Monday, August 30, 2010

First Day of School 2010

The end of a stressful last 5 days ended today with a great freshmen orientation! Justin stepped up to do an awesome job in my absence (or should I say, unreliable-ness). He trained the leaders and lead the large group today! See pics below.
it one day. But, I know that I am making the right choice....even if I miss my classroom today.





Today brings about a mix of emotions for me. I am chillin' at home with my boy (but I did get to help Justin this morning because Mack was a little angel!) instead of teaching. It was weird to leave school after the orientation instead of going up to my room. Another teacher took over my room (and my SmartBoard). I won't know these incoming freshmen like I have known the previous three classes. Part of me is super sad to be leaving that for a while. The other part of me looks at my son's face and couldn't be happier. I am actually not as upset as I thought I would be today and feel as though I am taking it in stride. I want to be the one to raise my child and see all of his "firsts" along with his daddy. I think it would be harder to walk away from him at day care than it is to walk about from teaching at EVHS. Maybe I will go back to it one day. But, I know that I am making the right choice....even if I miss my classroom today.


Here is a picture of Mack with my good friend Kiah at Young Life last night.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

One Day of Rest

So, today will be a little day of rest for the Brandt family. Our week has been crazy with cross country practice and as Justin started all of his teacher meetings. It takes a bit more planning to keep track of Macklin amongst our back-to-school schedules, but he is one awesome baby and we only had to have a babysitter once this week! He came to XC practice with me three times this week (mutli-tasking at its finest) and even slept through Link Crew (club at school that we are the sponsors for) training on Friday so I could help Justin a little. Last night I was so exhausted that I went to bed as soon as I laid Macklin down! I feel so good to have gotten a good night of sleep. One last morning of XC today, then onto afternoon practices next week.

Other news of the week:
-Justin lead Link Crew training for the first time and did a great job (normally I do this)
-We got to have dinner with Eric and Cory (the newlyweds!!!) to talk about YL
-Justin got all the sod in and we have been watering like crazy
-Baxter only ripped up the sod once so far! haha, he is nuts
-Macklin's sleep is getting back on track. His naps are going much better! Can't tell you how much being at home has helped that!
-Macklin is scooting himself backwards all over the place.
-Macklin can no longer her swaddled with his arms in; the little guy just moves so much.
-I am beginning to tutor a second student, woohoo!
-Our sweet friends Abbie Rittmiller and Sabrina Smiley are both employed at the high school now along with their husbands! Now I am officially the only one out of our close knit group of friends that doesn't teach at the high school...sad! :)
-My XC team is going to be way better than I ever thought! I get excited with each practice! Right now I have 51 kids and I will hopefully get my 3rd coach to help things out!

Think that is it! Happy weekend to everyone. Justin goes back to school on Monday and our Link Crew group will put on the freshmen orientation Monday morning. Before that happens, we gotta have lunch with our buddies tomorrow, hiking and dinner with the Bangstons tonight, and a YL gathering Sunday night.
Welcome to the Brandt life!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Videos from Cali

Here is what dads do with their babies....

Baby Battle, Round 1
video

Baby Battle, Round 2
video


Mack learns the Mac!
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fence!



My hubby did an awesome job on our new fence. Here are just a few pics! Sod is coming!

Random Macklin Pics

Here are a few cute ones of Macklin in the past week.

Today, I gave Macklin a bath and he really realized how much he could splash! It was so funny! He would startle himself and then kick some more! I even got out his alphabet letters to play with. I thought he would like them, ya know, to chew on.
But, I clearly had more fun with them than he did!

video




Macklin is sporting yet another retro outfit. Justin did actually wear this as a child!

We got him a jumper to play with (well, actually our sweet friends let us borrow it for the moment). He likes it in spurts, but not for a long period of time.

EVHS XC Retreat

Last monday our season officially started! It was a great day, having about 40 kids come out for the team. I was hoping to have 50 on day one, but we are growing! At the end of our first week of practice, I took 28 kids (26 hiked, 2 came late) along with Justin, Macklin, and my assistant coach Jeff down to Breckenridge, CO for our team retreat. Instead of camping out this large number of kids and cooking for everyone on a Coleman stove, I decided to rent a house instead. It was the best retreat yet! Not only because it poured the whole first night and I was so happy to not be cooking/camping in the rain, but also because my kids were awesome! We didn't have any trouble with anyone. All of the kids really bonded. Everyone hiked Quandary Peak (which we could see clearly out of our home). It was perfect! Take a look....


