Monday, August 24, 2009

2nd Grade!

Jenna's first day of school was today. It's hard to believe our little girl is in 2nd grade, but time of course time just keeps ticking on and everyone just keeps getting older! I think she was excited for school to start. I was both excited and nervous for her; I'm not sure why. It's her third year going to school, more if you count preschool, so I should be used to sending her off into the big, bad world. But dropping her off at school this morning still made me a little emotional. I just couldn't believe how grown up she's getting. She sure was cute this morning, too! Her new shoes match her new backpack! :)

They only had a half day of school, so before we knew it it was time to pick her up. She said she had a good day; they mostly talked about rules. :) She is sitting right next to her best friend, so hopefully they won't get into trouble! Last year Jenna had to be moved to a different table because her and another girl talked too much! (Not hard to believe, that Jenna can TALK) So before school started this year we had yet another talk about listening to the teacher and only talking when you are supposed to. Hopefully it will be a great school year!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

South Dakota

We decided to take a quick trip before school starts next week, so we thought we would take advantage of our proximity to Mt. Rushmore while we still live here. We took off pretty early Thursday morning and went up through Torrington and Lusk because Joel and I have never been on a lot of the roads over through there. The kids did pretty well, and by the time we got to South Dakota we were ready to have some fun! The first place we stopped was Wind Cave...

This is a picture of Boxwork, one of the main attractions in Wind Cave. 95% of the boxwork in the world is in Wind Cave. It was a very interesting tour. There are 132 miles of discovered cave, with more being discovered all the time. They did the classic cave thing where they turn out all the lights so it is completely dark with no light at all. The guide told everyone to turn off their cameras and watches and anything with a light on it, then as he was walking over to flip the switch he saw Will's shoes. He said, "Uh oh, put him in the back or something." Will's shoes are Lightning McQueen, with glow in the dark eyes! Ha! Joel picked him up and tried to hide his shoes, so they didn't ruin the experience. :)

After Wind Cave we continued on to Custer and checked in to our hotel. We weren't disappointed there, thank goodness. After settling in we went out to dinner, which was....... an interesting experience. :) Adam was being absolutely crazy! We couldn't put anything within his reach, unless we wanted it thrown all over the place! I won't include all of the details of the restaurant, but by the time we were done with dinner Joel and I almost couldn't stop laughing because things were just so ridiculous.
After dinner we went swimming at the hotel, and I think that was probably the kids favorite part. :) We bought some floaty toys so we wouldn't have to hold the kids all of the time since it's a deep pool. I'm sad I didn't get any pictures, because we all really had a ton of fun in the pool.
Friday morning we headed over to the main attraction, Mt. Rushmore. Here it is... :)

In a tepee...

We had a nice time walking along the trail, seeing a wild goat, checking out the visitor's center, and running around. I am the only one of our family that has been there before, and that was when I was quite young. So it was kind of like the first time for us all, and it was a good time.
After Mt. Rushmore we went to Keystone, which is only 2 miles away. We went to the alpine slide that they have there. If anyone has been down an alpine slide before, you will know that they are pretty fun! This was another first for us all. We had planned to have Jenna ride down with me, but they prefer that children over 6 ride by themselves. After some pep talking and reassuring, she did ride down on her own sled and Will rode with Joel. (Adam couldn't go, he is too young) No pictures of the slide, unfortunately.
After the slide we really didn't have anything else planned for the day, so after lunch in Keystone we headed back to Custer to let the kids rest. Adam had a nice nap, and the rest of us just layed low. Later that afternoon we went to the mini-golf course that was across the street from our hotel.

We ALL had a great time with the mini golf. I was especially pleased with my hole-in-one shot! However, I made up for that on the holes that took me a good 10 shots (or more!) to make it in! Joel hit his ball in the water once (luckily just in a little stream and not the large pool they had!), and Will banked his over into the parking lot. The whole thing was a hoot!
After dinner that evening we went swimming again, and again had a great time. We had a yellow inflatable sled type thing that Will could hold on to and kick around the pool, and he loved that. Adam liked the yellow sled as well, so we had to do some trading back and forth. Jenna had a great time practicing her swimming and cannonballs. :)
When we left this morning the kids were wishing that we could stay "for just one more day". I think what they really wanted to stay for was the swimming pool. :) We had an uneventful trip home. We stopped shortly in Cheyenne to do some last minute shopping for some clothes and shoes for school. It was nice to get home, as always. It was a fun quick trip that we all enjoyed. Hopefully we'll be able to have more of these little trips!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jenna!

Today, my little girl turned SEVEN years old! It's hard to believe how fast they grow up, and yet it's hard to believe there was a time when they weren't in our lives. I'm sure every parent out there knows exactly what I'm talking about. :)

We decided to go to the Denver Zoo for her birthday. Our day started out pretty early with opening presents and getting ready to go to Denver. Jenna got some fun presents which she was very excited about. What topped the list, I think, was her new bike! She has outgrown her old bike, so we got her a new one(20" wheels). She hasn't really been able to ride it because we were in Denver all day and it was raining a bit when we got home. She can't ride it tomorrow because it's Sunday, but I'm sure that come Monday she will be zooming around!

We had a great time at the zoo. It's so much funner when your kids are old enough to really enjoy seeing the animals. When they are younger it's kind of just like taking a long, hot walk. But we got to see some really good close-ups of some of the animals, and everyone really had a good time. I had to include this picture of the tiger, because the tiger was my favorite part. He was right by the glass, and at first he was just looking at us. But soon he seemed to get irritated and he reared up on his hind legs and was kind of beating/clawing at the glass. The flash of the cameras bothered it, I think, and he was showing how displeased he was! It was very cool to see up close.
Here are the kids in front of giraffes... (duh :) )

We packed a lunch to enjoy at the zoo, and Adam covered himself in chip dust (you know, the flavorings on the chips) and oreos.
Jenna and Will (and Joel) rode the carousel and loved it, of course. Joel said Will wasn't sure how he felt about it going up and down at first, but it didn't take him long to have a great time. You can tell by his face! (There weren't any good pictures of Jenna on the carousel, she was too far back)

Joel developed a little crush on the gorilla sculpture!

Jenna liked the sculpture as well...

Will wasn't as excited about the sculpture as the rest. :)
Playing the bongos...

When we got home from Denver we ate dinner at Burger King, at Jenna's request. After dinner we had birthday cake. Jenna wanted one of the little cakes from the bakery at Walmart. So she got her own little cake, and I made another cake for the rest of us to have. Jenna tasted both and said the home-made one tasted better (it was just from a mix, but still not surprising. They put so much frosting on those cakes at the store!)

Singing Happy Birthday...

Blowing out the candles!

She finally got them all blown out, some of them kept lighting back up!

Happy Birthday, my Jenna!