August 2008

Labor Day Fun
We had a great start to our Labor Day weekend, spending spent an awesome day on August 30 at Lake Ahquabi State Park in Indianola.

Later in the weekend we also saw Fat Tuesday and the Greasefire Horns at Snus Hill Winery and Vinyard, and had a couple movie nights with the girls – all a lot of fun. We spent most of Monday cleaning out the garage – which desperately needed to be done, but wasn't quite as much fun. ;-)

We all wore our tye dye shirts to our day at the park. (Yes, we're dorks… but you probably already knew that. Ha!)

The area where we had our picnic later in the day was behind where Troy and the girls are standing, near the beach

We took the girls out on a paddleboat ride. The entire lake is a no-wake zone, so it's perfect for paddleboats, canoes and kayaks.

All smiles!

The girls both LOVED the paddleboat, and said it was their favorite part of the day. Emma said, "I even liked it more than the American Girl Store!" (She has a major obsession with American Girl dolls, so that's about the highest praise she could give!)

Emma even got to help pedal the boat, which she thought was a lot of fun

After the paddleboat ride, we went for a hike on one of the trails. We found four different kinds of nuts (walnut, acorns, chestnuts and buckeyes), tons of different kinds of trees, cattails, mushrooms, butterflies and more. We also had to give a lot of reminders that no matter how excited you are, you don't need to yell in the woods. :-) And, in honor of the nuts we found on our hike, we even made buckeye candies when we got home.

The girls with some huge leaves Troy found on a tree along our hike

Jenna with some of her hike "treasures," including a dandelion :-)

The girls on a footbridge along the trail

Jenna was more concerned about her cattail than taking a photo with Emma and me on the footbridge – can you tell?

The girls LOVED playing on the beach, where they spent most of the afternoon

Troy gets the grill going while the girls play on the beach. We had a great, shady picnic spot, right by the beach.

The water was a little cold, so it took the girls a long time to get brave enough to go into the lake very far

Why swim when you can dig in the sand?

Emma spent a really, REALLY long time digging a hole in the sand. Then, when she was done digging, some other kids came over to dig. By the time they were all done, the hole was probably three feet across and 18 inches deep!

Still digging… and still not okay for Jenna to help dig. (Jenna ended up digging her own hole, but got bored with it way before Emma did.)

Lunch time!

The grillmaster at work. (Not that I'm saying guys like to mess with fire or anything, but Troy seemed to have a really good time finding sticks and bark to – um – enhance our grill's fire.)

What's the best part of grilling out at a picnic? S'mores! …And they're twice as great if you get super messy eating them!

Troy, who was braver than I was (remember, the water was cold), took the girls swimming for a long time in the lake

The girls loved floating in the water – especially Jenna

Two tired girls!

A long day, but Emma was all smiles!

Flip This… Box
Troy and the girls "flipped" the cardboard box our new office chair came in, into a pretty darn fancy play house.

Girls' Photo Session
We had the girls photos taken on August 24. We were very happy with the shots our photographer took. We had some shots taken at her studio, and some taken at Thomas Mitchell Park, a beautiful place to spend an afternoon, by the way. You can check out all of the photos on our photo gallery, but some of our favorites are below.

(Blatant plug: If you're looking for a great photographer, give Heather Cox a call… Heather's Photography, 515-419-5371)

Emma Starts Second Grade
Emma started second grade on August 20. She loves her new teacher, Mrs. Seiler. It's tough to believe, though, that next year both girls will be at Brookview! (I might need a lot of Kleenex that day.)

Our big second grader

Two fingers for second grade

The girls strike their favorite "I'm a Model" pose

…Then they get silly

…And more silly :-)

Emma's got the silly face thing down to an art

Jenna loves doing silly face, too

Troy and the girls

The girls and me

Emma at her school

Emma with her new teacher, Mrs. Seiler. (Can you tell Emma was pretty nervous?) Emma liked Mrs. Seiler – who really is a great teacher – right away, "because she is really fancy!" ;-)

Emma with one of her "BFF's," Kara. (Translation, if you're not a seven-year-old girl: Best Friend Forever)

Emma with her other BFF, Courtney

Emma with her friends Ella and Ryleigh

Jenna was very upset that she didn't get to start school that day!

Off to a great year!

Emma's Mommy-Daughter Day
Emma and I had a change in plans for our Mommy Daughter Day on August 18. She initially wanted to go to Libby Lu, but – when she found out she would have to wait until that evening for an appointment – was a real sport and decided to go shopping and go to Build-A-Bear instead!

Emma, before her big day

Emma strikes a "model" pose

Our pretty girls

Our pretty silly girls

The girls and I grabbed a quick breakfast at Panera

Emma's silly face

Jenna's silly face

Emma, at Jordan Creek Mall

Emma's first stop was her favorite store – Limited Too – to get some new outfits for school

Then she went to Build-A-Bear, where she chose to make a High School Musical bear

Emma, me and Emma's new bear, Sharpay (who is Emma's favorite High School Musical character, "because she is fancy")

Emma gives Sharpay an air "bath"

What outfit did Emma choose for Sharpay? A Limited Too outfit, of course – along with a matching purse! (It's all about the accessories, you know.)

Leaving the mall

Emma, Sharpay and I had to pick a few things up at Target. Emma, being a good mommy, even buckled Sharpay up in the cart!

Emma also got a bed for Sharpay at Build-A-Bear (sparkly pink, with white fur trim – of course). When we got home, she made her a bed, and even found her a miniature teddy bear version for her new bear to cuddle with! :-)

Later in the day, Emma and I tye-dyed some more shirts – doing our best to make purple and gold Waukee shirts

Jenna's a Hot Rod
Jenna officially moved up to the last room in her school on August 18. Our little baby is now in the five-year-old room, which I can't believe. She's been a Scooter, Toddler, Bunny, Teddy Bear, Hobby Horse, Pinwheel, and Big Wheel – and now she's a Hot Rod. It seems like Emma just left that room to go to kindergarten – and now she's already in second grade!

