Last Day of (My First Year of) Preschool!

Story told by: Henry

Today is my last day in Mrs. O’Loughlin’s class! I’ve had such a fantastic year!

Mommy is crawling to the end of the school year. When it came time to wrap Mrs. O’Loughlin’s present, she realized that she hadn’t thought of wrapping paper. So she gets a uniquely-wrapped present!

Despite the weird wrapping, Mrs. O’Loughlin loved her new griddle from me and Weston.

Months ago, she mentioned to Mommy that she wanted one, so Mommy made sure to remember that detail.

We also gave her pancake mixes, syrup, and yummy jam.

She loved it!

Mommy, Natalie, and Christy were in charge of our party, and they had some great helpers with setup. The theme was a beach party, so while we were practicing for our closing ceremony, they whipped up the party.

We got to hunt through sand to find buried treasure. (Please note our adorable sand buckets).

We made a jellyfish craft, as well as painted seashells.

The kids have arrived!

Yum!

Of course I found a spot with my best buddy, Weston.

My favorite thing was definitely the whale-termelon.

Mommy and Natalie had a lot of fun planning this party together. They make a good team!

After eating, it was time for crafts and games. First stop, digging for treasure.

Next I did the scavenger hunt.

Next up was fishing. I got some good prizes!

We also had beach ball bowling. I was pretty darn good at it.

Making my jellyfish (or my squid as I keep calling it).

Jonah needed some help with the scavenger hunt, so I made sure to give him some helpful hints.

Photo booth with Mommy!

Final blessing song from Mrs. O’Loughlin and Miss Stahlecker.

I’m really going to miss having them as my teachers. They’re so wonderful. But thank goodness I go to church with them, and Brody will be in their class in the fall!

When we got home, we took a picture showing the difference between my first day of preschool and my last day of preschool. I’m starting to look so big!

Tonight was my preschool closing ceremony (and graduation for my friends going off to kindergarten).

Each class took turns singing songs. My class got to do two songs. (This was actually Mrs. O’Loughlin’s two classes combined.) I’m in a blue shirt on the far left in the back row.

After the ceremony was done, we got to have some yummy snacks.

My other best buddy from class is Pierce. He’s headed to kindergarten in the fall, but he and I might get to wrestle together, so hopefully we’ll see more of each other.

And it wouldn’t be a true party day if it didn’t end in tears. But at least now I have summer and sunshine in my future. Can’t wait!

Mother’s Day, 2018

**This is the one day a year we let Mommy take over the blog to tell her story.**

Story told by: Mommy

I had a wonderful Mother’s Day yesterday! The greatest gift the kids gave me was that they slept until 7:15!

Of course my body woke me up earlier than that, but Kylan made me a delicious breakfast to enjoy while I watched “Ellen.” Perfect!!

Henry was the first one to wake up, and went running right away to grab the adorable card he made with Kylan.

These two were up next with their cute cards.

Kylan got me a funny book that I’ve been wanting to read for awhile. (And I may be blocking out a naughty word for the sake of this blog.)

Lainey loves holidays just as much as me! (In fact, she said a prayer just a few nights ago thanking God for holidays. Amen, little girl!) She wanted me to open presents before we left for church.

Henry made me an adorable bookmark at preschool. He was very excited to declare that it would work perfectly with my new book!

He also gave me a flower and a bird house that he decorated.

Lainey next gifted me with a book she made in kindergarten.

She also had an adorable mug for me to use!

Lainey sneakily asked me recently what my favorite animal was, and I told her a giraffe. Her class went to the Dahmen Barn in Uniontown a couple times over the past few weeks to make clay sculptures for Mother’s Day, and she made me my very own giraffe.

I attempted numerous pictures with the kids throughout the day, and there weren’t many where all of the kids were cooperating at the same time.

Before we left for church, the kids surprised me with a drawing they had made yesterday.

I made sure to get some delicious coffee to sip during Sunday School. A good morning treat!

The kids all made some adorable gifts in Sunday School. (Thanks, Miss Kassidy!)

