And another school year begins...
Brady Cousin Camp July 2010
Destin, Florida vacation June 19-26th
We headed down to Florida again this year for vacation on June 18th. After an overnight stay in Tupelo, MS, we arrived at Pineapple Palms in Destin, FL on Saturday the 19th. The house was a bit different from other homes we have rented for vacation. It was a lot older, a lot of stairs, and not quite as up-to-date or fancy as the others, but it worked for what we needed and we enjoyed our stay a lot. I have a lot of pictures, so I figured I would try to put 1 picture for each thing that we did to share a little of the week. (of course, I might end up putting up more than 1 if I can't decide on the best picture either!) Between trips to Wal-mart, go-carts & bumper boats, Dolphin Day Camp, Helicopter tours, the beach, playing in the pool, dominoes, and Fudpuckers/Gator Beach we were always busy doing something! Had to watch out for Willy the 3" cockroach and whatever that was rustling around in the backyard at night, but that just added more excitement!! We had a good time with the Davis family and the Larson family and I for one, really could go back for another week!!
School's out for the summer!! ☺
(Check out Mike's page for truck pictures)
Graduating Class Picture--Obedience Level 2
Recent Academic Achievements
Grace's 9th Birthday--"Wii Party"
Grace's Volleyball Team
Halloween Fun 2009
New Puppy pics on pets page...
CHECK OUT MY PAGE (MIKAYLAS) page and graces!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Boy are we crazy or what?
***New postings on Mike's page-be sure to check it out***
Back to School Again...
Our summer vacation...
More May Happenings
May-Kate's "groovy" birthday
The first weekend in May brought Kate's birthday party. She went with the 70's theme this year. The girls decorated t-shirts and tie-dyed pillowcases. They all turned out really cool. Luckily the weather turned out to be decent that weekend, so they all got to play outside a lot too.
More March happenings...
The last weekend in March brought us a fluke mini-blizzard. The girls looked outside and saw how huge the snowflakes were and couldn't resist running outside to play in it. The flakes were like big cotton balls coming down. Thankfully the next day was warm enough to melt most of it away and we didn't really get affected by the snow too much.
Also at the end of March, Grace participated in the Jump Rope for Heart at the school to raise money for the American Heart Association. They jumped for an hour and a 1/2 and the group raised over $6000. It was a worthy cause, and I was proud of her for participating.
Denean's Birthday Party
We celebrated Denean's 26th Birthday in March. She wanted to have Maryland Blue Crab for her birthday, so they had some ordered and sent in. (There were enough crab to feed an army!) I was disappointed because they weren't blue. Denean swears that they are blue before they are steamed. The girls got a kick out of dancing with the crab and beating them with the mallet to crack the shells. It was a fun time and we enjoyed the celebration.
National Tiger Sanctuary in Bloomsdale, MO
Friday, March 13th, Denean took the girls and I to one of her favorite little places, the National Tiger Sanctuary outside of St. Louis. It was very neat to go see close-up the tigers (and one cougar) that they have saved from homes and shelters where they were not treated as they should. I really enjoyed this little outing and the girls did also. Grace fell in love with their Great Pyranees, Zeus. She wasnted to take him home. =) For more information visit: www.nationaltigersanctuary.org
Vincent-700 lbs. of Love
The girls got to carry the buckets of meat for the tigers at feeding time. It was pretty amazing watching them scarf down giant chunks of meat.
