Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ben, Ben, and more Ben

Ben had his first day of school this week.
The bus caught me off guard by coming sooner than expected so I forgot to get a picture before school.  
I had the presence of mind to get one (or more :) when he came home though.

Ignore the gigantic crack between the sidewalk and our steps because I'm too lazy to go back and crop it out :)

He came home happy as ever so I assumed he had a really good day.
I was worried about transitioning to a new school, new teachers and a new bus driver and aide but really, things have gone without a glitch.
Have I mentioned that all four of the kids are in the same school this year?  I love that!
Next year Josh will move on to middle school and Ben will be bussed to a different elementary school for the K-3 I will cherish and enjoy this year :)

Looking back...

I found a few pictures from earlier this summer that I thought should make it into a post...

Ben makes an awfully cute doctor don't you think?

We had some fires on the mountainside near our home a couple of weeks ago.
It was quite smokey for several days.
Andy took these shots walking home from church with Ben while the rest of us stayed for choir practice.

Andy sent this one to me in a text with the following caption:
"Ben, happy in the Shire before his quest to destroy the ring in Mt Doom."
Ha!  Love that husband of mine :)

I had a few sweet family and friends call/email me today making sure I had seen this:
(I think it's kind of funny that the author made such a point of the family being LDS :) 
It's been such a hot topic of late.  We've read and heard other stories of kids with Dravet having miracle-like benefits from medical marijuana. It was fun to see a story about it from within our own state.
It will be interesting to see what happens in the future.

A Celebration of Many Purposes

We gathered at Andy's grandparents' home on Saturday for a combined celebration.
We celebrated his 87th birthday, her 90th birthday and their 70th wedding anniversary.

The kids certainly enjoyed themselves!

Uncle Johnny leading all the kids in singing "Happy Everything" to Grandpa and Grandma

The cute couple of honor

Bingo is always a part of Bryan family gatherings...

Ben had his eye on the giant Mickey Mouse from the very beginning!  Since Andy was feeding Ben inside when Bingo started I had three cards for us and the first one that won I jumped on the Mickey!
I think Ben just kind of assumed it was his since when we handed it to him he didn't seem much more excited than when he first saw it :)
(Why didn't I get a picture of Mickey?)

Sisters, Sisters in law, and niece and nephew.

Josh snagged all the leftover leis.

Abby and Ben and both of their monstrous prizes!  I tried to talk Abby into a smaller bingo prize but she insisted on this giant, pink chair.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Back to School

My 3rd grader, Abby

My 5th grader, Josh

My 1st grader and dual immersion/Spanish student, Matt

Love my cuties!
This is always such an exciting time...for all of us :)

I've never done it in past years, but I thought it would be nice of me to have some fresh out of the oven, chocolate chip cookies for the kids when they got home and they could tell me all about each of their days while we ate.

It was great and I think we need to make it a tradition!

Happy Schooling Everyone!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Before it Begins...

On Saturday we had an "end of summer bash".

We kicked off the day by helping to clean the church.  We discovered several months ago that our kids enjoyed doing this service so we have taken advantage of that often ever since :).

Each summer the local pool allows people with disabilities and their families to swim each Saturday morning for 2 1/2 hours for free.  We had never taken advantage of that opportunity and since this was the last Saturday it was available I decided we were going to go.
I told the kids that that would be our big activity of the day.  They were excited, but little did they know I had something else under wraps.

Ben absolutely loves water!

He was so thrilled and continually squealed with delight.  He was content for the first little while to stay in the shallow pool with me but eventually he started pointing over to the big pool where the rest of the family had migrated.  We hopped in and Andy took a turn with him.  That didn't last long however, as he soon started pointing to the big slide.

 Andy said he thought he could go down with him just they climbed the many stairs and eventually came shooting out into the pool.  Ben loved it and immediately started signing "more".

I said I would take him and Josh decided to join us (Abby and Matt had already gone down a few times but Josh had been more hesitant and wouldn't go down until this point).
We took our turn.  At the bottom Ben signed "more" again and Josh enjoyed it enough that he wanted to go a second time also.  It was not to be though since right after we went down they closed it off for the session.  Ben was not happy :(

Abby went down the super steep slide and said she would never do it again!

Once we dried off, were in the car and Ben had stopped crying, I told the kids that the real surprise would be going to the "Jump Zone" that afternoon.  Josh had been begging to go all summer.  They were super excited and Andy put the icing on the cake when he decided to stop and get burgers for lunch on the way home from swimming.  We filled their bellies, had them do their chores and then Andy took the three oldest to the J.Z.  We had determined that it wouldn't be a very good place for Ben so he went down for a nap.

Everyone had a blast, Andy included.
He was frustrated that he wasn't able to get better pictures...

On the way home they stopped at A&W for some ice cream yumminess.  I made sure they brought one home for me too :)

The kids all slept really well that night!

Monday night, we went to a Bar-B-Q for Andy's faculty.
Ben kept himself busy almost the whole time by playing with a bucket of water and a load of golf balls.


There were golf balls on the tramp too :)
About halfway through the evening he decided to dunk his head in.  He laughed and laughed and did it again and again.  He was absolutely soaked but also very happy.

What a grin!

 At the end of the gathering we had Ben put the golf balls in the bucket to help clean up.  He started chucking them from a few feet away and he gathered quite a crowd as he nailed one after another.
We were quite amazed!

Well, it was a fun and relaxing summer...much more relaxing than last year :)
And now we're ready for school...bring it on!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

11 Years

Andy and I shared our 11th wedding anniversary last week.
(The above photo is from a scavenger hunt activity done during a husband/wife inservice for Andy's work a few days before our anniversary.)

We were out of town, spending time with Andy's family on our special day.
Andy was sweet enough to let Abby and I hang out with the girls for several hours having lunch and shopping at Gardener Village while he took care of the guys back at the house.

Then, that evening, we went out to dinner.
This was not the restaurant at which we ate but I thought this was such a cool looking place.
The picture doesn't do it justice at all, but up on the balcony, red lights were dripping from the roof.  The red balls are lights was just so nifty looking!

Then we decided to be wild and crazy.
We went to Park City resort and rode the lift up to the top of the mountain and did the Alpine Slide down.
It was windy and cold :)

The poor guy behind me was slowed down quite a bit because of my ultra cautious sled driving skills.  He was a good sport about it though :)

I'm not very good at expressing lovey dovey feelings but I do have to attempt to say how much I love this guy!
Andy is so very patient with me and does so much for our little family.
He always makes me feel beautiful and like a queen.
What a blessing he is!
Thank you honey and may the next 11 years be as full and lovely as the last.