After church, we went to Banyans for brunch and mimosas! And all the carbs!

We got to eat outside and enjoy the GORGEOUS weather and amazing view!

After brunch, we changed into Cougar clothes and headed to the baseball game.

The Cougs lost, but it was still a really enjoyable time.

The Barnes family was there, so the kids got to play with Eleanor and Owen.

And Natalie and I enjoyed our time together as well!

A shot of me and Kylan from Henry’s perspective.

It got pretty hot as the game went on, so the kids found whatever shade they could.

When we got home, Henry was really excited to plant his flower for me.

Henry told us that he learned in preschool that plants need water, so he made sure we watered it well.

We put the birdhouse right next to it!

Kylan made me a Moscow Mule, and then ordered me to come sit down to enjoy my book while he made dinner. No protesting from me!

Burgers and asparagus! This guy is the real MVP of the day. He made Mother’s Day so special.

This sweet guy loved picking all of the flowers out of our flower beds to bring to me while I read my book.

I ended the night reading with my sweet girl.

She’s very proud to announce that she’s starting to read chapter books!

Then today the celebrations continued with Muffins with Mom at Lainey’s school.

We filled out a fun questionnaire together.

It was a perfect day (plus a little extra this morning) with my wonderful family! I feel very appreciated and loved!

My Third (and somewhat pitiful) Birthday!

Story told by: Brody

I’m three today! I’ve been so excited for my special day!

It started out with a rather loud wake-up of “Happy Birthday.” I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as my family.

Before Daddy left for work, he showed me the new trapeze bar he installed on the playground as one of my birthday presents. I love it!

I picked out Unicorn Lucky Charms for my birthday cereal!

It was delicious!

After dropping Lainey off at school, we had a few minutes to play on my new present.

And then I had some time to myself because Henry got sent inside after refusing to share. (Listen closely to hear his fun tantrum from inside the house.)

Mommy had to volunteer in Lainey’s class, so Henry and I went to daycare for an hour. Ms. Dyan had special birthday presents for us!

Next we went to get ice cream at Ferdinand’s!

I got a free scoop that they split in half so I could share it with Henry.

I’m working on showing my age with my fingers – three!

When we got home, our neighbor, Guy, brought me some delicious Twinkies! I saw him at the WSU baseball game yesterday, and told him that I had just discovered Twinkies at my birthday party. He wanted to make sure I had more, and he upped the game by buying chocolate Twinkies!

So good!

After we picked Lainey up from school, I wanted to go to the park, but it was wet from the recent storm, so I chose to go to Planet 3 instead! About halfway through my time at Planet 3, Mommy found me just laying on the trampoline. I wasn’t acting normal, but since I always keep them guessing with my behavior, she thought I might be feeling a bit moody.

I was getting pretty whiny, but Mommy thought I might be hungry. We were on our way to meet Daddy for pizza, but had some time to kill, so we went to the library. We found Miss Kathleen there, and she pulled out the books to let us pick some for our birthdays! She’s the best!

I came over to pick a book, and then laid down on the floor.

We read our books on the bench until dinner.

At dinner, I didn’t want any pizza, and that’s when Mommy knew for sure something was up. Everyone had a quick dinner so we could get home.

About 30 seconds after getting out of the car, I threw up. And Mommy discovered that I was running a fever of 101.5. Not how I wanted to spend my birthday. But I insisted on still opening presents! Lainey bought me a minion with her very own money.

Grandma and Grandpa sent me minion movies!

Na Na and Ba Ba sent me frosting! They’re hilarious!

And cool minion motorcycle Legos!

Gma and Gpa gave me my very own Kindle! Now I have one just like Lainey and Henry!

I requested a chocolate m&m cake, but unfortunately I couldn’t eat it. Big bummer. Mommy and Daddy promised me that no one will eat any until I’m feeling better. Right after this, I went to bed. Not my best birthday, but I did have some fun moments. Let’s hope the other 364 days of being a three-year-old are better than this!

