Happy Thanksgiving!

We’ll hopefully catch up on some October and November photos soon, but for now we’ll just wish you a Happy Thanksgiving from our little pilgrim!

Take mine picture, too!

Me, too!

Take mine picture again!


Birthday Celebrations!

We celebrated the birthdays of Andrew, Paige and our nephew, Henry, with a family party on July 4th. It was a little early for all of their birthdays, but six of the party attendees are currently, or soon will be, in Europe, so it seemed like a good time to get together.

Here are some photos from the celebration:

A lot of presents for one little girl!

And this little boy had a pretty large pile himself!

“Baby!” … “Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese!”

My Mom and Uncle Bert put their cameras down just before I snapped the photo above. They were taking photos of the celebrities below:

Four, six and two candles.

Andrew knew what to do!

Paige was not sure what to think and enlisted the help of her sister.

The real fun was had when everyone went outside to cruise the yard in Henry and Anya’s wheels!

We were missing a photo of the littlest cousin, so here’s Uncle Bert with Paige and Dillon.

Thanks to everyone who made the party so much fun!

Drumroll Please …

My Mother’s Day gift:

The bag is decorated with mini Reese’s peanut butter cups with I Love You at the top with Princess Peach  and Mario Kart in the middle.

The other side has raindrops falling on flowers that have Reese’s cup hats on them. He knows my favorite things! 🙂

And, without further ado …

It’s Andrew’s hand in hardened clay, decorated with other designs.

Another keeper, for sure! 🙂

Easter Fun!

Here’s some photos from Easter!

We started with coloring eggs.

Mom kind of forgot that we had eggs that were already colored. We get them from Great Grandpa VanUtrecht’s chickens. I wasn’t sure if they would work!

Fingers got colored quite well!

And the eggs turned out really cool! I love the colors.

We really don’t make much to do about the Easter Bunny. I think Andrew was 2 1/2 the first time we even did Easter baskets. Dad said, “Look what the Easter Bunny brought.” Andrew replied, “You buyed those at WalMart!” That’s when Mom realized it was time to stop buying gifts for the kids when they were shopping with her! ha ha!

I guess Andrew has forgotten that conversation, because he wrote this note to the Easter Bunny:

The Easter  Bunny got the message. Dad had to be up early to help set up for an Easter breakfast at our church, so the “Easter Bunnies” stashed 60 eggs in the yard at 6:00 a.m. And, since Dad was gone early, the kids had to wait until AFTER the breakfast and church service to search in the yard. Dad didn’t want to miss out on the fun. They were very patient, but were pretty excited as they spotted some of the hidden eggs as we got in the van to head to church.

We headed out to the yard, and Andrew took off! He briefly posed for this photo, but kept his eyes on his sisters to make sure they didn’t get ahead of him.

Morgan is never much of a racer. She just enjoys the moment, and is always eager to strike a pose!

Paige likes things to be how they have always been, so she keeps wearing her stocking hat, even though winter is over! After much protesting, we did finally convince her that she didn’t need to still wear the winter coat to go outside. She likes her spring coat now. I’m not sure what the look on her face is. She’s a funny kid!

After our egg hunt, we headed to Grandma & Grandpa Drost’s for lunch. Morgan had fun playing with an Easter bunny.

Paige got in her horse time. She usually goes for this first thing, but she actually didn’t get it out for a while this time.

Andrew & Morgan had a little too much fun taking pictures with Grandma’s camera.

Paige wore herself out by bossing Grandpa around all day.

And, you probably feel the same way after scrolling through this incredibly long post! 🙂 Happy Easter!

A Little Valentine Project

I saw some little Valentine kits to grow strawberries in the Target dollar section, so I just had to get some. I’m sure I could have spent less gathering the items in the kit myself, but it would have taken more than $3 worth of my time, I suppose. 😉 Ok, purchase justified. ha ha!

We followed the instructions and planted our tiny seeds into their little pots.

We were impressed to see what the water did to the little soil pellets.

We’ll see if they grow! The location seems to be good for other plants, so maybe they will do well, too.

A Super Mario Valentine’s

Andrew celebrated his 100th day of school on Monday, February 8. I think 100th days are usually in January, but with all the snow days it was a little delayed. Actually, they got out early on the 100th day and had no school the next day because of more snow. Ugg!

Grandma  Baumer requested a photo, so here’s Andrew wearing his 100th day hat, 100 Froot Loops necklace and a little coloring page:

He also had his class Valentine’s Day party on the 12th. It was a party week! His “homework” was to create a valentine box out of a shoe box. You’ll be SHOCKED to know he wanted his to have a Super Mario Brother’s design. We found a coloring page online for the top and he decorated the rest with all the elements of the video game.

He was very proud of his box! And he was awarded “Most Creative” in the class!

He also wanted the Mario theme to carry over on the valentines he handed out to his classmates. I suggested we just put the image from the coloring page onto some smaller cards (actually, I was hoping WalMart had some ready-made ones, no luck!), but that wasn’t Andrew’s plan. He wanted to draw Mario designs of his own on each card — all 23 of them!

