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.)

 

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The Storm

We had a short but powerful storm hit our town on Sunday afternoon. I could tell you all about our adventures of that day, but I feel the story that came home from Kindergarten today tells it best. (One explanation: we didn’t have power for several hours, and since we didn’t know when it would be restored, we didn’t want to open the refrigerator.)

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I love how every word makes complete sense phonetically. The picture below is Paige in the kitchen with her flashlight next to the fridge.

112There are only 19 more days of Kindergarten. Sigh.

 

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.

Flashback Funny

Paige and I went to the library on Friday morning. “We are so lucky to get this new Barbie movie!” she said. It was pretty exciting. A brand new Barbie movie.

As we ventured over to look at some books, I noticed a book in the “new” section that I had seen before. It was new a couple of years ago, and Morgan checked it out because she liked the picture on the cover (how they choose 98 percent of their books).

So, wait … how was it new a couple years ago and again on the “new” shelf Friday?

Well, because a certain two-year-old (the same child now excited about the Barbie movie) decided to decorate the book a couple years ago … with a Sharpie.

034 035 036When a two-year-old colors in a book with a Sharpie, it’s a pretty fair consequence that her mother has to pay the library for the book. I mean, who is at fault when a two-year-old has a Sharpie and is unsupervised long enough to color on three pages of a library book?!?

And, then, since we paid for it, we got to keep it. Too bad it’s not a favorite of the kids. If you ever want to read about Emily Dickinson, feel free to borrow it from us. Most of the book isn’t colored on. 😉

(I wonder why it took two years for the library to replace the book?)

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.