Friday, November 20, 2009

Brayden's Soccer

Brayden started his first year of soccer and is having so much fun! Because he began before he was officially 4 he is by far the smallest kid on the team. These photos tell it all. Check out how large the jersey is on his little body. This is one of my favorite memories as a kid and I am excited he gets to play.

Summer Camping

We took two camping trips this year: One with the Curtis's and one with the Stevens. The weekend with the Curtis family it was supposed to rain and didn't and with the Stevens it wasn't supposed to and hailed. One of the joys of camping is the unpredictability I guess! Here are some pictures from our experience.

Before and after the hail
Logan and Brayden were painting some rocks they found at the creek and got paint on them so they had to take a bath. A true outdoors bathing experience. They also helped cook breakfast, got to go a fish hatchery and watch the fish jump like crazy at the food, and had a blast with all their cousins / family.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

As If 2 Weren't Enough

It is by no design of my own that I will be surrounded by boys and testosterone for the rest of my life. I grew up in a family of 4 boys and no sisters and now Camille and I will have our 3rd boy on February 29th. My poor Mother and now my poor wife...... I know that they both love their boys and wouldn't trade them for anything.

So Brayden has decided to help us name this little boy. Here is the list so far of names he has come up with:

Wilson- He thought of this all on his own and we don't know any Wilson's.

Connor- This is a family favorite.

Rock- He chose this with a little help from my brother Nathan.

Erik, Derek, and Heiric- After Brayden had spent time with a friend named Eric he decided to think of all rhyming names of Eric.

PingPongTwo- This is my personal favorite and has a nice ring to it. One long word that says it all!

So keep tuned and we will announce the official name of the baby on a later date.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Our Visit to D.C.

Camille and I visited Bryan and Heidi in D.C. this past weekend. It was a blast!
Here is Camille and I in front of the Capitol building.

The week before we came it was in the 40's and chilly, but when we came the whole weekend was in the 60's and 70's and the leaves had changed colors. It was paradise.

This is Camille and I in front of George Washington's house in Mount Vernon.

Just chillin with the Washington's before our tour

Us with Bryan and Heidi in front of the White House.

In front of honest Abe'

Lincoln Memorial and reflective pool

Camille wanted this shot because of the architecture. It was awesome everywhere we went.
The temple right before we left
We had so much fun with the White's and appreciate their hospitality. This was Camille's first trip to D.C. and we tried to fit it all in. We probably walked a total of 50 miles throughout the trip! We are grateful we were able to go and for the babysitters that helped watch our boys.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lake Powell 09'

Lake Powell is a tradition that I grew up with every summer and so far my wife and kids had never been. So this year when the time came we had to go, despite the fear of our children not sleeping, the hot weather, eating insects, and how we would possibly pile on enough sunblock for everyone. We are so glad we went because we had a blast!! Anytime we were not on the house boat, we were in the ski boat, on the Jet Ski, floating in rafts in the lake, or fishing. Brayden had so much fun fishing with Richard and Andrew and floating in his life jacket in the water. Logan loved playing on the beach, riding on the Jet Ski and playing on the beach. The landscape of Lake Powell is so beautiful, especially when the sun is setting. It was great to see family that we rarely see and have time away.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Cali Fix

As soon as the 100's hit in AZ, it was time to head to Cali for our fix. We have been able to go to Cali twice in the past 3 weeks and have loved it over there. The first trip I went over to L.A. on business and then Camille brought the kids and her sister Lynette for the weekend. We went stayed in Long Beach and went to the beach there. Brayden and Logan absolutely loved it! They enjoyed running away from waves, chasing seagulls, and digging in the dirt for hours. I think that is Logan's calling in life...he is a dirt digger. Whatever construction crew is hiring in 15 years, he will be ready! Brayden actually became a lot braver and went in the waves with me. Camille and Lynette did there best to lay out, enjoy the sun, and have some serious girl talk time. Whatever that means.... The weekend was short but we got a whole day on the beach and it was well worth it.

The next trip was over 4th of July weekend. My Mom and Dad rode in our car on the way over, which was quite an experience in itself. My Mom and Camille were constantly busy handling the snacks, working the DVD player, and doing whatever else possible to keep the boys happy and most importantly quiet. I had a great time talking with my Dad up front. Then Jonny and Blake his friend joined us later. We were able to spend two full days on the beach and at the end went straight into the hotel jacuzzi, which was simply amazing and much needed. It was amazing how after each time soaking in the tub Logan still had a bunch of sand in his ear. The hotel was so awesome! We had amazing continental breakfast's everyday: French Toast, Pancakes, and Biscuits and Gravy. They also had a half court basketball court that Jonny and I got some use out of. We were able to enjoy fireworks of Legoland from a far. We watched them from the side of a road overlooking Legoland in our beach chairs. At the beach there was a lot of Frisbee, Boogie Boardin, Body Surfin, Sand Crab catchin, Horse Shoes, Sand castles, eating snacks by the truck loads, and most importantly relaxing in 75 degree weather. That is the best part about the beach, is that it is a perfect family vacation with activities for all ages. My Mom and Dad had the relaxing down, Camille and I had all of the above, and Brayden and Logan enjoyed digging in the sand, making sand castles, and digging for sand crabs. Overall it was a blast and was the fix we needed.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Chillin at the Pool

For Memorial Day or Veterans Day or one of the recent days off that I had, our family went swimming and had a bbq at the Stevens Home. It was a blast. As you can see Brayden has already learned the way to relax at the pool. Right when we told him that we were taking a picture, he posed, and put out the peace sign on cue. He is a total Stevens! Of coarse I am sportin the farmers tan like it's going out of style. I am getting blind just looking at myself on the screen, so sorry for that for you viewers out there. How nice it is to have pools around us in this summer heat. Thanks to the Stevens for the hospitality. And thanks to Brayden for this candite shot, without which this post would not be possible.