Now, that is a lot of hikers! 26 to be exact!

The morning fog was really pretty.

The whole crew! Go EVXC!


It was a big one!

Love this team!

Making all of the kids sit in a freezing cold river after the hike...as all good coaches should!

Yes, that is Quandary from the edge of our deck!

One group on our picture scavenger hunt

Last monday our season officially started! It was a great day, having about 40 kids come out for the team. I was hoping to have 50 on day one, but we are growing! At the end of our first week of practice, I took 28 kids along with Justin, Macklin, and my assistant coach Jeff down to Breckenridge, CO for our team retreat. Instead of camping out this large number of kids and cooking for everyone on a Coleman stove, I decided to rent a house instead. It was the best retreat yet! Not only because it poured the whole first night and I was so happy to not be cooking/camping in the rain, but also because my kids were awesome! We didn't have any trouble with anyone. All of the kids really bonded. Everyone hiked Quandary Peak (which we could see clearly out of our home). It was perfect! Take a look....

The Winders

We were blessed to see the Winders before leaving for our XC trip last Thursday. It was so fun to see them as they are now working at OU as a part of the Navigators ministry. John and Steff were the ones that really drew us into the church we are going to now here in CO. After one year of being together at Calvary, they felt called to campus ministry out in Oregon. It is so nice to see them and hear how things are going. And, their boys are just precious! Trevor and Carson were so sweet to Macklin! I am bummed that I forgot to take a picture of all of us!


Congrats to Jen and Jonathan!

Carol Wilson, Kari Bangston, Jen Bryce (woohoo for a new last name!), Jen Baker, and me

Last Sunday we got to go see Jen and Jonathan as we celebrated their marriage at a little gathering in Edwards. They had a small, beautiful ceremony in Yosemite National Park a couple of weeks ago. After this party, they were headed down to UTEP to begin their lives as partners in ministry together for the college students down there! We are so excited for them and wish them the best!

While I am excited about their new lives together, I will miss my dear friend Jen. We first met at a bible study she hosted during the first year that I lived in CO. We have one of those relationships that I really cherish. It is not one where we are BFF or even talk every week (or month for that matter). But when we do get together, we love the realness that exists between us. We know that we can be vulnerable with each other because we share an intense desire to love others the way Christ did. I appreciate her walk with God and her ability to cut me to the heart. She appreciates my ability to tell the truth and not sugar-coat life. Jen challenges me to never settle for mediocre but to strive for an abundant life that God has in store more me! I will miss you Jen, but I expect our relationship to grow!

Meeting Jim Ryun



I took my cross country kids to meet Jim Ryun at a clinic he was hosting on the 14th! For those non-runners out there, Jim Ryun is the first American high school kid to run under 4 minutes in the mile. He ran at KU (booo). He was a 3-time Olympian (1964, 1968, 1972). He won the silver medal in 1968. He held the world-record in the mile (3:51.1). He was a US Representative (1996-2007). And...the guy loves Jesus! He is just a quality guy.
And his wife makes him even cooler.

I was so glad that I took my kids to meet him (well, as many that would come). And they were glad they came too as each kid scored an Adidas shirt and shoe bag along with other goodies that some won. It was a really nice thing to do for the kids and for me too! I just hope that he comes back again next year!

CA Trip...Day 7/8

Day 7...Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On Wednesday we had to check out of our home. We had to be out by 10am, but that did not stop us from making the most of our day. Since the surf shop wasn't open yesterday when we wanted to take the stuff back, we still had our wetsuits. So, I was up around 6am to feed Macklin, then we put him back to bed and Justin and I were on the water by 7am.

The highlight of my trip I have no pictures for....I got to paddle board in a group of dolphins!!!!! It was so great! I was so excited that I could barely stand on the board. I guess this pod of dolphins move up and down the coastline in the mornings near our beach. So, there I am, just paddling away and all of a sudden I see them in the distance. I keep paddling to them and they swim right past me! The closest one was about 10 feet away, no lie! It was so cool! After that, I didn't need anything else. We came in around 8am, packed up, took some pics, and left our sweet little beach home.

