Firsts

Well, it’s happened. My ‘Baby G’ started kindergarten. {He has notified me that I am to refer to him now as ‘Big G’, and he reminded me just how big he is when he inhaled an entire 1/4 lb burger and fixin’s at lunch today. Gulp}  Ahem. Big G has started kindergarten. And he LOVES it!

“Can we go to school yet? When do I get to go to school? Is it time to leave yet? When can I go to school?”

He is in a small class, and they are grade sharing this year with 1st grade students. So he gets to do reading and math in kindergarten with his teacher, and most of the rest of the day shared with 1st graders. So far, it is working wonderfully!  His teacher is fantastic.  He even got to help raise the flag on the very first day!

What a way to start kindergarten!

What a way to start kindergarten!

So far, he thinks school lunch is amazing and loves learning about ‘Superkids’ (reading curriculum).  He skips down the hallway and doesn’t think gym class is all that fun. He loves playing on the Smartboard and is tired by the end of the day, but when asked, says his day was ‘AWESOME! and ‘REALLY GOOD!’.  It is definitely bittersweet to send our first off to kindergarten, but he is so, so, so ready.  He is thriving and it is so great to see his enthusiasm for school!

And so another thing happened, Lucy finally gets to go to school everyday! She has been counting the days until preschool started and now it’s here. She is in love with her teachers and already telling of all the friends she will make and fun they will have.  She is more than excited about being able to ride the little school bus home each day and has no shortage of ideas of which outfits she should wear to meet all of her new friends.  She could not be more excited or ready for everyday preschool!

Lucy's first day of 4 year old preschool!

Lucy’s first day of 4 year old preschool!

Who knew it took so much stuff to start the school year?!

Who knew it took so much stuff to start the school year?!

And then there’s this kid. She’s starting to potty train, and would probably do it if she had a few more words in her vocab to tell me when she had to go, versus just screaming.  At least Amelia still has a few years before she is allowed to go to preschool. I say ‘allowed’, because I’m absolutely positive that she would go to school if I let her. Unbeknownst to her, she is 21 mo, not 4 years old.  Until then she’ll keep swinging like a monkey on anything and everything she can reach. All. the. time.

Just a swingin'

Beast baby

So, today, I took my 2 oldest babies to school, together, and I didn’t cry 😉  Lucy hardly even noticed I was there I think, she was more concerned with choosing a color of marker to write her name. It is so exciting to begin this new chapter in our lives!

-The {beginning a new school year} Costellos

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A visit from the Pope

So Pope Francis visited our church today. It was kind of a big deal. Everyone was running around trying to get a picture with him. I even got a high-five 😉

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HAHA! Turns out it was a cardboard cutout! #papafrankie

We also had our backpack blessing today for all students/teachers/catechists. The kids wanted J to take his backpack as well, so he obliged.   I will be co-teaching the 3 year olds again this year and G and L will be in their respective classes. J and Amelia will just hang, for this year 😉  I got to wear a new dress that I was super excited about! Check out modestpop.com for an awesome selection of dresses, skirts and shirts that anyone can wear comfortably.  I really like this dress since I can hold/carry/tend to kids without worrying that my shirt is being pulled to my waist by a toddler!  What I wore Sunday:

What I wore Sunday: my new favorite dress! Thanks modest pop!

What I wore Sunday: my new favorite dress! Thanks modest pop!

Well now that you are reading I’ll tell you about some other stuff.  I didn’t get to post last Sunday because we were in northeast Iowa celebrating my Grandma’s 84th birthday! Isn’t that fantastic!? We all surprised her and had a wonderful afternoon together.

Happy birthday Grandma!

Happy birthday Grandma!

Jamberry's!

Jamberry’s at the birthday!

