Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lake Oahe

One of our favorite things to do in the summer is spend time on the water. This year, because of all of the flooding in the Pierre area, we were disappointed to know that our favorite beaches were underwater. However, like many other people in the Pierre area we've found some great beach adventure on the shores of the face of the Oahe Dam on Lake Oahe.

We've found some good beach babes (Claire, Cienna, & Ciara) to share our beachy afternoons with. Their great friends, great neighbors and the best beach buddies around. Oh, and they bring along their fun dog Ranger! He's a St. Bernard and is HUGE, but he's oh-so-lovey and kind. We heart Ranger.
Here G on the beach - see Ranger swimmin' in the background?

Grace and Cienna. Cienna is hilarious because she'd much rather be sitting on the beach munchin' on snacks than she would be in the water. She's a beach princess.

Here's Ranger, ready to fetch again.

Just enjoying Lake Oahe!

Oh, and dancing, posing and eating too!

Oh, and here's Grace's graceful dive. More like an underwater belly flop. But she loves the water, and can't get enough of the beach. Which is fine with me!

What have you been up to this summer?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Birthday Day

Grace was pretty excited to turn 4. It meant a lot of things to her, tall enough to ride a bigger bike, going to preschool in the fall, dance class, and brag rights. She had a pretty special entire week as she had a visit from her Wiggle Grandma Michele, who took us out to Grace's favorite place, The Cattleman's and of course, to Zesto.

By the time Thursday was about to roll around, she was pretty amped up about her Birthday Day. Wednesday evening, Cody and I snuck out of the house while Wiggle Grandma watched Grace. We got balloons and some presents for the Princess. That evening before Cody and I went to bed, we put balloons in her room. When she woke up, she wouldn't have any doubt that her birthday day had arrived.

That's Grace all tucked in and zonked out on Wednesday night. We were so hoping she wouldn't wake up for some reason during the night. She didn't!

That morning, she stumbed out of her room, and runs up to me and sleepily says, "Happy Birthday Mom!" I think she thought it was like Christmas, where it's "Merry Christmas" to everyone on the same day! Here's a couple shots of her waking up to her balloons and new bike...bed head, blurry and all.

We got ready in a hurry and headed out the door to meet up with our friends at Perkins for a birthday breakfast for Grace and Nick. My friend Tasha's son Nick, shares a birthday with Grace! This year, Nick turned 5, he's exactly a year older! My friend Claire in town also has a daughter who shares a birthday with Grace, Cierra is also 5 now! What a fun day!

We met the Tasha, Nick, Scott and their friend Kara at Perkins so the birthday kiddos could have breakfast at Perkins together. What fun! Here's a few shots of them. I joked with Tasha that perhaps one day we'll be showing these pictures to them when they are prom dates, or perhaps at their wedding!!! ;) Too funny.

Then it was off to daycare for festivities with the kiddos there. Grace opted to have a special birthday treat. It was a skittles sundae! That's my girl! She got to play with water balloons and enjoy all of the children treating her special that day.

That evening we had a nice family dinner, opened presents from Cody and I, and Grace rode around on her new bike.

A perfect day!

I'll soon post about her big birthday bash that she had over the weekend. It was so much fun!

PS - In other news, a BIG CONGRATS to my cousin Emily who had her baby last night! Addison Emily is a beautiful, healthy little girl. I cannot wait to meet her. Cheers!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Birthday Wishes

Four years ago today our little princess joined our family! What a great four years it has been. Grace can look back on this post when she's older and read this message from her Mommy and Daddy.
Sweet Gracie just a few months old

We're so very proud of the sweet, energetic, and smart girl you have become. However, no matter how many birthdays come and go, you'll always be our little girl. We're proud to have you as our daughter. Your kindness and friendliness to other people is so sweet, and you're always telling everyone you love how much you love them. You say please and thank you, and always give a smile.

Thank you for bringing so much joy to Mommy and Daddy's hearts everyday! Today, we're wishing the sweetest little girl, the sweetest 4th birthday.

Mommy, Daddy & Grace at Jena & Dayton's Wedding.
StudioB Photobooth photo

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

...And in with the new

Last week I shared our "wonderful" fence painting adventure with you. Well, here's a couple shots of the freshened up fence. We still have some work to do in the backyard, but there is certainly a lot of progress that has been made.

And some before and after's for good measure!

Before - Summer 2009

After - Summer 2011
Last year with the help of my dad, we trimmed trees, took out two evergreen bushes and majorly trimmed up two others. In August last year, Cody and I (with the babysitting help of his mom and sister) took out all of the crazy grass that was invading the garden space. We put down cedar chips in the blank spaces. What a job! 

This year, we took out the basketball hoop and plated grass in that space. We took the snow on the mountain out of the space under the tree, replaced with cedar chips and built a nice little path through the middle. We divided and transplanted many plants to freshen up the space a little. We downsized quite a bit with the exsisting plants and bought some annuals for color. This year we cleaned up the back side of this fence too - it was becoming quite the snake habitat with wood lying around, a compost pile and rocks. We cleared it all out and have already noticed a huge difference.

Another view...

Before - Fall 2009

After - Summer 2011

Next on the project lists for outside is to remove some lava rocks next to the house and replace with cedar chips, create an outdoor kennel area for Remi, re-stain the deck and paint some of the concrete that has been painted and needs a new coat.
Now, you just gotta get me off the beach and into the yard for projects - good luck!

What do you all think? Suggestions?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

River City Racin'

One day of our vacation we decided to head down to Chamberlain for River City Racin'. It's a hydroplane boat racing event on the Missouri River. Luckily, some levees were built in Chamberlain and the event wasn't hurt by the flooding. The boats go 120+ mph! Amazing!

But first, Grace of course had to play on the large inflatables. It was a perfect sunny day with a nice breeze in the air.

Hot Dogs + Smoothie on a summer day

Cody and I enjoying the races

G and I

Oh, ya...and the reason we came! The fast hydroplane boats! We actually saw two of them collide in a terrible accident. Luckily, both of the drivers only suffered minor injuries - the boats were totaled of course.

Can you hear it?
"Are you kiddin' me mom?!"