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
There were some cool "special" balloons, too –
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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,
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
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
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
The tiara was Jenna's finishing touch!
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
She was VERY serious about her craft, even sticking out her
tongue to help her focus. :-)
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 :-)
us | Troy firstname.lastname@example.org
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