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.


  • 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. 🙂


  • 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:


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.



The girls on their motorcycles:


Mom and some kids on the Raging River:


  • 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.



  • Go to St. Louis.

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

Pictured: Baseball, City Museum and The Magic House:


  • 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.


  • 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?



Playing with the green screen in the weather lab:



Morgan’s floating head doing the weather:



Andrew was proud of his arch building skills:


  • 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.


Summer Fun List 2013

What? We still had a winter picture up at the top of the blog. No more! Good riddens snow, hello sunny summer!

We are into our fourth week of Summer Break, so let’s get something on this blog. How about a Summer Fun List 2013? Ok! Here it is, followed by the person who suggested the idea, where applicable.

  1. Go to a hotel. (Paige)
  2. Go to the park in Ottumwa. (Paige)
  3. Get a pool pass. (Morgan)
  4. Get SnoBiz at least 3 times. (Morgan)
  5. Go on a hike somewhere not in Iowa. (Andrew)
  6. Go to the Fun Factory on a rainy day. (Andrew)
  7. Play in the sprinkler. (Paige)
  8. Go to Paige’s preschool playground. (Paige)
  9. Go to every park in Oskaloosa and surrounding “suburbs” of University Park and Beacon. (Mom)
  10. Go to Adventureland.
  11. Go to the Zoo.
  12. Go to St. Louis.
  13. Go to Chicago.
  14. Go to McDonald’s. (Paige)
  15. Perform a circus. (Kids)
  16. Go to Frosty Udder at least 5 times (Andrew, Morgan)
  17. Participate in the Summer Reading Program at the Library.
  18. Visit the Science Center. (Mom)
  19. Do half of the activities on the Library “activity sheet.” (Mom)
  20. Do some of the craft kids collecting dust in the closet. (Mom)

And, Hooray! We’ve already done a few things on the list, and others are on the calendar. We hope you are having a great summer!

Summer Fun #1, #16, #9 and #3

Summer Fun #1: Go to SnoBiz (2-5 times) and #16: Go to an Oskaloosa Municipal Band concert

We combined #1 and #16 into one evening of fun! One night, when Dad was out of town, the kids and I picked up some SnoBiz and headed to the square. It was a beautiful night for a concert!

After we got there, we realized that SnoBiz was selling things AT the square, but oh well. It was still exciting. 😉 (And kudos to the SnoBiz folks who gave away some sno cones at the kids’ school at the end of the year. Great advertising! It got #1 on our list. I’m pretty sure there was a strong influence.)

We kind of sat by ourselves, but the whole square is filled with people of all ages listening to the band play. One of the songs was Entrance of the Gladiator by Julius Fučík, also known as the Circus Song, or, thanks the Madagascar 3, the Circus Afro song. I thought it was hilarious that song was played, considering it was sung non-stop at our house all summer!

Summer Fun List #9: Go to the Zoo

We have gone to the Blank Park Zoo with cousins for several years now. I think our first trip was back when there were only three, Andrew, Will and Morgan. This year we had eight of the eleven Drost cousins!

It was a fun day, and all the kids did great!


It was just a bit funny that they were sitting next to the “Adopt an Animal” sign. 😉

Summer Fun #3: Have a Cousin Swap

After the zoo trip, we brought home Briella and Andrew stayed in West Des Moines to hang with Will and Dillon. We did girly things like paint finger nails, dance and crafts. You can check out the boys’ fun over at Aunt Lisa’s blog.

Some sprinkler fun.

Painting some masterpieces.

Mom played chauffeur as the girls all sat together in the back on the way to meet up with the boys. We headed to Jersey Freeze in Monroe. It was about half way between our homes and we got ice cream!









Summer Fun #12, #11, #8 and #2

Summer Fun #12: Learn How to Swim

We tried some swimming lessons last summer, but our kids pretty much learned nothing. So, this year, we opted to try swimming lessons somewhere else, that being the neighboring town of Pella. It actually costs less than where we tried before, and we had a great experience! Andrew & Morgan learned so much and are unbelievably more comfortable in the water! We are very proud of them!

