Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Catching up!

We've had a busy year this year! It's been a lot of fun. 

Christmas tired us all out, including grandpa Bennett and Connor. I love this picture.

Brody helped me with our annual Christmas puzzle this year! 

In February, Brody had surgery on his herniated belly button. He was one brave boy!

It is sure nice to have Grandma Bennett working at the hospital! She came up to the Children's wing to visit Brody as he waited to be discharged.

Brody's getting pretty smart! He figured out that Grandpa Bennett's name (Rod) is part of his name! I'd never noticed that before.

He's such a goof!

Post-surgery belly button!! (The swelling's gone down even more now, so he's got a nice little inny. 

We went to a LOT of basketball games this Spring. We were so excited to see that Brett's team that Kylie's on won provincials. Stirling sr. boys also did very well. 

Brody had lots of fun playing with his cousins this year. They are all good friends. We did a silly photo shoot one day, and had some fun with these crazy boys.

Last April, Mom and Dad, Kim's family and our family went to Phoenix for a trip. It was SO much fun. I would love to go back again. The place we stayed at was amazing too. 

Even in Phoenix, Connor didn't take long to find his two favorite things in the world... balls and balloons.

We were able to go to the Arizona museum of Natural History. Kevin was so excited that he got to pan for gold... Living the dream! I'm sure that he had more fun than the kids with this! (Mark looks like he's enjoying himself too!

Brody ended up being scared of most of the dinosaurs and other attractions at the museum. 

We were also lucky to be able to go there during the Mesa Temple Pageant. We left Connor at home, but Brody stayed up late for the performance. It was spectacular! He got to pose with some of the performers after it was over.

Grandma Bennett planted jelly beans in the yard one morning, and the boys were so excited to see that the magic jelly beans grew into Easter suckers later that afternoon!

Brody swam so much while we were there that he finally even got brave enough to jump off of the diving board (Thanks for the goggles Kim!)

The boys got to spend some quality time with Grandpa while we were there too!

The Easter Bunny left some early treats for the kids at the local park. Some of the other kids that were visiting the park at the same time got excited and joined us on the hunt! 

Kim came down after our trip too, and was able to see my new house. Blake and Connor had a sing-along at the piano.

Easter morning, the Easter Bunny gave the boys some bubbles, and a few candies! They were so excited!

We went to color Easter Eggs as well, and had our traditional Easter Egg throw out behind our old house.

Grandma Nelson had an Easter Egg Hunt at her house that all the grandkids got to participate in. Each Easter egg held a bit of money. Some eggs had up to $5 in, and some had only a few pennies. Brody had the time of his life with this one! He was so excited to put his money in his piggy bank. Connor got one egg, and was happy with his one. He did NOT want to sit for a picture.

My dad turned 60 this year, so we had a big party for him at the institute building. He got some great presents, including his dad's old cane, as part of the celebration. We were able to visit with many of the Bennett extended family that were able to visit as well.

This year Grant, a long time Lion's Club member, was recognized in this region for his contributions to the Lion's club over the years. He was very proud to have most of his sons there as newer Lion's club members. Jack Hicken, Grant's good friend, gave a great summary of the many reasons that Grants was deserving of the award. I'm lucky to have Grant as a role model of service to us and our children.

We've been doing a lot of bike riding lately, and Kevin fixed up Brody's strider bike to be a bit smaller, so Connor's been able to walk/ride along with Brody on our rides. Brody's legs are a bit too short still on his bigger bike, but I'm hoping to have him riding without training wheels by the end of the fall.

 Spring wouldn't be Spring without a little bit of traditional-style branding.

The babies enjoyed the view from the sidelines. Here's Connor and his 2 cousins on the Nelson side - Sage, and Breaker.

Brody got to wrestle one of the calves with Kevin. He loved it until...

He got burnt fur smell in his face. 

From Easter to the end of July, I was able to teach full-time as a grade 2 teacher at Magrath Elementary School. I had an amazing, bright class! It was a lot of fun, although I missed my boys a lot! I'm going to miss the kids I was able to teach though, and I hope that I see them again in the future.

Canada Day was a lot of fun, as usual. We hit the Raymond Parade, and the boys got a bunch of candy. This one is just a warm-up for the Stirling Parade next week. We went to the Ridge later in the afternoon, and enjoyed spending time with the MacLenaghan family and others of Kevin's extended family. It was a beautiful day.

Kevin and I were able to go to Moroni's Quest for the Lethbridge Alberta East Stake as Tribe Leaders. This is my 3rd time attending, and my 2nd time as a tribe leader. It seems like the experience gets better and better every single time that I've gone. I really feel like this one hit home more than the others, and I have been even more excited to teach Brody and Connor the stories of the Book of Mormon since coming home. I know that the Book of Mormon is from God.

Here is a picture of all of the tribes.

 On our first day, we were 'tempted' by these people. The youth were told to stay on the trail, and avoid temptations. It was interesting to see their reactions as they walked by. Both of my sister-in-laws got to be wicked people tempting the others. They did great!

Here is an example of a reenactment. This one was the Tree of Life. The youth had an opportunity to hold to the iron rod and walk to the tree.

Sister Oscarson, the General Young Woman's President, spoke to us. It sprinkled throughout her talk, and as soon as she finished, it poured. 

Here is our wonderful tribe! They were awesome!

 Here is an example of the battle that we got to reenact. Red shields, Nephites, Black shields, Lamanites.

As we drove back home from Quest, Stirling was covered in hail, that had hit for about 10 minutes, half an hour before we arrived home. Our new house has holes all over in the siding, will need re-roofing, has broken lights, and has dents in some of the other metal railings, etc. Kevin's truck was also hit bad. My garden, which had been looking wonderful, and was soon going to be ready to harvest, was virtually gone. A few things are starting to grow a bit again, but they are severely damaged. I feel bad for families that got hit worse then us. Not much you can do. Overall, I'm just blessed that we did not have to face what people in High River had to. We have been blessed in so many ways, and having something like this happen helps to keep you humble, and recognize what blessings you do have.

The Nelson Family Ranches got recognized at the Calgary Stampede as an exceptional farm family. We all go to go up to Calgary and get free tickets to the stampede for the day. They spoiled us to a beautiful buffet at an award presentation ceremony, and the kids received bags full of prizes. Afterwards, we headed to the rodeo. Brody says that the best part of the rodeo was the bucking bulls!

Connor rode a bucking bronco!

And Brody got to ride a few rides along the way too! This one was his favorite by far. 

Connor and Breaker were holding hands at the rodeo grounds. Best buddies!

Last Friday Brody finished his very first swimming lessons. He puts his head under the water now, and is on his way to learning how to swim without his water wings. We've been swimming almost every day, and even Connor is doing wonderful. Connor doesn't seem afraid of the water at all. It's been fun to be able to go and have Brody swimming more independently with his water wings this year. It makes a world of difference compared to last year.

I'm so glad that I am not working full time now, and am able to spend so much time with my boys! (and to have time to blog again!)