27 May 2008

BYU Father/Sons Final Day

Well, Zach and I finished up our Father/Son campl this morning. Hopefully you enjoy these pictures and one movie clip.

The last day was filled with flag football, basketball, soccer and baseball.

The pictures you see are Zach and I by the Brigham Young statue after the Devin Durrant fireside; some basketball shots, including a video shot - a very successful one as Zach finished off a three-man weave with a bucket! Finally, Zach in the baseball game.

We had an absolute blast! Nicole gave us a ride up to Salt Lake to meet my sister - thanks Nicole!! We then spent the rest of the day with Debby, Todd, Tricia, Matt, Olivia and Gavin. We saw Prince Caspian at the Gateway theaters in Salt Lake and then went up to Debby's to have dinner and celebrate Todd's birthday! The big 24 for Todd! We had a good time and Olivia and Zach seem to hit it off very well!

Well, tomorrow is an early start (6 a.m. flight) and then back to reality!!

25 May 2008

BYU Father/Sons Day 3

Day 3 began with a bang. At 6:45 a.m., Todd met us to drive up to Temple Square for Debby's setting apart in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. We had juice, yogurt and Krispy Kreme donuts compliments of the camp breakfast. At the conference center we met up with James, Tricia, Olivia and Gavin and then went into a little room where the President of the Choir spoke to just Debby and us prior to her setting apart. It was terrific timing for me to be there while this Father/Son camp was going on. You see a couple of fun pictures above prior to us watching Music and the Spoken Word, which Debby then sang in! I am so proud of my "little sister"!! I am not sure where my son gets his funniness around the camera! :)

Music and the Spoken Word's theme today was one for Memorial Day. Of the five pieces performed, I really enjoyed "Hymn to the Fallen" and "Amazing Grace". We were able to sit very close to the front and see bagpipes performed during "Amazing Grace". Very cool!

Zach and I then walked around the conference center...you see a picture of us from the top of the conference center with the Temple in the background. We then went to a special sacrament meeting just for our camp in the Assembly Hall. The coaches blessed the sacrament and they got some of the deacon age boys from the camp to pass. The speakers for the meeting were Lloyd Newell (Music and the Spoken Word) and Coach Rose.

When the sacrament meeting was done we boarded the buses and went to "This is the Place" park. The picture you see is Zach standing in front of one of the monuments....Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and Wilford Woodruff on top. The statues immediately above Zach are Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow. Zach is a descendant of Orson Pratt (from Jen's side of the family), and Orson Pratt was instrumental in bringing the three above to that location. It really is impressive looking out on the valley as Brigham Young did so many years ago.

We finished the day with a trip back down to campus, dinner at the Cannon Center (back at the dorms), a fireside given by Jimmer Fredette (current BYU player) and Devin Durrant (former player who also played for the Indiana Pacers for a short while), and an ice cream social back at the Cannon Center.

Another great day!!

BYU Father/Sons Day 2

Today was a long and fun day. On the way to the morning camp meeting in the Smith Fieldhouse, Zach and I stopped at the RB (Richards Building for you Non-BYU types - building with a bunch of basketball courts, the indoor swimming pool, dance floors, etc.) and found a stray basketball and an empty gymn. We started shooting around and another Dad with his two boys who we met at check-in (from Texas), dropped in. We played Dads against boys for about 30 minutes, which was really fun.

We got to the camp meeting just as it was beginning and Zach rushed out to be with his Team (about 15-20 7 & 8 year olds). They were split in two doing a layup contest. Zach's team won so they all got popsicles. Then, after we had found a couple of seats, they said they wanted all fathers and sons who lived east of the Mississippi down on the court. We are one of four pairs!! That is cool...they then had us in a contest. Sons started first by dribbling the length of the court and back, then handing off to their Dad who had to dribble down shoot and make a layup and then dribble back and make a layup. Zach gave me the ball in good shape, I then proceeded to miss my layup, needing to shoot it again before I could dribble back! Then, missed again on the other end! We finished third, not a bad result for my missed layups. It was fun being one of the four pairs in front of the other 500 plus fathers and sons.

After camp meeting, the morning was filled with 5 on 5 basketball, 3 on 3 basketball, shooting and volleyball. Zach and I were both exhausted and ready for lunch! Oh, the meals are all-u-can eat, with smoothies, ice cream, the works....it's great. After lunch, we came back to our dorm room for a little bit of relaxation (I think I actually fell asleep for about 30 minutes)!

