Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Spring Soccer

Spring soccer has been very exciting, and very frustrating. When we got the schedules for all three boys, we immediately started to compare them. It seemed that every weekend had at least one overlap, and many had two. For example, last week, Mark played in Highland at 11:30, Seth played in Lehi at 12:00, and Dax played in Alpine at 12:30. This made it impossible for us to see all our boys play. In fact, because Dad goes to all Seth's game to coach them, Mom drives the other boys, and she only got to go to one of Seth's games all year! That has been the frustrating part of soccer.

The boys have been really good, though. Mark scores 2-3 goals every week, and his team has only lost or tied a game or two. Mark's best moment was on what we've started calling a "classic Mark goal." He pushed the ball all the way out to the right around the defenders, turned, and chipped it in the back corner. This particular shot had to be 30 yards from the goal! He sailed it up over the goalie and right into the back corner of net. Mark is a great leader on his soccer team, and it's fun to see him celebrate his team even when he doesn't score that game.
Mark has great control of the ball. 
Mark can take the ball down the field, and then dish it off to someone else to score. 
I captured this shot when he was right in front of me! I love the other boy's reaction!
We have been so grateful that Mark has had the same awesome coach for several years now.
Seth usually scores 2-3 goals per week, and his team has only lost one game. Before one game, we were all splitting up and Seth assured everyone he would score a goal for them. In the car he said, "Dad, I promised everyone a goal, so that's 4 goals I need to score." He went right ahead and scored the four goals. Best of all, he kicked one ball right in front of the net and his little friend, a girl who hasn't ever scored before kicked it into the wide-open goal. We were really proud of Seth for that assist, and his friend's smile was totally worth it. Mom really missed watching Seth play this year, but was glad she could make it to one game!
Seth was number 5! 
Seth was one of the best dribblers on his team! 
Seth loved having his Dad as coach!
Dax usually scores a goal, but he always plays goalie in the second half. He is the best goalie in his division, because he is fearless, and he can really clear the ball out of the goal. Last week, he took over at goalie and his team was behind 5-0 at halftime (Dax played defense in the first half, so he didn't score.) During the second half, he stopped every shot on goal including a one-on-one against a huge kid that had scored 4 times. Dax rushed him and then dove and got a foot on the shot just in time to send it wide of the goal. His coach was really excited! Mom gets a little nervous when Dax plays goalie, but he always does an amazing job. Dax also had a hat trick in one game!
Dax was the only one I got a picture of before soccer started.
Dax plays well on offense and defense.
Look how focused Dax is at goalie. And Mark is standing by to offer advice!
Dax has a great drop kick, which is one of the reasons he is an awesome goalie.
All of our boys have really excelled at soccer, and we love going to the games. But we aren't sorry that soccer season is over!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Fathers and Sons

Everyone was excited for Fathers and Sons!
We've never slept over for Fathers and Sons, probably because Dad is afraid of camping without Mom, but this year the boys were determined. Dad knew there'd be a lot of trouble if he took the tent. First, we had to be back by 9 am for soccer games; second, the dust at the campsite would permanently damage the tent, third, it has been really cold (in the 40's for highs) this week, and fourth, Dad really didn't want to worry about all of that without Mom to help him.

So the alternate plan was to sleep in the van. Before we went, we removed all the rear seats and tested it out. Two crib mattresses made a nice bed for Mark and Dax, and Dad and Seth laid out the two cot mattress on top of each other and slept behind the front seats. It was a little cramped, but it worked okay for one night. The biggest problem was that the rear seats, bags, and other luggage had to be stored in the driver seats or on top of the van!
The boys thought sleeping in the back of the van was amazing!
We rode out to Mocida Farms, which is on the southwest corner of Utah Lake. There were an unbelievable number of people from our stake there. The estimate was around 750 people. Campers, tents, and trucks were lined up as far as you could see. The dust was terrible, and covered everything. The kids really liked to kick through it, too, so every child looked like Pigpen from a Peanuts cartoon. The boys had fun, though, because Dad was in charge, which meant that they were freer to roam than usual. They played football and baseball and had a great time with friends from our neighborhood.
There were a lot of people there! A lot!
The dust...oh, the dust!
They even ate okay at dinner and breakfast. For dinner we had bacon macaroni and cheese, which they wouldn't touch and pulled pork sandwiches that they wouldn't eat. Luckily, there was also a hotdog table set up, so they had chips, hotdogs, and water. Breakfast was done by our ward, and we had breakfast burritos, muffins, and fruit. The boys like tortillas and fruit, so they ate pretty well.

At about 9 o'clock it got dark enough for the traditional movie. They set up a projector and aimed it at the mostly white side of a large trailer. We watched a short film on the restoration of the Priesthood and then the movie Kung Fu Panda. All three boys made it to the end, which came at nearly 11pm.

