Monday, January 30, 2012

Visit from Grandma / Granddad and Nate

Grandma, Granddad, and Nate came to visit us this past weekend and we had a lot fun enjoying all sorts of activities. We enjoyed bowling, going to the Zoo, eating out, and just enjoying time together.

Here are some pics from the time together.

Brayden's Love Letters

Lately we have experienced a tender mercy right before our eyes from our son Brayden. It has happened many nights when I have been away on a church assignment or for work. When Brayden notices that Camille is exhausted, having a tougher time with the kids and knowing that I am not there to help, he will write a love letter to her. It has been the sweetest thing! This little 6 year old through his perceptive mind has realized that his Mom needs a little extra love. And so he takes the time to go in a private room and make a love letter for her. I have included 2 of his love letters he has created below.

#1 This one he made as a folded card. On the front it says "Love Mome". Then on the inside it states in his best writing, "I onle (only) love you. I love you. B kus (because) I won (want) to help you with the babe (baby). I wood (would) help you with evretheing (everything)."

#2 This one is a picture he made of the two of them under the sun with 3 hearts in between them. Then above them he wrote I luv you.

Camille has been so touched. He is such a special and perceptive little boy who has truly been inspired lately. We love you Brayden.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Camille's Special Day

On January 2nd we celebrated Camille's 27th birthday. I had spent the prior few weeks coordinating with friends in our Ward and our babysitter to help with the kids. I had also booked a room at La Valencia Resort in La Jolla. Since moving here I have always loved visiting this hotel and wanted to show Camille the beauty of it. This resort sits right above the La Jolla Cove and overlooks the ocean. It is an Ecolab customer so we were able to get a nice deal on a room.

So after my Sunday meetings I came home and told Camille to pack her bags because we were leaving for a overnight trip. I always love surprises so throughout our marraige I have tried to have some fun ones for Camille along the way and she has done the same for me. She was totally surprised which made it so much better. Everyone did a great job of keeping their mouths shut. It was funny because a few days before this she had told me that all she wanted for her birthday was some time alone without the kids. So I knew the thought was inspired :)

It was a blast just being together alone and with Dylan of coarse. It's funny that now with 1 kid we feel like we are alone and really enjoy it. How perspective changes once you have 4 calling for your attention. When we got to the hotel I had arranged for her to be brought a complimentary desert. It was all fancy and even said "Happy Birthday" on the plate in cursive and in chocolate. She also got a specialized card which you will see in the pictures below. We slept in, walked and held hands, and enjoyed time in La Jolla. Then the next day we woke up and I went with her on a shopping spree. If you know my wife you will know that this is the key to any successful birthday, a shopping spree. So I knew I had to nail that one. Then after several hours, or maybe just a few, we came back home to reality.

What a blast it was to take time away with just us and Dylan, of course, and celebrate Camille's birthday. She works so hard as a mother to 4 - 5 boys (me included) that she deserved some time off. Thanks to all the families who helped watch our children.

Here's our hotel surroundings and a little note from the staff for Camille

More Fun Pics

Camille's New Love

That's right, I've been replaced. For what you ask, a Canon T1i camera. It doesn't talk back, it always gives Camille exactly what she wants, and makes people look their best. Apparently I can't do those things as well as the Canon T1i. I'm just kidding people, take it easy.

On a serious note, Camille has loved capturing life with this new camera that we got her for / around her birthday. Here are some of the early pictures we have loved.

Brayden's Nerd Day

Brayden had dress up like a nerd day at school and we couldn't help but capture this special moment in his life.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sea World

We were blessed with a wonderful gift from a guy I work with for our whole family to go to Sea World for free. We had to use it before the new year, so the day after Christmas we took the whole family. It was a BUSY day at Sea World that day. We got to see all the best shows: Shamu, the Dolphin Show, Sea Lion show, and a special Christmas show. The kids enjoyed the day and we were grateful at the end of the day to be able to come home and crash.

Christmas Events

Gingerbread Men - My mom (Grandma) had bought a bunch of gingerbread man kits for the grandkids to make their own. Then after they were done decorating them Granddad gave each of them an award. Brayden's won coolest shoes because he had focused his decorating on the feet of his gingerbread man and had added about 20 M & M's to them. Logan's won coolest face because he plastered a big clump of frosting on the face and then shoved as many M & M's in that clump as humanly possible. Connor's won coolest hawaiian dude because Camille had decorated his and put hawaiian shorts on it. They had fun with this.

Temple Lights - this is a tradition we have done each year and it was a lot of fun to go with my brothers family and children. But what this involved was a total of 7 children and 6 boys!! So between my brother Ryan, my dad, and me we had a tough time keeping up. This was especially evident when out of the corner of my eye I saw Connor's legs sticking up in the air and the other end of his body was hidden. As I was rushing over to see what had happened some innocent bystander helped pull him out. As he was coming up I noticed that he was drenched and water was flowing from his clothing. Connor had managed to fall into a 2 foot space where water was and got stuck. So needless to say that was the end of the temple lights.

Dylan Baby Blessing - It was great to be able to bless Dylan in AZ with all of my family present.

Family Parties - we had both the Curtis and Stevens family parties. Both were great and included presents, food, chimes, talent shows, etc.

Suns Game - We decided to catch a Suns game since we were in town. I took Brayden and we had a lot of fun. Granddad and Ryan with his kids, were also in attendance. They got killed but it was fun to be together and watch them again.

Puppet Show - One thing my kids had to do when we were in AZ was be in a Christmas puppet show. So they got their chance and had a blast doing it.

Making and Launching Rockets - we decided while in AZ that we were going to go get rockets and build them with our kids. So we got them, put them together, and then headed to the park to shoot them off. It was a lot of fun and the kids really enjoyed it...well except for Logan. That poor boy ran away screaming from the first rocket launch and never recovered through the whole experience.

Christmas Eve / Christmas Morning - we were able to come back to San Diego for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning which was nice and quiet. Christmas eve we let our kids open their one present which is always pajamas, we set out some milk and cookies for santa, and read Luke 2. Then Christmas morning Brayden and Logan came in extremely early. It is fun to have them old enough to get so excited that they come in early. I remember as a kid having a tough time sleeping that Christmas eve night. It was different that Christmas was on Sunday this year. We opened all the presents and then had limited playing time with needing to get ready for Church. Then we were able to come home and play some more. Some of the highlight presents this year included: Adjustable basketball hoop for Brayden, Remote control cars for both of them, Logan's fireman boots, and of course Connor's balls!!

We had a blast visiting family and friends. We enjoyed staying at Ammon and Nikaela's house and the Stevens for the week. Thank you for your hospitality and all the laughter!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Jonny's Wedding in AZ

Just before Christmas we had the opportunity to go over to Arizona and be a part of my little brother Jonathan's wedding. It was so much fun to be with the entire family and celebrate the wedding of Jonathan and Aliceia. I am so proud of my little brother and fully welcome Aliceia to our family. We had fun watching them get married, having a luncheon, and then enjoying the reception. Jonny asked if I would DJ the reception and that was a lot of fun to be a part of it. Some funny moments occurred that I had to document below. The first included Logan incessantly ensuring that he was helping carry Aliceia's dress as she walked from one conversation to the next during the reception. He is always such a great helper and just could not allow that dress to touch the ground. And then Connor, as always made it into yet another funny moment in our lives. As he was watching everyone else get their groove on during the reception he could not help himself and had to join in. So he went over and grabbed the hands of Sage, his cousin, and insisted that she dance with him. He sat there holding her hands in front of him for several minutes as the songs kept rolling on. It was hilarious!!