The afternoon was not as physically tiring....we had punt, pass and kick, a trainer talk to us about weightlifting, one on one and frisbee golf. We then hiked up to the campus and took the picture you see here. On campus we played catch with the baseball gear we brought, visited the BYU bookstore and had a barbecue at the Wilkinson Center.

We finished the day with a couple cool events....first a fireside by Zane Gray, a professional magician and speaker. He was very good...lots of good tricks and a good message - he is a returned missionary who gave up his career at 18 so he could serve a mission when he turned 19. He served in Canada and gave an insight into the Victorian Cross (the equivalent of the US Congressional Medal of Honor). Not doing it justice....but the short story is Queen Victoria had them change the bottom of the medal from "For the brave" to "For valor" (or something close to that). Message was everyone who goes and serves is brave, she wanted something more, valor came to mind....while everyone is brave, not everyone is valiant. He also had a great analogy with a card trick and a young man up there who he had asked to tear some pieces of paper up, a $100 bill up and then a picture of the Savior. The young man would not tear the picture of the Savior. Even though the young man thought he knew for sure where his card was in a stack of four Zane Gray had laid out, he would not take Gray's offer for $10,000 to tear the picture of the Savior. Message was what is really of value in this life.

Final event of the night was the movie Hoosiers shown in the Wilkinson Center movie theater.

Another good day....signing off for now!

24 May 2008

Zach and Dad checked in at BYU!!

The Bryan boys have arrived at BYU - Dad's old stomping grounds. It has been fun reminiscing. We are in staying in Stover Hall. Stover is right next to Taylor Hall, which is where I spent my Freshman year. Stover is now the guys hall and Taylor the girls hall (it was the reverse when I was here - just in case anyone had any doubts!).

Tonight was fun, we had dinner (all u can eat) and then went for orientation in the Smith Fieldhouse. BYU's coach, Dave Rose, introduced the camp. Most of his team is helping out as counselors. We have Lee Cummard, Chris Miles, Jonathon Tavinieri, etc. here. There are also several former players at the camp with their sons....Brian and Kevin Santiago, Mike Hall, Brock Richener, Terry Nashif (also now an assistant coach). Another really cool thing is Gary Scheide, the first in a long line of great BYU quarterbacks is also here helping out at the camp.

After orientation we went to several drill locations....ballhandling, video and contests. Ballhandling was fun as Chris Miles (BYU's 6'10'' center) came over and talked with Zach and I, and then dunked for us! The last rotation of the night was contests - we played lightning, a free throw shooting contest and a three point contest.

The cool thing about this camp is the fathers and sons do everything together, and it is not just basketball. Over the next several days we will be playing baseball, punt, pass and kick, frisbee golf, etc. Tonight was all basketball, though, and Zach did real well. He hit 4 of 10 from the free throw line which I thought was quite good. I managed to hit 7 of 10, which was not good enough as there was a Dad that hit 10 of 10....the highest son was 6. During the 40 second three point contest, Zach managed 2 from the free throw line and I hit five from "beyond the arc". It was fun. We are grouped with 7-8 year old boys with their Dads.

Well, tomorrow is a new adventure....signing off!

23 May 2008

Zach cooking breakfast!

Zach satisfied a Cub Scout requirement by cooking breakfast at Uncle Jake's and Aunt Nicole's before the BYU Father/Son basketball camp. We had some good hash browns, scrambled eggs and bacon! Camden really enjoyed Zach's hash browns. We had a good time at breakfast and then played a mean game of Star Wars.

22 May 2008

Dad and Zach begin their BYU Father/Son Adventure!

On May 22, 2007 Dad and Zach boarded the plane from Detroit to Salt Lake City (via Minneapolis). You can see here they are very excited....but check the next picture out!!

Zach's excitement wore off on the plane!

May 22, 2007 - Zach put down his book....the next thing I saw was Zach snoozing away between Minneapolis and Salt Lake City!

19 May 2008

Ashley turns 11 on 5-15-08!

Our wonderful Ashley turned 11 today and celebrated her birthday by having a party at the Putting Edge, a glow in the dark miniature golf place. She had a great time!
Ashley and her friends had a fun time playing miniature golf and eating pizza. They also had a great time decorating picture frames (highlight markers glow in black lights). Zach invited a friend and they had a good time together.
We had our own little family celebration after her birthday party and the kids loved giving her the gifts they had made or bought with their own money.
We let Ashley stay up very late tonight. She was born at 11:11 pm, so we let her stay up and we took a picture of her when she turned 11 at 11:11 pm. After all, it will only happen once! She thought that was really awesome. We are so glad to have Ashley in our family. She is a very gifted writer, loves to read, play piano and be with friends. She loves sports and her family and is a good big sister. We all benefit from her creativity and caring. We love to watch how her testimony is growing and she is developing a more mature relationship with Heavenly Father. She is a blessing to our family!

