Friday, January 24, 2014

Nutty November

Thankful Turkey

 Here is Mark and James showing off our Thankful Turkey.  We tried to put on a feather each night and the rule was we could't repeat anything anyone else had said.  It made us think a little more about all the little and big things we were thankful for and it added a lot to our November.  About a week to a week and a half before Thanksgiving we kind of stopped doing it, but it was fun while it lasted.

 Mark showing off his totally adorable hat that he made at school.  It is so much fun to see all the fun things he is learning and doing in school.


 Andrew and Brett getting ready to eat.  We ate Thanksgiving dinner this year at our friends, the McArthur's, house with the missionaries and the Avery's. (Each of us were new move ins this summer).  We had a ton of food between appetizers, the main meal and pies, I don't think we made much of a dent.

Thanksgiving pies.  In all we had 11-12 different pies/deserts, it was wonderful!!!

No Shave November

Brett's friend Jason McArthur challenged  Brett to join him in "No Shave November."  Brett went along because he thought it would be fun for his students.  He stopped shaving November 1st and didn't shave until December 2nd.  People have asked if he was going to grow it back again and so far he has told everyone no.  He hates facial hair, and that is just fine with me.
 The full beard.

 The goatee.

The mustache.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

October fun

Snow Day!
On October 4th we woke up to an early snow and it was awesome!  Brett stayed inside with Andrew and I went outside to play with Mark and James.  We started by making snowmen and then we had a fun snow war.  We have since tried to make a snowman however we haven't had snow as good as this was.
 Mark's snowman, Barkley.

 James snowman, Mop.

Leslie's Birthday
 My birthday was October 6th and as you can see I had scouts that night.  I normally refuse to make my own cake however pumpkin cheese cake sounded too good to pass up.

The A-maz-ing Corn Maze
Some friends in our branch do a corn maze in Billings and the youth went and haunted the maze shortly before Halloween.  We stayed in a hotel that night and the next our friends let us into the maze free.  Here we are riding the cow train. (We are all in the back, I think at this point James wanted out.)

Andrew and I 

James and Mark playing in the corn box.

 Our most recent (and possibly best) family picture.

Andrew was our awesome frog this year. (As you can see we love to reuse costumes.)

James was "Tigger." (When Mark wore this costume Brett was working at IFHS and they were the tigers so Mark was a tiger, now that we are in Wyoming James said he wanted to be "Tigger.")

Mark was the "Amazing Spiderman" (This was the first costume that I have ever had to buy, I am afraid it won't be my last.)

 And I was Lucile Ball.  I studied pictures and tried to do my hair and makeup like her, my hair looked pretty good comparatively speaking.  However I just don't have her face.  Oh well all in fun.  During school hours Brett was the caterpillar from "Alice in Wonderland."  It was an awesome costume he found in the costume department at the high school but unfortunately we didn't get any pics.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Happy (late) Birthday Andrew!

I can't believe my baby is already a year old!!  Time is going by way too fast, especially with the move and all the changes we made this year. 

As always the first cake is and elephant cake, Mark's cake was blue, James's cake was orange, and so for Andrew we had to do a green elephant.

 And as tradition we allowed Andrew to attack the trunk of the elephant before anyone else got some cake.  At first we was a little hesitant but it didn't take him too long to get into the fun.

 Loving the cake and frosting!!!

 "I wasn't done!  Bring that back!"

 Time to clean up, and get ready to open presents.

 We are not sure who likes this present more Andrew or the other two boys.  Andrew had taken some steps two weeks before his birthday but he was still crawling more than anything.  He is a really happy baby and very patient especially with James as he tends to knock him down all the time. He still takes two naps a day and loves to be in the middle of what ever we are doing.  Andrew loves to cuddle especially if he is tired.

Andrew's birthday was the first "big family event" since moving and so far it has been the only hard day where I was unsure about the move to Wyoming.  I was so used to having grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins at my kids parties I wasn't quite sure how to have a birthday party with out them.  I shed a few tears that day.  I am greatful the Severe's (members in our branch, and our adopted grandparents) were willing to come celebrate with our family.   We love you Andrew!  Happy late Birthday!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Every year my wife does something funny to me like a large banner across the garage door saying something to the effect of "How nerdy Brett is Thirty."  I really do enjoy it but this year I'm going to do a little something in return.  With out her knowing I am posting this wonderful picture and letting everyone know that her Birthday is this weekend.  Don't forget to wish her a happy birthday.  To my wife I love you.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The End of Summer

After the first week of school we decided to take a dip in the Tongue River, at a park near Dayton.  The water was just deep enough to make it fun, especially with how hot and humid it was.  We have been back a few other times and I think this spot has become one of our favorite relaxing get-a-ways.

 "That was cold, but I did it!  I stuck my face in the water!"

 Even Andrew played in the water and had some fun.  He mostly liked eating the rocks, but every once in a while he would splash and play in the water.

James jumping from rock to rock and smiling for the camera.

 Mark loves to find things to collect water and other things.  Once he found this bottle he was good for another hour of play.  Filling it up with water and dumping it on his head, trying to catch minnows in it, making it his boat, etc.  An empty water bottle, one of life's simple pleasures for a 5 year old boy.  

 James loves sticks!!!  He saw this branch floating down the river and he just had to add it to his collection.  

 He wouldn't let anyone help him carry his stick and he wanted everyone to know that it was his!

 Isn't he just so cute!!!

With Brett and Mark not having school on Fridays it has been really nice to spend time together as a family.

Monday, September 9, 2013

2013 Branch Pinewood Derby

Each year our new branch does a branch activity of a Pinewood Derby.  Each family is given at least one kit, however you can have more than one if it is needed, ie one for the dad and one for the kids.  The only rules was that you had to use the kit, you couldn't purchase thinner wheels on line to make it go faster or whatever you had to use what was given.  So with that being the only stipulation Brett's mind began to work and create.  His want was to have something that stuck our over the front of the car so that our car would have a bit of a head start, Mark wanted something with fire.  That is when my mind started to work.  Brett wanted a cheat, Mark wanted flames and I knew James liked marshmallows thus I designed the "Mallo-nator".  A car body that looked like a burning log, a fire on top and a marshmallow on a roasting stick.

 We made the fire and the marshmallow out of baked clay and Brett put a bunch of weights in the fire to add more weight.  The boys had fun painting and the car really looked great when it was finished.

 The missionaries had a car as well however they were unable to attend so Mark raced the missionaries car for them.  So here you have the missionary mobile and the Mallo-nator.

 Having fun before the are begins.

 And the Mallo-nator is pulling ahead.

 Getting ready to race the missionary mobile.

In the end it was the Mallo-nator vs. a 7 year old girls derby car, so before the race began Brett pulled out one of his wheels so the girl could win.  Mark's car, the missionary mobile, one one race and lost the others but he still got a prize for participating and that made it all worth it to him. We had a lot of fun with this Pinewood Derby and Brett is already dreaming of what our derby car is going to look like next year.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Family Photo Shoot

Before we left Idaho we had our amazing friend, Roberta, take our family pictures.  Considering the temperature (95 degrees), the fact the Andrew had a double ear infection that we didn't know about, and basically dealing with the Schwieder Family in general, she did and amazing job.  I love how she really captured Mark and James's personalities.
The Schwieder Family

Andrew (10 months)

James (3 Years)
 Amazing blue eyes!!!
 "To infinity and beyond!!!" 

My Sweet Markie.  (5 years old)

The boys having fun.

 Brett and I 

The whole family again, personality and all.

Thanks Roberta, we miss you!