The Princesses' Adventures

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Our family has attended several kayak races over the last 3 years. Darren has loved kayaking since before we were married. He built one himself in his dad's basement in just 3 month. Then we built a second together that spanned from our engagement to 3 years later with a kid in tow. Now with two kids, Darren and Alli are building a tandom kayak as a daddy-daughter project. Someday, we will all be on the water together. Until then, we LOVE to watch Daddy race! This past weekend, Alli kayaked the boat that swamped her in size. It is 16' 8" long, and with an adult sized paddle, she managed to paddle about a mile solo and bring it back to shore! We are very proud of her. She is small, but has demonstrated her great arm strength!
It was fun to explore around the lake. The girls climbed rocks, fished, (kayaked of course), and participated in walking a tight rope put together by the boy scouts. Alli caught her first fish, too (about 3 inches so it was thrown back to grow)!

My favorite moment of the weekend was when I witnessed sweet sisterly love. Somedays can be rough, but this makes it all worth it!

The Bass Pro Outdoor Fitness race started with a lot of anticipation and excitement. Darren has come in 2nd two years in a row to a olympian. He was not present this year.

This year, Darren came in 3rd with a time around 32:00 for a 5K race. Nice job! I'm hoping Alli's love for doing activities with her Daddy will lead to her wanting to get out there to race someday as never know :)
Since last weekend, Darren has added a rudder to the 2nd kayak hoping this will reduce the squirreliness of the boat and its tendencies to swing rather than glide straight through the water. We will have another chance to test the boat next weekend in his 2nd race of the year.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Victory Garden

Thanks to a friend's camera phone, I have pics of our most recent family outing. We loaded the car with gloves, bug spray and long sleeves and made our way to the Victory Gardens to meet our Adult Bible Fellowship group. VG is a multi-acreage plot of land that was given to our church in order to serve the local community with fresh veggies. The ladies and children picked 5 bags of beans, 10 bags of tomatoes, and 1 bag of okra. The men trudged through the cornfield and weeds and produced 433 pounds of Corn!
The girls really got into it and were excellent helpers! We all beat the heat with a piece or two of watermelon and then got back to work on the corn. After it was hauled from the field to the work station, everyone pitched in to sort, chuck and chop the tips off (to prevent possible bugs from ruining the piece of corn before it could be delivered). Way to go ABF team!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Technical Difficulties/Summer

I'm here. Just busy :) Summer has been a lot of fun so far and many activities are keeping us quite busy. For instance, today we started off dropping big sis off at school and then headed for morning coffee with some family.
We sunscreened up for some fun at the Jordan Valley Fountains with our summer MOPS group.
Straight from there,
we met cousins and big sis at Chuck-e-Cheese.
Then it was off to get some z's for the young princess and dr.'s appt. for the older one.
Caught a quick dinner and it was off to SAF (summer arts festival) at church.
We finished there just in time to read bedtime stories and off to bed.
Tomorrow will start all again with school for one and the zoo for the other and hopefully go swimming after nap. We are not always off and running, but seem to be just as busy catching up on housework when we are home. I will post pics soon of some of these activities. My keyboard just froze after deleting my entire last post so I will work on it again another day. As Alli would say to you, "have a nice summer!" which is currently her favorite phrase for the walmart cashier or the neighbor, whomever she seems to come in contact with really.

This picture is the second day in a row of Rachel falling asleep WAY before her typical nap-time. Notice the "summer knees" in their full bloody glory. Her legs are covered with bruises and bug bites. Poor thing!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