Hard at work:

A little helper:

The results:

Princess Peach and Mario:

Hope you had a Super Mario Valentine’s Day!

Christmas Fun!

We’ve been watching some old home videos lately and glancing through old photos, and I’ve realized how much I forget. It’s provided a renewed interest in documenting some of our adventures and just some of our daily activities. 

Here are some Christmas memories from this year:

Very early on in the season, Andrew said he wanted a Nintendo DS for Christmas. We have several reasons for not getting him one, so we told him we wouldn’t be getting him one for Christmas this year. It didn’t take long for him to say, “We’ll I’ll just ask Santa for a DS because everything from Santa is free!”

Dad was brave and added icicle lights to the peak of our roof this year, and it looked great!

We enjoyed the Oskaloosa Lighted Christmas Parade, even though Andrew said he turned to ice!

We visited Santa and Mrs. Claus at the mall in Oskaloosa. Since it’s a small mall, there weren’t very many people around. The kids got to chat with Santa for a while. Towards the end of the conversation Santa told the kids that he can’t come to the house unless they are asleep and that they should go to bed quicker than they did last year. Both of the kids eyes got very big as they heard Santa talk. (And no, we didn’t pay Santa to say that!)

Andrew had a neat little class program that we enjoyed.

They sang several songs and also recited this poem by Shel Silverstein:


I made myself a snowball
As perfect as could be.
I thought I’d keep it as a pet
And let it sleep with me.
I made it some pajamas
 And a pillow for its head.
Then last night it ran away,
But first it wet the bed.

Dad is now the proud owner of a Snuggie! Thanks to Uncle Bert, we now have a blanket with sleeves. And it can even fit someone who is 6′ 5″!

We also decided that a Snuggie would be a fun gift for Grandpa Baumer, but we had a hard time finding one anywhere! They were sold out all over town. WalMart had some pink ones, but we didn’t really like that color. We finally lucked out at Dollar General that has a cheaper knock-off of the Snuggie called a Cuddly! (Insert evil laugh here!)

Andrew made his stage debut as the owl in our church’s children’s program. His line was, “Who, Who, Whose baby?”

Morgan was an angel, and she sang her heart out and did all the actions. A friend later commented that Morgan didn’t look like a Drost, since she was so animated, apparently unlike her parents. ha ha!

On Christmas Eve Andrew said, “It’s a good thing God sent Jesus so we can all get presents!”

We don’t have a fireplace mantle or any other good place to hang stockings, so we have a little free-standing stocking holder. We didn’t bother putting it up until Christmas Eve, since it may have been hazardous, particularly with Paige around. Dad brought it upstairs and went back to the basement to get the hooks that the stockings hang on. When he came back up, Morgan had rigged it so her stocking was hanging up while the rest were laying on the floor. I guess she didn’t care if anyone else got anything in their stockings!

We have our little family Christmas traditions on Christmas Eve. We had snacky foods for lunch which Andrew liked and called “free choice.” Then we did our traditional personal pizzas for supper before heading to the candlelight service at our church. The highlight for the kids, of course, is getting to hold a candle for about two minutes at the end of the service. It also provides a nice incentive for them to sit quietly (or as quietly as humanly possible for kids age 1, 4 and 5) during the service! After the service we teased the kids about heading home to go to bed, but really we opened gifts.

Paige gets into everything! We didn’t dare put wrapped gifts out unless we wanted them opened immediately. Once one gift was opened, Paige wanted to open the next one. She tried opening her siblings presents immediately after opening her own. By the time we got to the Baumer gift opening, she wasn’t even looking at the things she was opening. She’d rip open the wrapping, throw it to the side, throw the gift to the side and move on. She loves all her gifts, so pardon her manners. She really is thankful!

Andrew was slightly disappointed with Santa. Ok, he was in tears, and we asked why? “Santa brought me stuff I didn’t even want!” he said, referring to his sight word flash cards. “Santa just wants you to keep getting better at reading,” we tried to convince him.

Paige also discovered that there was candy in the stockings at Grandma and Grandpa Baumer’s house. At one point she came to the living room with chocolate all over her face. We can only figure that she dug into someone’s stocking and found herself a treat! When we got back to our house, our stockings were strewn around the floor under our Christmas tree. Within five minutes of being home she was reaching in all the stockings, and we’re pretty sure she was looking for more chocolate!

Most of the gifts people gave us were made in China, cause everything seems to be made there. We did get some special gifts this year that were made in China and hand delivered to us! We’ll practice using our chopsticks and see how we do …

After Christmas, the kids were playing with some of their real money they have been given recently. Since Morgan just had a birthday, she has more money. Since Andrew is always thinking … you guessed it … he was trying to convince Morgan to use HER money to buy a DS! “They are really cool, Morgan, and  …”

Our Christmas break ended on a somewhat sour  note with four of us being hit by a stomach bug. Oh well, it forced us to get some resting in to start the new year, right?