Friday, August 29, 2014

our last day at the pool for the year

 we have used and abused our pool pass.  i don't see a day any time soon where we don't invest in that.

last weekend we invited phillippe's mom to come join us at the pool for our last visit of the summer.  it was about 100 degrees so it was perfect.

 gabriela is jumping off the high dive.  a feat she has mastered over the course of the summer months.

my kids did not get their love of the water from me.  and that's a fact, jack!

 at the beginning of the summer, he couldn't stand to get splashed.  

huge steps for this guy.

we all have the tan lines to prove that our summer in the sun was really great.  so long until next year, water.

our last preschool open house

well....we had our last preschool open house ever for this house hold.  isabela starts next thursday and we got to visit her school and teachers last night.

this is something that i can barely wrap my mind around.

 funny story about her 'packpack'.

during the summer reading program, they had the ability to earn tickets to try to win certain prizes.  they could put their tickets in any prize bucket they wanted to win.  isabela put all of her tickets in the bucket to earn this dora back pack that came with several books.  she was absolutely certain that she would win.  it was no question.  we were out looking for school stuff one day and she very matter of fact stated that she didn't need a new back pack.  hers was at the library and she would get it when the reading program was over.

a few days later, her name was drawn for the prize and she walked briskly up to the front of the room and declared to my face " I TOLD YOU SO, MOM!"

it was pretty cute.  and so now, she has a dora packpack to wear to school.

 she also decided that this was the prime photo spot before we headed out the door.

"here.  let me close this door for you.  that way you can't see the potty."

in case you were wondering, she grew 6 inches this past year.  6.

 my husband knows me better than anyone.  taking a photo of me signing my last child in for preschool open house.  i'm sappy.
no i didn't cry or anything foolish like that.  (and no i "didn't" with my other 2 either......)

 she suddenly looked older the second we walked through the doors.

how does that happen?!

 she probably will never grow into that back pack before she starts kindergarten.

 andre was p r o u d to show his baby sister around his old school.  he was running her all over creation showing her all he knew of the room.  it was overwhelming and adorable.


and so that's that.   next week, she'll be coming here 2 mornings a week for 2 1/2 hours.  it's time for her.  but it's so strange.  i know that eventually i will enjoy my little 'break'.  but it's really hard for me to admit what's about to happen.  for almost 9 years, i've had a child in this house every day all day.  and that time is slowing come to an end.  and no, i'm not trying for dramatics here.  but the reality is, that the end of my days of being a stay at home mom are just around the corner and before i know it, i'll be sending her to kindergarten.  gah!  i will not even think about that.  because the thought of her going to preschool is enough to make my throat lump up.

yes.  i'm one of those moms.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

tae kwon do

this past saturday, andre preformed with his dragon class at the waukee fest on the square in waukee.  

he's been going to tae kwon do since last october.  we don't do much outside of the class...mostly because it usually conflicts with something else we have going on.  we were free this time and thought, 'hey, why not go out in the 150 degree weather to have andre move around like a ninja and we'll stand in the blaring sun and watch!' 

good land!, it was h o t.  i felt so bad for those kiddos.  and those adults just the same.  miserable.  

i think it's so funny and neat how much andre has taken to this sport.  it's unique in that it's more unpopular than most other sports kids take on.  he's not drawn to football or soccer or baseball, but he is drawn to this.  in some ways, it's very fitting for his personality.  


 this is his little class.  most of those boys he doesn't see regularly because they will go to different times than andre does.

 they say 'gooooooo dragons!!!!!!!'

 how funny is it to see your children stand around and have conversations with other children!?  i always think they seem so old when i see them chatting it up with another small human.



 they got to break boards that day.  they had never done that.  andre got his on the first try, which kind of freaked him out.  i think he thought it would take longer than that to learn how to do it.  i'm a sentimental fool, so i kept the board.  and will most likely frame it for his room and when i look at it as he grows, i'll think 'my, how he's grown....'.




 last night, he promoted to another class level.  and staring next week, he'll be a tiger.  and his instructors will change to being boys instead of a woman.  he's nervous and excited.