We hit up some lunch in Oxnard and then headed back to LA. The Bylers left Oxnard to go to Santa Barbara to fly out and the rest of us went to the Kirklands to stay the night. We passed through Malibu on the way, seeing the beaches that Baywatch was filmed on! haha! Here are some pics of our final couple of days in CA.

While we were at the outlet malls, Lynne and I got this great idea to buy the boys matching shirts. We couldn't decide on what to get at the Carter's outlet, but then stumbled upon one...


If you can't tell, the shirts say..."Handsom Like Daddy"



Kiah is so precious! And such a good eater. His real name is Hezekiah and Justin named him Heafty Heze! That's my hubby for ya! Hopefully Kiah won't get a complex over that!

Here's our boy, just as happy as can be!

We got to eat at one of Geoff's favorite places. They make the biggest pizzas I have ever seen. I was proud of myself for eating two whole pieces.

Kiah finished one whole piece by himself!

After our pizza, Geoff took Justin and Jarett to his mid-week study at church and us girls hung at the house. When the boys came back, we had a great time making s'mores and making up songs from our week of adventures and other random thoughts. It was one of the best nights of the trip. Thank you to Geoff's amazing guitar skills, which originated from Jarett!

Ready for another flying trip with Macklin...he did very well yet again! Success!

CA Trip...Day 6

Day 6...Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Today we just soaked up the ocean as much as possible!
Every napping moment caused a new couple to grab the wetsuits and head out.
It was so nice to have 6 other friends to grab your baby when he wakes up so that you can keep playing! It was a great situation to be right on the beach for all of our babies.
Here are a few pics from the day.

My cutie boy

The most natural looking surf couple

One of my favorite family pics!
I made a seat for him in the sand, and then it ended up that we just buried him!
A very thorough shower followed this adventure.

Trying to decide what he thinks of this!

Luca got dunked in the ocean...He wasn't too happy!

So precious!

Riding these boogie boards was awesome!!!

Both of the boys catching waves at the same time!

Bjorn Daddies!

Matching PJs Club
(totally random!)

Monday, August 23, 2010

CA Trip...Day 5

Day 5 of our California Trip
Big things happened today.....It was my birthday! And, we got wetsuits!

I woke up this morning to pancakes with hearts in them! My hubby is so sweet!

Since it was my day, I got to pick our adventure. So, I choose to join the Bylers for a little trip to the outlet mall! It was a great day, but before we left we had some trouble....
Lynne was holding Mack as I was gathering our things to get to the outlets. All of a sudden she says, "I think he is wet." Wet would be an understatement here. Macklin back was quickly turning yellow from the amount of poop that was coming out of his diaper. Good thing none of it got on Lynne, but we did have to document the moment! I was laughing so hard that I could hardly hold my boy!

Finally to the malls. Shopping is a little different with little ones!

Everyone said I could pick our lunch destination since it was my birthday. So, I saw the Panera signs and headed that way. Well, come to find out that Panera didn't open at the outlet until August 14th, just five days too early. So, I peaked in the door and the whole store was fill of goodness. The manager came out to hand us some coupons for the grand opening and I "offered" to test out any food that was needed and happen to mention that I liked their cookies. Well, the nice man that he was, he went back in and brought me out a bag of bite-size cookies! It was so awesome. I told him that he made my birthday! Little did we know that there was hair baked into the cookies that we found upon eating the fourth one out of the bag.....I think they should keep practicing a bit more before opening!

On our way home, we saw the light........we realized that we needed wetsuits and we rented three for our group, one to fit the girls, one to fit the boys, and one to fit Justin!
We also rented a paddle board and Elizabeth had her mom bring her surf board over. We were ready to make the most of our time there. No more of these 15 minute water play times. We wanted the real deal!

Below is a picture of Jarett and Lynne trying to help Jaime get the wetsuit off after she tried to fit her leg through the arm hole! Clearly we don't live by the beach!

Ready to go!

Macklin was investigating Luca on the play mat!

Check out these boards!

Playing in the water!

Cutie boys

The crew surprised me with a birthday cake that they made while Justin and I were playing in the ocean! Happy Birthday to me!

What a beautiful day!