"I'm kind of a big thing around here."

Jenna with her friends Max and Joey, on her first morning as an "official" Hot Rod

In Our Backyard
The girls had a great time playing the backyard on August 17.

We planted some flowers and pumpkins from seeds this Spring. While the pumpkins haven't done much much grow a lot of vines, the sunflowers and zinnias grew as tall – or taller – than the girls.

Then Troy got golf and soccer stuff out for the girls to play

Troy gave the girls an impromptu golf lesson

Does wearing a golf glove help with soccer? ;-)

Out of the blue, Jenna told Troy a few weeks ago that she wanted to learn to play basketball – and to golf. Talk about music to his ears! :-)


Emma's turn for a lesson. She wasn't quite as excited as Jenna – plus has a little harder time, because she's a lefty trying to learn to golf right-handed.

Jenna was so serious about golfing that she had her tongue sticking out – which, with her, is always a sign she's very focused!

Joe loves it when we're in the backyard, too

Silly Jenna
Jenna loves – loves – to play dress-up. So I guess it should come as no surprise that she wore some goofy Harry Potter-esque glasses Emma made of pipecleaners around for a long time on August 11. :-)

Iowa State Fair
We had a great time at the Iowa State Fair on August 10.

The girls were eager to start their day at the fair

Troy and the girls inside "Little Hands on the Farm," our first stop of the day

Our two little farmers – seed caps and all!

First the girls "planted" their seeds at the farm

Playing in the dirt is fun!

Then the girls got to "pick" the vegetables they'd planted

The tractor tire is still taller than them – at least for now :-)

Jenna fuels her tractor up with biodiesel. (Too bad the biodiesel couldn't fix the fact that she chose a broken tractor that didn't pedal!)

Jenna made it around the track, with a little help from Dad

We ran into our great friends, the Reitanos, at little hands on the farm. Can you tell Jenna was happy to see Max?

The kids "sell" the items they "grew" and "raised" at the market, where they earn a dollar they get to spend in the store to buy a snack

Emma, Jenny, Pete, Max and Jenna walk to get a snack. You can't be at the fair long before having something fried or on a stick! :-)

Silly Max and Jenna

Emma, Jenna and Max check out the baby chicks

Emma pets one of the baby ducks

Max and Jenna pet the baby goat. (Notice Emma is nowhere in site? …After a goat chewed on her friend's jacket on a zoo field trip when she was little, she's always hated goats.)

This little piggy… is awfully cute.

Emma gives the pig some love, too

Jenny, Troy and the kids check out another baby duck

The ducklings had a pretty cool play area, complete with slide, pool, and container of birdseed

Pete, Max and Grandpa Jones (aka, Jenny's dad) take a break

Can you tell Jenna didn't want her picture taken?

"Dad's in the picture? Okay, NOW I'll smile!"

Troy and the girls, waiting for the dog stunt show to start

We all really liked the dog stunt show. The coolest part? All of the dogs in the show had been rescued from shelters!

The Budweiser Clydesdale horses were at the fair, too. They get lots of special treatment, including their own stables – and getting groomed by being vacuumed. (Although this guys doesn't look too happy about being vacuumed!)

It's amazing Emma got this close. For some reason, she and Jenna were completely petrified of the horses. …They look pretty fierce, don't they? ;-)

The girls had their photo taken in a hippie backdrop at the Governor's VSA Arts of Iowa Carnvial – which fit in with the fair's 70s-esque "U Gotta Love It" theme this year

The girls also made fans at the arts carnival. Do you see all those craft supplies – pipe cleaners, sequins, glitter, tissue paper and tacky glue? That's a dream come true for our artsy girls!

I'm not even sure I want to know what Jenna was planning with that look on her face. :-)

Jenna and Emma also played the games at the arts carnival – including this flower pot bean bag toss

The girls catch a glimpse of the "Bob the Builder" live show

Hey, Jenna! The camera's this way!

As part of Wells Fargo Day at the fair, the company has a special grandstand event for employees. Emma and I were pretty tired by that point, so we went in an hour or so before the show to save some seats.

Emma used the time to fill in all the birthdays and events for the upcoming year on a calendar she'd gotten.

After A LOT of waiting – and a very fashionably late entrance – Wynonna took the stage

Right before we left, we even got to see the Clydesdales in action

Three Cheers for Emma
Emma had a great time at a special dance and cheer camp, the first week in August. The girls even put on a special show for their parents and families at the end of the week. Emma was all smiles for the entire performance – she was having a blast! :-)

As a special art project during the week, the girls made matching tye-dyed t-shirts

Emma and her friend Miah (right) dance to "It's My Party"

The girls put on pajama pants and had ribbons for their dance to Billy Joel's "River of Dreams"

Is anyone surprised that the cowboy hat Emma wore for her "Cotton Eyed Joe" dance was pink? ;-)

Our fancy, dancing cowgirl

The girls also danced to "Car Wash" and "YMCA," and did two cheers, too

Emma and her camp site director (and dance/cheer instructor) Mackenzie. Emma adored her!

Emma and her friend, Miah, even dyed their shirts the same. :-)

Princess Jenna
Jenna had a great time at her friend Molly's fourth birthday party. And with a fancy princess castle cake, lots of cool necklaces, your other fancy princess friends, and even a visit from Cinderella, who wouldn't have fun?!

Jenna with Cinderella

All the cute princesses

Back to 2008

Email us | Troy | Jami |

| Home | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 |