Monday, July 16, 2012

June - Balloon Fest

My sister has bugged us for years to come to the annual hot air balloon festival in Howell (She and her husband have lived in Howell since they have been married.)  This was the first year that I felt that our crew could handle it, and I am so happy we made the trip!

We started out at the festival/fair in the afternoon.  We enjoyed kite and dare devil shows, food and rides!
I am lovin' Baby Isa's toothy grin :)
Lincoln woke up early to see the sunrise balloon launch, and was a little tired by the time we arrived.
My kids had cotton candy for the first time, and they are quite smitten with it!  Quin wanted to know why I had never let her have it before now... "it is so yummy, it tastes just like sugar!" was the first thing she said... All I could respond with was, "Um, ya think?!?!?"
It was a hot day, so we pulled the kids in the choo-choo.  My sister saw first hand how much attention we get when we pull it.  She was shocked.  I try hard to take it all in stride, but it does get a little old.  
There was a woman who stopped us, and couldn't believe that we had "real, live triplets".  She went on and on about how she had never "seen such a thing - real live triplets!".  She kept asking to take their picture.  It always amazes me that people really want to take their picture. (This happens more often than you would think!)  I forget that we are different than other families... it is just so normal to me.  I try to smile when it happens!
The Jeep ride was by far the kids favorite!  We have always laughed that Quin is going to be a Jeep girl!  I have a feeling that this is going to be recreated in about 11 years - SCARY!

After we left the fair we went back to my sister's house.  She has the perfect set up to see the night launch of the hot air balloons.  We were able to sit in her backyard and watch the balloons fly!  

I love this picture of Gianna and Quin!
Gianna loved the balloons.  Each time a new one started to float above the tree line, she would turn around and tell me!
The kids sat on a picnic table and watched them launch.
After the balloons began to float away, we tried to 'chase them' through the neighborhood.  
Ellery loved trying to see the balloons with her "nockulas".  
A huge thank you to Abbey and Kirk for having us over!  We can't until next year!!!

June - Soccer, T-Ball & Dance... Oh My!

When Quin and I read through our Zeeland Rec guide, she wanted to try t-ball, dance camp and soccer.  She doesn't do summer well.  She likes to have things to do, on a scheduled calendar (I know, sounds a lot like her mother, huh?!?!)  Boredom is not our friend!  The first week out of school was a disaster for her.  She hated not having school or dance, so I am glad that we signed her up for all three activities. 

Quin and Jason did 'Toddler T-ball' again.  Boy, what a difference a year makes!  Quin was much better this year, and actually liked going.  Of the three activities, this was her favorite!
Her favorite position was catcher because she got to "touch the ball all of the time".
It helped that she and her friend Macie were on the same team this year!
I love that the triplets are getting older too!  We went to all four games.  They loved bringing their chairs and cheering Quin on, but inevitably they ended playing on the playground most of the games.  
I love this picture of Ellery (L) and Gianna (R).  Doesn't it look like they are in a deep conversation about something?  :)

Quin also participated in a soccer camp for four consecutive Saturdays.  This was a new sport for Quin.  She wasn't a fan... "too much running".  HA!  Too bad for her... she is signed up to play on a team come fall time.  
I think if she puts a little effort into it, she could actually be good.  

She also went to a dance camp for eight days (two weeks, four days each week, for 45 minutes).  It was pulling teeth to get her there, but once she was there she loved it.  UGH!

I am not sure I will able to keep up when the triplets are a year or two older and want to participate in all of these events!  Eek - I will need to find a way to clone myself, or they will just have to be on the same teams.  Eek!

June - My Picky Pickers

Near the beginning of June, we took our crew to hand pick some strawberries at DeLange's Redberry Farm.  I knew the kids wouldn't last long, but I would really like them to start to form some knowledge/appreciation of how much work it takes to have the food we eat.  It is worth a try, right?!?!  

They let us pick down a row.  Jason, Quin and Gianna took one side, and Easton, Ellery and myself took the other.
I loved their red stained fingers!
Easton would pick a few, eat a few and then sit until I made him pick more.  Needless to say he didn't contribute much to the end pile.