This past week marked our last full week of summer.  The kids and I had one more weekday playdate and ran some errands. J’s school had a back-to-school social at one of our favorite restaurants on Friday. G and L were off having some grandparents time and attending a movie in the park, so we got to attend with just Amelia in tow.  It is AMAZING how kids are different when you have them just one on one.  Amelia was a delight.  She charmed all J’s coworkers, gave high 5’s to anyone who wanted them, ate very neatly (unusual), was very agreeable, willingly shopped with us, and sat very politely as she inhaled her ice cream cone.  It was a treat, for her and us alike.

Gabriel starts school this week, and Lucy on Monday next week. This summer has really flown by! It’s been a great summer, with lots of fun, and a lot of progress made on the house and yes, the “Guest House”.

Walls up! Now for the deck, slide, roof....

Walls up! Now for the deck, slide, roof….

While we were working on it yesterday the kids had a lemonade stand. With the help of the neighbor kids, I believe their profit was $7.50, to split 4 ways (Amelia only drank lemonade and did not sell any!)   🙂 I believe the entrepreneurial spirit has been kindled!

Lemonade for sale!

Lemonade for sale!

I also spent a chunk of time yesterday prepping some school-morning breakfasts that are going to change my life, I’m convinced! Breakfasts are really a weak point in our house, and more than once my kids have eaten a bag of dry cereal or an apple on our way to a destination. Jeremiah will often opt for cookies if the pickings are slim…I digress.  I made and froze a bunch of the following:

Homemade chewy, chunky granola bars

Egg breakfast scramblers

Healthy banana chocolate chip muffins

I also snagged a couple boxes of whole grain waffles at Aldi for something like $1.50 apiece! Hopefully we are set as far as breakfasts go for awhile, and no one will have to eat dry cereal!  I plan on doing a freezer meal post once again soon as fall rolls around, as it has been awhile!

Have a great week!

-The {pictures with the Pope} Costellos

 

 

 

 

One in a minion

What a busy week it has been! Monday we found out that our Lincoln had been side swiped while parked in Minnesota.  To make a long story short, the other person’s insurance covered all of the damages, along with a rental car for us for the duration of the repairs. I could come to like the Jeep Cherokee:

Nice to drive, but will be happy to get the Lincoln back!

Nice to drive, but will be happy to get the Lincoln back!

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent at the Mississippi Valley Fair. Monday our kids, along with allllll of their cousins, competed in the Kiddie Kattle Kapers competition.  They participate every year, but the theme they did this year was “Dairy: one in a minion”.  You guessed it! They all dressed as minions, even the calf that they led along with them.  We didn’t have time to shop for actual bibs, but J did a fantastic job of painting up some shirts for them to wear.  They won, of course.   😉

One of the minions

One of the minions

A minion pair, one of which does not like pictures

A minion pair, one of which does not like pictures. Amelia chose not to participate, haha

We also got our fair share of fair food, more than our fair share of dairy treats, rides, shows and exhibits. I must say I cannot wait until my kids are old enough to be in 4H.  J and I were both in it as youth and I was thoroughly impressed by some of the projects this year! Thursday I went to work but J kept plugging along on the treehouse. There is only one word to describe it; MASSIVE. The walls are now fabricated, a mere 7′ above the 7.5′ platform. There is talk of a cargo net, slide, rope climb, tire crawl and more. He hung 2 swings on the underside and they have already been the hit of the neighborhood. He has been using some of the 2×4’s that we pulled out of the Maple Street Estate when we gutted it so that is neat. He is also using windows pulled from Uncle Kyle’s old porch and a door he bought on an auction for $1. Literally, $1. I’m planning on doing a full blog about the ‘Guest house’ once it is more complete.

One wall, 2 kids

One wall, 2 kids

Friday I took all 3 kids school shopping. Woof.  We had 2 school supply lists this year that rang me upwards of $100. I guess I shouldn’t complain, because I shop bargains on almost everything, except school supplies it seems. As I’m working on school registration paperwork and pricing new glasses for Lucy I keep hearing ‘cha-ching, cha-ching’.  I can almost feel the money being pulled from my wallet! On the contrary, that afternoon 2 former PT patients of mine brought us a 30-gallon can full of sweet corn….for free! Thanks guys! I also found out I was chosen to be a brand rep for the website modestpop.com! I’ll be posting some pictures of their clothes so check them out!

