'Let's get physical'
Emma loves "working out"
on Troy's weight set… and inventing her own exercises.
Can Emma bench more than her dad? :-)
Who knew the bar also worked great for doing flips, too?
Emma works her legs
Jenna wants to get in on the action, too
"I think I'll just ride my Harley instead."
Emma was the first one up Christmas morning, and then she
got the rest of us up so the girls could open their presents
from Santa. Jen, however, wasn't quite ready to get up yet.
All three "kids" in front of the tree Christmas
Jenna was content to just carry around the Elmo book Santa
left in her stocking!
We left Santa two cookies and the last ring from our Christmas
chain. Emma told us, "Santa must be getting full, because
he couldn't finish all the cookies." She also thought
it was pretty cool that he broke the last link in our Christmas
chain... because that meant it was Christmas! We made reindeer
food for Santa's reindeer, too, that we sprinkled out in the
The girls and some of the presents they got from Santa
Santa brought the girls the Dora talking house and several
play sets... which they'd wanted for over a year (or at least
Emma had) :-)
Jenna loved the baby she got from Santa. When she opened it,
she squealed, "BABY!"
Jenna also got some accessories for her baby: a pack-and-play,
high chair, stroller, swing, diaper bag and more. She loves
them, but on Christmas morning, she just kept walking around
with the pack-and-play on her head.
Christmas greetings 2005
a wonderful year it's been!
spent a lot of this year getting settled into our new house.
Lots of backaches later, we finished our landscaping. We also
got seven trees planted this fall, ceiling fans installed,
shelving put up… and finally got all our boxes unpacked
and got everything put away. That was quite an accomplishment.
will be five in January and loves to color and draw, go to
gymnastics class, and just play, sing and have fun. She tells
us almost every day that she wants to be a teacher, a mom
and a dairy farmer when she grows up, and even has her farm
planned out in meticulous detail. Troy will drive the equipment,
Emma will feed the animals and milk the cows "once in
the morning and once in the evening," and there will
be all kinds of animals "but NO GOATS" on her farm!
Emma is starting to read and do math, and will start kindergarden
in the fall (which her mom is not emotionally ready for AT
ALL!). She took swim lessons this summer, too, and learned
so much! Emma also loves to be Jenna's "mother hen"
and play "house" with her; "We're playing house;
Jenna's the baby and I'm the MOM," is a daily phrase
around our house.
is our little ball of fire. She is 19 months old, and tries
really hard to keep up with her big sister. She loves music
and is starting to sing. Right now, she can sing parts of
"Row, Row, Row Your Boat," "Twinkle, Twinkle
Little Star" and "ABC's." She also loves Barney
and Dora. She loves "Doh-a" so much, in fact, that
Dora was one of her first words! She is learning more and
more words by the day, and is also learning body parts. (Her
favorite is her nose; when you ask her where her nose is,
she always puts her finger UP her nose!) Jenna also loves
"investigating" (aka, digging in the cupboards),
pretending to talk on the phone (she's carried around a toy
cell phone since she was about a year old) and playing with
shoes, hats and anything sparkley… she's definitely
a "girly girl."
took a few fun trips this year. In May, we went to Florida.
Emma loved it so much there that she cried when it was time
to come home! We also visited Minneapolis and Omaha, plus
lots of fun places in central Iowa.
and I are, well... another year older, but pretty much otherwise
the same. :-) There's been nothing new in the career fronts;
Troy and I are still at our same jobs – Troy in server
management and me in marketing. We've both taken on some new
responsibilities this year in our jobs, which has been exciting
and a challenge.
sure to check out all that the Maifelds
have been up to this year.
hope you have a great holiday season and a blessed 2006!
Jami, Emma, Jenna and Joe
Emma's coloring contest
Emma won her age group in a coloring
contest she entered in December. Over 200 kids entered, and
we were really proud of her!
Christmas with Meem
We went to Mason City on Christmas
Eve to celebrate Christmas with Grandma (Meem) Reed, Uncle
Jake and Brooklyn.
Messy-faced Jenna at lunch at the restaurant... right before
she dumped her entire plate of food on the floor and smearing
mashed potatoes all over me. Even though everyone else found
this very, VERY funny, our little "angel" about
made Troy and I die of embarrassment.
Emma and Brooklyn visit "Santa" at lunch. By the
way, Brooklyn told me she was all ready for Santa. What did
she leave him? A Diet Coke and hot dog... of course! :-)
Jen got so excited when she opened her Dora stocking cap.
She loves to wear stocking caps... and she loves Dora. So
her new cap was a double bonus!
"A hat AND a make-shift purse? JACKPOT!"
Jenna loved the soft, new track suit Grandma Reed got her
Brooklyn shows off her new Harley hoodie. Grandma Reed got
all three girls one; Emma and Jenna's were orange
Harley got tired of watching everyone open presents and took
a little rest on Jenna's new track suit
Meem's "I just won Publisher Clearinghouse" face
after opening the Michael Bennett autographed helmet Troy
got her. ...And, for the record, Troy told her to make that
face when she opened the present. :-)
Even Jenna got in on the action
Jen loved the hoodie on her new Harley sweatshirt, and her
Dora sippie cup Meem got her. She carried it around forever!
Jen got pouty because I wouldn't let her keep climbing up
the stairs at Grandma's
Jen loved the "Sah-tah" on Grandma's Christmas pin
Jen was a cool dude in these shades. She loved them!
She even got Meem's friend Jim to put them on... I'll bet
he hopes none of his friends see him in them! :-)
We opened our presents to each
other on Dec. 23.
"Maybe if we put on some fake smiles, they'll take our
picture... and then we can finally get to open our presents!"
Emma had been asking for the Little People house for months.
She squealed when she opened the package.