T.J. the white tiger
Grace had a really great birthday weekend again this year. We decided to bowl again since the adults all seemed to enjoy it last year as well as the kids. Neal, Denean, Mindy, Kris and Lauren all came up Friday and stayed til Sunday. Mom, Pop, and Mitch came Saturday and stayed til Sunday. Mary, Dick, Cindy, Brian, and Kate all drove up Sunday. Don and Linda drove up Saturday and stayed in a hotel Sat. night and came over Sunday morning for the party in the afternoon. We all were very entertained by everyone's antics on the Wii. I liked the pics of Neal doing Dance Dance Revolution (Mitch was much better than Neal!). The picture of Mitch and Mikayla boxing cracked me up too. Mikayla gave Mitch a run for his money! I think Brian ended up with the highest bowling score, followed by Mikayla (she doesn't get to use bumpers next time we bowl!) Grace got some great presents that she really loves. She picked the Mexican Grey Wolf for the endangered species that she wanted to adopt from WWF. She's already filled her mp3 player, played with benderoos, the bratz pets, and the "family guess who?" game. All in all, it was a very nice weekend and we loved having a full house. Thanks everyone
With all the crazy schedules this year, we had a drawn out Christmas holiday. The girls and I went to Columbia & Fulton the weekend before Christmas. Got to see Neal & Denean and then go spend time with Mike's side. The girls exchanged presents with Kate and Lauren Sat. afternoon, then on Monday before we left they opened presents from Grandma and Dick. Then on Christmas morning (if you look out the window behind Mikayla you notice it's pitch black outside--that's because it was 4:45 IN THE MORNING!!!) we got up and opened all the presents from each other and Santa. The family got a Wii which is really a lot of fun. I think the girls and I have all logged in a ton of hours on it already! They both wanted roller skates, real ones, not inline and have also spent a lot of time wearing those around the house and skating around the garage. The day after Christmas, some packages came in the mail, so there were a few more things to open. Then on Sat. and Sunday we were back in Fulton to have Christmas with Mike's Dad and Linda. It was a nice weekend and a good wrap up to the holiday. Thank you everyone for the great gifts. Hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas Season! Back to school on Jan. 5th. I got offered a permanent job at the girl's school starting on the 5th so I will be going back then also. Break is going way too fast for me!!
These were just a few random pics that I wanted to pass on. It's just not Christmas unless you have a fat cat dressed up in an angel costume under your tree! The family picture is not the one that we are using for our christmas card but it cracked me up. The girls really wanted to have both Bubba and Toby in our christmas pic, but right when the camera went off, Toby ran off and was hateful (couldn't have anything to do with the fact that he had to wear an angel costume earlier!) and Bubba ran to smell the tripod or something. What a cluster! Needless to say, there are no animals in the picture going out with our cards!! I really like the picture of the girls by themselves. They were messing with the camera when I was making dinner and using the timer to take pictures of themselves and that one turned out great!
We had a fantastic Thanksgiving celebration this year. All the "Brady Kids" were able to make it to Illinois for a few days. The only one missing from the big group picture is Mike. He had to work all week and with the Black Friday sales, just couldn't get away (I really need to learn how to photoshop him into pictures!). Casey made a cake for Alexia and Mikayla who have birthdays just 2 days apart. Everyone had fun making fondant underwater creatures to put on top. It was great to finally meet 5 month old, Ryan, and see how 2 year old, Evan, has grown in the past year. It was also Grandpa and Grandma Dyer's 60th wedding anniversary so close to 60 relatives from the Dyer, McKillip, and Carroll sides of the family were able to come and enjoy the day. There was lots of food, game-playing and catching up with one another (Pop even managed to get a nap or 2 in!!). I really enjoyed myself and despite all 3 of us from this house catching the stomach flu (I think Mitchell started it!!) it was definately worth the trip north. I was so happy to see everyone and get to spend a little time with everybody!!
Mikayla and Mary's Early birthday party
We decided to celebrate Mikayla's 11th birthday early because it's on Thanksgiving again this year and that just doesn't work well with Mike's schedule. It also was close to Mary's birthday so they happily shared a cake a few days early. It was a nice time with the group that could make it. I think the adults enjoyed "jungle bingo" as much as the kids did!! Everyone managed to win at least one prize. Mike broke his finger trying to catch the Davis family dog, Lilly, and Neal and Denean's car got egged by some kids that vadalized the neighborhood overnight. Good Times!! Mikayla really enjoyed her party and loves her gifts. Thanks to all! (the picture of Mike, Kris, and Toby sleeping on the couch just cracked me up, so I had to include it--the after-party naps)
Mikayla, as Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, complete with Crookshanks the cat. Grace as a witch (and she just had to carry a broom!) Our kids love their accessories! The girls could wear their costumes to school on Halloween and I helped with Mikayla's 5th grade class party. After they got out at noon on Friday, we quickly drove down to Cindy's for the Larson Halloween Party. Busy Day!!
