July 2008

Do or (Tye) Dye
We spent the afternoon of July 28 having some messy fun, experimenting with tye dying. A strong thunderstorm – complete with hail – kept us inside the garage, but we had fun anyway.

Emma gets one of her shirts ready to dye

Jenna, with some of the shirts ready to dye

Jenna gets ready to dye one of her shirts

Emma puts one of her shirts in the dye

Troy takes his turn

Up, Up and Away
Emma was at her friend Courtney's slumber party, so Jenna, Troy and I drove to Indianola to watch the National Balloon Classic's mass balloon ascension on July 26. Someone sitting near us said, "This is the coolest thing I've ever seen in my life." It was truly that breathtaking.

The balloons begin filling and taking flight

"Sure, I'll smile… but I'm not going to open my eyes if you make me look toward the sun." :-)

The choreography of all the balloons taking off at (almost) once is truly amazing. …I'm sure it's a bit more chaotic for the balloon pilots. (Speaking of pilots, by the way, the red, orange, white and blue zig-zag pattern balloon in the photo is piloted by my friend, Bret.)

Troy and Jenna watch the balloons

Troy and Jenna watch MORE balloons

Jenna and I watch even more balloons. (Are you noticing a trend? Ha!)

There were some cool "special" balloons, too – including Woodrow C. Greenleaf (the tree), Purple People Eater, and the Space Shuttle (not shown in this photo)

Jenna was all smiles

All of the sudden, in the middle of the ascension, some cattle ran into the pasture next to where we were sitting. As someone sitting near us said, "…Only in Iowa!" :-)

More Mommy-Jenna time

Jenna's Daddy-Daughter Day
Troy took some time off to have Daddy-Daughter Days with both girls in late July. Jenna's day was July 24. She chose to go see Wall-E, do some coloring, and have lunch at Joe's Crab Shack (one of her favorite restaurants).

Troy took both girls to breakfast at Burger King before taking Emma to camp

Jenna picked out a Winnie the Pooh book to color

Jenna and Troy at Joe's Crab Shack

Emma's Daddy-Daughter Day
For her Daddy-Daughter Day, on July 23, Emma chose to go see the Kit Kittredge: An American Girl movie, paint some pottery, and have lunch at Maid Rite.

Emma on her big Daddiy-Daughter Day

Troy took both girls to breakfast at McDonald's before taking Jenna to school

Emma painting her pottery

Troy even bought Emma the new Miley Cirus CD!

Fun at Adventureland
We had been promising the girls for awhile that we would go to Adventureland this summer, so we decided to take advantage of a nice day on July 19 to go. Both girls were very excited – especially Emma, who suddenly became a daredevil on rides after going on a field trip with her camp to Adventureland.

All of us, waiting in line at the Raging River. One guess who got completely drenched on the ride? Hint: It's not the tall guy, or the kids in the swimsuits. :-)

Almost our turn!

The girls liked the Raging River – especially watching their mom get SOAKED!

Kind of a "scary" spot

All smiles

Jenna got a little wet, too

We decided we'd get the water rides in all at once, so we went to the Log Ride next. The back of me got drenched on the Raging River… so, of course, the FRONT of me would get soaked on this ride! (See my shirt?) Emma thought this was really funny, especially since that's why she made me sit in front of her – because she KNEW I'd get drenched! Oh, and Jenna might look scared here, but loved it, and wondered when we were going on the ride again!

Jenna wanted to go on the motorcycles. …Daredevil Emma wasn't quite as excited about it.

The girls and I went on the Frog Hopper. (Is it wrong that I'm such a wimp about rides that I actually like that ride?)

After a quick snack, Troy and Emma fed the fish

Then the geese decided they wanted a snack, too

Emma and Jenna both LOVED Lady Luck

Big smiles

We had a blast playing at Adventureland's new Kokomo Cove water play area

Jenna's big splash

Emma's turn on the purple slide

Jenna takes a turn

The Girls Flip for Gymnastics
The girls LOVE taking gymnastics. It doesn't hurt, I suppose, that they share the gym at Chow's with Shawn Johnson – Olympic Gymnast, and soon to be (we're sure) Olympic gold medalist! ;-) The girls see her every week, but one week I guess Jenna was especially excited. Jenna was stretching, and Shawn was about 10 feet behind her, working on her Olympic floor routine. Anyway, all of the sudden, Jenna turned around and screamed (yes, screamed), "Hey, there's SHAWN JOHNSON!" It was pretty cute!

Jenna before gymnastics

Jenna warms up, doing candlestick

Jenna on the bar

Sharing gym time with the best gymnast in the world? …Not too bad. :-) Jenna (far right) and Shawn Johnson (far left) both work on the balance beam at the same time.

Jenna (upper left) and Emma (doing sit-ups) both share the floor during gymnastics

Emma gets ready to do a vault

Emma has her own share of Shawn encounters… Here Shawn is working on her beam routine (far right) while Emma practices cartwheels (lower right)

More Emma (lower left) and Shawn (upper right)

Both girls, after gymnastics

Jenna's Fun at School
Jenna had a big week at school, the week of July 14. Not only was she Star of the Week, but she got to go fishing with her class, too – and even caught the biggest fish! :-)

Jenna was her class's "Star of the Week," the week of July 14. She got to bring in photos, and share special things about herself.

