Monday, August 27, 2012

How Ginger Spent Her 5th Birthday pt 1

Hard to believe but it's been five whole years since little Ginger/Lump came into our world. This years event was held at Chuck E Cheese.

  Photobucket We had the party at noon on her actual birthday, hoping weekday crowds would be far smaller than their weekend equivalents. We were right. While we didn't have the place to ourselves, it was close enough - it felt like our own private playground. Photobucket


The party started off with the kids just playing and using their allotted tokens for a good 45 minutes. Photobucket

Of course, some grown ups had to get in on the act too.

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Meanwhile most of the grown-ups chilled.

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At one point all the kids joined Chuck E for a dance along - including YaYa!

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Then it was time for pizza!

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The grown-ups, meanwhile, had a veggie tray and sandwiches.

Then it was time for cake:

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and to sing happy birthday!

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Ginger was loving it!

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So was her Daddy!

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Then Chuck E came out to visit her again

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and we sang happy birthday AGAIN! (oopsies!)

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not that she minded

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Then they put her inside a booth that blew tickets into the air around her. The goal was the golden 1000 ticket prize, but the manager cheated and told her to step on it before the wind started :)

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Mission accomplished!

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Then it was time to open presents.

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We got her a zebra print hassock

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a Cuddle-Up-It (her favorite gift of the day!)

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YaYa got her a princess movie DVD Photobucket.

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LuLu got her lipgloss


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I got her a whiffle ball/bat and baseball mitt, and she got scads of other stuff from friends and family:

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Smiley got her AppleJacks, a My Little Pony

Photobucket and with her tickets from the games she got herself a gumball machine. Photobucket It was a great time and a swell birthday party (oddly, very relaxing for the grown-ups too) and her day was only half done . . . Photobucket

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Milwaukee Summer Rec Program

For six weeks this summer my kids attended an all day (8AM to 4PM) program offered at a nearby school through the Milwaukee Recreation Department.

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 I acknowledged that it was a safe and convenient way to juggle both the demands of summer babysitting and the kids constant need to be doing *something*, but honestly? I thought the kids would hate it, and that every morning would require an argument before they walked out the door.

Not so.

They LOVED IT. The few times we picked them up late, they were angry that we didn't pick 'em up later.

Whodathunkit? Other than Lisa that is.

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The kids took field trips to pools and a waterpark. The zoo. A Brewers game  (see the Facebook post below). They spent a day at Silverbrook Girl Scout Camp. Another day at Indian Mound Reservation Boy Scout camp. They had 4H meetings. They did projects. They made friends. For the first time ever they walked to and from school by their lonesome.

The two oldest even joined a softball team that went undefeated. Near the end of the session they got to play a game at Helafear Field, the little league park at the Brewers Miller Park, and while Lisa and I were both working my Dad made the early morning trip to watch them in action! Thanks Pop!

Here's their coach:

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August 1st: The three oldest kids attended their first Brewers game of the year today with their Rec Division classes and were treated to a 13-4 win over the Astros. They enjoyed it and commented that there were " a lot" of home runs (4), plus they got
 to see a future HOF'er in Ryan Braun. Lauren was a little hurt she couldn't go w/out parental supervision, but there's always next year. Oh, and on Monday the Rec class had a Brewers day where the kids met Larry Hisle. 

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So will we do it again next year? Well, it wasn't cheap -for four kids, and compared to any other program it was, but I'm talking soley in the context of our finances. Still, for the amount of fun they had, and all those experiences, it was certainly worth it. I'd be more than happy to have them enrolled again next summer :)