The boys are always excited if they get to stay up late.
Seth was freezing while he watched the movie, but he would not miss the end. 
All ready for bed!
We had a great time on our first camping trip of the year even without Mom. And she mostly enjoyed the night home alone, though her feet were pretty cold when we got there.

A note from Mom: I wasn't really sure what to do with myself with a whole evening all to myself. Luckily, it didn't take me too long to realize all of the possibilities. First of all, I went to Kneaders where none of the boys ever want to go. I picked up a sandwich, some soup, and a mint chocolate cupcake. I talked to my mom uninterrupted for 30 minutes. Then, I really just worked on the blog and other things while I watched Once I Was a Beehive. I read my book, and went to bed. It was a very peaceful, relaxing evening!
Night out on the town!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Mother's Day

I sure love my boys!
It was a perfect Mother's Day! The boys really spoiled me this year. I am so lucky to have such wonderful boys.
Randy home before church was a nice Mother's Day gift.
Mother's Day began a few days early when I went to a special Mother's Day brunch at Seth's preschool. All of the moms come, and the kids treat us like princesses, at least that is what Seth told me. He got all dressed up, held my hand, and led me to the table. We enjoyed a few snacks, and he gave me a beautiful bracelet that he'd made. Seth also made me a card, and a special little whiteboard to write messages on. Then, Seth bussed our table, and we took a picture together. The brunch ended with the kids singing us a song, and then presenting their moms with a flower as they told us something they loved about us. It was adorable, and I loved every second of our special time together.
Seth definitely treated me like a princess.
He looked so handsome in his little suit. 
Seth is a great performer.  
He was so sweet and gave me a flower, and lots of kisses.
Seth and I get lots of special time.
On Mother's Day, Randy let me sleep in as long as I wanted. Once I was up, the boys couldn't wait any longer to give me their presents. So we all gathered in the living room, and Dax went first. Dax insisted that I had to wear my robe to open presents. He had made some bath salts at school for me, and a special card. The card's robe matched my robe exactly. He also made the bath salts purple, which is my favorite color!
It's a perfect match!
Mark wrote me a cute little poem and note. He even made the poem rhyme. Randy gave me a new wallet, and the movie Rogue One, and some beautiful roses that look like fire!
Mark is always thoughtful. 
But the best present was what was inside the wallet. All of the boys had written some coupons for me. I loved seeing their ideas on how to give me gifts through service, and also all of Randy's disclaimers that were written on the back of the coupons. They will be something I treasure for always.
I love the new wallet, but the coupons are precious.
Randy is hilarious. He will be so happy that I said that.
We had a a lovely rest of the day. We went to church, and Randy got to sit with us, which is really special these days. We took a nap, had a wonderful dinner of ribs, and then we took a drive out to Fairfield. Mark and Randy had spotted a baby owl with it's mom on their field trip a week ago, so they wanted to show me especially. They know how much I love baby animals. The baby was sitting up nicely in the nest, and mom was sitting in the tree nearby. It was perfect.
Mom and baby together. This is the best one despite the wire in the way.
The baby Great Horned Owl is adorable.
Mom was very protective. 
We also saw a beautiful American Goldfinch.
All day long the boys made sure I had everything I need, they did the dishes, and they said nice things to me. I felt like a pretty lucky lady!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Dax's Baptism

Dad and Dax had to be there 45 minutes early because there were 11 baptisms going on at the same time as ours! 
Saturday was a big day for us. We had a double baptism. It all started Friday when the cousins started showing up. We had the Ferlans and Pooles staying at our house Friday night, and the boys were so excited. All week they planned out where everyone would sleep and what they'd do. After school, the cousins finally started to arrive. Our boys love to play with the cousins and they jumped on the trampoline, played super-hero, and did about a million other things. Mom made tacos and guacamole for dinner because it was Cinco de Mayo, but a few of the Pooles were feeling sick, unfortunately. Mom also made pies so she could donate one to the ward auction, which we missed.

