The Big 7

This awesome kid just turned seven! Man, we sure love this boy and can't imagine our lives without him. I tell him every morning when he wakes up that my day just got happier because he woke up and I truly mean that. He brings so much happiness to our lives and we feel so blessed to have him in our family. I'll start this post by giving you a little update on his life and then I'll tell you about his birthday.

We call Bryson "Volcano Boy" because he is always hot--or so he claims. The second he walks in the door from school, he strips down to his undies (he sometimes adds his robe) and that's pretty much how he stays the rest of the day. I do make him put clothes on if he wants to play outside, if we have company, or if we go anywhere, but whenever he's home, he's usually in just his undies. He sleeps in his undies, does his chores in his undies, cooks in his undies, eats in his undies, etc.

We buy Bryson his needs (clothes, food, etc), but if there is anything Bryson "wants" he has to earn the money to buy it himself. So he works like a mad man each week to earn all of his X's on his chart (see Our Money System) so he can earn his weekly allowance (now $7 since he just turned 7). He is such a go-getter and refuses to play with his friends until he gets all of his X's for the day even though they usually keep knocking and begging for him to come out an play. Sometimes we even have to beg him to go out and play, but he insists on getting all of his X's for the day first. He is one determined little boy.

Bryson LOVES Lego's. Lately he's been spending the money he earns on new Lego sets. He's especially a fan of Star Wars Lego sets and Ninjago Lego sets.
Here's a clip of a fun little experiment we did with Bryson last night. We topped four pieces of celery with four different toppings (almond butter, hummus, Nutella & peanut butter) and had him close his eyes and guess which was which. I'm mad I missed his reaction to the hummus because it was classic!

Bryson took a fun field trip the other day to the Texas Roadhouse. They took a tour of the kitchen, got to make their own rolls, they learned a line dance and got to eat a free meal complete with a free drink.

Bryson got to do a report on an animal of his choice and chose to do it on crocodiles. He really enjoyed learning about crocodiles and can now tell you anything you want to know about them. Here's the poster he made for his class presentation.
And here's a very random clip of Bryson demonstrating how to run like a monkey.

Now onto Bryson's big day. Bryson celebrated his 7th birthday on March 24th. Since we went to Disneyland for his birthday, he didn't get a party this year. He was a little bummed about that because he knew it meant he wouldn't get very many presents but he understood and was a good sport about it.

Grandpa & Granny stopped by and were waiting on the porch for him with a present when he got home from school. They gave him this very cool projector and a book about President Monson.
Then they took him to his cousin Zyan's soccer game and then we met up with them at Red Robin (Bryson's choice) for dinner. He loved the free birthday dessert they gave him.
When we got home, all of the little neighbor girls from our cul-de-sac had the cutest little birthday party all prepared and waiting for him complete with a birthday sign, toy cake and pretend presents! They worked on it for hours and just couldn't wait to surprise Bryson with it when he got home. Bryson was just beaming from ear to ear and was so excited that he ended up with a birthday party after all! It was seriously so sweet and thoughtful of them and completely made Bryson's day.

We bought Bryson a little cake and decided to take it outside to share it with the girls for being so sweet and planning such a cute party for him.

Then we went inside and opened the couple of presents we got for him--he got a small Lego set, some new clothes and these homemade math books with dry erase markers.
And here's our traditional video of Bryson telling about his life right now.

Favorite quote this week (Bryson shared this with me from one of his Ninjago movies and I just loved it):

"The best way to defeat your enemy is by making him your friend."
- Sensei Wu

We love you Bryson!

Life rules.


18 Months Old

Lady Lilly is 18 months old! She is seriously such a joy to have in our family and we can't get enough of her. She absolutely adores her big brother and loves to play with him and follow him around like a little puppy. I'm pretty sure Bryson would say Lilly has mastered the art of being an annoying little sister, but boy does he love her and dotes over her like you wouldn't believe.

This girl is all over the place! Upstairs, downstairs, to the pantry, back upstairs, back downstairs, to the bathroom, back to the pantry and over and over again! Her eagerness to explore is endless and she usually leaves a trail of messes wherever she goes.
Now that the weather has warmed up a bit, she has been enjoying playing outside in our front yard with the neighbor girls and at the park.

Lilly LOVES when daddy comes home. When she hears the garage door open, she runs to the back door and starts babbling "dada" and pointing until he walks in. Then she darts into his arms and gives him the biggest love. Mike looks forward to it every day. It is seriously the most adorable thing so I had to capture it on video.

By golly this girl can eat! She is constantly eating! She will eat anything we give her, but some of her favorite foods are mandarin oranges, pickles, bread, cooked carrots, cheese, blueberry muffins, apples, minestrone soup, popcorn, yogurt and anything she can manage to steal from the pantry. She had her 18 month doctor's appointment the other day and is 31 inches tall (50%tile) and weighs 20 lbs. 3 oz (25%tile). She's still a tiny little thing but is growing and developing like a champ.

