Sunday, September 30, 2012


As you all know, the beginning of the school year means volleyball, volleyball, and a little more volleyball.  Julee is playing on the JV team again this year and mostly plays the position of lead setter.  She is playing great this year and continues to become a better player at each game.

Julee is the speck at the back foul line of the court.

In this one, she is the closest one on the left side of the net.

Getting ready to serve.

The serve.
She has come so far with her serves and nails almost every one.

 Ready to go.

 Over the net Julee! (she did make it and scored a point)

 A typical day for Julee is up by 530am for seminary and she doesn't get home until after 7pm on game days.   Then there's dinner, homework, chores (though I do take pity on her most days), and whatever other stuff we have going on.  I have to give her tons of credit because life is really kicking her butt right now and she keeps plowing through with a smile.  Go Julee!

P.S. And if all of this doesn't make you tired enough; every time we go to one of Julee's games, Alexis points to the soccer players out on the field and asks, "Mom, what are you going to do next year when I'm out there and Julee's in on the volleyball court?"  Seriously?!?!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hartford Trip

Better late than never......
Over Labor Day weekend we took a little trip to over to Hartford, CT.  We always try to get away right before school starts - sort of a last hoorah!  The weekend's big adventure began with a trip to the Connecticut Science Museum to see the Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit.

The triceratops was there,

as well as the pterodactyl,

the sinosauropterus (the dinosaur with feathers),

and the confuciousornis.

 Of course, its not a REAL dinosaur exhibit unless there's a T-Rex!
...Who almost ate Rick!

The girls were AFRAID!

And they pretended to be best pals so he would not eat them.

Once we escaped the scary T-Rex, we found this fun hands-on exhibit where you could see how a tornado works.  Only Rick was brave enough to enter the splash zone that had a "Children ages 8 and under only" sign.

Then we made homemade twirly planes and practiced our flying.  If you look closely you can see Julee's plane towards the top of the blue section by number 09.

Then we saw the hanging instrument display,

hung out on the roof top garden,

 admired the view (our hotel was the short building behind the first tall building)

and met the compost pig.

After the museum, we went out for a yummy dinner (when we are on a trip we never eat at a place we can eat at when at home) and then went back to the hotel to relax.  The next day we decided to go bowling (which I took no pictures of - don't ask me why) and then did some school shopping.  The rest of the time we swam in the hotel pool (again, no pictures) or just hung out in the room and relaxed. 

I sure love this girls' eyes and smile!

Julee's idea of a vacation is a hotel room with cable and NCIS reruns.

Obviously, she found the right channel.

Alexis tried to pretend she didn't know I was taking her picture.

And in true Dunklee family vacation style, a lot of sleeping in and being lazy was on the agenda.
Alexis loves her sleep mask enough that she took it on vacation.

And Julee (like her mother) can't sleep unless she has a foot sticking out from under the covers.

We were sad to have to come home and even more sad that school started 2 days later.  Oh well, there will be more long weekends and more lazy vacations!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

1st Day of School

We are pleased to announce that the first day of school went great!  Ok, maybe I should define "we".  I believe Julee's exact comment was "It wasn't as horrible as I expected it would be - I didn't get any totally out of control teachers".  And true to form, Alexis kept me up half the night excitedly talking about her first day while I filled out and signed at least 1,000 forms.  So, a very open-minded "we" are looking forward to a pretty good school year.  

Sophmore year here I come!

6th Graders rule the school!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Great Escape

Every summer Rick and Alexis spend the day at The Great Escape Amusement Park.  No matter how old she gets Alexis cannot wait for this event.  I think this year she started talking about it in April and was always asking us if it was scheduled on the calendar. They FINALLY got to go a couple of Saturdays ago.  

 Who doesn't love a crazy hat, cotton candy, and a great kiddie walkway?

After getting all the kiddie stuff down, its time to move on to bigger and better things - or not.  See the height requirement for this one?  Alexis definitely qualifies but is it because she is tall enough or because she is looking so cool in her shades?

The swings are always a fun ride (I think those are Julee's favorite ride and the only "roller coaster" type ride she'll ride. Thus, her non participation in this yearly tradition).

Moving on to bigger and better rides.....

Hairy monsters anyone?

Or maybe the Boomerang that goes forwards and backwards?

Definitely an adrenalin rush!

Or maybe the Comet - the old wooden roller coaster....

Time for a little break on the tram.  Don't you just love the pose?

 The Jungle Adventure started just as they got on the tram.  What a great way to see the show!

Leopards really do fly through the air.

Oh no, a scary cat is on the tram!

Best buddies!

And in case you're worried, Julee and Mom did not feel left out at all.  Julee spent the day "resting" (being lazy) since she had just been through her first week of volleyball workouts.  I grocery shopped for all of 20 minutes getting only the necessary items for Sunday dinner and then took a 4 hour nap.  Good times!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Big Red Chair

If you remember this...

then you will appreciate this... 

Isn't he cute in that big red chair? 
(He wouldn't let me post the more hilarious picture of him trying to get out of the big red chair)