Monday, April 15, 2013

We're off on a quest... a Princess Quest! It should be royally entertaining...

We have decided that the Walker Ohana Academy should be renamed the Walker Ohana Princess Academy.

After reading The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale earlier this year, we started discussing what a princess should really be like.  We talked about how they should act, think, look, etc.  We made a list of what we would like to be like if we were a princess.  We even talked about how we are all daughters of a Heavenly King.

So, Mom began to think about it and think about it and think about it.  She had dreamed of doing some sort of fun unit study about princesses since they lived in Hawaii and toured the I'olani Palace.  Now things were finally coming to mind to do to make it worthwhile.  And then it came to this- a mysterious package was left on the table in the living room this morning:

Looks like there is a letter for all the girls.

So the process began.  Since our journey would take us around the world, we would need a Princess Quest Passport. As with any passport, there were forms to complete and documentation to find to go with it.  The process was involved:
Once we completed the written portion, we needed to submit finger prints...

Even the youngest were not left out of this process.

And any princess worth knowing has pretty lips, so we must have a copy of that kisser!

Foot prints will help with finding the right shoe?  Are you sure this is necessary?

Hand prints too?  That tickles, you know?

In the end, each girl was able to have her prints done as well as a photo to go with her passport and a silhouette, too.  The processing time should be quick if everyone filled out their paperwork correctly.  Meanwhile, they went ahead and began the arduous process of putting together their handbooks which will guide them on their quests.
Baby L




 Even Mom got to put her own together to keep things organized for all.

Here's to the Princess Quest participants!  What a lovely group of ladies.  :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hurry Up and Wait!

And now it is time for everyone's favorite game "Hurry Up and Wait!"  This edition of hurry up and wait is brought to us by "The PCS to Belmopan, Belize":

In July, we finished up most of Ammie's dental work and the rest of Chris's training before our move.  The girls had a busy schedule of birthday parties for friends.  Elizabeth was even involved in the planning of a surprise birthday party for two sisters who have birthdays in the same month.

August was both not as eventful but very eventful at the same time.  We had family visit, an unexpected dental surgery for Ammie, and three shifts of movers coming through the house.  Ammie's youngest sister, Amanda Hess, came for a visit with her three children: Taryn (5), Kaden (3), and Ashton (22 months).  While she was out, we all drove up to Atlanta to visit Ammie's brother, Tim, and his children: Landis (11) and Ashley (6).  Ammie's mom had just returned from a cruise with Tim and his kids.  We had a nice day hanging out together.  Everyone even braved the mall to see the American Girls Store.  Chris's sister, Norene, met up with us before we went to the mall.  Then she followed us back to Columbus for a short visit.

The next week we were joined by Grammie Long for the work to begin.  We had a lot to do to get ready for the first wave of movers.  The house was methodically turned upside down as everything that needed to be sent in the Unaccompanied Baggage shipment was gathered into one spot.  The unaccompanied baggage goes ahead of us in an overseas move to be there around the time we arrive.  We send things like Chris's stuff he needs for work and some household items we want right away for cooking, sleeping, etc.  Thanks to a lot of help and hard work, this shipment went smoothly even with various appointments throughout the week.

Week two of movers started off with an unexpected surgery to remove a tooth that didn't quite get all the way extracted in the first round of dental surgeries.  The root was in the sinus, so it was more involved than just pulling it out.  After that, the house was methodically turned upside down yet again to discern what was going to Belize and what was staying in Columbus.  Whatever we did not take with us down there was going to be put into a long-term storage facility.  We were told that we were not allowed to  bring furniture with us because the house would be furnished.  That made some of the decisions easier.  It was a long three days that the movers spent packing and crating all the stuff we were sending to Belize to be in our house there.

The final week of movers was full of repairs to the washer and dryer before we stored them, follow up appointments, and checking into a hotel.  It was far more relaxed in some ways.  We also prepared for our last Sunday in the Flatrock Ward.  This was hard on all of us.  We really loved our friendships we made and the people we worked with.  Ammie was sad to say goodbye to her little nursery kids.  Everyone enjoyed their last Sunday even with the goodbyes.

