn had 9 pumpkins now with the purchase of the big one.


We went by to pick up Brandon and we went to Bread Co for lunch before heading to Six Flag's Fright Fest. Kaitlynn wore her costume, Alice in Wonderland. Kaitlynn, MawMaw and I did the Trick or Treat trail first and then rode the moon cars while Dave, Hanna, Adam and Brandon went to ride some rides. We went to the Palace for a show but it kind of freaked Kaitlynn out. Kaitlynn and Brandon rode some rides and played at Bugs Bunny's fort. Somehow we all lost our minds and decided to get on the train. Of course we ended up sitting near the front and it ended up being too scary for Kaitlynn and Brandon.

On our way out of the park, this lady offered to buy Kaitlynn a ball that she wanted. I was so shocked, I didn't know what to say. It was very sweet and nice of the lady.
In the parking lot, Kaitlynn and Brandon were playing with the basketball he won and Kaitlynn fell down right on her face and scraped her face up. She was OK, but had a scrape above her left eyebrow and eye.
We had a fun day at Stuckmeyer's and Fright Fest!

On Monday, I had a doctor appointment. Then I babysat Max. Later that evening Kaitlynn decorated (put stickers) on the mini pumpkins we purchased for all of her teachers (at school and dance). She also decorated brown lunch bags for each of the pumpkins and an apple to go in.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"Community" Christmas Episode Review

NBC's "Community," a comedy series about a band of misfits who attend Greendale Community College.

At the center of the group is Jeff Winger (Joel McHale, "The Soup"), a fast-talking lawyer whose degree has been revoked. With some help from his fellow classmates, Winger forms a study group that eventually learns more about themselves than their course work.

Also among the series stars are: comedy legend Chevy Chase ("Chuck") as Pierce, a man whose life experience has brought him infinite wisdom; Gillian Jacobs ("The Book of Daniel") as Britta, the 20-something dropout with something to prove; Yvette Nicole Brown ("Rules of Engagement") as Shirley, a sassy middle-aged divorcée; Danny Pudi ("Greek") as Abed, a pop culture junkie; Alison Brie ("Mad Men") as Annie, a high-strung perfectionist; Donald Glover ("30 Rock") as Troy, a former high school football star trying to find his way, and Ken Jeong ("The Hangover") as Señor Chang.

The "Community" Christmas episode, "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" is one everyone will be talking about! In this special stop motion animation episode, the meaning of Christmas is lost and Abed's intense fixation on Christmas concerns the group.

I have to admit that I have not previously watched an episode of "Community." The hit cast is what drew me to this project of reviewing the Christmas Episode. Fans of "Community", these actors and stop motion animation will love this episode. Having never watched an episode of "Community" I felt a little lost, however there were several scenes that were comical. "Community" airs on NBC Thursday evenings at 8/7c.

Important links:
http://www.facebook.com/nbccommunity
http://twitter.com/nbccommunity


*Disclosure: I am a member of One2One Network and was given the opportunity to watch this special preview episode. The opinions reflected in this review are that of my own.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Jumpin' Pumpkin Jamboree and Pumpkin Farm

On Saturday, October 9th, Dave, Kaitlynn and I met Tia, Mike, Annabelle and Alayna at Circle K to drive out to the Grafton Eckert's for the Jumpin' Pumpkin Jamboree. At Circle K, Kaitlynn said "It's a beautiful day!" and indeed it was! Hanna and Adam met us at Eckert's. We had a fun time, but boy was it warm. It seems so weird to be wearing short sleeves and shorts to pick pumpkins in October, but that's what you get in St. Louis.

Kaitlynn picked 4 pumpkins and we picked more apples! We had a fun time at Grafton Eckert's- apple & pumpkin picking!

Hanna and Adam went with Dave, Kaitlynn and I to get lunch. Then we went to Rombach's Farm. We were there for about an hour, but had a good time.