When we made it to Fulton, we quickly changed into costumes and went downtown for the business trick-or-treating. This year was a lot of fun, because the adults all dressed up too. I love Halloween so this was a nice treat. Grace was thrilled to be one of the 4 witches. Cindy, with the blonde wig, Mindy, all in black, and Donna, Brian's mom, is in the center. The kids at the party judged the costume contest and picked the winners from the adults that dressed up. Brian, an alien, was the scariest; Mary, raggedy-ann, was the cutest; Farmer Kris was the funniest; and Mindy and I tied for the best costume (I think mindy's was better than mine!). Personally, I think Dick should have won the award for having the most fun with his costume. He was dressed as Dr. Benjamin Over and managed to greet most of us with a hand covered in KY Jelly. Disgusting! I will admit that he got me good, just remember what they say about paybacks!! The kids all had a good time and really enjoyed the party. Thanks Larson family and everyone else that put so much work into the preparations! It was a good time for all.
2008 Homecoming Parade
The Homecoming parade was on Friday, October 10th. The girls (and I) were on the PAWS float (Elementary School PTO). We ended up with 2 trailers packed full of kids, right at 100 students. Since I am the PAWS President, I somehow ended up chaperoning and corralling all these kids. It was a beautiful day and not bad at all for a parade. The kids all had a good time throwing candy and yelling, but I'm glad spirit week is over! It was a long week for me.
The last port and the final sea days
This bunch of pictures is from Cabo San Lucas and from the last couple days at sea. I have tons more pictures, but figured I wouldn't bore you with them all. I might throw on some more if I get them all sorted, but this gives you an idea of our week.
more cruise pictures
Here are some more cruise pics. These are from the first 2 ports. I still have the last couple days to add on. The last pictures on the Mazatlan slideshow are of the pod of dolphins that were playing alongside our boat. They were so neat to watch, but very hard to get pictures of. The fishing was cool because all 6 of us on our boat caught a mahi mahi.
BACK FROM THE MEXICAN RIVIERA!!
Well we made it home from our first cruise and both of us really enjoyed it. (I'm already looking at cruises for next May or June to take the girls on one to the Caribbean, if anyone wants to start saving their money!). We sailed out of Long Beach, California on Sunday, Sept. 14th on the Carnival Pride. It was just Mike and I and our friend, Wayne. We had a balcony stateroom on the 7th floor, which is pretty high up on the ship, since there was only 1 more level of rooms above us. We absolutely loved the balcony! We slept with the door propped open every night and listened to the waves as we fell asleep. The picture of Mike by himself is on our balcony. I always felt the motion of the ship, but neither Mike nor I felt sick on it at all. These first pictures are from the 1st and 2nd days. The Captain's Cocktail party was on the 2nd day and we danced up on the stage of the main auditorium. Everyone cleans up ok, don't we?! We would have a towel animal in our stateroom every night made by our Romanian room steward(ess), Felicia. She was great. I thought the bunny was cute. Many more pictures to come. I have a bunch to sort through!
The girls finally got to go to Grammy and Papa's house this year at the end of August. Natalie was visiting from BYU for a week, so after school we made the trek over to Illinois. On Friday night, we stopped in Nauvoo to see the BYU a cappella group, Vocal Point perform. It was a good show and I think everyone enjoyed it. Mikayla had all 9 of the guys sign her casts so she got a little souvineer from the night. On Saturday, mom had a booth set up at the mall for a back-to-school thing that was going on. She had all her monarch information and stuff for KCAP. The girls got to feed a butterfly and made caterpillars out of marshmallows and pretzels. They spent the rest of the time playing with the cats and running around outside. They were filthy, but enjoyed it a lot.
Neal and Denean's new puppy, Nova
Saturday, we went with Neal and Denean to northern Missouri to pick up their new Siberian Husky puppy. They named her Nova. She is the redder puppy in the picture of the two dogs. The breeders met us at a park and they also were meeting someone else, so we got to see their puppy also. He was a little more wild and crazy, Nova has been pretty calm for the first couple days. They just moved into a new duplex so they get to puppy train as they unpack, lots of fun! But she is very cute and will be lots of fun for them.