(Almost) Last day of 1st grade

My BEAUTIFUL (almost) Second grader!!
Technically, there's one more 1/2 day of school, but today was the culmination of all the hard work they put into the school year. The day started with a talent show. It was cute and I was amazed how much talent these little guys have at 6 and 7 years old. More to come on that. The cafeteria was closed so the kids enjoyed a picnic lunch outside. The boy next to Alli is her best buddy, Pete.
Alli completed her first research project for their Organism unit. She chose house cats. If you know anything about Alli, she is obsessed with cats. They are cuddly and cute according to her, but mostly, I think the obsession stems from knowing we will never be able to have cats due to allergies in the family.
Ok, so Alli's been talking about the talent show for a couple of weeks now. She signed her name to the list, but just couldn't decide which song she was going to sing. 10:30 rolled around and I was a proud parent sitting in the back waiting for her name to be never was. She was crushed!!! I'm not one to cry, but I broke down today. I felt so INCREDIBLY bad for her. Another friend/parent ran ahead of me to catch up to the teacher, after all, the kids were late for lunch as it was. She explained the situation before I got there. Mrs. Lamb is a very caring teacher who said it was no problem if Alli wanted to sing for the class after lunch. The parents were sticking around anyway for the presentation of the research projects. This seemed to settle her down.
Alli was the second student to read her book, so we waited for the other 20 to go. Finally, here was her chance...but it was almost recess now. She quickly went to the teacher to remind her she wanted to sing. That is one determined girl!!! Everyone settled back down and Alli sung one of her favorite songs from the Children's Choir she was in this year, "Star Light Star Bright." She did a great job. I didn't hear a single waver in her voice. In fact, she inspired other kids who didn't participate in the talent show to get up and sing. This quickly filled the 5 minutes before recess. From slumped shoulders, to standing tall with pride, today was an emotion filled day.

Fly free, fly high and achieve your dreams, Allison!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

1st grade picnic

After serving hot dogs, chips, and grapes to everyone, I joined the crowd to eat. Alli had saved me a place in the shade, her kindness was very welcomed!
Beach balls were distributed and the real fun began. Normally, the kids have to stay on the school playground, but there is a park in the same field behind the school that the kids only get to play in on special occasions such as the end-of-the-year picnic.
After getting good and sweaty, the ice cream truck rolled into town. Really, he just met us at the back side of the park so as to not upset any of the other school kids enjoying recess, but not in on our 1st grade bash. Mrs. Lamb, Alli's incredible teacher, helped her choose her ice cream. It is SO hard when there are so many yummy treats!
It was a rainbow pop today for my beautiful girl! She was very excited to get the treat directly from the ice cream truck. *Ahem*cough* I try to ignore the bell when our ice cream Jeep rolls down the street...but maybe this summer we will treat ourselves a time or two. YUM!
The heat made the pop melt fast! But it was delicious down to the last DRIP!
Oh boy, was Rachel excited when she found out I brought her home a beach ball, too!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Zoo fun

Rachel and I are really enjoying some one-on-one time these last few days before school lets out. Today we went to the zoo. She was explaining to me that the otter's pool was really for her and showing me how she would hold her breath under water. Too cute!
Quite the animal lover, Rachel loved playing with this tiger giving it hugs and kisses since the real ones were taking their naps.
A highlight was watching Rach get close up to the giraffes. This one was born just this spring and was very polite when taking it's wafers.
Despite contending with several bus loads of school kids today, we managed to see most the animals, have a picnic lunch and play at the zoo park. Then we headed out for ice cream on a cone. It was very important that it be on a cone today. I can tell she had a great time and was worn out because when we were on our way to get ice cream she was telling me how much she was enjoying her new big bed, lol. No problems with naptime today!

My Princess Mermaid

Here is the swimsuit we have searched for. This is for all those days this summer that she won't be able to "dress up", but you can find us at the pool in a tutu (plus it is really comfy. Many of the ones with a skirt had the seem inside which bothered her). Although it is warm outside, it is still a bit chilly for the pool, so Rachel had a blast playing in her water sink. We are really looking forward to using the neighborhood pool this summer!!

Bridging Ceremony

Since I had to get to the school early to help set up, Rachel got bored and tried out her own form of entertainment.
Alli's girl scout troop of 23 girls all bridged from daisies to brownies. The girls were all involved in the planning of the ceremony and decorations.
Allison is receiving her brownie pin.
In the fall, the girls adopted a section of garden in front of their school. They bought plants and mulch from the money they earned selling cookies. This spring, as we enjoyed many flowers in full bloom including over 60 tulips, the garden was vandalized. However, less than 48 hours passed when anonymously someone replanted our garden. What an awesome lesson for the girls.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Arbor complete

