Visit to Winona|
This spring we had the honor of attending our goddaughter Devon's first communion in Winona. It was a beautiful weekend and she looked like a beautiful little angel all dressed up in her white dress. While we were there Phil, Jeff and some of the kids hiked up to the top of Sugar Loaf's ridge and admired the beautiful scenery around Winona and the Mississippi River valley.
Our Big Backyard|
Our big backyard (which includes Maplewood's Priory Nature Preserve) is teaming with wildlife. We have dozens of types of birds, along with all kinds of woodland creatures. On a few mornings we are blessed with a view of more than a dozen deer slowly foraging their way across the hillside behind our house. This year we had a gang of wild turkeys that has taken up residence in our woods. They are interesting creatures to look at but they can also be very agressive. The kids have learned to keep a respectable distance and always have a rake handy. We were so excited this spring when Cindy's brother Dan and his family, Gail, Aaron and Aubrey came for a visit from Chicago. We loved having them here and showing them our backyard. Sue and family came up for the weekend so the cousins had a great time together.
Joe has had a wonderful year in preschool. He just loves his teachers Mrs. Cook and Mrs. Ross. In May Cindy accompanied Joe and his class on their annual field trip to the Hugo Animal Farm. He liked holding and petting the baby animals, especially the little chicks. The puppies were a little rambunctious for him though. When the school year was over they held a little end-of-year ceremony and picnic in a park near the school. It's fun to see our little guy growing up.
Shelby has had a good school year. She is an excellent little student. This spring she competed in the all-school field day with her team representing Indonesia. They had lots of fun competing in the Olympic style events and even won a few ribbons. Shelby enjoys spending time with her cousins and especially likes hunting for little kittens with Annette and cousin Devon at Grandpa Norman's farm. While she'll be the first to tell you she's not really an "outside kind of girl" she's getting a little braver about going in the barn and will even hold some of the more tame kittens.
Annette is also a good student and enjoys school "most of the time". Cindy spent the last two months of the school year as a full-time aide in the kindergarten class at St. John's. Annette got a chance to be a guest reader in the kindergarten room one day while Cindy was there, reading an original story she'd written for their creative writing class. She's a natural. She and her friend Abby Persoon volunteered to read and perform puppet shows for the 3, 4 and 5 year olds at St. John's Sunday school. They did a wonderful job all year. Annette also enjoys time at Grandpa Norman's farm with her cousins. She insists on getting up early every morning to go out and do chores with Grandpa and uncle Jer. She just can't get enough of those kittens and keeps begging to bring one home. I don't think Mac would like that though.
The girls continue with music classes at Children's Yamaha Music School. Last winter they got a new teacher, Melissa. She is GREAT! They played beautifully in their spring recital doing both a solo piece and playing an ensemble piece with the rest of their class. Annette also played a solo in the end-of-year talent show at school. Shelby said "NO WAY!!!!" when asked if she wanted to play in the talent show. Her time will come.
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