After Rombach's, Dave, Kaitlynn and I went to church. The "Unfrozen: How the prayer of Jesus changes us" series continued. We talked about what it really meant when Jesus taught us to pray "Your kingdom come, Your will be done."
Kaitlynn attended her class and they learned that the Bible says "Jesus loves everyone!" They heard the story of Jesus and the little children (Matthew 19, Mark 10, Luke 18).

Belleville Eckerts

Friday, October 8th, I didn't babysit Max. I had a doctor appointment that morning. Kaitlynn and I went to MawMaw's. Later we went to Best Buy where Dave met us and we purchased a new digital camera. We got a Nikon Coolpix. I am so happy to have a camera again!!!!!!

Kaitlynn, Dave, MawMaw and I went to Eckert's to pick apples. Suncrisp apples are delicious!

We had a yummy dinner at the Country Restaurant and then shared some dessert at the frozen custard shop!

Earlier, Kaitlynn was playing with my Halloween bracelet and she said she had a "brother named Cassie and when she goes to her Bible study at church she wears her Halloween bracelet." She is so funny and has such an imagination! And a brother named Cassie? Seriously!!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Norah Jones Album Review and Giveaway

Norah Jones' new album, …Featuring, is a collection of the multi-platinum selling, multi-Grammy Award winning singer’s musical collaborations from the past decade. The 18 songs on the album include cool cameos, collaborations and duets with such legends as Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton, and with 21st Century icons from OutKast to the Foo Fighters. This album was in stores Tuesday, November 16th.

The tracks on …Featuring span Norah’s entire career and reveal her astonishing musical versatility, from jazz to country, hip-hop to rock.

...Featuring Track Listing:
1. Love Me – The Little Willies
2. Virginia Moon – The Foo Fighters featuring Norah Jones
3. Turn Them – Sean Bones featuring Norah Jones
4. Baby It's Cold Outside – Willie Nelson featuring Norah Jones
5. Bull Rider – Norah Jones and Sasha Dobson
6. Ruler Of My Heart – Dirty Dozen Brass Band featuring Norah Jones
7. The Best Part – El Madmo
8. Take Off Your Cool – OutKast featuring Norah Jones
9. Life Is Better – Q-Tip featuring Norah Jones
10. Soon The New Day – Talib Kweli featuring Norah Jones
11. Little Lou, Prophet Jack, Ugly John – Belle & Sebastian featuring Norah Jones
12. Here We Go Again – Ray Charles featuring Norah Jones
13. Loretta – Norah Jones featuring Gillian Welch and David Rawlings
14. Dear John – Ryan Adams featuring Norah Jones
15. Creepin' In – Norah Jones featuring Dolly Parton
16. Court & Spark – Herbie Hancock featuring Norah Jones
17. More Than This – Charlie Hunter featuring Norah Jones
18. Blue Bayou – Norah Jones featuring M. Ward

It is quite a collaboration all on one album and definitely different than I expected. I don't think I have every heard an album quite like it. There is bound to be a few songs you will love, with so much diversity on the album. One of my favorites on the album is Baby It's Cold Outside.

Check out these links:
*Website: http://bit.ly/norahsite
* Facebook: http://on.fb.me/norahFB
* YouTube: http://bit.ly/norahYT

I am hosting a giveaway in which 1 lucky winner (U.S. and Canada residents only) will win Norah Jones' new album.

To enter this giveaway, you first need to leave a comment letting me know which song you are most excited to hear. Be sure to leave an email address so I can contact you if you are the lucky winner.

To receive 3 additional entries: Gain 1 additional entry by becoming a follower (on Google Friend) of my blog and leave a comment that you are following. If you are already a follower, leave that in a comment. Gain another additional entry by following me on twitter. Leave a comment letting me know (along with your username). If you are already following me on twitter, leave a comment with that information. Gain a final entry by posting a link to this post on your blog or tweeting about this giveaway (with a link to this post). Leave a comment with a link to the post or tweet.
*Each entry requires a separate comment.

I will use random.org to pick the winner. This giveaway will end on December 9th 11:59PM CST. I will announce the winner on December 10th . Good luck!

*I received a copy of this album for my review from One2One Network. Receiving a complimentary copy of the album in no way influenced my review of the album.