he's got the biggest heart i have seen in almost any person ever.  he got sad last night after his last dragon class.  he teared up and just hugged me.  letting go of things is hard for him.  but he's not afraid to start something new.  something more challenging.  and something he's never done.

and when it's 300 degrees and you just sweated off 10 pounds of water, you get to have ice cream in the air conditioned ice cream shop.  


this is maddi.  gabi has befriended her during these classes as her brother is also in andre's class.  they are the same age and always have something fun to talk about or try to trump each others gymnastics moves on the extra mats at the gym.  girls....  :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

the iowa state fair

 we have never taken all our kids to the state fair.  and by that, i mean that we haven't been to the fair since andre was a baby.  and that was enough to do me in for a long time.  it can be such a great time.  but it's hard work getting through all of those people with kids.  and more than one is just plain exhausting.

but because we won tickets to the demo this year, we decided to take them.  i'm really happy we did.  but it was 50% annoying, 50% frustrating, 50% AHHHH, and 50% fun.

we didn't even make it to the animals.  that's just sinful.





it was a great demo derby and great race.  loud and fast, just like it should be.  




i think they enjoyed the bus ride more than the fair itself.







 okay, so our iowa station that has kids shows has this guy on there.  dan wardell.  he a big deal in our neck of the woods.  and there was a line behind me.  i said, 'okay guys, look here and i'll get a picture!'  then andre got mad because he wasn't smiling.  and gabriela looks grossed out.  which she's not.  and phillippe looks thrilled.  isabela was hiding. and that's what's going on.  we love dan, though.  and he's so great in person.  makes you feel special.  just what the "kids" need.  .....

 there is an entire exhibit made out of butter carvings.  they have a cow every year.  for years.  i mean years.  since 1911.  and then they have other random things in there, too.  it's pretty neat.

 we watched a magic show.  only because we needed a place to chill for a while.  and it ended up being super fun to watch.  they stuffed all of those people into a balloon.  really kind of cool to see.

and then we went home.  in between eating some food and seeing some stuff.  next year will be a little easier to go.  and then the year after will be even easier.  and then maybe it will get fun.  but i'm not gonna lie....this year wasn't all that pleasant.  we ARE glad we went.  but we are ALSO glad we don't have to go back any time soon.

school starts

the kids started school on monday.  august 18th.  we were not ready for this to happen!  the summer felt like it was going on forever...in a good way.  and then all of a sudden, here it was.  over. 

i feel like it starts so much earlier than when i was a kid.  my birthday is august 25th and i never had school on my birthday.  pretty soon, they'll be starting before the 4th of july....

it felt kind of awkward on that first morning.  but it went smooth.  phillippe was able to be home to help get the kids to school so he made his famous pancakes.  


she looks old.  

she goes to school in desoto this year.  which is a neighboring town.  it's obviously in the same school district, but it's pretty strange to have her in another town.  so phillippe helped get her to school the first 2 days which was super helpful.  

her teacher's name is mrs. rowe.  she had a baby over the summer, so she has a sub for the first 3 weeks of school.  she handles it well.  i would be so nervous to start a new school and then change teachers shortly after.  

she said 'it was an awesome day!'  she is a born student.  

she has her own locker this year.  with a locker partner.  brooklyn.  

seriously.  i'm going to blink and she's going to be out of college.  

 andre is in first grade.  he's a little lost without his sister being at school with him.  not that they ever hung out, but knowing she was there was a comfort to him.

his teacher is mrs. reis (rice).  which is the same teacher gabriela had.  and we just love her.  so far, he liking school.  little things matter to him.  like today, his teacher was telling them that it was time for town students to line up and she said something about 'townsie wonsies get in your liney whiney'.  which he thought was great.

it's going to be a good year for him.  i just know it.



isabela asked to 'set that timer on your camera and take a piture of me and you.'  so that's just what i did.  her and i get pretty close during the school year.  i forgot what it was like to just have her around.  so far, we've run errands like crazy so haven't been home much together.  that will come with time.  it gets pretty lonely here with out all the kiddos.  

