No doubt……. you will see thousands of Moms during the 2 week course of the Princess Festival with their sons and especially their daughters, soaking in the atmosphere and the fun of the Largest Princess Specific Adventure event in America. And every now and then you see a Dad with his Daughter. Perry Hunter describes the dilemma of Dads/Daughters and how the Princess Festival gave him an opportunity to expand his relationship with his daughter.
He writes (paraphrased for brevity)
“I’m a divorced dad with limited contact with my daughter. (I’m in Utah and she lives in Arizona).
When I have her around I am always on the lookout for something to do with her to make our time together meaningful and memorable. Like many non-custodial fathers however, I have been accustomed to putting her in front of the TV or computer, or even game console or dragging her to “things” that I like to do.
I have discovered that the Princess Festival is a ‘dream-come-true’ father/daughter event for the divorced or single dad. When I also heard of the Kings Ball, I promised my daughter that we could attend that too.
After two full days at the Princess Festival, I had arranged for her to have her hair done for the ball and when she came into the house she found me waiting, dressed like a King and exclaimed, “you did it, you really dressed like a king for me”. This warmed my heart like nothing I have ever experienced. She was beaming all night long. It sent a message of love to her that was personal and wonderful. When she returned to Arizona, she anxiously shared her joy with her classmates at school and how her dad had accompanied her to the Princes Festival and the ball.
To other fathers out there who crave that sincere hug from your daughter, the Princess Festival truly is a DREAM-COME-TRUE event that you will both cherish forever.”
Meet Mariel Zagunis, who has achieved unprecedented success in a sport that is steeped in history and tradition, but one that many people don’t automatically think of when they think of the Olympic Summer games. She has earned 3 Olympic medals, in fencing, 2 of them are gold. Additionally, Mariel has gleaned 3 gold World Championship medals, 8 total.
Mariel is proof that girls can be strong and beautiful. She demonstrates not only physical strength, but strength of character. She is dedicated to long hours of practicing fencing with precision that few can achieve.
She was selected to lead the 529-member 2012 U.S. Olympic Team into tonight’s Opening Ceremony as flag bearer at what will be her third Olympic Games.
“It’s such a great honor,” said Zagunis, “It means a lot to be picked by my fellow athletes. It’s not some random committee thinking that someone is deserving. The athletes are actually picking who is leading them into the opening ceremony. I can’t believe that I’m going to be the one who has that opportunity.”
Her personal Olympic Journey began 8 years ago when she was 19. She was originally not on the US team but had her opportunity when the Nigerian team opted out of women’s individual saber event. Both the event and Mariel Zagunis made their Olympic debut in Athens.
She quickly became the first U.S. fencer to win gold at an Olympic Games in a hundred years.
Later, at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Zagunis defended her gold medal in women’s saber. In Beijing, she couldn’t attend the opening ceremonies because of having a competition the next day.
Mariel is currently the top ranked women’s saber fencer and anticipates becoming a three-time Olympic gold medalist.
Images © Michael Sohn / AP file and http://usfencing.org
Firework Fun for the Fourth of July
Blank Paper (or card stock)
1 Paper Cup for each color of paint
Put a 1 color of acrylic paint into a paper cup.
Dilute the paint with enough water to get a paint to a runny consistency.
Repeat this process for each different paint color.
Using a paintbrush, drip a drop of paint onto the paper or card stock. Then hold the straw directly over the drop and gently blow through the straw, spreading the paint out from the center.
Rinse the brush out between drops and then add another drop of a different color to the paper and again blow gently through the straw to create a firework effect.
Continue placing drips of paint and creating individual fireworks until you have finished your design.
You can sprinkle glitter over the painted fireworks before they dry, for an extra special touch.
When your fireworks have dried, you can turn your artwork into greeting cards to share with your family and friends.
Happy Independence Day!
Little Girls’ Magic
A little girl’s face is filled with sparkles and sunshine.
Her lilting laugh is an elixir of joy.
When she smiles one swims in the warmth of its fluid.
In bouncing ruffles she’s cunning and coy.
With clicking heels, she’s a dancing fairy
Wearing bows and flowers in her saucy hair.
Then she gets that look in her knowing eyes
And one sees more than a princess there,
‘Cause deep in her heart is a natural compassion
For those whose lives are more rocky than hers.
She looks for ways she can make a difference
And helps to soften their prickles and burrs.
Gentle little girls are giants of courage
With power to change what they knows isn’t right.
They have in their souls the magic of goodness
Which floods brilliant hope in the darkness of night.
Here are 20 of our Special Princesses. To read their stories, click on the images or links below.
Stay Tuned… We have more Princesses to feature.
Princess Carly is 8 years old. She is an extraordinary girl! She knew that everyone in her 2nd grade class needed something to play with at school because the school didn’t have any toys this to play with. Princess Carly asked her Grandma if she could get everyone in her class a jump rope.
She is always thinking about others and what she can do to make them happy. She loves to play princess and knows that a true princess always shares with others. Princess Carly loves her family and can always be counted on to help. She loves to find ways to make the world a better place. She is an amazing girl.