My latest project has been finding Double Knockout Roses for a great deal $. Last year I only found 2 on clearance plus I added 2 hibiscuses on either side. This year, I went for the slightly smaller plants at 50% off and finished filling in along our retaining wall. In a year or two, it will be a solid wall of roses. Beautiful!
My white rose plant was a gift that I transferred from my old house to this one. It almost didn't survive the winter, but seems to be blossoming fine now.
Here is the final work Darren did on the arbor. Pavers in place, and retaining stones leveled, I could finally go shopping for roses!! I had a hard time finding them since it is no longer the beginning of planting season, but settled on a yellow climber and Jacob's Robe that is multi-colored.
I also added 2 mandevilla plants to help fill in until I can get more climbing roses for the back side of the arbor next year (or this year if I can find more I like). Either way, there will be color in our back yard this year!
Mandevilla buds.
Alli and I enjoyed some time on the bench this afternoon after school. I love stealing little moments like this with her before Rachel wakes from her nap.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Monday started out dark, windy and rainy. A good day to stay home and do house work. Working on vacuuming, Rachel took refuge in my room. I went to check on her and she had found a cozy spot in my bed. I couldn't believe when she ended up taking a 3 hour nap! I think she got her fairy tales mixed up instead of being Snow White, she ended up as Sleeping Beauty.

Rachel sleeping in my room gave me the chance I had been looking for to switch her bed. I had dismantled her crib a while back, but had not removed it from her room. Her twin bed was stored in our basement. After a lot of mattress switching, I managed to get all the pieces in her room. The only thing I'm waiting for is her comforter to go in the comforter cover I'd ordered. I searched high and low to find the perfect one to match her walls so I would NOT have to repaint them.

I went to a meeting at church in the evening and came home to this. A wonderful husband who had not only put the bed together, but put all the sheets and covers on. I still don't have the comforter, but I know it is almost done (it is being hand-made by Darren's aunt) and Rachel slept in her "Big Bed" (as opposed to her "big girl bed" that we call her toddler bed).

This is a very happy 3 year old to be getting a bed just like her big sister!
Rachel and Darren perched on the bed. Great bonding time for the 2. This photo also pictures some of the flowers I made for Rachel before she was born containing her monogram.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

Rachel was putting her hand prints down on the walk-of-fame. I finally gave her a shovel and she was quite content playing in the dirt in a different part of the yard.
My Mother's Day gift is phase 2 of the arbor. Last year, he designed and built the arbor. This year, we are putting in the pavers and adding a bench to watch the kids play.
Darren's leveling technique included string, a mini leveler, and a scrap piece of 2x4 to level the sand and the pavers.
Rachel and I sitting on the bench that will soon have a nice new home.
My Mother's Day was very laid back after a one day trip to KC and back the day before, which included an extra passenger, Darren's Grandpa Ed. We went to celebrate Darren's cousin graduating college as an RN. We are all so proud of her! We spent the afternoon in good company playing a fun new yard game. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, but Darren took measurements so I'm hoping to make the game soon and share it with friends and family.

Then on Mother's Day, we went to Darren's mom's house for home-made burgers. Rachel need to catch up on sleep so we hung around the house the rest of the day. Alli started on her first research project on cats. Can't believe they are already doing research in 1st grade!!

I sure missed my mom on Mother's Day, but that happens when her 3 kids are spread in 3 different states. We are planning a get-together before Mom and Dad leave the country. Looking forward to the company!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fire Station

Our last Mommy-and-Me event with my MOPS group was a visit to the local fire station that is located just behind my house a couple of blocks. A few months ago, Rachel got a lesson at her Parents Day Out (PDO) about fire safety. She now points out every fire alarm in every building. She's gotten really good at spotting them! I thought she'd love the fire trucks, but not so much.
It was all I could do to get her to climb up in the huge rig to take a picture with me. Their smaller tanker gets 6 miles to the gallon and the ladder truck gets a lucky 2 miles to the gallon!
Needless to say, Rachel was NOT impressed with the jaws of life.
Her FAVORITE part was climbing on the trailer of the boats. She was fascinated by them and thought it was neat that they were "blow up" boats.

Rach was very proud of her fire station tattoo and showed everyone. After the fire station, a big group of us headed to Chick-fil-A to let the kids really play. After such a busy morning, she took a great nap for me!!