She loves when her Granny Goose and Grandpa Hink come to visit. She loves climbing up onto their laps and having them read her a story.
Lilly loves to sing songs, read books, color, and she still especially LOVES to dance!!! She's learned how to turn the radio on all by herself just so she has music to dance to. We have several killer dance sessions a day.
Here's another little clip of Lilly doing patty-cake. Apparently Bryson and I both need to learn the words a little better...ha!

Favorite quote this week:
"Be with someone that makes you happy."

We sure love you Lilly!

Life rules.


Disneyland Trip

We set off for sunny California this past week because Bryson is off track and we thought Disneyland would be a fun place to celebrate his 7th birthday.

Bryson has been DYING to go to the Jedi Training Academy in Disneyland ever since he first heard about it. Since that's pretty much the main reason we chose Disneyland, I'll tell you all about it first.

Actually, I'll just let this video of the experience do the talking (the scream you hear at the end is Mommy Kim getting the daylights scared out of her by Darth Maul)...

Not everyone gets picked, so we were excited that Bryson was. He pretty much thought it was the coolest thing ever and he was excited he got to fight Darth Maul.
He also got to create his own light saber, which he thought was just as cool as fighting Darth Maul.
And he created his own droid. He picked an Indiana Jones hat for his droid (because he loved the Indiana Jones ride) and named it "Indiana Droid R7526."
Okay, now that I've gotten the most important part of the trip out of the way, let's rewind a bit.

We decided to road trip it to California and had a great drive. Mike always makes the time pass fast because he is a very entertaining driver. At one point I glanced over and found him casually wearing three pairs of sunglasses. I'm not sure he could even see, but it's just one of the many silly things he did to make the trip fun.

Rather than driving the whole way in one day, we stopped in Vegas for the night. We walked up and down the strip and that was quite the cultural experience--enough said. We especially loved watching the fountain at the Bellagio Hotel and visiting the M&M store.
Disneyland was a blast. It was just as magical as I remember.

Mommy Kim was already planning on spending her Spring break in California so we invited her to Disneyland with us. We always love spending time with her.
Bryson loved all of the rides except Mickey's Fun Wheel (the giant Ferris Wheel in the pic above & below). For some reason he especially hated that one. He was tall enough to ride on every ride except California Screamin' (the roller coaster in the pic below).

But that didn't stop Mommy Kim and I from enjoying it! We loved that ride...yeah buddy!

Here's a short clip of Mike and Bryson on two of the kiddie rides...

Bryson's favorite ride was the Tower of Terror. I hated that ride with a passion but he made me go on it TWICE! He thought it was so funny but I was not at all happy about it.
Mike and Bryson about to get on.

 Here's a shot of us on the ride (not quite sure what Mike is doing).
Toontown was brand new the last time I was at Disneyland almost 25 years ago (sheesh, I'm getting old!). It was fun to show it to Bryson.

Innoventions was cool. Bryson got to virtually pretend he was Iron Man.
We also learned about Honda's most advanced humanoid robot Asimo. He can walk up and down stairs and even run. It was pretty amazing to watch.

There was a lot of line waiting, but we made the best of it and found ways to make it fun...
On the super fun Cars ride...
Bryson loved the parades and we had a fabulous time.
We broke up our three days of Disneyland with a day at the beach. We went to Huntington beach and it was so beautiful and relaxing.
Of course we had to follow tradition and bury Bryson in the sand.
Mike was feeling left out so we buried him too.
We rented a four man bicycle cruiser thing and enjoyed riding up and down the beach.
Bryson's school teacher, who is very aware of Bryson's love of Lego's, told us there was a Lego store at Downtown Disney, so of course we had to check it out. Bryson bought himself a little Lego set which kept him busy back at the hotel.
On the way home we detoured through Mesa, Arizona so we could visit some of Mike's family who lives down there. We got there just in time to see Mike's niece Grace in her school play. She was so cute and did such a great job.

Bryson loved hanging out with his cousins Audrey, Jenna & Claire. They loved chasing him around and I'm pretty sure he enjoyed all of the girl attention he got.

We stopped by to visit Mike's sweet Grammy Miller.

And we also got to spend time with his Grandad and Grandma Jones. He is so sweet with his grandparents and loves them so much.

As you can tell from the pics above, we left our little Lilly at home. Her aunt Cali & cousin Oakland watched her and she had such a great time. They played dress up, painted their nails, fixed their hair, played Barbies and danced all week long!
Cali texted us the cutest pics of Lilly all throughout the week. We loved getting her cute updates.
We missed Lilly SOOOO much and couldn't wait to see her by the end of the week. Here's a video of her seeing us for the first time in eight days. I was so happy she still remembered us. Thank you so much Josh & Cali for watching her!

Favorite quote this week:
"Being rich isn't about how much you have, but it's about how much you can give."
-from this amazing story

Life rules!

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