Princess Attalyn is one of the toughest little girls ever. She’s always been full of energy since the day she was born. At 16 months of age Attalyn was diagnosed with Diabetes. She is very good at getting her blood sugar level tested, which means a lot of pokes. Attayln is now 4 years old, she knows how to check her blood sugars all by herself, about 6 times a day.
Through it all she has been so positive and loves to show off her insulin pump to anyone who wants to see it. She even taught her older cousin who was also diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes that getting shots and getting your blood sugars checked isn’t so bad. Princess Attalyn sure is one tough princess.
Princess Amelia (Millie) was diagnosed with Acure Lymphocytic Leukemia in December 2009 at the age of 4. She has valiantly battled this disease and touched the lives of all around her. In February 2012, just days after her final treatment, Millie was again diagnosed with Leukemia.
Princess Millie is presently facing a Bone Marrow Transplant. She and her family have volunteered hundreds of hours raising money and awareness for children’s cancer research and bone marrow transplants. Princess Millie adores princesses and is an inspiration to the world and the toughest little princess that we know.
Note from Princess Festival: We were able to meet with Millie. She is such a sweet, perky little gal! She loves life, does not love treatment so much, but she and her family are now preparing for the transplant. We got to see here on one of her last days during which she could see others in a home setting. Due to getting the transplant, Millie will have to be in the hospital for a couple of months. She will miss the Festival, but is hoping to send a “cancer friend” to absorb all the fun, love and happiness from the event and then share it with her. We wish you a speedy recovery little Millie! We just wanted to add a link so you can learn a little bit more about Millie. In her Mother’s words…
Princess Yendry is celebrating her 4th birthday during the Princess Festival and loves to play Princess and dress up. She is a very small girl, but is very intelligent. She can already sing her ABCs and knows numbers. The most incredible part of Princess Yendry is that she is beautiful in every sense of the word.She is generous and shares with others.
Her nickname is “the Mama” because she is like a second mother to her siblings. Her biggest dream is to be a real princess.
She has a wonderful imagination and being a princess is her dream. She loves to wear her pretty princess dress whenever she can. Princess Iris is a very good girl. She loves surprises and was so happy to be chosen as a Special Princess, though in her family she is always a Special Princess.
Princess Kaislyn is a beautiful 10 year old girl who daily lives with the effects of Spina Bifida. She rarely complains even though she is often in pain. Due to her disabilities, peers sometimes shy away from inviting her to play and she often spends time alone.
She has always loved the princesses and loves to play dress ups. She most always displays a positive attitude and pushes herself to keep moving in spite of her physical challenges. She never gives up and looks for ways to brighten someone’s day. Princess Kaislyn is a loving and kind girl who has a sweet spirit.
Princess Shayla loves 7 month old brother and her 3 years old sister and always helps to keep them entertained. She is just 4 years old and is friendly for everyone. When she is finished with eating, she helps to wash the dishes.
Princess Shayla is her dad’s buddy and always makes him smile. She sings and dances to Mexican music with her Dad and loves to learn his customs. Her mother is American and Princess Shayla is learning both English and Spanish. She tries hard to learn to read.
Princess Janey is a very studious child. She is bilingual and speaks both Spanish and English. She loves to go to school. At the young age of 6, she knows her multiplication tables. She isn’t just intelligent she is beautiful also.
Princess Janey knows that true princess is beautiful from the inside. She is a happy girl who loves her family. She loves to be of service to her family and to make things special for them. She can be counted on to help whenever she is needed.
Princess Maddie strives to be loving and kind girl that would make her mother proud. Following her mother’s passing, she was a comfort to her family. Princess Maddie shares her big heart and beautiful spirit, wherever she goes. She is everything a princess should be: kind, caring, loyal, beautiful inside and out.
Princess Maddie has a rare inner strength and beauty that allows her to rise above life’s challenges. She loves playing softball and is learning to play the piano. Princess Maddie strives to be the best kind of person she can, she hopes to live up to everything her mother would have wanted for her and more.
After Princess Sylvie and Princess Genivive went to the Princess Festival last year, their mother could tell they had been had influenced in a big way–a good way. The princesses told their mother that they really wanted to help the people in Africa and came up with the idea to open “Sylvie & Gen’s Snack Shack.” Princess Genivive and Princess Sylvie worked feverishly on making homemade treats & drinks to sell.
Princess Sylvie was genuinely excited about doing a small thing to make a big difference. With the help of mom and Princess Gen, she opened her shack on a hot July day. People in their neighborhood heard about what the princesses were doing and came out to support them. Both girls stayed out all day and worked very hard. Neighbors made heard comments like, “They are so young but is not letting that stop them!” Princess Gen and Princess Sylvie really saw a need and didn’t let anything stop them from helping someone else. They donated every cent of the money they earned to charity and were not even tempted to keep any for themselves. These Princess sisters are an influence for good to their whole neighborhood and are making the world a better place!
Princess Quincy’s mother has multiple sclerosis and when she was just 1 year old, her mother lost mobility and became confined to a wheelchair. Princess Quincy has been a little angel always helping her mom without even being asked and always cheers her mother on when to accomplish even the littlest of tasks. She knows the value of encouragement.