My Third Birthday Party – Minions!

Story told by: Brody

I’m going to be three on Monday! My birthday party was today, and since I love everything to do with minions, that was the theme!

Mommy worked hard on decorating the house in minion colors.

We had a friendly minion greet my guests as they arrived.

We also had party hats for each of my guests.

And of course tons of yummy food for lunch!

A wonderful lady Mommy knows made these adorable cupcakes for my party!

Mommy got me a special shirt for my party.

I was one excited boy!

Lainey was also very excited, and made sure to pick a dress that matched the colors of my party.

Party prep is done! Time for guests to arrive!

Mommy thought she had everything she needed, but she realized at 9:30 last night that she forgot plates! Sarah came to the rescue!!

Chloe and I have the same birthday, so we made sure to get a picture together. I ADORE her!

All of my minions have arrived!

Time to eat!

Kylee just liked taking candy by the handful.

After lunch, we came inside to play “Pin the Goggle on the Minion.”

I got to put the blindfold on first.

Mommy found it pretty funny.

I did amazing at placing the goggle. There is a slight chance that I could see right through the blindfold, but there’s no questioning it! I’m the birthday boy!

All the other kids got a turn. Here goes Henry!

While the game was happening, Mrs. O’Loughlin took Mommy’s phone to get some pictures of the adults.

Next up, presents!

I received some great minion-related presents!

And some presents that were bigger than me!

Also, some great outdoor presents. Thank you to everyone for thinking of me!

And my favorite part! Cupcakes!!

We went outside to eat cupcakes, and I naturally chose the top of the slide to enjoy mine.

After cupcakes, we all just got to hang out and play, which was so much fun!

A rare picture of Mommy and Daddy without any children.

Some of the adults started a cornhole game, but us kids didn’t let them play alone for long!

Mommy and Jamie showing off their game faces. These faces definitely need some work.

The whole cornhole crew! It ended up being a tie between the teams.

I’m so grateful to have wonderful people in my life. Thanks for coming to celebrate me today!

Week in Illinois

Story told by: Brody

After we left St. Louis, we spent the rest of our trip in Illinois with family!

On Tuesday, Grandma and Grandpa took us to Jumping Jax! The coolest place with tons of bouncy houses!

The sun came out that afternoon, so we got out to enjoy the nicer weather.

Grandma helped to build a backyard tent for us.

Henry and I enjoyed knocking it down!

That evening, we went to Chuck E. Cheese! We met mommy’s cousin, Brittney, and her boyfriend there. The pizza was delicious!

We each had an adult assigned to help us with games. Grandpa helped Henry. Henry spent at least 30 minutes playing this game. He loved it!

Mommy was with me! I spent a lot of time riding rides like this one.

But I also spent some time demonstrating my impeccable form on Skee-Ball.

Grandma went with Lainey while she played games.

Lainey also got to meet Chuck E. Cheese! (Henry and I were too busy with our games to bother with this guy.)

We got amazing amounts of TV time on this trip, and we loved every minute of it!

Grandpa went out to buy us Play-Doh, which kept us entertained for quite awhile.

On Wednesday afternoon, we traveled to Quincy to see Gma and Gpa! Before we left, Mommy and Grandma were convinced that there was no way Grandpa could get everything in the car, but this picture shows him smugly proving them wrong.

On our way to Quincy!

Right when we arrived, Gma told us that the Easter Bunny had delivered some treats to Quincy because he knew we would be there. So nice of him!

Henry loves the game Trouble right now, so Mommy’s cousin, Ryan, played a lot of games of this with him! (And Grandma and Grandma joined in on their fair share as well.)

I threw approximately 3,500 fits on this trip. This fit was over healthy breakfast choices that Mommy wanted me to make.

But don’t worry. Gma made sure that I didn’t have to eat anything too healthy. I got a delicious chocolate rice krispie treat instead.

More Trouble!

Gma treated us to a fun morning at Bonkers!

And delicious pizza for lunch!

