Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bryan is 14!

I can't believe Bryan is going into high school!  This kid amazes me with how intelligent, kind, funny, and strong he is.  He is the perfect oldest kid because he sets such a great example for his younger sister and brothers.  They really look up to and adore him.

It has been fun to watch him inching up almost weekly to his dad's height.  He grew about a foot this last year (Morgan did too).  Right now Mark only has him by about 1/2 inch.  They get into these wrestling matches almost daily.  Mark wins....barely.  They roll each other all over our big beanbag, each trying to pin the other down.  Mark knows it won't be long before the tables are turned.  That kid is strong!


The decorating of this pizza was Mark's idea - so cute!

 Bryan asked for Heath Bar Cake (a.k.a. Better Than Anything Cake).  This is also Mark's favorite.

 Grandpa and grandma Bybee and Aunt Heidi joined the celebration...
 Morgan, Colton, and Kyle pooled funds to buy Bryan a Nintendo DS game he had been wanting.
 They all love their brother (and he's pretty sweet on them too!).
 The next gift he opened was a clue to his big gift...
 It was a cover for the item pictured below...
... an ipod touch he had been begging for!
 Grandma and grandpa gave him a cute card that contained their contribution toward the ipod.
 Can you tell this boy's a little excited?
 The last gift was another from his siblings.  They had put together some clues for him all over the house and backyard - leading him to another gift...
 ...a big package of gum!
I love that these guys really enjoy getting gifts for each other.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Pinewood Derby and I have a love/hate relationship.  I love watching my boys get so excited about their car.  I hate how disappointed they are when they lose.  We let our boys do all the work on their cars (minus the actual cutting of the wood).  When it comes to Pinewood Derby, I've found there are a lot of dads out there who do their son's car for them.  We try to let our boys do as much on their own as possible.  Then the car is truly theirs.  They pencil out the design on the wood and they paint and decorate their car.  We install the wheels and that's about it.

Well this year Colton spent a lot of time on his car.  We even used weights to bring it right up to the allowed weight...but he still lost almost every race (I think he won one race out of about five?).  Colton is such a good sport.  He never cries when he loses and he always praises the winner...with no coaxing from us.  He is a naturally gracious kids.  BUT...I could see the disappointment in his eyes every time he lost.  And that was hard.

I am so proud of Colton and the ability he has to praise others.  He is such a brave and valiant kid.  I'm so glad he's mine!

Look at all these cute boys all ready to race their cars...
 The spectators all cheering on their favorite cars...
 Here comes Colton's...
 And again...
 Showing off his VERY cool looking snake car...

 We have some super amazing leaders who made every kid feel like a winner.  They gave them some pretty cute awards.

 The older boys also raced Pinewood Derby cars.  They didn't follow any of the normal rules though.  They were strictly there for fun.  There were some pretty cool cars.  This was Bryan's...

Half the fun is making those cars, and both Bryan and Colton had fun making their cars.  It was fun to watch Bryan giving advice to Colton about how to do it. They may fight sometimes, but Bryan is very protective of his younger sister and brothers.  I love my kids!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Aunt Kacie had a birthday shout HOORAY!

Kacie loves her nieces and nephews.  And they adore her.  She can't get enough of them so she comes to visit us from California quite often.  This year she came so we could celebrate her birthday with her.  We made her dinner and then had cake and ice cream.  My mom, dad, and sister Heidi came over to celebrate!
 That's a lot of candles Kacie...

 This was a book my parents gave to all of us for our birthdays.  It's really wonderful!
 My children spent some time creating the perfect card for their Aunt Kacie.

 Love my sisters!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

menus created by MORGAN

Morgan loves creating beautiful menus for us to view as we eat dinner.  She's a magnificent writer and quite the artist.  I love seeing her illustrate our menus.  This was the latest...
Isn't it adorable?

She also loves to set a beautiful table.  She is an amazing young lady and I love her!

Friday, March 4, 2011


Now that Bryan's older, his soccer games are in the evenings.  I like that a whole lot better than the blistering Phoenix heat midday (when my younger kids play).  We love going Friday nights to his games.  We get to watch him flirt with the girls on his team...
He's become a pretty amazing soccer player.  Soccer is his favorite sport.  This year he got to play for a coach he also played with last year.  He's a great coach, and Bryan has learned so much playing for him.  The kids he played with were also great.  My parents also attended almost every game.  Bryan is a lot of fun to watch!
The beginnings of the games gave us this view of the sun setting over the was beautiful...every single game.
Bryan is a great example to his younger sister and brothers.  He is a responsible, fun, strong, amazing kid that I feel lucky to have as my oldest.
I absolutely love the midnight blue color of the sky when the sunlight is almost completely gone.  It's the most deep, beautiful blue color.

Bryan has some pretty amazing speed.  He can catch up to pretty much anyone.  He comes out of nowhere and gets to that ball.  He is so fast!
Can't wait to watch you play soccer again, Bryan!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

WHOOOOO! got a part in his school play?

Kyle did! And he was the cutest owl you ever did see.  He knew his lines so well and wasn't even nervous!  He is such a little performer.

 He was "Hoot" the owl...

 ...taking a well deserved bow...
 LOVE that smile!!!

He was so proud of himself, and we were extremely proud parents!!  He's an amazingly talented kid!