Mother's Day-Honoring Grandma

Mother's Day was a day that we spent celebrating the life of Gertrude Gelder Bryan, Will's grandmother, who lived a wonderful life of 101 years on this earth and left us all a legacy to be proud of. Highlights for me were, Will's dedicatory prayer at the gravesite, Debby's musical number, our children singing I am a child of God, and memories of Grandma. The whole service was a beautiful tribute to her life. Below is a picture of her surviving grandchildren: Al, Cindy, Ann, Will, Melissa, Val and Debby.
One of the nice touches to the day were little remembrances of her legacy, like the beautiful stockings she knitted for all of her family members. Also, Cindy brought some examples of her delicious Christmas cookies, and we all enjoyed chocolate truffles- one of Grandma's weaknesses! What a wonderful lady! Our children are so lucky to have known her and to have her love as an example.

Mothers Day-I'm a lucky mom!

Mother's Day 2008 we spent in Springfield, IL where we had traveled to participate in Grandma Bryan's Memorial Service. Even though it was an unusual Mother's Day, Will and the kids still worked hard to make me feel special. Will gave me raquet balls and raquet, and a pair of capris (cute! I was impressed). He's going to teach me to play raquet ball. The kid's gave me the movie "Enchanted" and Chicken Soup for the Mother and Daughter's Soul. I have such a wonderful family. They all made me feel very special today with their beautiful homemade cards and hugs and kisses! I love being a wife and mother and wouldn't trade it for the world!!
One very cool thing we did today was to go to the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. It was a powerful experience and I would strongly recommend it to anyone! I was particularly struck with the adversity Abraham Lincoln encountered and the tragedy he suffered, and yet he was strong enough to make extremely hard decisions ruled by his concience. He was not a popular president until after his death and never felt the love and appreciation we all feel for him today. Here we are taking a picture with the life size models of his family.

05 May 2008

Beautiful Spring!

I looked out the window and what did I see? Popcorn popping on the apricot tree! Spring has brought me such a nice surprise! Popcorn popping right before my eyes!

This is a view from my front porch. I love how beautiful our japanese maple and flowering crabapple look together. I've been working in the yard to keep it weed free and Will just mowed. Everything is so green and fresh in the spring! Didn't Heavenly Father give us a wonderful world?

04 May 2008

Book of Mormon Family Night

Tonight, we had a special Book of Mormon Family Night. We read the Book of Mormon daily as a family, early in the morning, and we have only two chapters left. Since we would be finishing this week, we thought that it would be fun to see how much we had learned. My sister, Amy, sent us a great FHE idea with a Book of Mormon timeline. It was Natalie's turn to give the lesson and so I helped her hang dates along the walls and find the Gospel Art Picture Kit pictures from the Book of Mormon. She gave the pictures to all of us and we had to look up the dates that they occured and then briefly tell the story on the picture. When we were finished, Ashley remarked how it was so cool that we could see how everything related. I think that she had an "Ah-hah!" moment! It was great. Elise loved doing all of the actions to "Book of Mormon" stories so much that we sang it for both opening and closing songs. It was a great review of all the wonderful things that we have learned this year.
Ashley was in charge of the treat and she made cookies all by herself for the first time! She made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and they turned out delicious and very chocolatey! We are proud of how she is growing up!

01 May 2008

Pinewood Derby-Best of Show!

Zach worked very hard on his 1st Pinewood Derby car, with help from Dad,
Grandpa and Mom. There were many glitches in production, but the end result was a pretty cool car. His fellow Cub Scouts were very impressed with the flames coming out of the tail pipes! Will was in Miami for a conference but didn't want to miss this very important event, so he flew here for the Pinewood Derby and then flew back to Miami the following morning. Zach was very glad to have his Dad here to cheer for him.
Zach had his car's number painted on his face by the Cubmaster. He was so excited for the races. Our goal was that the car stay together on its trip down the track, and that the car wouldn't be the last one. The first part of the goal was met! Zach felt a little disappointed when his car came in last 4 of the 5 runs (the 5th run he tied for 4th), but he was a good sport!
All was well, though, at the end, when his fellow scouts voted his car "Best of Show"! That helped bring a smile to his face! We love our little Scout and are so proud of the great kid he is becoming!