Sunday, May 31, 2015

Dayna's Birthday - Part 2

It took us almost a month, but Dayna had her birthday party this weekend. We aren't big on having a party every year, but we thought ten years old was pretty special. We also aren't big on sleepovers. The combination of sleep deprivation, groups of girls, drama and hurt feelings and relationships is a big reason. We've long made the distinction between overnight friends and after school friends. Overnight friends are the ones who make our girls want to be better people and who strengthen their character and their faith. These are the girls we don't need to worry about the influence they may be having on each other.

Having said all of that, Dayna's sleepover this weekend was a HUGE success. The numbers were limited, and the activities and theme were all Dayna's (with a little guidance.)

She really wanted to have a campout in the backyard. Weather intervened, and we had a "camp-in" in the basement instead. Dayna really wanted to add a "Survivor" theme as well. Each girl was asked to bring a comfort item with them. Those items were quickly confiscated while the girls were off on a scavenger hunt at the neighborhood park.

When the girls returned, they found their items had been taken and could be redeemed with tickets collected throughout the night. Along with comfort, the girls had to earn water (bottles), food (granola bars) and fire (flashlights). They earned tickets with the scavenger hunt, a glow-necklace ring toss, an old-fashioned fishing game (magnetic pole with tickets attached to paper clips), and putting up the tent (without help or written instructions.) What fun!

The menu included hot dogs on the grill, s'mores over tea lights (didn't really work), Jiffy Pop on the stove, and cake and homemade ice cream. They also got to take home a s'more snack mix the next day.

The girls were as good as gold. I turned off the TV about 2:40 am and they were all out. It was a great night!

Redemption table

Putting up the tent

Annie didn't help, but she'd like to take credit

Strawberry Sparkle Cake from the Pioneer Woman

Tealight s'mores

Somewhere around midnight

making popcorn for the movie

The Great Memorial Day Flood of '15

Little did we know that the day before we left for Memorial Day weekend, Dayna and a friend were playing with the water in the front yard. And since we didn't know that, we had no idea the water was left running. All. Weekend. Long.

After our weather-related flooding earlier this month, we collected about a gallon and a half of water in our "waterproofed" basement. After Memorial Day weekend - 9 gallons and the basement still smells :(

I'm posting pictures, because I'm sure we'll laugh about this someday.

Last Day of School

Hard to believe how fast this year went. Dayna only has one year left at the elementary school. We plan to enjoy every moment.

Dayna won a prize for her academic achievements - a digital camcorder!

She also got the "Smart Cookie" award for completing all of her reading goals this year.

With her teacher, Mrs. Willadsen

and her principal, Mrs. Bray

Pioneer Festival - Part 2

I filtered through over 1,000 pictures and came up with some good ones of Dayna.


Painting her leather key fob

Paying attention in school

I hope she knew the answer!

Piping hot biscuits in the Dutch oven

Pioneer playtime

My pretty pioneer

Quite possibly my favorite picture ever

Eating our baking powder biscuits, beef jerky, dill pickles and ginger snaps

Watching an antique washing machine demonstration

All aboard

Cutting a rug

With her best friend

Love my girl!

Pioneer Festival - Part 1

This year's Pioneer Festival was a lot of fun - and a lot of work! Unfortunately, despite our best plans and backup plans in case of weather, nobody counted on floods. We had to reschedule the festival for the last week of school. Fortunately, only 3 of the 50+ volunteers couldn't make the new date, and we picked up some new volunteers along the way.

Our local newspaper even wrote a front-page article about our day.

The fourth graders rotated between stations including:
  • Pioneer school
  • Folk dancing
  • Cooking
  • Needlework
  • Leatherwork
  • Pioneer Games
 Between sessions, they were also able to tour a frontier post office, print shop, and train depot, ride a miniature steam train, visit with a beekeeper, watch a Dutch oven cooking demonstration, and take a hayrack ride. It was a fun, exhausting day!

Dayna's REACH Play

Dayna just had her second year in the REACH program (for high ability learners.) The highlight of their year is producing and performing a play. She had the role of "Baby Bear" in the play "Woolfie."

2015 Piano Recital

My second year with a full piano studio is now in the books. Once again, the students did a really nice job and we had an evening of beautiful music.

Annie even had her first piano lesson this month!

A Visit from Papa and Nana

We loved having Papa and Nana here for a visit over Dayna's birthday. A bonus was Nana making Dayna's pioneer dress for her school trip!

We waited almost a year for Dan to give my Dad the "Dirty Dog"

Annie's Dance Recital

Annie has absolutely loved going to dance class this year. We can't even drive past the church where she has lessons without her calling with glee, "That's MY dance class!!!!" We must say, she was a pretty little ballerina, and did a really good job as well.