The weather was getting much better than earlier in the week, so we loved getting outside! We got a picture with four generations.

Gma and Mommy had a fun trip out to the store.

Ryan, Mommy, and Lainey worked on a puzzle, but were very bummed to find out that a piece was missing!

And the very same thing happened to the adults that night! Darn!

The adults discovered, though, that their missing puzzle piece was likely due to Gma’s new puppy.

Some early-morning bike riding with Ryan!

We all went to IHOP for breakfast on Friday! (And that means that by the time the adults were finally ready to roll at 10 a.m., we had already had pre-breakfast at 6 a.m., and were ready for real breakfast with everyone else!)

Lainey got cupcake pancakes!

And I got a smiley face pancake! My favorite part were the chocolate chips!

Grandma and Grandpa took us to the store to get a new toy, so we came home to play with them.

While everyone else was playing, I was supposed to be napping.

But I just wasn’t feeling it.

So we packed everyone up to get to the park. And I promptly fell asleep 20 seconds before we reached the park.

Thankfully Mommy had a coffee, so she sat in the car with me for my quick nap, while Lainey and Henry went to play with Grandma and Grandpa.

After I woke up, we went to join everyone at the playground.

Then back to Gma and Gpa’s house for more outside time.

Since we didn’t have our helmets, Grandma went very slowly.

Grandpa and Lainey have been working on a dance. It was finally time for them to perform!

We did a craft with Grandma on Friday evening. Can you guess which one is my masterpiece? (You can’t make a true artist follow directions. He just feels his art.)

On Saturday morning, we woke up to find that Gpa had arrived late the night before from his business trip! It was a bummer that he had to be away (he really wished he could have been with us), but we’re glad we got a few hours with him!

Then it was time to drive to St. Louis so we could get on a plane to head home. We are sure going to miss Grandma and Grandpa a lot!

The return trip was not as great as the way to St. Louis, mostly because I was much more tired.

In and amongst my many temper tantrums and Henry acting like an insane monkey, we watched slot machines on our layover in Las Vegas. They helped! And on the last leg into Spokane, I passed out for the last hour of the flight (even slept through the landing). Hallelujah! It wasn’t pretty, but we made it home!

Wedding Weekend in St. Louis (Part Two)

Story told by: Lainey

After a late night at the wedding, we woke up for another fun-filled day in St. Louis!

We headed down to Ballpark Village, which is right outside of Busch Stadium.

There are some fun restaurants in Ballpark Village!

We chose the restaurant with a giant TV so we could watch the Cardinals play in their away game.

Unfortunately we didn’t get to watch any of the game because of a rain delay, but we did get to meet Fredbird for the first time!

After lunch, we went on a tour of Busch Stadium.

Our tour guide took us up into some of the cool stadium suites.

There was a lot of Cardinals’ history given during the tour. I did a pretty good job of listening, but the boys were not entertained. Mommy and Grandma took turns keeping them quiet and entertained.

The best part of the tour is getting to go on the field and into the dugout. Except WE COULDN’T! When booking the tour, we didn’t know that a little league game would be going on, so the main part that Grandma and Grandpa thought would entertain us, we didn’t even get to do. Big bummer!

Mommy’s cousin, Michael, and his girlfriend were in town from San Francisco, so they joined us for the tour as well. We didn’t get a great tour, but Grandma and Grandpa did buy us some cool new t-shirts at the Cardinals’ store!

Uncle Jeff has his 27th birthday coming up, so we did an early birthday celebration for him at Red Robin.

And then we had a cookie cake waiting for him back at the hotel.

On Monday, we went to the St. Louis Zoo. It’s a phenomenal zoo, but everyone gently tried to convince me to go to the warm science center because it was 35 degrees!!! But the boys and I were set on the zoo, so my incredible family came along for the freezing cold fun

We first stopped by the polar exhibit.

The neat thing about coming on such a cold day is that the animals were so much more active than in the hot summer months!

Nothing numbs your fingers more quickly than wind on a carousel ride on a 35-degree day!

