Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Another 7 year old!

Branden celebrated the big 7 this year! We decided to celebrate at "Amazing Jakes" this year! (Whew - it was wild!) These birthday candles sure are fun!
I sure LOVE the fact that my little guys can invite the grandkids to celebrate too!

Donivan and Gavin riding with Braxton

Max Kelly and Branden! Peace out!

Max Kelly and Donivan

Drew & Branden

What a FUN group of boys!

Kevin & Braxton

Look at all those tickets!

Next year - baptism!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

January Birthdays!

January is a busy birthday month! We start off celebrating Mark's on the 2nd. I won't put his age here but just know that he is old enough to be one happy Grandpa!

I found these nifty birthday candle sparklers on line!
We have had so much fun with them!

Kyle turned 28 on January 7th! What a great son he is!

Merek turned 1 year old on January 10th. He is our little man and we adore him!

He belongs to Kevin & Jenna.

Then I have these amazing daughter-in-laws that I couldn't LOVE anymore than I do. I am so thankful they both decided to marry my sons and put up with our famlee!

Jenna's big day is the 21st and Tessa celebrates on the 22nd!

Happy Birthday everyone!

London's Run

I am so behind on my posts but couldn't let this one get by!

January 29th was the annual London's Run. Ryan has competed in this several times. The first time, he won it! This is his first running competition since returning home from his mission. He drove down from Flagstaff, picked up Rachelle and off they went. Together!

I was so proud of both of them! Half marathons are not easy!

Our conversation went something like this after the run.
Me: So how did you do?
Ryan: Not so good this year?
Me: Why do you say that?
Ryan: I am so out of shape.
Me: Well, its OK Ryan, its your first run since your mission.
Ryan: Ya, well. . . I will do better next year!
Me: That-a-boy!

So they came home and we were all talking. I said "Ryan, I can't wait til next year so you can be in better shape and show them what you're really made of. "
Rachelle said, "What? Whats he complaining about? He got third place overall!"

Thats our humble Ryan! First place in his age division and 3rd place overall with a time of 1:22:28.

Now let me tell you - Rachelle is the one that I am so proud of! Her very first half marathon and running competition. She ran the entire way without ever stopping! She came in #313 out of 531 runners! I think that she did GREAT!

Rachelle, Ryan and Hillary Udall

Rachelle, Hillary Udall and Rachelle Babcock

Way to go everyone!

London's Run is held every year in Queen Creek and dedicated to London Solomon, a beautiful young friend of Tanner's, who died of cancer when she was in elementary school.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tanner's Eagle Project

We finally accomplished a HUGE milestone in our family this week! TANNER'S EAGLE PROJECT!!!

Tanner contacted the United Food Bank and they have crews that go to people's homes with lots of citrus trees and pick their excess fruit. They distribute it first to the homeless and needy people here in Arizona and any extras goes to other states to trade for their excess crops. States like Washington will trade Arizona for apples and Idaho will trade us with their excess potatoes.

It took us 4 years to finally find the right project or maybe it was because he really wanted to get his driver's license. I am not sure which one, but at this point I am so glad that its done!

Tender mercies found their way into our lives once again. The weathermen predicted that rain would roll into the valley the evening before. Oh, we were so disappointed but choose to move forward anyway. The sky was heavy and the winds were blowing but the rain didn't start until we got home.

There were 30 huge trees full of delicious and tasty fruit!

Here are the fruit crates, buckets and tools that we used.

Brother Mendoza, Brother Nevels and Andrew pickin' away!

Our Bishop high in the air commanding the fruit to fall to the earth!

Look here, even Sister Daniel was helping!

Donivan and Taylor Daniel

The "old folks" taking a needed break!!!!!

Dad with Brother Price

The neighbor next door loaned the crew a scaffolding bench to reach the really high fruit.

Adam and Ryan enjoyed being together and caught up on "life"
Too bad we didn't get pictures of the fruit fights that occurred. What a fun day it turned out to be! Thanks everyone for your help!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thanks for your service!

Thursday, December 2nd was the District Recognition Dinner for the San Tan District, Grand Canyon Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Mark received an award for the time he spends each month teaching the 11 year-old scout leaders at their breakout at Roundtable.
Mark has been involved in scouting one way or another since we were first married. He has served many years in the YM program of the different wards we have been in. All of our older boys have had the privilege of having Dad as one of their leaders at one point or another. Mark has served as a Scoutmaster for the National BSA Jamboree two different times. He has helped each one of our sons earn their Eagle Scout award. I am grateful that his love of scouting has influenced our boys!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Run Birdie Run . . .

I wish I could remember when I finally gave into the whole gun thing. Maybe it was when I finally gave birth to my first daughter and knew that all these boys needed to protect her somehow! Although, maybe I should have bought her the gun!!!!

With seven boys in this household (plus Dad), there is always alot of testosterone in the air.

I guess that testosterone + guns = REAL men (so I am told!)

Santa brought lots of guns to our house this year. This made Mom's shopping so much easier because Dad took care of that!Ryan got a shootgun to date the ladies! Tanner got his first real gun! Ryan bought the little ones their first BB gun. That way they won't feel left out when the real men go shooting! Then Santa found this FUN video hunting game that all the real men can play!
As a side note, we weren't even done opening presents and Tanner was packing up the gun to go dove hunting Christmas morning with his buddies!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Christmas Day 2010

The official Santa letter written this year by Branden. Donivan organized the
cookies and off to bed they went!

We don't have a chimney for Santa to come down so we leave the front door open for him. This year there must have been lots of
snow in the North Pole because he left traces of it all over
our floor!
Tanner was the first one up at 5:00 AM this year!!! A small breakfast snack as
he wakes us all up!

Ryan is opening his "Dad bag." Mark always does a "Dad bag" for those living at home. The kids LOVE his huge bag full of "dad stuff"!!

Santa brought new "rides" to Branden and Donivan this year!

Santa was good to everyone this year!

Rachelle is NOT a morning person! Smile honey . . . .

After we finished opening presents, we made breakfast and
waited for the rest of the famlee to come!

Braxton checking out his gift from Grandma and Grandpa!

Grandma and Merek!

Peyton found his famlee's stash!

Harper's first Christmas!

Being a grandparent is way more fun than being parents!

We love you Sam!MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Christmas Concert

I just LOVE the concerts that Branden and Donivan have at their school. They have the best music teacher ever! This year they are in 1st grade and it was just as cute as their kindergarten concert. They sing songs and recite all the holiday poems that they have been memorizing.

All of the first graders at Challenger Basic School

Mrs. Merrell is their music teacher. I wish that I could have captured one of my favorite parts of the concert. See that little window on the outside door? Her husband was standing outside and peeking in the window, watching his sweet wife. He had the biggest smile on his face! I bet that they have been married at least 50 years and he was still so proud! Cutest thing ever!
Thanks Mrs. Merrell for teaching my boys to LOVE music!