Friday night Mark and Dax were excited to share the top bunk while Josh had the bottom. The Ferlans all crammed in the toy room, and the Pooles holed up downstairs. The next day we missed all three of the boys' soccer games for the baptisms. First, we went to our Stake Center and had Dax's baptism. Almost all of the family was there, and Dax was really good about greeting everyone and thanking them for coming. Dax was so excited to be baptized, and it was a beautiful baptism. The Spirit was definitely felt. Afterward, we took a few pictures, but we had to hurry because we needed to be to Melanie's Stake Center for Alice's baptism.
Dax and Dad before the baptism.
This is the crowd that came to Dax's baptism minus Sandy, Carl, Nate, and Korianne who took off quickly!
I love this family picture! 
We were so glad that Grandma Betty was able to come down. 
Grandma and Grandpa Daniels wanted their own pic with Dax.
Dad got to baptize Alice, too, which made it a really special day for him. This baptism was just as beautiful as Dax's. They were both very different, as each stake handles baptisms different, but they were both wonderful. Alice and Dax's birthday are just two weeks apart, and so 8 years ago they shared their blessing day, too. Here's a comparison picture to see how they have grown!
Randy got to baptize both of these kids. It was a great day! 
They are all beautiful and handsome.
Alice & Dax at 2 months old for their blessing day.
8 years later, Dax & Alice got baptized on the same day!
After the two baptisms, we went to the Webbs' house for lunch. We had sandwiches and good company and then headed home. The kids all wanted to go to the park in the afternoon, but the moms kept saying no because it looked like it was going to rain. Finally after two hours of begging, the moms took the kids to the park, and only then did the rainclouds roll up in a hurry and start pouring. They got good and wet running home, but everyone was laughing when they came in out of the rain.

We said goodbye to the Ferlans that night, but the Pooles stayed until Sunday, because Josh had gotten sick, and they didn't want him to have to do the long car ride. The boys were sad that Josh stayed holed up in the room, but we still had fun (and more pie).

On Sunday morning, we got up early and went to Dad's niece Kiyna's baby blessing. It was held in a tiny little chapel in downtown Salt Lake. We were sad that we didn't get to do any hiking adventuring, or even soccer this week, but it was great to be with so much family.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Dax's Birthday

Dax turned 8 this year! It was a big birthday! His birthday started a few days early when Grandma and Grandpa Daniels stopped by with some presents. Then we took him out to eat at Buca di Beppo since he loves spaghetti and meatballs. We had sort of a rough time with the worst waiter ever, but we tried to think happy thoughts and have fun anyway. Dax did get a whole cake for his birthday that he willingly shared with his family, so at least that was nice!
Dax asked for maple syrup, and was so happy when Grandma and Grandpa Daniels obliged. 
They also got him a watch that he loves and wears everywhere.
Dax loves his Grandma and Grandpa.
Dax always takes these huge breaths. Watch the video below!
He loves to blow out the candles. 
He is getting so old! I can't believe it sometimes!
A rare family photo at a restaurant!
His actual birthday was on a Monday, so we started the day with the breakfast that he requested: boiled eggs and bacon. Interesting choice. Mom also found a huge watermelon balloon that she knew Dax would love, and he did. Then we all hopped on our bikes and pedaled off to school. Dax had requested that we ride bikes to school on his birthday, so Seth and I happily rode along. It is a long ways (almost 1.5 miles), so Seth didn't have the energy to ride home with Dax at the end of the day. Instead, we followed him home in the car while Dax sped down the road on his bike.
The watermelon balloon is almost as big as Dax.
Dax riding his bike to school.
Here is Dax coming home. I love that he has a Spring Birthday. It makes for beautiful pictures.
Dax had a great day at school, too. He handed out Hershey Bars for his birthday treat. Seth and I met Dax at school for lunch and took him his favorite junior hamburger and fries from Wendy's.
Seth loves going to eat with Dax in the school cafeteria. Mom just plugs her ears!
Dax asked for chicken noodle soup for dinner, and strawberry shortcake for his cake. Then we opened presents up before heading to Mark's baseball game. Dax got his own scriptures, some new books, new binoculars, and some scouting stuff. Dax was a fabulous gift receiver and made everyone feel like their present was the very best. Dax has a kind heart and loves to make things for others. He is very smart and can do super hard math problems in his head. Dax loves to sing, especially Onward Christian Soldiers, and he is getting very good at the piano. He loves everything basketball and is a great shooter. We are so glad Dax is our middle child.
Dax got lots of presents.
He read all the cards and was so kind about all of his gifts.
Dax was most excited for his own set of scriptures complete with a basketball case.
Dax told me that next year he wants another set of binoculars.
We love Dax so much! 

A few weeks after Dax's birthday, we had a party with some of his friends. He planned the whole thing and wrote it all out on a paper for Mom to make it easier on her. He wanted to play basketball, eat pizza, and have strawberry shortcake again. Very simple, but fun! Everything went well, and we are glad that Dad is so good at playing with kids. 
Dad was showing how he can dunk it!
Dax wanted to play speed the whole time. He was even happy when he got out.
Brian, Tristan, Dax, Mark, Seth, Cole, Adam, Noah, and Liam
Dax loves basketball!
Dad is so good. He gets right out there and teaches while he plays with the kids!

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