A snapshot littlest sister took during lessons.

Summer Fun #11: Go to the Pool in Pella

The kids had swimming lessons at the indoor pool in Pella, but they really wanted to go to the outdoor aquatic center. It is quite a fancy and fun place! We went last summer towards the end of the summer, and they did not have enough life guards to have the whole thing open. This year, it was all open, and we happened to pick a day where it was half price! Bonus! We had a lot of fun practicing swimming, going down slides and hitting the lazy river!

We also went to our local pool a couple times, which was a lot of fun, too. I’m not sure why that didn’t make it on the Summer Fun List, because the kids intended for it to be there. Now that the kids enjoy swimming more, we might have to break down and get a season pass next summer.

Summer Fun #8: Go to Adventureland

We have a tradition of going to Adventureland with the Drost clan, and it is a very fun tradition! We always have a great time! This year was no exception! There was great weather, small crowds and a good time had by all.

Dad taking Andrew, Morgan and Will on a tube slide. Mom was watching at the bottom as several tubes flipped over when they got to the end, so she was thankful that did not happen when this crew came out.


We seemed to have taken pics of water rides. We did get soaked, many times. We split up a few times as “girls” and “boys,” and the girls always got way more drenched than the boys. Good times!

We’ll have to find a new spot for the annual cousins picture. Will is too tall for this ride, and I suspect Andrew and Morgan might be close by next summer.

Summer Fun #2: Invite Friends Over

I would say we mostly failed at this one, because we only had some of Andrew’s friends over one time … for his birthday party. Oops! The boys who came over for the party did have a fun time, but it would have been nice to do a better job at this. Especially since it was number 2 on the list, meaning it was fairly important to the kiddos. Maybe next year?

Eight boys playing Mario Party 9 … It was rather loud. A happy noise. A loud party. Did I mention it was noisy? 😉


Summer Fun #10, #4, #7, #14 and #5

Summer Fun List #10: Go to Frosty Udder

Frosty Udder is a local ice cream joint in a small red barn. There is almost always a line because it’s good and relatively inexpensive. We’ve gone several times, even had ice cream for supper a few times this summer!

Morgan with an ice cream beard.

Summer Fun List #4: See Madagascar 3

No photos of this, but we did get to see Madagascar 3 in the theater. It is a cute movie, and it inspired the kids to perform their own circus. They also {still} like to sing the “Afro Circus” song. Google it. You’ll thank me later when the song is stuck in your head. 😉

Summer Fun List #7: Disc Golf in Pella!

We wanted to go disc golfing with Aunt Jamie in Pella. We went last fall, but ran out of daylight to complete the whole course. Jamie was departing the lovely city of Pella in late June, so we had a deadline! We headed over one evening and hit the course!

Andrew got Hole 3 in 3!

And, according to Aunt Jamie, we saw the largest tree in the world. This is probably a lie, but we can just pretend.

See. It’s very big!

Technically Ben is the only one who completed the course. It is very big, and it was hot and kids were hungry, so he did a 600-foot hole without us.

We have some cute video of Paige throwing a disc and Andrew fetching a disc from a creek, but the videos are upside down. If I can figure out how to flip them, I’ll post them here later. In the one with Andrew, he’s getting a disc thrown by Mom. There is commentary from Dad that says, “This seems to be a re-occurring theme with Mom.” He must have been mistaken. There is no photographic or video evidence that she threw a disc into any creeks. They were thrown perfectly and then moved by gnomes.

There is also no photographic evidence that Mom threw a disc into a swampy area with 6-foot-tall swamp grass and caused everyone to search for 30 minutes to find the disc. And since there is no photographic evidence, it must not have happened. 😉

Summer Fun List #14: Participate in the Library Summer Reading Program

We did participate in this program, reading lots of books and attending a few programs. The kids earned “book bucks” and pooled their cash to buy Webkins. They are stuffed animals with codes that let you take care of that animal with an online computer game.

