Birthday Bashes

We — or should I say I — are behind on blogging by a couple years, probably. But, that’s OK. I can catch up someday when the kids are grown. 😉 LOL!

The kids keep growing, and we’ve had some birthday parties over the years. Here are some from this year:

Morgan had a Piplup (Pokemon) party back in January to celebrate her 8th birthday, which was in December. At least we aren’t years behind on the actual parties.  Just one month. 😉

001So thankful for sweet friends!

003Always a silly picture. Always. 🙂

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008Andrew had a Minecraft party for his 10th birthday. (10!!!) And can I get an, “Amen!” for having three boys over to play video games. Best. Birthday. Party. Ever. For. Moms. 😉

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029And he kinda loves his new Cyclone hat given to him at the party.

030Last, but not least, Paige had a beach party with some sweet girls for her 6th birthday. After we hosted her party, we officially put our house on the market and had to have pictures taken of our house. Not a stressful day at all. 😉

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079Yep, little girls can be crazy, too. Maybe even more hyper than little boys. At least that’s my birthday party experience.

081Happy Birthday, Kiddos! Now, STOP GROWING UP! (Not really.)

 

Summer Fun List Check-In

School starts two weeks from today! I started writing this post when there was still three weeks left, but adding pictures made it wonky. Hopefully attempt two will work better.

I’m not sure how summer has flown by so quickly, but alas, it has. I thought I better check-in on the old Summer Fun List to see what we need to accomplish in the next few days. (And, technically only two kids start on Aug. 20. Paige starts on Aug. 21, because half of her class will start the 20th and half on the 21st. They alternate days the first week and all go together on the following Monday. We will have to re-visit Goof-Off Day! <—–You can click on “Goof Off Day” over there and it will take you to an old post that just possibly made the author of this post shed a few tears. Sigh. They grow up so fast.)

Our list:

  • Go to a hotel. (Paige)

Completed! We spent a weekend in St. Louis and stayed at a hotel we’ve stayed at before. We loved a couple morning swims where we had the pool to ourselves.

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  • Go to the park in Ottumwa. (Paige)

Check! We went to Ottumwa one day to help our friend from Rwanda obtain a Social Security card. Unfortunately, the office closed early that day. [Insert snarky comment about government hours here.] Fortunately, we still went to the park Paige wanted to go to for a little bit. Unfortunately, the park did not have restroom facilities, so we didn’t get to stay long.

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 Looks can be deceiving. The kids aren’t that tall, as proven when Mom steps up. She’s only 5′ 3″.

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  • Get a pool pass. (Morgan)

Check. Check. We really need to get to the pool a couple more times this summer to make it worth our money, so here’s hoping that it warms up again! It has been well worth the money to see the kids’ swimming skills improve! I don’t bring a camera to the pool, but here’s the kiddos in their goggles. 🙂

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  • Get SnoBiz at least 3 times. (Morgan)

Hmmm. I think we’ve gotten SnoBiz twice, so we better go one more time. I know one time was after we did Relay for Life on a super hot day. And I’m positive we went one other time, but I cannot remember when.

  • Go on a hike somewhere not in Iowa. (Andrew)

This was also fulfilled on our St. Louis trip. We ventured into Illinois to Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville. It was a fascinating place that was home to an estimated 20,000 people in 1250 A.D., making it larger than London at the time. There are several mounds in the area, all constructed by the people for various reasons. We hiked up Monks  Mound, which is the largest man-made earthen mound in North America. It was very hot, and our kids were great hikers!

Ready to hike up the mound … This angle makes it look a lot shorter than it is.

Ready to hike up the mound.

 

 

At the top of the mound! You can barely see the St. Louis skyline to the left of Ben’s head. 🙂024

Go to the Fun Factory on a rainy day. (Andrew)

This one has not happened. We had lots of rainy days early in the summer, but we never made it to the Fun Factory (an indoor play area). I suspect this will not happen.

  • Play in the sprinkler. (Paige)

There have been a couple sprinkler fun times, but I did not take any pictures. I’m pretty sure we broke out the sprinkler early this summer and Paige had a couple friends over for her birthday, and they played in the sprinkler.

  • Go to Paige’s preschool playground. (Paige)

Oh my. We have not done this. We better get a move on!

  • Go to every park in Oskaloosa and surrounding “suburbs” of University Park and Beacon. (Mom)

This one has not happened either. Wow. We have just been too busy to go to many parks in town.