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL 2008-09
Mikayla and Grace started school on Aug. 14th. (Gets earlier every year!) Mikayla is in 5th grade and Grace is in 2nd. They were pretty ready to go back, I think. They had both met their teachers and really liked them, so that helped ease most of the nervousness. I took them this morning, but they are going to ride the bus home tonight. (I'll meet them at the bus stop, though, to help Mikayla get off the bus easier). Hopefully they'll have a good day today and it will be the start of a good year for both of them. You can see Mikayla's new black and yellow casts in the picture too.
Mikayla's swimming attempt
Mikayla had her waterproof casts put on and was just dying to get in the pool. The dr. warned us that the fiberglass casts can makes holes in a pool liner, so we covered them up with a couple of mike's biggest socks. She was so happy to be able to get in the water! Having the casts on gave her quite a workout. She attempted to swim across the pool and she was breathing heavy by the time she made it across. She will have a full 3 weeks in these casts, then will probably have to have some physical therapy after they come off to try to get her leg strength back. The 3 small incisions in the back of each leg are all healed. She was able to roll her ankles around when they cut the old casts off and put them flat on the exam table. So, it's going ok. She's just ready to have them off and be done with it!!
Chad, Rana, Ayden, & Monster's quick visit
As the Nall family were passing through Kansas City on their way home from Galesburg, they stopped by for about an hour so I got to see Ayden. He is such a good baby. And looks much older than the 9 weeks that he is. Rana and Chad are really enjoying him. (can't you tell that Mikayla just LOVES babies!! HA) The girls got a kick out of seeing Monster, their giant schnuazer. That crazy dog cracks me up. Now Grace isn't exactly tall-but he is a big dog!!
Mikayla had surgery on her achilles tendons on July 16th. She has walked on her tiptoes since she was around 5 years old, but it has gotten progressively worse and the last year was really bad. She couldn't put her left foot down flat without it pulling very tightly on her heel. Her surgeon advised doing the heel cord releases on both legs, because it would probably need to be done eventually on the right leg also. She did really well with the surgery. Her Doc was thrilled when she said she wanted one blue and one yellow cast. He is a University of Michigan alumni so he made someone run to the clinic near the hospital to get yellow gauze so she could have both colors. Blue is her favorite color and she's always liked yellow for Pikachu the Pokemon! The picture is already old because she and grace have been drawing on them this morning. She'll be in these casts for 3 weeks, then will be in a waterproof cast for the last 3 weeks. She does have the little velcro shoes that strap to the bottom of the casts so she can walk on them. Right now, she's giving me a good workout carrying her from the bathroom, to the couch, to the bed, and back again. It'll be an interesting end to the summer!
Father's Day Party (a week later)
On Sunday, June 22nd 17 people crammed into our little house to celebrate a belated father's day. We grilled, swam, and had a lot of fun. Lauren wanted to have the dads get into a little friendly competition, so she came up with a few games for them to participate in. I personally enjoyed the hair-braiding event (which was won by Richard). The dads are never real thrilled to do it-but hey, it's entertaining for the rest of us!! Thanks to everyone who made it up here!
We had a great time on Friday the 4th of July. Denean had caught the fireworks bug, so she and Neal drove up again so that they would have somewhere to light theirs off at. She ended up with a nice variety to set off. About 2 houses down we got a major show. They had a huge display that lasted for hours! They even blew up a bucket a few times and we even saw a guitar go flying up in the air on top of a firework. It was hilarious. We thought they'd end up in the ER before the night was over, but I think everyone managed to survive. After watching most of the neighborhood shoot theirs off, Denean decided to set off the ones she got at about 10:15pm. They played with sparklers, then set off the bigger stuff. We were all wrapped up by 10:30 and as we were cleaning up we were the ones to get a complaint called in and a visit from the city's finest!!! What a joke! There were all these massive (and most likely illegal without a permit) fireworks going on around us and we were the ones with the whiney neighbors!! Not that it really mattered, we were done anyway, it was just the point. We did continue to hear random fireworks until 2am. It was a lot of fun, but could have been better if Grace wouldn't have picked up a stomach bug. She was sick in the house for most of the night. Can't wait til next year!!
