Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cowboys, 4-Wheelers, and Forts.

Jake's father has added a new horse to his...uh, what the word for a group of horses? Herd? Flock? Fleet? I dunno, anyway he has a miniature horse now so naturally, all the grand kids are drawn to the smaller, less intimidating animal. Brock and his cousins Peyton and Jayson had fun playing cowboys together this summer.
My kid is the city slicker without boots and hat.

Jenna thought she was big stuff, she loved the horses and I found her out at the corrals several times, just watching the horses. Allie didn't want a turn on a horse, I don't blame her. I prefer to watch. Not so much that I am scared, but I don't want to end up smelling like the corrals. Afraid I'm not much a country girl.

Allie and Jenna liked the new additions to Granny and Pop's swing set. Brock and Pop mowing the lawn. Seems like little boys like anything with a motor.

Brock got a 4 wheeler from his grandparents for his birthday. He was excited to help Jake with the "some assembly required."

You know, a big box might have been good enough. I still have it in the garage and they still play in it!
Giving Jenna a ride!

Allie's turn! Allie will drive the gator, and Jenna has a tiny 4wheeler that used to be Allie's so we play "gas station" a lot. They will drive up to me and "pay me" for gas, treats, and pop.
Beep, beep!
Brock was getting too big for the Gator, his knees were practically to his chest, and his weight was making it go a bit slower than he'd like, but it's the perfect size for Allie. When she is too tall, I hope it still works so Jenna can drive it!

One Sunday afternoon, we were all feeling a bit restless, so Jake decided we should build a fort. Here is having the kids salute before entering.

Yeah, we used canned goods as weights to keep the blanket up.

After some battles, the kids watched a cartoon in the fort. I am so glad Jake has such good ideas for the kids, I think they get bored with me. They kids adore him, and so do I!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mesa Falls

We took a trip to see Mesa Falls during our trip to Idaho. Here's proof...

Peyton, Jayson, Brock, Allie and Jenna - all loaded up smelling of sunscreen and bug spray!

The falls! Jake and I went over in a barrel, but we forgot to ask someone to take pictures, so you'll have to take my word for it.

This was right before we got in the barrel.

Aww...Jake and his father in matching shirts. Priceless. The shirts have everyone's name on it, (my name is in bright pink in the center of the shirt, I can take a hint, I am obviously the favorite of the family.)

The "rats" waiting to enter the wildlife shop. They had all sorts of dead animal pieces the kids could touch...
See? They had skulls, furs, paw prints, and other fun stuff. Most of it was hands on. (By the way, Jake is wet from a sprinkler outside, he does not have a bizarre sweating disorder.)
Allie seemed enthralled with the arctic rabbit fur.

Here is cousin Jayson helping Jenna see the fish.

Don't touch? That goes without saying, that's not really Whinney the Pooh.

Jenna looks sad in this photo, but she loved looking at the bear. After the shop we had a picnic lunch then went rafting (in a raft this time, our barrel broke). It was a great day!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cheeseburger Seed

Yesterday, we met Jake at work for a picnic lunch. The kids get a thrill out of seeing Jake during the day, and of course they like burgers and fries. So today as we were headed home from the YMCA, Brock exclaimed, "Hey! I found a cheeseburger seed! I want to plant it so I can grow my own cheeseburger!"

I thought this was so cute, I didn't want to correct him, so I kinda played along and told him it was a great idea. So here is my first intention is to let him plant the sesame seed, and in a few weeks, put a cheeseburger out in the garden and watch his excitement. However, I fear the day at school when they are discussing that beef comes from cows. I don't want Brock to confidently raise his hand and exclaim that burgers DO NOT come from cows, but from cheeseburger seeds planted in the ground. I hate to squash his innocent creativity, but I also don't want him to be the weirdo in class. Its a delicate balance.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Fourth of Ju-christmas!

Our fourth of July was spent in Idaho this year, and as always, we had great fun. Festivities are kicked off with the Hamer, ID parade, then a dutch oven picnic at Jake's parent's home, and then of course, FIREWORKS! How can you go wrong with a day like that?

Allie and Jenna are ready to watch the floats and grab some candy!
Peyton (my kids' cousin who lives in Hamer, ID) was an army guy in the parade, complete with tank. His father made a cardboard cover for his Power-wheel Gator. It was fantastic, I asked him to make me one for our van!

