Once upon a time, Krystal and Eric were far more diligent about uploading family information to the Whompton blog. In more recent times, we immensely slack on the task at hand. So, please behold a year's worth of highlights.
Lola dressed up as a princess for a birthday party. The party featured an actual singing princess. Lola loved it!
The Whomptons celebrated Thanksgiving in our traditional way -- eating at the Indian buffet! -- but we started in the American way of parades. Our team was in charge of the last balloon, which was Santa. It was quite an experience. (Also, note, that each person is wearing a different MICDS outfit. Yes, we are fully prepared for any MICDS function!)
Then we continued the Thanksgiving semi-tradition of heading out to Belleville and hanging out with the Kearney family. Unfortunately we don't have any pictures with any of the Kearneys themselves -- which is a real shame, since the entire crew was there -- but they were gracious enough to take a Whompton family photo. We go about 6 months before remembering to take a full group shot; getting two pictures in as many days is quite a rarity. (I think this picture was taken by Tina, not Nabila, for those keeping track!)
We joined the Ethical Society of Saint Louis earlier in the fall and we've had lots of wonderful experiences as members of the community. Here we are celebrating Good Cheer, which is Ethical's answer to winter holidays. We had a great time singing carols around the piano!
Raina had a singing solo at her Winter Concert! We were totally surprised -- she mentioned nothing to us about it in advance -- so we sat dumbfounded as we listened to her very first solo. So fantastic!
Raina and a good friend, post concert. She looks so grown up and proud of herself.
Lola has a map that, if she follows the directions carefully, will lead her to treasure. Oh, man, was she ever precise in following that map!
Raina performed in her very first piano recital. Earlier in the school year, we adults did a fair amount of nagging to get Raina to practice her piano pieces but, about mid-year, Raina just started to do it on her own. Her abilities have progressed quite nicely, and we are so impressed by what she can accomplish.
Gary and LaVerne have a new puppy named Brady. The girls, understandably, adore this dog and spend countless hours chasing it around Gary's house and cuddling it and giving it attention.
Lola turned four in February and she picked out her big-girl bed for her birthday present. Lola no longer sleeps on a crib mattress on the floor; she has been upgraded to a twin sized mattress on the floor! She sleeps a lot better now -- even though she does fall off!
Raina is a thinker. So, when she lost another tooth, she decided to write the Tooth Fairy a note with special requests about what to receive in exchange for the tooth. One of the items listed was a book about dogs. Unfortunately, the Tooth Fairy left Raina a dollar, which disappointed Raina tremendously. Later that week, Raina received a package through the mail from the Tooth Fairy, and it was a book about dogs. Krystal was confused -- the Tooth Fairy never did special requests when she was a kid -- but, then again, she never thought to ask. Who knows what Raina will want next time?
Raina presenting the colors at an Ethical Navigators meeting. She has had this honor multiple times and she handles the flag with the dignity it deserves.
Little Lola, all asleep, and snuggling with her warthog and hippo. She has the cutest lovies.
And then a great series of sister shots. Raina and Lola slide together in this tornado slide at the Ross Playground all the time; we finally snapped a shot of how gleeful they are going down.
Little human girls watching the little elephant girls.
And enjoying each other's company at the zoo. A perfect autumn day!
We participated in our very first PowWow this year. Samantha, Krystal, and Lola eagerly jumped on the floor to do the intertribal dance. Raina was very hesistant, but then finally warmed up to the idea. She's trying to figure out how to join us in the interweaving circle.
A foot of snow dumped itself in Saint Louis during Spring Break. The girls were thrilled! They trekked up the backyard to our neighbor's yard and sled down his hill for hours. On one day, they did three separate sledding outings (morning, early afternoon, late afternoon). That night, Lola took her bath, curled up in her towels, and went right to sleep on the bathroom floor. She was all tuckered out.
At every Schnuck's shopping venture, Lola runs into the store, Eric shouts "Go find your chariot!", and then Lola gleefully exclaims "FIRETRUCK!" The two girls are a very tight squeeze in the firetruck cart, but sometimes they manage it without fighting.
Cuddling on the couch.
Lola learned songs and dances to perform at the Ethical Society Spring Festival. She practiced with her Ethical friends for weeks, and she was exceptionally excited about dressing up for the event. We pulled out this dress for the occasion. This red hankerchief dress was Raina's favorite for over a year and she wore it almost to its breaking point. Eric and I got teary-eyed seeing Lola in it. Our little Lola is a very big girl.
She posed continuously until she was satisfied we had obtained the picture.
Raina planned out her 8th birthday celebration. We invited some friends, they had a massive playdate of uncontrolled craziness, we crushed Oreos and made chocolate dirt cups, and then we did Raina's designated excursion: hiking at Powder Valley. We loaded up all the girls in two cars, and then groaned audibly when Eric's car refused to start. We switched to Samantha's car and then we were on our way. The weather was crisp -- a perfect day for a hike.
Raina picked Pastries of Denmark for her birthday dinner. Lola is practicing her fist bumps here.
Raina desperately desired a Furby for her birthday present. The adults were rather unimpressed with the toy, but she kept asking for it for two full months. Finally, we agreed to pay half of the amount for it. Raina ponied up $27 and got a Furby for her birthday. She cried tears of disappointment when her first Furby refused to work. Superhero Daddy exchanged it out and she had a functional one for the next day. She still plays with the thing a month later, so maybe it was worth it. (Mommy personalized a LL Bean canvas bag so Raina has her own library book bag now. It's wonderful.)
Raina requested a fancy white cake with sprinkles for her birthday and Samantha rose to the occasion. The cake was magnificient and so sugar filled that it gave the adults instant headaches. Happy birthday, Raina!
Earlier in the year, I supported a kickstarter that made engineering toys for girls and I hoped the toy would be ready by Lola's birthday. It wasn't, and it finally arrived a few weeks before Raina's birthday. We finally broke into the toy on a rainy day and the girls enjoyed tinkering with the animals and making them spin. Best statement from Raina: "Huh, maybe I should be an engineer!" Yes, Raina, yes! Be an engineer!