Ryan Philip Hansen
A new cousin for the girls!! My sister Megan had her 2nd son on June 17th. I thought it was pretty wild that both Ryan and Ayden (Rana's) were exactly 7lbs. 14oz. Ryan was 21" long though and Ayden was 19 3/4". Still pretty weird!! Megan says that they are doing great, she's pretty worn out with 2 little ones, but I'm sure they'll settle into a routine shortly. Evan will be 2 in October so she has her hands full. Can't wait to see the little guy (and Evan too-haven't seen him since Thanksgiving 07). Congrats Megan and Oliver!!
Ayden Nall was born June 2nd. He was 7lbs. 14oz. and 19 3/4" long. For those that don't know, his mom Rana is one of my best friends, who I have known almost my entire life. Can't wait to go see him in person. Isn't he a cutie?!
Today the girls and I got to go to the library to watch a presentation by the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge from Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Turpentine Creek is one of the very few USDA licensed facilities for large carnivores in the US. They rescue neglected or unwanted "big cats" and provide them with a safe home in a caring environment. They are on a 450 acre ranch in Arkansas. It was very cool. They had brought with them a black leopard and a spotted leopard to show the kids, as well as a video of many of the other animals on the ranch. If I can make it down to visit Rana and Ayden (born June 2nd) in Arkansas, this would be a great side-trip for us since it is very close to Rana's home. It was really neat though, and if anyone wants to check out their website it is www.tigers.tc Take a look!
FIELD DAY!! LOTS OF FUN FOR EVERYONE!!
Rana and Chad's Baby Shower
Sunday, May 11th, I went to Galesburg for Rana and Chad's baby shower for the baby due in June. It was so nice to see my parents and Mitch, as well as Rana's family, most of whom I hadn't seen in years. Rana is looking great and they are both excited about the arrival of the baby. Neither one has ever changed a diaper or made a bottle up, so they are in for some big changes in their lives. I know they'll do great.
Kate's 6th Birthday
Kate's 6th birthday party was held May 10th. She wanted to have a campout with a bonfire and smore's. The girls had a lot of fun. Weather moved the campout to the basement, but they still got to roast hot dogs, make smore's and have a good time.
Grace's 1/2 Mile Run
May 1st was the day that the school ran their mile and 1/2 mile runs for the presidents physical fitness program. Grace had to run the 1/2 mile. She did great! She was 4th in her class, and the 1st girl in her class to finish. She's little but she's quick!! I didn't get a picture of her when she was running, so I snapped one when she was sitting with her class in the stands after the run. We were really proud of her. Mikayla was happy that she got to miss out on her mile run. She had a doctor's excuse because it hurts her ankles to run that far right now (next year she better be back at it again).
Mike was giving me a hard time for not putting his baby on the website, so here she is. This is our 2007 Saturn Sky Convertible. We bought it last August and we love it (as everyone who has seen us with it knows). She's already been in a Homecoming parade carrying the homecoming queen. We are more than ready for some nice weather to get it out all the time. And if you ask Mike he says that this is Jo's car, but we all know what he really believes!!
Lauren's 10th Birthday
On April 4th, we traveled to Lauren's house for her birthday party. The cousins +a few other guests had a lot of fun. They made dolphin sand art, threw darts at balloons and played outside most of the day. The adults got to watch the Davis men trying to control a smoke-filled grill and just enjoyed the beautiful weather. It was a great day and everyone enjoyed themselves.
1st Grade Spring Music Program
On March 27th, the 1st graders had their spring music program. It was very cute. Grace-our little shorty-got to be in the front row, as usual. But that just makes it easy to see her! She liked to sing the song about weeds growing because of "Daddy not liking weeds!".
4th Grade trip to the Arabia Steamboat Museum in KC
On February 29th, Mikayla and the 4th graders took a field trip to the Arabia Steamboat Museum in Kansas City. The Arabia Steamboat hit a huge tree trunk in 1856 on the Missouri River north of KC. It was finally found in 1988 and was full of 220 tons of cargo that was nearly all in unbroken condition. They have spent the years since the discovery restoring the cargo to its original state and have made the museum to house all the items. It was very interesting and on a side note it had ties to the Mormon Migration to Utah. Just weeks before sinking, it carried 2 large companies of Latter-Day Saints upriver from St. Louis to join LDS handcart and wagon companies rolling west. On the trip when it sank, there were no mormons aboard, but even so all 130 passengers survived. One of the better field trips that I have chaperoned!