Love him

Love him

My corn helper

My corn helper

Saturday I spent a few hours of the day freezing up all that corn, doing laundry, running, washing out carseats, helping with the treehouse, washing diapers, and making food and eating food.  I like Saturdays 🙂 Today we went to church followed by book club/Target with Aunt Mel for me, and lunch with the family and Mendards trip for the rest of my crew.  I can say my afternoon was funner than Jeremiah’s 😉  Amelia has decided to try to grow up in leaps this past week. She is regularly trying to use the potty and now insists on drinking with a big kid cup. She refuses, however to add much to her vocabulary and loves to spill and throw food on the floor/wall/chair. Stinker.

Hold the lid, please

Hold the lid, please

Here’s me, tonight, tired, doing dishes. I still needed a pic for WIWS, so here it is, although not my best. But hey, check out all that nice woodwork trim around the window and door! Yeah!

WIWS: dress from Target, dishes from my family, ha!

WIWS: hi-low dress from Target, dishes from my family, ha!

-The {enjoying summertime} Costellos

Road trippin’

One thing I have really loved about this summer is that we have gotten to take several long weekend trips.  With little kids, big vacays are not always possible for us, but have found that the long weekend works quite well.  We went to Chicago for my 30th, kayaking for our anniversary, and we spent this past weekend in Omaha/Council Bluffs/Lincoln with some family of mine.

Jeremiah and G have spent the last few days working on the much awaited treehouse (AKA the guest house, the way-too-big-house-on-stilts, and you-are-spending-way-too-much-money-on-that-treehouse, as I call it).  Jeremiah feels that a house 8 foot in the air measuring 8 by 10 feet with a 4 foot deck is absolutely appropriate.  He’s trying to talk me into putting a murphy bed in there, complete with real size doors and windows, insulation and electricity.  So far I’ve talked him out of all of that nonsense.   He thinks it can double as a guest bedroom someday. I think there will just be a lot of sweaty neighbor kids in there in the meantime.In the works!

In the works!

So, back to our trip.

We left Friday and headed to Council Bluffs, about a 4 hour drive. All 3 kids did sleep at one time, added bonus, and no trip is complete without ice cream.  We did have a potty accident, and all electronics were not working. Whoops. I think it’s good for kids to have to be bored sometimes anyways.

SCORE!

SCORE!

Saturday we ventured to the University of Nebraska’s Morrill Hall at Lincoln and saw a ton of cool natural history. Kids loved it.

 

Favorite picture of the weekend!

Favorite picture of the weekend!

We ate at a fantastic restaurant called Valentino’s and then drove through a safari park.  That was the COOLEST! It felt eerily like Jurassic Park, which was helped by all the kids humming the theme song from the backseat……. but no dinosaurs mauled our car, thank goodness.  We drove through elk, bison, crane, white tailed deer, turkey and other habitats. At times the animals were just feet from our car.  SO cool! We had 8 people in the car and it was a ton of fun.

Elk!

Elk!

Bison!

Bison!

We had dinner that night with family.

L and A enjoy the giant whirpool tub

L and A enjoy the giant whirpool tub. Yes, L is almost cross eyed without glasses!

Sunday we had more family time and headed out. We love spending time with our Council Bluffs cousins!!!!  On our way back, we decided to drive to a few of the covered bridges of Madison county, as none of us have ever seen them, even though we are native Iowans.  They are so neat!

Rosemond bridge

Rosemond bridge

Inside of the bridge. Built over 120 years ago

Inside of the bridge. Built over 120 years ago

We stopped to see Aunt Mel, and then made it home in time for a company picnic for my employer. There was a bounce house, ice cream cake and 3 tired kiddos! Successful weekend.

Hoping to get another trip or 2 in before it gets too cold!

Have a great week!

-The {road trippin’} Costellos