Jenna loved her giant Pooh... and pretty much everything she
(and her sister) got!
Jen's crazy hair
Jenna's hair gets out of control
sometimes. Troy says she looks like Chip
Foose from Overhaulin'. (You can be the judge of that,
but I do have to agree that the guy has some seriously big
Girls night in
We had Emma's friends and their
sisters over for pizza and fun one night the week of Christmas.
It got a little crazy with NINE little girls in our house,
but they had a blast, and it was really fun to watch them.
...Plus, it gave Troy a little glimpse into what slumber parties
will be like in a few years! :-)
We went to Troy's family's Christmas
in Humboldt on Dec. 18.
The girls on the way to Grandma and Grandpa Maifeld's in Humboldt.
See all that snow out the window? We weren't used to that;
all of ours had melted by then.
Emma and the soft Barbie doll she got from Grandma and Grandpa
The Maifeld cousins (Jenna and Emma were getting tired and
didn't feel like cooperating for photos by this point. Can
The girls' cousin, Ben, loved the tractor he got
"Who needs toys when you can play with a big block of
Jenna on the new trike Grandma and Grandpa Maifeld got her
All of the Maifelds
The girls' Christmas program
at school was Dec. 16. They both got all dressed up and looked
Jenna checks out the tree at school
Jenna and her class (the nine- to 18-month-olds) handed out
programs to everyone attending the program.
All of the kids in the center did an art project that made
up the stage. Jenna and the toddlers made hand print Christmas
trees; Emma and her class made the triangle Santas.
Emma's class is the Hot Rods. They sang "Here Comes Santa
Claus," "Must Be Santa," "Reindeer, Reindeer,"
"Jolly Old St. Nicholas" and "We Wish You a
Merry Christmas." The kids all worked really hard to
learn the songs motions for the songs.
Emma and her class sing at the program
Emma actually SANG and did the motions to the songs this year.
We were really proud of her!
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa and Mrs. Claus came to
visit the kids at the girls' school on Dec. 13.
No tears? …That's a good sign!
Jen and a friend hang out after taking a look at Santa
Santa makes Emma nervous, so she told us for weeks ahead of
time, "I'm only going to sit on Mrs. Claus's lap!"
She did have a breakthrough this year, though; for the first
time ever, she actually TALKED to Santa when she saw him at
Valley West Mall. (Sit on his lap? Nope. But it's major progress
Emma and her classmates and teachers with Santa and Mrs. Claus
Emma and her friends spent "Santa
visit" morning doing what they usually do… coloring,
and being silly!
Emma and her friends borrowed our digital camera and took
a few photos while I was there, including this one that one
of her friends shot
Fun at the mall
It was too cold to play outside
on December 11, so we took the girls to Jordan
Creek Town Center's indoor play area to burn off some
Down the hill…
After Emma's friend, Grace's,
birthday party on Dec. 10, a bunch of the kids – and
parents – went sledding at a hill by Grace's house.
It was a ton of fun! I don't know who had a better time, the
kids… or the adults! Troy even got into a snowball fight
with one of the dads. (Sorry, Jeff!)
and Jenna get ready for a run down the hill
wasn't too sure about sledding the first few times down the
hill… or the snow in general, for that matter
somebody turn on the heat lamp?"
I have to wear these goofy things?"
little snow bunnies
gives a push down the hill to Jenna and Emma's friend, Madisen,
who is Jenna's "adopted" big sister. :-)
started to have a great time after a few runs down the hill
and Emma are all smiles
pulled a tired Jenna back up the hill
you think Jenna has her daddy wrapped around her little finger?
We took the girls on their first
real bowling outing on Dec. 9 at Warrior
Lanes in Waukee. They both had a great time, and Emma
loved that she beat her mom! (See the scores below.) My low
score was due, in part, to Jenna wanting to "help"
me bowl… and then throwing a fit when we had to let
go of the "ball-ball" down the lane! :-)
gives Emma a lesson. (Maybe I should have listened, too, and
my score wouldn't have been so low!)
and her bowling ball
little bowling "helper"
did we get Emma turned around and smiling before her ball
hit the pins? (Look in the photo; it's still heading for the
pins.) Let's just say it took a little while for her ball
to make it down the lane. :-) Thank goodness for the bumpers,
too. This bowling alley is new and has programmable bumpers,
meaning we programmed the bumpers to come up for just Emma.
…No gutter balls for her! I wish I could have said the
same for my game!
shows off her bowling "form." When this didn't generate
enough power, she just kicked the ball. …She definitely
had a style all her own!
final scores. Troy was D (Dad), Emma was E, and I was M (Mom).
I don't think the Professional Bowlers Association will be
knocking down our doors anytime soon! :-)
A pretty morning
Here are our little snowballs
on a pretty morning in December.
Building Christmas traditions
We decided one Monday night in
early December to build a gingerbread house. Troy and I had
never done this before, and we thought it would be fun for
Emma. Like every "project" we come up with, though,
it ended up being a little more work — and a lot more
complicated — than we'd planned.
just a "slight" perfectionist about projects like
this… can you tell? :-)
decided Troy was the construction foreman, and I was the interior
designer of the house. Emma was the project manager and told
us both what to do. :-)
with the finished product
house with the gingerbread men that came with it, which we
best part of building a gingerbread house? …You get
to eat your mistakes. :-)
Let it snow
Emma was so excited when, the
first weekend in December, we finally got enough snow to play
outside! She didn't let zero-degree temperatures stop her
from playing and "helping" Troy snow blow. (She
has her own shovel, you know.)
was so excited about making a snow angel; she'd been asking
for a long time when we'd finally get enough snow for her
to make one
Shoveling in action
Do you think she'll be this happy about shoveling when she's