Jake's family participated in the parade a lot as when he was little, so now the grandkids star on the floats, even though I don't think they understand why. This year they made an American History float. You can't see Abe Lincoln in this photo, but he is seated next to Betsy Ross (Samantha, Jake's cousin), and behind her is Cowboy Jayson (Brock's cousin), and in the blue is Brock as a civil war troop, Sacajawea (Stephanie, Jake's cousin), and some other troops of some sort played by 2 of Stephanie's friends and Adam, Jake's cousin. It seemed as if the characters changed so much, I kinda lost track. Allie was suppose to be a little Indian girl, but freaked at the last second and wouldn't put on the dress. Can't say I blame her, I hated that kind of thing as a kid. I never wanted to dress up or be in any sort of performance. Originally it was to be Sacajawea with Lewis and Clark, but then it became more of a timeline of history. Jake built the tee-pee... twice actually since it fell during transportation. Anyway, it won a prize and the kids seemed to enjoy it.
Jake, his cousin Jim, and Uncle Dave are now in charge of the Hamer firework show. Pyrotechnician Jake loves it!

Ever wonder what shoots the fireworks? Here is a shot of the tubes they come flying out of.

Here is the control panel. Each firework is "squibbed", which means a wire is placed into the fuse so that a quick flip of a switch will send just enough electricity to spark the fuse and ignite the firework. It is actually much safer than lighting each one by hand. It was a great show!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cabin Trip '09

We spent the first week of July in eastern Idaho. It was a busy but fun trip. Our first stop was in Alpine at the Hoeback junction to watch some of the crazy white water rafters about kill themselves. It was a bit of a hike, but after 18 hours in the car, I welcomed some exercise. The 80 degree dry air felt soooooo good compared to 100 degree weather plus humidity here in Kansas. We loved it!
Some random rafters, they lived!

The first pose of this picture was with Jake sitting on that big rock behind him, then he realized he was becoming covered with ants, so he quickly got off the rock. This pose was good too.

Then we stopped in Archer to see Grampa Niederer's grave. We then realized it was June 27th, the anniversary of his death. Made it even more special. Brock says when he grows up, he wants to be a doctor and a rock climber. He was heaven with tons of rocks by the lake to climb.

Jenna proved to be quite the nature buff. She especially liked poison ivy. (kidding of course)

At the cabin, there was a lot of room for 4-wheeling, great fun!
Jenna would point to a 4-wheeler and say "brroom!" when she wanted a ride.
A little R & R with Pop and a drink box, what a vacation!

Quick shot of the inside, it was an enormous and beautiful cabin. Hope we can go back again!

Allie with cousin Kaysha watching a movie. That couch was very comfy!

Here is my kids' newest Uncle, Ryan. When Pam was dating we said, "Be sure to marry someone with a boat we can use on cabin trips." And she did. Thanks Pam! So here is Ryan dripping with cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was such a good sport and always willing to entertain the kids.

View from the cabin...insanely beautiful!

More water fun in a canoe! Kaysha, Brock, Jayson, Jake.

Making s'mores around the camp fire. Followed by ridiculous games which had us all in stitches. So fun. Stay tuned for our trip to Mesa Falls and the fourth of July activities!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

They say its your birthday. (another one, already?)

Well, we are back from our trip to eastern Idaho, and I just downloaded lots of pictures, but I think I will break up our trip into sections to avoid one huge post. But I thought I should pick up were we left off before I get to our vacation.

Here are the kids making birthday cards for me. I hadn't planned on doing much decorating, but the kids get a kick out of it - so we hung up some streamers, and I found one balloon left over from Brock's party, which we blew up and batted around for a while. My kids love water color paints so they each made me like 3 cards. I gave Jenna colored pencils, to avoid her dumping the colored water on her head.

Here is my yummy ice cream cake Jake picked up from Cold Stone. It was Red Velvet and very delicious. However, since it was a little cake, it looked like way too many candles which was a little depressing. You can see my streamer on the mantle - nice, huh?

Jake and kids got me these fantastic pink shoes - (easily the most comfortable shoe I have ever worn!) and a racquetball set. I have yet to play against Jake, but I have hit the ball around by myself several times at the Y, and boy what a workout! I was out of breath in 10 minutes with all the running, jumping, and swinging. Its a great way to relieve stress... I think every mother should play racquetball.

Brock had a T-ball game on my birthday. I have really enjoyed watching him play this season. He is really quite good at it, but he still says he prefers soccer. I think it may be because soccer is not played in 95 degree humidity.
I get such a kick out of storm clouds. Some are quite intimidating. I took this photo during T-ball. We were all thinking the game would be cancelled so we could all get to our basements, but the cloud was moving so quickly, it went right on by and they finished the game. All in all, it was a fun birthday!