Art is Fun
We went to one of our favorite
annual events – the Des
Moines Arts Festival – on June 29. It's constantly
rated as one of the best in the country, and for good reason
– it's always fabulous! This year, almost 200,000 people
The girls and Troy on the shuttle bus to the festival
The girls in front of some of the beautiful lilies there
The girls' favorite part of the festival every year is making
art projects. Here they decorated folded paper hats.
Jenna shows off her finished hat
The girls also made cool "stained glass"-looking
headbands, that they colored with markers
The artists at work
Emma takes her work very seriously
Emma's finished headband
Jenna shows off her headband
The girls also made animal masks
Jenna the cat, and Emma the dog
Jenna and Emma show off the cool butterflies they made, too
After all that work making art projects, the girls needed
a little break, so we watched one of the great shows at the
One of our favorite things at the festival was watching the
awesome juggler, Roberto
Troy and the girls watch the show
That's not quite what we meant when we said, "Smile,"
The girls and me
Troy and Emma enjoy the show
Some of Roberto's great balancing
He even juggled flaming pins – while on a unicycle!
Jenna took this photo of some of our favorite artwork –
the amazing wire sculptures by Michael
More of Michael Gard's work
Emma and Jenna get a closer look at the scupltures
Emma took a photo of another one of our favorite pieces
Mr. Engineer Troy had to go take a closer look at the scuplture,
to see how it was put together. (Answer, it was made up of
a lot of separate sections that were attached together.)
The girls had fun cooling off in the water fountain
Creek had their Fourth of July festivities on June 29.
After going to the Arts Festival earlier in the day, we went
to Jordan Creek's great dueling pianos concert. Later that
night, we sat in our front yard to watch the mall's awesome
The girls munched on kettle corn, waiting for the fireworks
Emma's Swimming Lessons
The girls both had swim lessons
from June 16-27. Emma's lessons were at the Waukee YMCA, and
she learned a ton. She is so excited that she can do the forward
crawl now "without even touching my feet on the bottom
of the pool!" :-)
Waiting for lessons to start
Her class played "Ring Around the Rosie"
When they "all fall down," they all blow bubbles
They also played "Red Light, Green Light," practicing
their kicks in the water
Emma gets some more practice with her kicks
Kicks – AND blowing bubbles!
Practicing her back float
Emma works on her doggie paddle
Our happy swimmer
Jenna's Swim Lessons
This was first year of swim lessons.
She was so excited! Her lessons were at Dowling High School,
and they always do a great job! Jenna had a complete blast,
and was almost floating completely by herself when her lessons
Jenna gets into the pool
Jenna and her class
Jenna LOVED being in the water. (…But the WAITING part?
Not so much! Ha!)
Jenna practices her kicks with her teacher, Colby
Kicks, and blowing bubbles
The kids practice "Arrow"
Jenna practices "Arrow," and blowing bubbles, with
Jenna practices with her teacher, Kathleen – who is
the same teacher Emma had (and LOVED) for her two years of
lessons at Dowling!
At the end of each session, the kids got to play "Humpty
Dumpty," where they jump from the wall into the pool.
Jenna LOVED this part!
Jenna and her friend, Claire, after lessons
We had a great time on Saturday,
June 28. After going to the Johnston
Green Days parade (which was great, as always), we took
the girls to pick strawberries at Berry Patch Farms in Adel.
Troy and the girls eat some breakfast, while waiting for the
parade. Don't they all look happy? ;-) (They were all just
blinded by the super-bright sun they were looking into.)
Jenna loved the parade
After the parade, and a quick lunch, we went to Berry Patch
Farms. The girls had never picked strawberries, so they were
really excited. It's a beautiful farm, and the amazingly nice
folks there took us out to the berry patch and gave us a quick
lesson on berry picking.
Our two master strawberry pickers
Enma had so much fun picking strawberries, she told us that
day was her "favorite day EVER!"
Emma was a great berry picker!
Jenna had a lot of fun, too
Jenna and her berries
Happy Birthday, Ronnie
The girls had a blast playing
at Jenna's friend, Ronnie's, 4th birthday party – which
was at Backyard
Adventures – on June 14.
Troy and Emma test out one of the swings
Emma and Hattie, in the playhouse/slide
Jenna had a great time on the glider with Birthday Boy Ronnie
Emma had fun on the glider with Ronnie, too
Hattie and Jenna, looking cute
Hattie was all smiles on the swing
Jenna and Hattie liked the tire swing
Hattie, Emma and Noah took a turn on the tire swing, too
Emma and Ronnie on one of the slides
Our two little cuties
Ronnie's sister, Kaitlyn, with Jenna and Emma
Three cute girls
Ronnie and the girls
Emma and Jenna were all smiles
One of our many rainy June days
this year forced Jenna's school's annual lunch picnic, on
June 12, inside.
Jenna and Troy, eating their lunch
Jenna with her friends Max and Hattie
The three amigos were pretty wound up and crazy after lunch
Jenna wasn't very happy when we told her we had to leave –
not that you can tell by this photo, or anything. :-)
Jenny and I with our crazy kids. (I guess this is the smile
you get when you force them to stand still long enough to
take a photo with their moms. Ha!)
With several tornadoes and record-breaking
rains, Mother Nature didn't seem to want to give Iowa a break
this Spring. We've had over 6" of rain in West Des Moines
in the past week alone. Mason
City (my hometown) had more severe flooding than 1993,
and even lost water when the water treatment plant was flooded.
We went to Saylorville
Lake to see the water levels there on June 7, which were
near the 1993-high levels.
The water coming out of the Saylorville Spillway was out of
The girls at the spillway
Troy checks out the water
We went to Jester
Park, to see the water levels, too
As a reference point, the water levels were in shore about
600-700 feet – and up hill – from where they should
What better way to take advantage of flooding than throwing
rocks in the water? :-)
Emma throws rocks…
And Jenna throws even more rocks
Jenna Goes Bowling
Jenna had a blast when her class
went on a bowling field trip on June 9. The even got to have
lunch at the bowling alley!
Does she look excited, or what? :-)
Still all smiles
Jenna with her friends Kate and Molly
Kaylie, Kate, Elizabeth and Jenna make silly faces
Jenna has lunch with her friends Alex, Claire and Max
Jenna (front row, center – of course) and her class,
at the bowling alley
Fun with Friends
The girls had a great time when
Jenna's friends Max and Hattie came over to play on June 6.
(And Troy and I had a great time with their parents, too!
All the kids climbed into the girls' play house to eat their
After playing in the sprinkler, running around with squirt
guns and jumping on the trampoline, the kids were tired. (Plus,
they were playing "Emma's the mom, and the kids are her
triplets." Gee... I wonder who came up with that game?
…Maybe, Emma!?!? Ha!)
Then, "Mom" Emma was patting Max to sleep
Emma spent her first week of
summer vacation at a special art camp, which she loved! One
of their cool field trips was to go to Eason Portrait Gallery
(check out their website
– a real photo studio – to learn about photography,
backdrops, lighting and more! The kids even each got to be
part of a photo session.
Emma's photo session
Group photo of all the Art Camp kids and counselors
Almost a second-grader
Emma's last day of first grade
was June 2. She said it was "bittersweet," which
is how her teacher, Mrs. Schnedler, explained her feelings
about the class moving on to second grade. She was excited
for the kids, but very sad to see them go. (What a great teacher!)
…Emma felt the same way!
The girls make their famous silly faces