Monday, February 25, 2013


I wanted to do a separate post on each child. Be prepared for a little bit of bragging. :)

Brayden is really enjoying homeschool and is doing really well (no surprise there). He was doing so well that we decided to test him out of 2nd grade and move him onto 3rd for math and literature. I was a little hesitant at first, but now I am so glad that we did.  He finally seems to be at a level where he is being introduced to new material and having to think a little bit. Science seems to be his favorite subject, followed closely by math. He loves to read, but doesn't love the analysis that comes along with his literature assignment. I can't say I blame him. It's definitely more fun to read for pleasure.

He just finished his soccer season and did really well. He mentally understood the game this year, which I loved to see. He was able to read plays, and get in front of the ball. He scored 5 goals this year, which was great since they only played 6 games. He gave a 100% at all the games and left the field breathless. He was first string and played at least 3 quarters so he was pretty tired but wouldn't quit.  Again, something I loved to see. Somehow I didn't get any pictures of him playing, probably because Greg worked most mornings and I had all the kids at the game by myself and didn't have a chance to snap a pic. Sad.

His health has been a lot better this year. I know a big factor in that is his being home schooled. I'm able to control his exposures and catch his asthma before it becomes a problem. But I also think he may be growing out of his asthma and some of his allergies. He tolerates eggs in smaller amounts and is doing the same with soy. His asthma doesn't seem to bother him as much either. In fact, he played the entire soccer season without a single incident. It's made life so much more pleasant to have that worry lessened. Brayden seems much happier and so am I!

Brayden is doing a lot of other activities as well. He takes tumbling ever week from my mom, and enjoys that. He is also taking piano lessons and is doing really well.  He has a natural ear and rhythm. I love hearing someone else playing songs on my piano. I take lessons as well, so it's a fun thing we get to do together. It's nice to have a chance to spend time one-on-one with Brayden. Baseball is just starting and if it's anything like last year he'll love it. He's playing coach pitch this year, which is a nice transition between t-ball and traditional baseball.

Brayden will be 8 in May and has started preparing to be baptized. One goal he set for himself is to have all the Articles of Faith memorized. He's been reading his scriptures every morning. He has such a strong desire to do what is right. He has a very strong knowledge of the gospel for his age and is able to to answer most questions I ask him. He knows what is right and isn't afraid to stand up for his beliefs. His soccer coach was planning a team party on Sunday. This is about what Brayden said to me after he found out,"Mom, our party is on Sunday. I told the coach I wouldn't be there because it is the Sabbath Day, the day I go to church and think about Jesus." No anger or disappointment. Just an attitude of "oh-well. That's just how it is". The coach came up to me a few minutes later and told me what happened. He was so impressed with Brayden and said he would take work off and move the party to Saturday. Another time at soccer some of the boys were ridiculing a less popular girl on the team. As I was looking to make sure Brayden hadn't joined in, he walked over and told them they needed to stop and to be kind. Unfortunately they didn't and instead began to tease Brayden until the coach saw what was going on and put a stop to it. When I asked him about it later all he did was shrug his shoulders and say "I'd rather them tease me than her. She's sad a lot". Wow. I couldn't have been more proud of him then I was at that moment.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Winter Break

The rest of winter break was packed full of fun things. Before I get started though this is a picture of Maddie I missed from Christmas Day. That outfit is the outfit I wore on my first Christmas and I love it. I'm sl glad my mom saved it all of these years.

Because the weather was so nice, we played outside a lot. Brayden, Tawny and Ethan were too fast to get a picture of. They played in the sandbox, trampoline, football and soccer with their uncles, rode bikes, went on Jeep rides and walks with Grandma and Papa. Maddie was a lot more stationary so I got a few cute pics of her. She is the first of my kids that hasn't freaked out over grass.

This is what Ethan looked like pretty much everywhere after Christmas. Greg and I got him a dinosaur backpack. He loves it and wears it pretty much everywhere.

The weekend after Christmas I took the kids to Phoenix for a fun day. I was a little worried about having all four by myself but it turn out to be a really great day. Brayden and Tawny were awesome about helping with Ethan. He couldn't ask for a better big brother and sister. We went to the discovery museum again. I swear the kids could go there everyday and not get tired of it. 

After that we went to Red Robin for dinner which was a little crazy. The older three were great, but Maddie had a little meltdown and I couldn't take her out because the other three were still eating and I wasn't going to leave them there alone. So I was that mom with the screaming kid that ruined everyone else's meal. Needless to stay we didn't hang around any extra.

From there we went to the Mesa Temple to see the Christmas lights. I wish I would have taken more pictures, but my hands were full with pushing the stroller and chasing Ethan from one display to the next. The lights were gorgeous and they also ha the most beautiful life size nativity scenes. Each scene showed a different part of the story and had a except from a general authority talk being played that pertained to that scene. Brayden really loved that part and was able to name most of the general authorities speaking by their voice. I was pretty impressed.

Ethan LOVED the lights. He ran from one display to the next, shouting at the top of his lungs how pretty it was and how much he loved it.  I was pretty proud of myself for not losing him! He seemed to be a source of entertainment to everyone around us, especially the older couples.  I had quite a few people tell me how cute he was.  I have to agree.


We had an indoor picnic and watched a movie for New Year's. We celebrated on New York time, which was perfect for the kids.

On New Year's Day we went for a bike ride together. The church is only a block away and it's parking lot is perfect for the kids to ride around in without worrying about traffic. Ethan really loves the the bike trailer. I think it's the speed at which he gets to travel. It's definitely faster than he goes on his tricycle.

Towards the end of Winter Break the kids wanted to have a party, but we didn't really have a reason. It was raining that day, which doesn't happen here too often, so we decided that was definitely a reason to have a party. We went to the dollar store and bought hats, cups, plates and party favors. Then we went to the grocery store and I let the kids pick food for the party. Let's just say the menu was very interesting. Pudding, Cheese Whiz, Koolaid, watermelon, cupcakes. And Brayden couldn't figure out why his tummy hurt afterward.
Papa didn't really care for the pudding. Ha-ha!

We found these sticky mustaches at the dollar store and had so much fun being silly.

This is how Greg prefers to eat his dessert.  I like his style.

 Maddie also really loves her food.

 Ethan had so much fun at the dentist. I was so proud with how well he did. He sat the whole time and did everything they asked. What a big boy!