Monday, September 29, 2008

Newport 2008

Extra special Newport treats: getting mom or dad into the ocean...brrr! (picture of Darren and Ethan) * Balboa Park at night- rock climbing, jumper, merry-go-round * Boomers- gocarts, rides, golf (no pictures, just favorite memories- especially with Blakers and the carts) * and a good nap on the beach.

Catching waves...and hermit crabs. This year the kids even found a clam with a living organism in it. Pretty amazing.

You can never dig too many holes or get buried too much at a Bryan reunion in So. Cal!

Too many choices of cousins to play with! Ethan is close in age to Caden and Conner, Blake is close to Collin, and Keaton is close to Cory. Blake and Collin kept saying "Best Buds" (between little arguments, of course!).

My cute boys having fun...

It's no surprise that one of the highlights of our summer was our annual trip to Newport with Darren's family. It still amazes me that the kids pick up from where they left off last time they saw their they've played together every day, all year long. A few extra special moments: we announced our baby and Dana got engaged. Just posting these pictures has me excited about next year!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Proud Mama

These pictures were taken of the boys on the first day of school. Both have teachers that seem to make them enjoy being there- they come happy every day. In fact, they both have had a great attitude- I think it helps that there has been a change to cooler weather and that means that we get to be outside lots! I have to admit that no tears were close to being shed when they went on that first day. Not because I didn't miss them, but because they were so ready to have an outlet outside of our summer play. Now they have their own domain for a few hours each day.

I have to add some recent achievements that have made me so proud of the Bryan boys...

Ethan: He came home and told me he wanted to be a class representative at school. This meant that he had to prepare a speech and be part of a class vote. We worked on a small speech and his teacher sent me an email during the next school day that said that she was very impressed with him. He'd done a great job and he was voted as the representative. I was just proud of him for having a desire to put himself out like that! He told me that he had butterflies in his stomach- I thought that was cute!

Blake: He has worked hard on a reading program since last Feb. We took it slow but he liked it and took pride in his progress. It really paid off because instead of starting at a level 1 in kindergarten, he was sent home with a level 6 book! Then, after two days of that his teacher thought it wasn't challenging enough so now he is at a level 10! Yeah! Just to give you the bigger picture, level 4 is a goal to get the kindergarteners to by the end of the year. We are so proud of him and best of all, he likes to read!

Keaton: My cute two-year-old has a memory of an elephant. He was sad when I dropped him off at a play date so I told him that I'd take him to McDonald's after. He called me out on it when I got there to pick him up so off we went. Once there, he was way up top and we could hear a little girl crying because she was stuck in the tube that was made out of a big net. I looked up to watch Keaton crawl to her, take her hand, and show her where to grab another tube where she felt more safe. He said "there you go". She stopped crying and the hero went on his merry way. I think he made her cry later, though.

These are the days that make a Mama proud.

Friday, September 19, 2008

here we go again

I have made my debut with "Miss Stocky". Put it off long enough.

Ethan: "What is THAT?" Sweet boy, you've forgotten.
Blake: "You have a paper leg." Thanks, Son!
Keaton: "Mommy have a Batman? (bandaid)" You hit it right on the nose!

I'm starting a SA support group. Stocking Anonymous.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Yes, Again!

I have to always include DL pictures because this is a way of making memories for my boys and these are their favorite. I know they start to look the same to you...but not to them! This was the first trip where we spent most of our time (all except for 3 hours in 3 days!) in California Adventure. This is also the first time that Keaton has been super excited about being there. He hasn't stop talking about it! In fact, many times throughout the day he'll say "wait, I have to tell you something. (pause, smile, big eyes) We're going to Disneyland!" (a big giggle). Or, Darren taught him to chant "We're going to Disneyland!" I guess we better follow through. Also on this trip Blakers got the stomach flu. He was so good about it! See, maybe there is a good story behind every trip to DL.

Silly Darren

I had to include this picture of Darren. It is from our latest trip to DL when we spent some time in the Lego Store. He built a special "surprise" out of legos and put it on his head. Can't tell what it is? Hint: He's standing under the behind of a huge lego giraffe...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Swimming Lessons

Enjoying their "winner" medals and a treat.

Keaton is a little nervous about swimming to the edge and climbing out!

Ethan mid-breast stroke.

Blakers working on his backstroke.

We tried something new this year and I won't ever go back to any other form of swimming lessons again! We had our friend, Angela, come over to our pool and teach the boys along with some other friends and neighbors. She is awesome! It took about 3-4 days for Keaton to warm up to her but by the end of the 2 1/2 weeks he was jumping off the step towards her/me and swimming with his head down for about 8-10 feet. He needs help turning over onto his back to catch his breath, though. He will also float on his back for a bit and then turn onto his stomach and swim. He is still not safe without us but it is a step closer to being a great swimmer- and a happy one! Ethan and Blake worked on fine tuning the freestyle, back, breast, and butterfly strokes. I have to say that Ethan has a great breaststroke and Blake loves to do the dolphin kick for the butterfly. It was fun to have our pool busy for the morning- my kids were seriously in there from 8 in the morning to 5 at night on some days. Thanks Angela- we hope she'll come back next summer.