The kids only lasted about twenty minutes (in their defense, it was super hot and I didn't argue with them!).  We ended up buying more from DeLange's farmers stand.  The strawberries were small, but scrumptious!  We made a superb strawberry shortcake, and then they helped me freeze the rest for smoothies.  So yummy!

Monday, July 9, 2012

May - Graduation

I think I can... I think I can... 
Slowly, but surely I am getting CLOSER to getting caught up.  Thanks for putting up with me :)

Quin 'graduated' from preschool near the end of May.  {Sniff, sniff... she really is growing up!}
They did a really good job - I loved that they kept it short, sweet and low key!
After the students received their certificate, they were able to go down the main steps and find their families in the audience.  When Quin came to sit down next to us, Ellery ran over to her and gave her a big hug!  It was SO cute!  Ellery definitely looks up to Quin.

Quin and Izzy were in the same class the last two years.  Izzy's grandparents made it possible for Quin to go to preschool!  They brought Quin to and from school two days a week - what lifesavers they were!  We can't thank them enough!!!
Quin and her groupies :)

And... just in case you thought my kids always loved each other...   ;)
I also had the opportunity to go on Quin's end of the school year beach field trip.  We had a GREAT day!  
I don't know what these two girls are going to do next year when they are in two different school!?!?!

May - My Twinkly Star

Quin continued with dance again this past year.  She now takes dance through our recreation dept (I know, I thought it was strange when I first heard about it, but they have a great dance program!).  She only took ballet.  She missed tap class and hopes to take it again soon!

This year, her dance was to the song Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Jewel.  It was very well choreographed - not cheesy, like I thought it could have been done!
Her dance recital was in May.


Quin's BFF Izzy also takes dance through the rec dept., although they are in different classes.  
Quin was lucky to have her grandparents come support her!  My parents are on the ends, and Jason's mom is in the middle.

As we were getting into the car to go home, she asked me to take a 'close up' picture of her in her make-up. She loves to get dressed up and made up!
She took a two week dance camp this past June, and can't wait for dance to start again in the fall!

May - Tulip Time 2012

We couldn't get through spring without our annual trip to Tulip Time, in Holland!  This year we had an unusually hot spring, which was great for people who love warm weather (me, me, me!), but it wasn't so good for the flowers and crops - including the tulips.  The big joke was that it should have been called 'Stem Fest' this past year.  None the less, we made our way down for some junk food, dutch dancers and wanna-be tulips!

We tried deep fried pickles and mozzarella sticks this year (no pics, sorry).  The pickles were fine, but Oh-My-Heavens... the mozzarella sticks were to DIE for!!!  My mouth is salivating just thinking about them, and it was two months ago.  The food stand sliced a big block of cheese, then breaded them in a beer batter and deep fried them.  Each stick was the size of a hot dog.  So, so yummy!

The kids favorite?  French Fries of course!

And, they did enjoy an elephant ear or two :)

We went in search of some tulips, and guess what Gianna spotted?!?!  A butterfly!  
(In the picture below, it is just above the 'ore' of our watermark.)

Hopefully next year, there will be more tulips, and less empty stems (and more mozzarella sticks too please!)

April - Butterfly Gardens

The two animals that Gianna loves most are elephants ("efifants") and butterflies ("buffaflies").  So, in late April we took the kiddos to Fredrik Meijer Gardens.  Each year, in the spring, they have a beautiful exhibit called Butterflies are Blooming.  They have a huge conservatory where butterflies fly freely among the visitors.  They have many kid friendly displays, and super helpful staff/volunteers.  The girls wore their bright butterfly dresses in hopes of attracting some butterflies.  Unfortunately, their strategy was a bust.  They still enjoyed getting close up to the caterpillars, seeing the chrysalises in the 'Bungalow', and watching the butterflies drink nectar with their proboscis!

It was a chilly day, but nice and sunny, so we decided to explore their grounds.  What a perfect place for kids!!!

We have a recurring theme when we go to places now... we cost too much :(  After paying for all six of us to get in, we were extremely close to paying the cost of a family membership.  We are now the proud members of Fredrik Meijer Gardens!  I hope to visit sometime this summer or early fall again!