Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pre School!

Brielle had her first day of pre-school on Monday.  To say she was excited would be an understatement.  She couldn't wait to go.  And it certainly did not disappoint...she loved it!  So much so, that yesterday morning (a day she did not have pre-school)  Brielle walked into our bedroom at 6:45 with her bag already over her shoulder with the first words coming out of her mouth as "I'm ready for preschool!" 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pool Days!

Since this summer has been so unbelievablely hot, we were able to spend a lot of time at the community pool.  Despite Charleston being such a small community, they have a rockin' community pool area.  There's a zero depth pool area for the little ones, an all purpose pool for basketball or lap swimming, or simply jumping in and out of the pool (which is what our kids did ALOT), and a 3rd pool with diving boards and water slide.  It was great!

 On this particular day, Bryce was more interested in looking for a snack and playing with the chairs surrounding the pool

Hey Great Grandpa and Grandma Dirkse...looks like you might have the next generation of Warm Friends "Chair Putter Outer" for Tulip Time! :)

As much as we're sad to see the pool close and the summer come to an end, we're really excited about all the activities that are starting up since school is back in football games, soccer games, volleyball games, Friday night high school games.  And Brielle is super excited about pre-school starting...which I still find hard to believe that my baby is old enough to start pre-school.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Michigan - #4

Hokie Petes...yes, another Michigan is the last one...promise!

One afternoon Chad's mom and the four of us went to Kollen's Park for a Carol Johnson concert.  Brielle had a really good time hanging out going along with the motions up on stage (until all the kids got kicked off...she sang kids song but wasn't crazy about kids being on stage...what?!)  Since we've been home, Brielle has been singing part of a Carol Johnson song while strumming her tennis racket...
"And I'm drinking...for no good reason...and I'm drinking for no good reason."  Hmmm...sounds more like a Country song...but ah well!  Anyway, it was great to see Brielle say "ciao" to us and go hang out with other kids since she's starting pre-school next week.
Chad's cousin Emmy was in town with her husband Kent and their daughter Addie so we had a Dirkse picnic to hook up with everyone.  This was the best pic we could get of all the Dirkse Great Grandkids.
And the best we could do with the Great Grandparents.

The next day we headed up to Crystal Mountain to spend a little vacation with the Carlson fam.
While the guys strapped the boys to their backs and hiked to the top of the "mountain" the ladies took the chair lift. 
Brielle gets her face painted any chance she gets!

And what's a Carlson vacation without a little dress up action with games!  Introducting the 2012 Carlson Olympics!

Here we have Kobe and his "cheering section"
And 1 gymnast, a mini gymnast, soccer player and field hockey player
And Team "I think those shorts are illegal in 48 states"

To start the events off, Beef and Brielle performed their gymnastics floor routine
Chad followed things up with his version of the "iron cross" as well as his floor routine.
Our Olympic official explaining the hammer toss event.
Brielle then participated in the equestrian speed racing event.
Shawna and Brookey performed a very moving, emotional rhythmic gymnastic routine
Jeff and Brielle had a rough time following up that spectacular routine, but also put forth a very solid effort.

Later at night, Chad, Brookey and Beef went down the Alpine slide.  Luckily we had a woman driver taking Brielle down the slide.  The other 2 male drivers wiped out going around the corners. 

While we were waiting for the Alpine sliders, Bryce was just content stuffing this wooden pole full of wood chips.
And vacation wouldn't have been complete without a huge cousin-filled jacuzzi tub bath at the end of it. (Sidenote:  I find it funny that I took NO pictures of Brielle and Bryce playing in the pool...and that's where she spent almost all of her time)

 After Crystal, the kids had one more night going for a wagon ride around the Grotenhuis "estate"

 ...and Bryce took his bud Grace around for one last Jeep ride. 
This is our sweet girl the last night of our time in Michigan...pretty sure all the fun tuckered her right out.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Michigan - #3

Continuing on with the Michigan happenings...
Chad's mom took the kiddos to Teusinks Farm one morning to check out all the animals and ride the horses.  I have to admit I was quite skeptical about Brielle wanting to be by an animal of any kind but she totally surprised me when I heard she rode the ponies (she hasn't stopped talking about Dakota and Lucky).  I think it might have helped that she saw her younger brother riding them first.

He spent some time hanging out with friends from college.  Of course I don't have pictures of the actual friends from college...but I do have pics of the kids! 

 Here's some of the kids (minus Bryce, Charlie Bauman, and Jay Kleinheksel)
Starting at left:  Ellie Kleinheksel, Brielle, Jonathan Bauman (dont you love his "smile"), and Anna VanHekken

We also went to my old stompin ground, Tri Ponds since Kim and a bunch of our cousins were camping out there for a couple days.  Oh how fun it was to relive the good ole days and to see your kids loving the things you loved as a kid. 
They loved the pond...splashing in and out of the water...
 ...and the sand (of course Bryce was still shoveling it in his mouth)

 Unfortunately I didn't get any pics of any other kids except for Grady. (Brielle and Grady are the future "Eric and Kathi" of the past.)  Being the age the kids are, all the kids were going off in different directions and it was hard to get them all together.
 What's camping without a few mud puddles to stomp through?
Chad took the girls on a canoe ride in the fishing pond
 Brielle trying to best at the balance beam
 This little man wants to do everything on his own...including climb up the slide and go down.  However...whenever it came time to let go, he always seemed to have second thoughts and would just dangle down the slide holding on for dear life before finally letting go.