  • Go to Adventureland.

We had a perfect day at Adventureland. There were NO LINES the entire day, and we often could just stay on rides if we wanted to! The kids are getting braver on their ride choices. Morgan rode all the roller coasters, even the upside down one! Mom forgets every year that she is too old for all those rides and did not feel well on the drive home. She must make note next year. 😉

Waiting with cousins for the gates to open:

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Andrew and Will went on the “Log Ride” 18 times, or something. They love making funny poses and faces on the way down the big hill so they can get captured by the camera that snaps pictures.

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The girls on their motorcycles:

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Mom and some kids on the Raging River:

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  • Go to the Zoo.

We made it to Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines with some Drost cousins and then again for a Musco family picnic.

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  • Go to St. Louis.

This was accomplished! And we had such a fun weekend!!

Pictured: Baseball, City Museum and The Magic House:

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  • Go to Chicago.

Coming soon!

  • Go to McDonald’s. (Paige)

We don’t go to McDonald’s very often, which is why I suppose it made our Summer Fun List. We have gone enough times to get a few Minions. We did not win $1 million (or anything but a free fry) in the Monopoly game.

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  • Perform a circus. (Kids)

I think the kids gave up on this one. They wanted to include several friends and create this elaborate circus, but I think their ideas were bigger than reality. I’m not sure their performance from last year can be topped. 😉

  • Go to Frosty Udder at least 5 times (Andrew, Morgan)

We have not been to Frosty Udder much since the kids were done with baseball and softball in June. Yikes! I don’t think we’re even close to five times.

  • Participate in the Summer Reading Program at the Library.

We did a ton with the Summer Reading Program in June, but since then … uh … hello? We’ve been busy having too much other fun! Maybe that’s why the program in the past didn’t last all summer like it does this year. ha!

  • Visit the Science Center. (Mom)

We did this on Andrew’s birthday with Grandma & Grandpa Baumer! It was a fun time!

Can you guess whose face that is?

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Playing with the green screen in the weather lab:

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Morgan’s floating head doing the weather:

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Andrew was proud of his arch building skills:

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  • Do half of the activities on the Library “activity sheet.” (Mom)

I will first have to find one of the library activity sheets and get back to you. (Ahem. Cough. Cough.) I think we’ve inadvertently done half of them, probably. We’ll see. 🙂

  • Do some of the craft kids collecting dust in the closet. (Mom)

Nope. Nada. Not at all. Maybe that’s a good idea for a WINTER fun list when we need to stay inside more. 😉

Well, that is a little peak into our summer, the Summer Fun List, anyway. Maybe, since all three kids will soon be in school, Mom will have gobs of free time to blog. And maybe she should get a job so we can pay for all these fun things to continue. 😉 ha ha! Time will tell.

Budding Artists

It is always fun to see the kids’ artwork that comes home from school. It is especially exciting to hear that their art was chosen for a special award!

Last summer, Morgan had a piece selected for the Up and Coming Artist Show. We were on vacation when the show was going on, and we didn’t know until we got home and got caught up on our mail, that she was actually one of the winners at the show! We tried finding out about her award, but we never heard back from anyone. Just recently, she got her prize: a third place ribbon and a sketch book! Go Morgan! We love you!

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003Also recently, Andrew had some art entered in an art show and his artwork was selected as a winner also! His picture will be featured MidWestOne Bank’s 2014 Kids’ Art Calendar. We were glad we were around and available to attend a small recognition reception.

002All the winners are pictured above. Can you find Andrew? His head is about in the middle of the picture. You can see his ear. 😉

005His picture is to the right of the top of his head.

004Good job, Andrew! We love you, too!

 

 

 

Here Comes the Circus!

As I mentioned before, seeing Madagascar 3 seemed to inspire the kids to put on their own circus. It took quite a bit of time and energy to discuss, practice and perform their circus. There was a moment when two of the kids seemed to be on strike and one kid was pouting. Mom stayed pretty “hands off” and let them work things out, which they did.

Our tickets:

The program:

Ladies and gentlemen …

Pay no attention to those hiding in the background. 😉

Sword fighting shall commence.

Acrobats and/or swinging with Morgan.

(Pictures are taken pre-drought. Look at that green grass!)

The girls, mainly Morgan, had several costume changes, which caused delays in the entertainment. The audience may have gotten a little restless. At one point, Andrew said, “I think all the girls care about is their clothes.”