Summer Fun List #5: Make something for the library creative contest

This one is a FAIL! Every year, there are several categories (art, writing, etc.) where kids can enter their creations and possibly win a prize. We’ve never entered. Maybe next year. 😉 To our credit, the Summer Reading Program was shortened from six weeks to four this summer, and we missed the first week on our family vacation. And really, we just kind of forgot. We’ll add it to our list next summer!



Our Summer Fun List 2012

We’re into our last week of summer here. By this time next week, the two older kids will be in their second day of school, and the littlest sister will be asking me every 5 minutes if it’s time for her to go to preschool. (She has “orientation” Wednesday the 22nd. Her first real day is the 27th.) So, it seems appropriate to post our Summer Fun List to see what we need to squeeze it these last few days.

1. Go to SnoBiz (local sno-cone/ice cream joint) 2-5 times.

2. Invite friends over.

3. Have a cousin swap.

4. See Madagascar 3.

5. Make something for the library creative contest.

6. Hike at Russell Wildlife Area with Dad.

7. Disc golf in Pella.

8. Go to Adventureland.

9. Go to the zoo.

10. Go to Frosty Udder.

11. Go to the pool in Pella.

12. Learn how to swim.

13. Learn how to ride a bike.

14. Participate in the summer reading program at the library.

15. Camp out in the backyard and have s’mores.

16. Go to an Oskaloosa Municipal Band concert at the city square.

17. Make an “I don’t know what to do” jar.

18. Go to Davenport for a Quad City River Bandits (Cardinals Single A team) game.

We’ve done fairly well, so far. We missed a couple items, but maybe we can get them in before the season summer ends in September. 😉


Our Summer Fun List

I started the summer fun list last year in an effort to make sure we had a memorable summer. I also had failed to do a bunch of things I had wanted the summer before. A few friends made summer fun lists for 2011! Go you! (You know who you are!)

I think our list was a little longer this year, and maybe a bit unrealistic. Although, looking back at our list from 2010, we didn’t get everything crossed off that year either. I guess it’s all about perspective. We had a very fun and memorable summer, so we’ll call it a success!

Here was our list, the person who suggested each idea, and how we fared on that item:

1. Color a flower. (Paige)

Hmmm … I know we color a lot around here, but I can’t say for sure that we colored a flower during the summer. I would bet we did, but I have no proof. I do have a couple pictures of Paige after she colored on herself while wearing a flower dress …

2. Play on the swing set while the sprinkler is on. (Morgan)

This was a winner, although there is no picture. We put the sprinkler near the swing set and everyone had fun! I think it was most popular to get sprinkled while on the slide.

3. Go to Russell Wildlife. (Andrew)

Unless you count the school field trips, (which you shouldn’t) we failed at this one.

4. Swim in the pool. (Morgan)

I know there was quite a bit of swimming in our little kiddie pool in our yard. I, once again, don’t seem to have any photos. I guess I’m slacking off in the photo department. I do have a picture of Penny (the Panda) and Lenny (the Leopard) lounging by the pool. There is a very long story behind this photo, all in good fun with some friends who like to  dump their junk play pranks on us.

5. Go on a nature hike. (Andrew)

Fail. Probably partly because of failing #3.

6. Have a big ice cream sundae for the whole family. (Andrew)

Cha-ching. Hello, sugar!

7. Swim at the public swimming pool. (Morgan)

We went swimming at the public pool in Muscatine and Pella, but strangely never made it to our local pool. And I have no photos because it’s hard to take a camera to the pool.

8. Go to Muscatine. (Mom)

We tagged along with Dad when he had to work in Muscatine for a couple days. We had fun swimming in the local pool (see above) and our hotel pool, visiting parks and having a picnic supper by the Mississippi River.

9. Go to Florida. (Everyone)

What a fun trip we had!! More to come on this in the future.