Once September came, things picked up again.  There was a week of very hard work on the house to prepare it for the out inspection.  The rain made it more difficult to do the outside, but we were blessed to have help from others and to complete it in time.  The girls really enjoyed the indoor pool at the hotel.  Lili was so excited to see the pool each day as well as swim once a day while we were there.

The first Friday of September were left for Texas.  The drive out was incredibly good.  We stopped a minimal amount of times.  We were happy to see Ammie's family out in Lewisville.  There were birthdays to celebrate the first week we were there and lots of family to say hi to.  We weren't able to see everyone we wanted to, but we understand that schedules and health don't always line up.  The girls and Ammie all attempted to take a shooting class.  The class was rained out, but they are still hoping to try again before they fly out.

Chris left after a week in Texas.  He flew down to begin his assignment at the Embassy.  Ammie and the children all stayed behind while housing was sorted out down in Belize.  It was a little crazy the week after Chris flew out.  Extra family came to visit and add to the fun of Gramma's house.  And, of course, with all the  excitement and extra people someone had to get sick.  In this case, four of the girls got sick along with Gramma, some of the cousins, and some of the aunts and uncles.  Lots of time was spent together hanging out and playing with cousins once everyone got better.

September passed faster than expected.  Suddenly it was time for General Conference.  We all enjoyed watching Conference.  We listened to the prophet's voice and felt the Spirit so strongly.  The girls and Ammie actually made it through all four sessions!  They haven't been blessed to do that in a few conferences.  We cannot wait until we can ready the talks again and remember what we learned.

With all the time that had passed since leaving Georgia Ammie was anxious to hear about the housing.  Everyone missed Chris.  Plans were being made for the house to be ready around October 22nd, so there was a little excitement over that.  And the girls were all planning their Halloween costumes out and Ammie began the hunt for fabrics.  Add to this Sandra's need for help with her costume, and Ammie's list of sewing grew and grew.  Elizabeth helped Sandra get the boys' room painted and decorated.  The other girls helped Sandra weed out the front gardens and dig a trench for a retaining wall to be put in.  All in all, everyone was busy as we waited to hear for sure the house was ready...but for now, we were still waiting...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fun in Pictures

Back in March/April, we had some great family pictures taken by the very talented Kim Ence at 1000 Words Photography!  She did such a great job that we wanted to share them with all our friends and family.

Lili was the first to get her pictures done.  We did them for her first birthday.  The girls came with me to the shoot and helped keep her happy.  She is so stinking cute!

She loved the teddy bears that were there for the shoot.

She was so funny in her various outfits and settings.

A girl and her monkey all dressed up!

I promise, I didn't make the mess!

"Hehe!  I actually have my big sister's phone!  I wonder who I can text..."

She's queen of the world!

Look, Lili made a new friend!

"Can we keep it?  I promise it isn't too much trouble."

"Oh my gosh!!!  I found an egg!!"

I just LOVE this one!  It is so cute and helps us remember her chunky little leggies... even though by this point they were only 2/3 their previous size...

Our next photographic adventure was at Flatrock Park here in Columbus, GA.  I made the girls and myself pirate costumes to go with their dad's.  We had a great afternoon playing around there.

The girls wanted to use the props they had brought along so badly.  Here they had the chance to use the sextant, map and telescope to have some fun.

Look at these gorgeous girls!

Elizabeth (13)

Carolynn (12)

Delia (10)

Matteson "Bubba" (9) 

Lilian (13 months)

Chris and Ammie (married 15 years already!)

Lili was so very happy when we let her put her feet in the water.  She really had fun walking around in it. 

When the shoot was all over, the girls were just walking around and Kim took a picture of them.  I love their reflection in this shot.

Flatrock Park is such a fun place to explore.  The girls love to climb up the large rocks and walk along the water.  Sometimes, the will even "accidentally" fall in.  They also love all the different plants and even sometimes critters they run into there.

We had a lot of rain earlier this year, and the girls wanted to see what the park looked liked.  So we loaded up in the van and took the camera to see how much water there was.  Usually, the water is a nice little stream.  You could hear the water rushing along as you got out of the van.

The picture of the girls' reflection was taken at this part of the stream.


The individual pictures of the girls and the family picture with our feet in the water were taken under this over pass.