Princess Quincy can always be counted to help others and to bring encouragement to her family members. Quincy goes beyond expectations and encourages her brother to reach his full potential. Even though she is only 5, her mother says that Princess Quincy is an “old soul” and has a loving, caring spirit. She has blessed her mother’s life beyond words and is special she is to everyone that knows her.
Princess Courtney is a remarkable older sister to her little brothers. Her 5 year old brother has a degenerative bone disease who requires a lot of special attention and care. At 7 years old, Princess Courtney helps to care for her brother and never complains.
She is a sensitive, sweet spirit and is a good helper. She is a very good student in Art and paints beautiful watercolors. She even won a prize for one of her paintings. Princess Courtney is learning to play the flute from one of her aunts. She knows that in order to become a good flute player she has to be dedicated to practicing. Princess Courtney practices each note until she can play it perfectly. She loves to share her talents with others. Her Grandma says that whenever Princess Courtney comes to visit she always looks for ways to help.
Princess Samantha has faced some serious health challenges with her lungs that have kept her from playing outside. She has spent a lot of time going to the doctors and recently had surgery. Within a week, Princess Samantha could run and jump and play just like her princess friends.
When she has a bad day, Princess Samantha knows that she can use her own magic to make things better and loves to play dress up with her friends. She is so excited to start swimming lessons, something she was never allowed to do when she was sick. Her Kindergarten teacher loves that she always wears a smile and is a good example to her class. Princess Samantha is using her the lessons she has learned through challenges to help her to become a strong, vibrant princess that can take on any task.
Princess Ophelia is a good, intelligent child and has been the biggest help in to her parents in achieving their goals. Her parents have a business at the swap meet and Princess Ophelia loves to go with them to hand out business cards. She loves to help work in their family business and is there with her parents no matter the weather. She is a noble child who loves spending time with her younger brother.
She always inspires her mother to continue forward in working toward her goals. Princess Ophelia is her loving and kind to everyone she meets. Her mother thinks that Princess Ophelia is a great blessing in their family and can see that many opportunities have come because of the blessings her family has received since she was born. Her mother calls her “Gatita” which means Kitty in Spanish.
Princess Inga’s Dad was deployed to Afghanistan within a few months of her Mom being diagnosed with cancer. That’s a lot for one little princess to deal with, but Princess Inga did it with a smile on her face. She missed her parents when her dad was gone and her mom was in the hospital and sometimes being without them was scary and confusing. She came through the difficult time with flying colors!
Princess Inga has learned to live each day in gratitude. She is thankful for every blessing in her life, especially for her Mom and Dad. One of her greatest desires is to be GOOD. She is good to her parents, she is good to her friends and she is so friendly to everyone she meets. She just turned 4 has such a capacity to love everyone she meets.
Princess Taryn is 4 years old and one of the kindest kids around. In preschool, her teacher told us that she would always be the peacemaker and ensured that everyone played nicely. She likes to do kind things for others. Princess Taryn decided that she needed to say THANK YOU to people who do things for us in our life. She started with a treat and a note left in our mailbox for our mailman, then she took treats to her doctor’s office. She has plans to take thank you notes to the police and fire fighters, too.
Taryn was born with a tumor in her eye socket & on her temple. Her eye looks a little different but she has never let that affect her. She is undergoing a new treatment and while she is sometimes a little scared, she is also the bravest little Princess.
Princess MaKaylee. Is known for her giving heart, ever since she was very tiny, she has always wanted to give to others. On Christmas morning when she was 3, Princess MaKaylee opened up her gifts and then picked out a few things she wanted to keep. She asked her parents if she could give all the rest to other children who didn’t have Christmas presents. Since that time, almost every birthday and Christmas she does similar, often keeping the smaller things and giving away her big things. Any time she hears of someone needing something she tries to give it or get someone who can provide it to do so.
Princess MaKaylee also has a way of noticing people who are sad and goes out of her way to uplift them. She will sit for hours with her great-grandma listening to her stories. She truly exemplifies what a princess should be and brings much joy to many people.
Princess Allyson is a beautiful 4 year old beautiful princess. She likes to look at herself in the mirror, put on makeup and sing. She always says that she is a princess and is kind and loving to her family and friends. Princess Allyson was diagnosed with a tumor behind her eye when she was just a year and a half. It was a very scary time for her family.
To her family’s astonishment she was one of the bravest among the brave, being just a little girl. She shows her family that nothing is impossible. Princess Allyson is very good and takes her medicine better than an adult. While she was in the hospital, she was the only little girl that didn’t cry. Everyone who meets Princess Allyson loves to be with her. She is helpful and loving to everyone she meets. Princess Allyson shows bravery and valor in going through her medical treatments.
Princess Myrna is six years old and has already overcome many very difficult things in her life. She is a very quiet and yet noble girl who is patient with everything she has gone through. She has a very sweet spirit that is like sunshine on a cloudy day, lightening up the lives of those around her.
Princess Myrna knows that being a true princess means learning to be happy even when facing difficult situations. She is becoming very smiley and sure of herself. Princess Myrna is loving girl and is very helpful to her mother and is a good example to her sister and friends.