Mikayla's Famous Missourian Project
For a 4th grade project Mikayla had to make a "bio-bottle" and do an oral report of a famous Missourian. She picked James Cash Penney (or JC Penney). They did research online and then had to make a bust of their person on top of a 2 liter bottle. Mike helped out with the dremel to shape the styrofoam head. It was a fun project and she actually enjoyed doing it!
Grace's 7th Birthday Party
This year for her birthday, Grace decided she wanted to have a bowling party. She didn't really care about inviting any kids from her class, she just wanted to have as much family come as possible. We had a great turnout. Rhonda, Larry, and Mitch came from Illinois; Don & Linda came from Rolla; Denean came from Columbia; and Mary, Kris, Mindy, Lauren, Cindy, Brian, and Kate all came from Fulton. Everyone but Jo and Linda bowled. It was a really good time and I think everyone had fun. The old guys showed up the young guys in the "serious game", but Mike swears he's going to go bowling in all his spare time so next time he can show them up and let Mindy see her "turkey". Grace got a lot of great gifts and has spent the past few days playing with everything. This was Denean's first experience with this wild bunch and got inducted quickly into the family with a makeover by the girls. She looked great!! =) Thanks everyone for making the trek up north!!
Girls receive awards at Elementary Awards Assembly
Today, Jan. 11th, I went to the elementary school for the 2nd quarter awards assembly. Mikayla received perfect attendance, a reading award, citizenship award, and Honor Roll (yeah!!). Grace received perfect attendance, a reading award, and the citizenship award (her grade doesn't do honor roll). They have done a really great job so far this year and I'm very proud of them.
Christmas Day 2007
This year we were home for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day which was quite a change from the past few years. The girls let us sleep in until 6am which wasn't too bad. Grace was thrilled with her BIG pink guitar, the mp3 player from Alexia, a skateboard, Disney Scene It 2, and a bunch of other things. Mikayla really liked the Dolphinz game for her DS, some pokemon figures, walkie-talkies, the new Life game from Uncle Neal, and of course, a bunch of other stuff.
Mike had already gotten his big present, a 47" LCD tv for the living room. He mounted the "little" 42" plasma tv on the bedroom wall so now our room looks like a drive-in theater! Just kidding-it really is cool-I just like to give him a hard time. On christmas he also got this heavy-duty meat/cheese slicer, a shirt, Risk Transformers Edition, and a mug with the girl's picture on it.
I had also already gotten my big present, a new digital camera (neither one of us are very good at waiting!). Mike and the girls also got me a tripod, some living room throws, p.j.'s, cookie sheets, this really neat mini lighting studio that is good for taking pictures of ebay items to sell. I also love the paper shredder from Mitch-that crazy thing could probably grind a finger!
We had a very relaxing day-playing games and just enjoying the time together.
Our 2nd Christmas--Dec. 29th
We did our 2nd christmas down in Fulton with the whole crazy bunch there on Sat. Dec. 29th. Everyone gathered at Mindy and Kris' house for tons of food, presents, and fun. There were 19 people there throughout the day. It was a lot of fun and we had a great time. I loved my folding griddle and gift card from Rachel and the homemade dishrags from Linda and her mom, Lil. Mike's car cover for the Sky fits great and helps keep the dust off. And of course he was pleased with the crown from Dick. Mikayla hasn't put down the Drawn To Life game for her DS and Grace really likes the Horsez game for her DS (ok-I admit-I have played it more than she has-but she goes to bed earlier than I do!!). Everyone cracked up at Mary's "box cooler" for the leftovers out on the back porch. The 4 girls put on a show for us with their guitars that they had all gotten (led by Uncle Brian who gave a great rendition of the "Tooth Fairy Song"). We had a very nice time, ate too much, and laughed a lot. Thanks Mindy and Kris for putting up with us for 3 days and having everyone there at your house!