The conclusion of the circus actually occurred the next day, as bedtime was approaching. The conclusion included ball games and a dance on the front porch.

Who needs a big top? Not the Drost kids.

School for Three

So, three posts after putting up pictures of the first day of school last year … I am to the first day of school for this year. Random blogging at it’s best!

We have three kids in school this year! Yes, THREE! Andrew and Morgan started on Monday, and Paige had her first taste of Preschool this morning! They are all very excited and love school, and we are very thankful.

I was talking with a friend whose kids just switched from the local, small Christian school to the public elementary school. (According to the school website, it’s the largest elementary school in the state of Iowa.) It brought back many memories for me of how hard the “What will we do for school?” decision is. Ben and I have agreed that it was the hardest decision we’ve tackled as parents. Yet, after much prayer and discussion, we also agreed the decision we made was the way God was leading. We thanked God, once again, this summer while sitting in a hotel room in St. Louis when we got word of who Andrew and Morgan would have for teachers. We’ve had a great experience at the school, but I have to chuckle when in the big, giant public school our kids have Christian teachers and principals. Thanks, God, for blessing us in so many ways!

And, now, on to the pictures!

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First and Last, 2011-2012

I’ve been looking through the blog to find a post from the first day of school this year, but apparently I didn’t do one!?! Oh dear! It was a pretty big year, too, having two kids in school full time.

So, without further ado, here was the first day of school:

Morgan’s classroom and teacher:

Andrew’s classroom and teacher:

And, now for the last day comparisons … Andrew is wearing the same shirt! Orange is his current favorite color! Morgan is pretending to cry because she doesn’t want school to be over. Paige got dressed all by herself and did her hair, too.

Andrew’s shirt looks a little bit smaller. He has a different smile, too, with some teeth changes. He had another great year of school! He still loves math and science, and often tells me science facts he’s learned. Sometimes he’ll tell me a random fact and I’ll say, “Are you studying that in school?” and he’ll reply with, “No, I just read about it.” We found out after school was over that he was selected for the TUG (Talented Uniquely Gifted) program that starts in third grade, so we’re quite proud of him for that! Art is another favorite for him. Most of his drawings from art are “levels” in video games that he would like to design. He said he was 65 percent excited for summer and 35 percent sad. Yep, he’s our math kid! 😉

Miss Morgan has had tremendous changes this school year! She went from the preschool kid who never talked at all, to the budding social butterfly with a growing group of friends. She’s still quieter at school than at home, but that’s probably a good thing. 😉 For most of her life she has kind of been Andrew’s shadow, doing whatever he wanted and having favorites identical to him. They are still best buddies, but it is nice to see her step into her own skin, so to say. She also now has a nice group of girlfriends, something that has been lacking due to the fact that our circle of friends is missing girls her age. She also had a great academic year, doing well in school and learning how to read! If you asked her what her favorite thing about school was, she would probably say, “Everything!”

Princess Paige is the most excited to have her brother and sister home for the summer. After the last day of school she prayed, “And thank you that Andrew and Morgan can be home to play with me!” Mom tries, but she usually doesn’t play right. 😉 She is wearing a dress that was Aunt Jamie’s. She said, “This dress is too ‘mall for me, so we should give it to a baby.”

So, there you have it! The first and last day of school! It goes faster every year. Sigh.

Field Trips & Fun

Waaaay back towards the end of last school year, Mom got the fun chance to go with Morgan’s and Andrew’s class on field trips. They both went to the same places: Russel Wildlife and Edmundson Park.

Morgan started with a bus ride from preschool to Russel Wildlife. (It’s a place we’ve enjoyed before.)

We found some new friends.

Morgan revised her role as snake charmer!

She participated in a little listening game.

And cheered on a turtle race!

We hunted for some fossils.

And played games.

Not much later, Andrew took a trip to the same place!

We looked at some snakes.

And examined some animal parts.

Andrew standing in the black coat, ready to play a game.

With  his buddy, Khydin.

Fossil hunting.

And fishing! Watch out! No one caught anything, and thankfully no one snagged anyone else, either. 😉

Next, his class headed to the park for lunch and playtime. And a little pile-making. 🙂

Morgan also went to the park with her class, although on a different day than her field trip. It was her last day celebration. Dad and Paige got to come along, too.

Morgan likes to swing. Wait, she LOVES to swing.

Dad and Paige like to swing, too.

A little merry-go-round action.

And a nice class picture of some cute kids!

The end.