Jenna caught the biggest fish during her class's fishing activity on July 16 – but was awfully nervous about it! :-) Thankfully, her friend Noelle's dad, Chris, helped her out.

Gone Fishin'
We had a fun playdate fishing with our friends the Reitanos and Ruhlands on July 5 – even if Troy was the only guy who didn't catch any fish. ;-P

Everyone getting set up for fishing

Max and Jenna were pretty interested in the worms

Emma didn't want to fish, but was more interested in just watching the action

Jenna fishing

Troy and Jenna had a good time fishing

"It's WAY more comfortable to sit in Dad's lap than stand on the shore!"

Dawn and the fancy pink Barbie fishing pole! (Hey, Dawn… at least it's not JOHN using it! Ha!)

The Barbie pole is actually Hattie's. Is she a cute fisherwoman, or what!?

Pete and Max definitely had the touch that morning, and caught A TON of fish!

Max shows off his catch

Troy and Jenna try a different spot… but still didn't have any luck catching a fish

Jenny rocks Emma's sparkly sunglasses :-)

Max, Jenna and Emma at Pete and Jenny's house

The kids played with water balloons after lunch. Max wanted Troy to pitch some balloons to him. He has a great swing, and hit most of them!

The girls get ready to throw some balloons, too

Jenna throws a balloon

Jenna tried pitching a balloon to Hattie. That didn't quite go as well as the Troy/Max combo. :-)

More fun with water balloons

Note to Jami: Don't take picture of kids looking directly into the sun :-)

After water balloons, the kids got to play in the sprinkler

Then, they all decided it was more fun to DRINK out of the sprinkler than to run through it. Here Jenna takes a drink…

Then Emma takes a drink…

Then Max takes a drink.

Kodi – sporting his new summer 'do – liked sitting on Troy's lap. In fact, every time Troy quit petting him, he nudged him to get petted again. :-)

Four happy kids

Four SILLY kids

The kids decided they wanted lay out in the sun

Jenna, Max, Hattie and Emma on their towels

Catching some rays

Big smiles

Jenna, Max and Emma ham it up

Jenna's Mommy-Daughter Day
Before Emma started kindergarten, Troy and I started a tradition that we each planned a special day, with just each of us and her, before school started. Now that Jenna is four, she wanted to start having Mommy-Daughter and Daddy-Daughter Days, too. On July 3, Jenna and I had our Mommy-Daughter Day. Jenna decided she wanted to go to Libby Lu for a makeover, then to Cheesecake Factory for lunch.

Jenna, before leaving for her makeover

All smiles!

Jenna at Jordan Creek, before going to Libby Lu

Jenna changed into a sparkley Hannah Montana dress (surprise, surprise) to wear during her makeover

She was SO excited to get to do a "big-girl" thing like going to Libby Lu. (It didn't hurt, either, that the girl doing her makeover thought Jenna was 5 1/2!)

Jenna was very focused as she was getting her nails done

Nail polish – complete with sparkles – all done!

Time for makeup

Then on to hair

Our little princess chose the "Royal" hairstyle – no shocker there. :-)

The finishing touches on the hair

Jen's hair was done – complete with MORE sparkles, of course.

The tiara was Jenna's finishing touch!

Princess Jenna!

Then, Jenna got even MORE sprarkles! (Any girly-girl knows that you can NEVER have TOO MANY sparkles!!)

Jen gets ready to change

"Do I look fancy, or what?!"

She was so excited when we left Libby Lu

Leaving Libby Lu

A TON of people who saw us in the mall and at lunch stopped Jenna to tell her how beautiful she looked. The first few times it happened, she smiled, got quite proud, and said, "Thank you!" …After a while, though, she told me she was tired of people saying it to her because, "I'm tired of saying 'thank you.' I'm out of words!" …If you know Jenna, you know that's pretty serious, because she has A LOT to say! :-)

Jenna and I waiting for lunch

Jenna at the Cheesecake Factory

Jenna had the biggest grilled cheese I've ever seen!

Even princesses get to be silly

Princess Jenna, leaving Jordan Creek

We also stopped at the library, and Jenna got to make a ladybug headband craft

She was VERY serious about her craft, even sticking out her tongue to help her focus. :-)

All done!

Later on the night of July 3, we went to watch the fireworks at Prairie Meadows.

Jenna was all smiles

Emma was excited, too

Prairie Meadow's fireworks are phenomenal, but A TON of people go to see them. We got there almost an hour before they started, and go the LAST parking spot. (And, we only got that spot because someone left!)

Troy and the girls

It was a beautiful, cool night

Our little fireworks :-)

The girls both ended up sitting with me to watch the fireworks

The fireworks were beyond amazing. Troy and I both agreed they are the best we'd ever seen.

They shot off so many fireworks for the finale, it was so bright it almost hurt to open your eyes :-)

Back to 2008

Email us | Troy tamaifeld@yahoo.com | Jami jamimaifeld@hotmail.com |

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