Brayden Graduated Preschool

Our little Brayden graduated his first year of Preschool! We are so proud of him and how much he learned throughout the process. I wanted to capture this graduation through the pictures on here because it was quite impressive! I have been at High School graduations that were not quite as nice as this. Well, probably not..... but just about. There were rows and rows of people there watching all of the children graduate. They had a table up front that the children had to walk up and receive their certificate. They also had them wear the hat with the tassle and even played the famous graduation song. It was awesome!

The first thing they did was have all the kids go to the front of the room and perform some songs they learned for us. They also recited the days of the week and months of the year. I looked over at Camille in amazement because we didn't even know Brayden knew that yet. I was also able to get a picture of Brayden's teachers that did such a great job for him and he loved going to preschool with them. Grandma Stevens, Me, Camille and Logan were there to support. Great job Brayden!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fathers and Sons 09'

Brayden and I left Mom and Logan at home and headed up to Mount Lemmon for Fathers and Sons. Mount Lemmon is 8,000 feet above Tucson and is a beautiful area that we have gone the last 2 years. Brayden really enjoyed cooking marshmellows and finding sticks in the woods to throw in the fire. Since our Ward is fully stocked with 3-5 year olds, Brayden had lots of friends to play with. This year we were totally civilized and slept in the back of our new minivan. The only problem was that our air mattress went totally flat by midnight so I was sleeping on all the bumps in the floor. So it was as close to the outdoors ground as possible for me. Because my side was totally flat, Brayden's still had quite a bit of air in it so he had a nice comfortable sleep. In the morning we had to keep with tradition and play some wiffleball. I am not sure if that is spelled correctly but I decided that when I can't spell a word that I should just spell it how it sounds. Anyway, it was a great trip and next year I will bring both my boys.

Mother's Day

I wanted to post some pictures of our Mothers Day celebration! We had a wonderful day pampering and spoiling our Mother, Camille! Of coarse Brayden, Logan, and Daddy got up and cooked her breakfast and let her sleep in. Then she had fun opening up earrings that Brayden and I picked out, soft lips, and a bread maker. After church the Stevens came by and it was nice to be able to see my Mother on Mothers Day. My Dad helped me on our wonderful Ritz Chicken dinner with cheesy potatoes and brocolli. All these items were made by the Dad's and Jonny Rocket so it probably was as good as it could have been. As you can see, I had to sport the apron to ensure that I was the official cook in the kitchen and no Mother was allowed this day. Also I just couldn't resist the flowers. One of the best things of the whole day was when Brayden went up with the Primary children and sang, "Mother, I love you". Overall we had a great Mothers Day with our Mothers. I hope I wrote Mothers enough for everyone in this post, I counted up 9 in total.

Our Family Garden

A few months ago our Stake volunteered plots of land as a garden to any family that wanted to plant vegetables and fruits. We had never planted a garden and so we decided that it would be a fun experience. Every week we have been going to our garden and pulling weeds so that our stuff will grow. One week recently we got to the garden and our plants had grown 5X's as much as the last time we were there. Not only were the plants large but the vegetables were HUGE as well! We had never seen zucchini or squash so big. In fact we brought out the measuring tape and captured the size of one zucchini at 16 inches!! As you can see from the pictures it is comparably large to Camille's head and Brayden's body.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Brayden's Primary Excitement

As illustrated in this video, Brayden has really enjoyed being in Sunbeams and learning all of the primary songs. The Primary President gave us a cd with all of the songs they are supposed to learn for the upcoming program and he knows all of them already. It makes us so proud as parents to see our boy learning these songs and enjoying them. As you can tell from the video Brayden has quite the voice and even adds some vibrato in there also. For Mothers Day last week Brayden went up with all of the other primary children to sing some Mother songs to Camille. As I watched him up there knowing and singing every word I couldn't help but feel a deep appreciation for this boy and realize that he is a special child. I scanned the other kids in the front row and it looked like they were typical sunbeams; some were looking off into space, some playing with their neighbor. But not our Brayden boy, he was fully attentant and singing with all his might. I know that he is unique and so I want to relish this moment forever. More important than him I believe he was sent to us to teach us. At least once a day he is setting an example for me and sometimes even telling me how I need to be better in certain areas. For example, just tonight we had dinner at our pool and when all of us started eating Brayden interupted and said, "Daddy, we need to say a prayer first." Sheepishly I said, "Brayden you are right. Thank you for reminding us." What a child!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Fire Truck

Recently our community had an activity day with a bunch of activities for the kids and free hot dogs and chips. I personally do not remember any other reason we were there but for the free hot dogs. Brayden and Logan had playing on the blow up jungle gym and slide and then they caught view of the "Fire Truck!" Once they saw the fire truck had pulled up it was over. Logan started running with his tiny legs as fast as he could to go and see it. Brayden loved sitting inside and asked me what every little item inside the truck was.....literally every item, no joke. More than the fire truck itself, Logan loved the fireman. One of the fireman was holding Logan and he would not stop kissing him, which is weird for more than one reason. But Logan usually is particular on who he will allow his lips to kiss, so it was so funny, because he would not stop kissing this fireman. I had to pull him off him at the end so that we could go. Overall, this was a great day and fun time together.