she starts preschool in 2 weeks.  but i'll save that for another post.  :)

it should also be noted that andre and i wore matching shirts.  i bought mine with him in the boys section at old navy.  why not?  

my goal now is to get one with gabriela and isablela.  it will happen. 



and just like that, it was the end of the day and we were all home together again.  making lots of noise and fighting and being a family.  transitions to and from school are always hard.  in both starting and ending the year and starting and ending the day.  it's an adjustment for all of us.  and it usually takes several weeks to get back in the real swing of things.  i don't like the adjustment period.  but it happens nonetheless.  

and it's so strange how they can look a certain way when summer starts and then they start school and they magically look a full year older.  i don't like that, either.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

sweet corn festival 2014

adel, our little town, is known for their sweet corn.  so much so that we have a festival every summer to celebrate it.  a local grower has perfected the art and donates around 5 tons of corn to our town.  people come from all over the country to partake in our little tradition.  

it's cool to hear people talk about how they're from the east coast, or the south, or the north west side of the country.  most likely, they know a family member here.  it's not like people flock here that have no connection to our town.  but it's still pretty cool.  

the festival is on saturday, and the friday night before, the town gets together to shuck all the corn.  we sit on milk crates and fill them with corn and husks and they have music playing and give out beer and water.  you know...the essentials.  :) 

the kids have a blast.  they climb in the back of the trailer trucks and help dump out the trash, and help unload the full crates of corn.  they have people bringing bags of corn to people and dump them on the ground and you just go to town.   and you work till it's done.  usually takes a few hours.  



 there is always a 5K run in the morning at 8 and then a parade after that.  the parade goes for over an hour.
anyone and everyone can walk.  you just have to show up and line up.  it's interestingly fun.

 our school mascot.
we are the tigers!

 phillippe's uncle mike is in the grey cut off shirt in the middle.  :)


 married 65 years....still putting around.
i love when people celebrate their marriage like that.  nowadays, that's a feat.  that's gonna be me someday.

 they have food vendors like any fair, but they give out free sweet corn.  the line to get corn this year was about 3 1/2 blocks long.  we waited for about 25 minutes.  it seems weird.  unless you are here.  and then it seems normal.  and you can take as much as you'd like.  lots of people bring cake pans and just pile it on.  they give out butter, salt, pepper, napkins, and toothpicks.  it's pretty awesome.

 that weekend we had phillippe's family over for supper.  his brother was in town from colorado and his girlfriend came along, too.

family time is great.  and loud.

 i was trying to get a family picture while they were here but my camera is funky and i couldn't figure out the self timer.  i've since mastered it, but we got some good shots while i was trying to get it done.


 one.

 two.

three.  

that's all she wrote.  

 my brother in law and his lady.



 this is at the beginning.  it fills up so fast.




 we are not a fan of bounce houses.  but we caved this year.  it's all andre wanted to do.  we may have started something with giving in.  but i guess it was worth it.





 playing with the photobooth app on the ipad.  oh my goodness.  if you haven't tried it, do.  you will laugh so hard.


 phillippe entered us into a corn shucking competition.  there were 6 other couples.  it was a timed deal.
1 minute 92 seconds
47 ears of corn shucked.

we tied with another couple and had to have a shuck off.  yeah....i know.
30 seconds
17 ears of corn.
they did 21.
we came in second.  which hurt a little.
but we won tickets to the demo durby and figure 8 races at the state fair.  so that was great.

we're competitive, he and i.



 my very dear friend brought her kiddos down this year to help.  lovely people right there.  she makes everything fun.

 you wouldn't know it by this picture, but these two are bffs.  going to preschool together in a couple of weeks.  and hopefully, bridesmaids in each others weddings.

 we call this 'corn face'.










 my sister and her boyfriend.



 i'm loving phillippes new locks.  i'm sorry, but that man is handsome.




my niece, vaughn, is the right in the colorful leotard. that was her face when she saw our family sitting there watching for her.  it was adorable.  this is her tumbling float.  :) 




and there you have it.  we love this town.  and there are so many cute little things here and there to participate in.  we want our kids to grow up knowing this place and the people that make it up.  small town iowa is the absolute best.