10. Go to Disney World! (Mom — and I must say, it was fun to put that one on the list!)

More incredible, amazing, fun days! We got to go to Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios!

11. Camp outside in our yard. (Morgan)

Thanks to borrowing a tent from Grandma & Grandpa Baumer, this was a success! Dad didn’t join us, because he had to get up for work the next morning. Morgan said, “That’s so unfair for Dad!” Yep, poor Dad! He missed out! 😉 It actually wasn’t too bad, I must say. Paige must not have gotten enough beauty sleep, because she wasn’t up for a photo in the morning.

12. Camp inside in our living room. (Andrew)

This one was fun! It’s always a little risky. And Mom has a tendency to get grumpy when it’s time to settle down. I think everyone did pretty good this time.

13. Do an obstacle course. (Andrew)

Nope. We never did this. 

14. Make something out of marshmallows. (Andrew)

I’m not really sure what this one was supposed to be. We did make s’mores (see #19), but I don’t think that is what Andrew had in mind.

15. Dance the ballet. (Paige)

I’m pretty sure not a day goes by without the girls dancing. It’s just a staple in our house. 🙂

16. Go to the library at least once a week. (Mom, Andrew)

We did very good with going to the library at the beginning of the summer because of the Summer Reading Program. For six weeks, there were various activities to participate in. This was the first year we were really gung-ho about the programs. It’s a little hard because there are programs for school age and non-school age kids. So, only Andrew can go to the really fun ones. There were programs most days, so we usually picked one for Andrew and then the girls went for story time for age 3-6. We got lots of books, of course, too. The kids act like they are at a toy store, which is too fun! Andrew delved into a Star Wars chapter book that was quite above his reading level. Our library visits dropped off later in the summer. We usually made it every-other week, when our books were due. 🙂

17. Have a science day. (Mom)

Nice idea, Mom. Maybe next year.

18. Read! Read! Read! (Andrew)

See #16. We did plenty of reading. I’m sure the Summer Reading Program “bucks” were an incentive for Andrew to put this on the list, but he really does love to read. We’ve been enjoying the Box Car Children books and then a variety of other books the kids pick out at the library and from our bookshelves.

19. Make s’mores. (Morgan)

We did this as part of our camp out. We used our gas grill to toast the marshmallows. 

20. Plant Evergreen trees. (Andrew)

This on almost had me stumped, because I couldn’t remember why Andrew wanted to plant Evergreen trees. Then, I remembered that I had a conversation with him one time about how I’d like to remove two ugly bushes we have and replace them with slender Evergreens. Apparently, Andrew thought that would be a fun idea. Bless his heart! Truth be told, I’m not sure I want to invest in trees in a house we don’t plan to live in forever. So, we’ll just keep dealing with our ugly bushes. 😉

21. Go to Edmundson Park. (Morgan)

Edmundson is the largest park in town. We go there often, it seems, for various reasons. Here’s a picture from a Van Utrecht family picnic of the kids doing the limbo at Edmundson. That picnic was the only time I took photos at Edmundson, so I’ll throw in some other park photos, too. 

22. Try the disc golf course in Pella. (Dad)

We put this on the list for Dad. And we haven’t gotten it done, yet. Maybe before it gets cold.

23. Go to Adventureland. (Mom)

We went to Adventureland … twice! I’m sure we’ll have another post about that coming soon.

24. Go to the zoo. (Andrew)

We went to the zoo three times! Thank you Groupon season pass! Watch for more zoo photos in the future, too.

25. Learn math! (Andrew)

Andrew is a math wiz. I think we must have made our list before school was out for summer, so math was still on his brain! ha ha! He really is always learning math, so we did this one! 

26. Build a rocket. (Mom)

Um, I’m not sure this one was even age appropriate?! We didn’t get to this. I think I should do a little research before adding it to next year’s list. 😉

So, that was our Summer Fun List 2011! And thanks to an insanely long World Series game, I was able to finish the post all in one sitting! (Go Cardinals!)