Brody was insistent that he just wanted to sit on a bench.

Mommy took this picture to document the ice on the tail of the elephant.

When we just couldn’t stand it anymore, we would find inside exhibits to thaw out.

In the butterfly dome, Henry stood here for three minutes because he really wanted a butterfly to land on his finger.

Around 1:00, the sun started coming out, and it was glorious!

The elephants were the loudest we’ve ever heard!

After lunch, it warmed up to 40 degrees, and with the sun out, it felt like a heat wave!

I was most excited to see the zebras!

Brody wanted to be carried a lot, so the adults took turns carrying this dainty kid around the zoo.

Our last stop was to see the monkeys! After this, we had to say bye to Uncle Jar Jar and Uncle Jeff. Thank you for being so fun this weekend! After saying goodbye to them, we drove back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Illinois for some fun days with them!

Wedding Weekend in St. Louis (Part One)

Story told by: Henry

Lainey and I were invited to be in a wedding in St. Louis for Mommy’s cousin, Jennifer. Daddy needed to save his vacation time, so he stayed in Washington, and for the first time ever, Mommy flew alone with all three of us!

Daddy drove us to the airport, helped get our bags checked, and then we were on our own with Mommy! Here we go!

Watching for our first plane to arrive.

Our first flight to Denver went really well. This happened with Henry about two minutes into our time in Denver.

When we got to Denver, we had a four-hour layover. After discovering the Denver airport had done away with their play area, Mommy got us ice cream.

Around hour two of our layover, things started to go downhill. Brody was tired and just wasn’t having anymore of it. We found an empty area, and played for awhile.

Mommy was trying to save our screen time for the plane, but with an hour left in the layover, she gave in. Thanks, Brody. Mission accomplished.

Our second flight into St. Louis was really late, but went really well. This is the first time on a plane where Brody has some attention span to watch a show. Between shows and lots of apple juice and snacks, it was a success!

We made it!

Brody didn’t nap one wink all day. We didn’t get back to the hotel until after midnight, and this kid was practically comatose.

On Friday morning, Brody was the first to wake up, so he and Grandpa had a breakfast date.

Then we all left to head to the Gateway Arch. We rode the MetroLink downtown, and got to go over the Mississippi River.

Touching the Arch!

Waiting in line for the Arch like any normal person.

Time to head up to the top of the Arch in the teeny, tiny trams.

We managed to fit all six of us in the tram!

In spite of playing downtown all day, we were still wide awake at 10 p.m. when Uncle Jeff and Uncle Jar Jar flew in from Phoenix.

But, don’t worry…even with a late bedtime, we were still up bright and early for breakfast with Grandpa. No time for sleep on this trip!

Grandma had to run some errands on Saturday morning, so we had pool time with Grandpa and Mommy.

After swimming, it was wedding time! I was the ring bearer and Lainey was the flower girl. When Mommy asked me to stand up straight in this picture, I insisted on laying my head on Lainey “…because it’s so lovely.” Mommy couldn’t argue with that.

Entertaining ourselves in the back while waiting for the wedding to start.

Uncle Jeff and Uncle Jar Jar hung with Brody.

A pre-wedding picture with the beautiful bride!

Mommy with the beautiful bride, Jennifer, and her twin sister, Lauren. Cousins!

Ready to walk down the aisle with my pillow! I went first, and did a great job!

Next up, Lainey. She also did great, and was followed by the bride!

Wedding time!

Snacks kept us nice and quiet during the wedding.

After the wedding, we had some time to kill while the wedding party took pictures. We snuggled up and watched some shows together.

Reception time! Since Daddy wasn’t there, everyone helped Mommy out with us crazy hooligans.

Uncle Jar Jar had everyone making silly faces.

Uncle Jeff is pretty silly.

After dinner, we took some funny pictures.

Grandma and Grandpa!

And we ended the night with some REALLY fun dancing. (Please note my awesome moves.)

Congratulations, Jennifer and Drew! Thanks for letting us be part of your special day!