Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Noah gets his Webelos Badge and Arrow of Light Award for Scouts!

Noah got a ton of awards and one of them was his Webelos award.  He loves the scout program and is always eager to get his awards.  I am blessed to be one of his scout leaders.  I actually love working with the boys and helping them earn their awards and feel good about their achievements.   We held the Pack Meeting outside since we needed an Indian to come for the Arrow of light award that Noah also got last night.  We also had a fire pit so we could roast marshmallows at the end.  It was so much fun and all the kids had a blast.
One of the greatest parts of being a mom is that each time Noah advances in scouts I get a pin too.  Noah got to pin me.  I now have four pins.  One for Bobcat, Wolf, Bear, and now Webelos.  I LOVE IT!

The Indian arrived and was preforming the Arrow of Light portion of the night.  Noah and Chiz were the only two to get their Arrow of Light yesterday.  Both of the boys have worked really hard the past couple of months and I am proud of them both.
You just gotta love that face!  He is so cute.  I am certain he was the cutest scout there last night.  Love my little Noah Man!

Here is the fire pit and the marshmallows.  Chiz came up to me later and he had roasted me a marshmallow and said he wanted to give it to me for being such a great scout leader.  I LOVED IT!  The boys are great!  Congratulations to Noah for working so hard and accomplishing a lot in a little amount of time.  GOOD JOB BUD!  I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

My dad is the BEST!!!!!!

My dad is the greatest grandpa any kid could ever wish for.  The picture above is from our trip back home to Virginia this summer.  My dad works on Fort Lee, the Army base close to their house.  Noah and I got to take and pick grandpa up from work so that we could have a car during the day to do whatever we wanted.  On post there are many neat sites to see and fun things for boys to get into.  My dad is like a big kid.  He loves to see all the sites too and so he took us around one afternoon to show us some of the neat things on Fort Lee.  My dad and Noah have always been close.  My dad has set such a great example for Noah and always been there for him.  Noah loves him so much and enjoyed the great times he and grandpa had this summer.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Noah starts another school year............

Noah is going into the 5th grade this year.  I think to myself, "where has the time gone".  I remember it like it was yesterday taking him into Mrs. Luck's room and kissing him goodbye as he started his 1st day of Kindergarten.  The past few years have gone by way too fast but Noah has grown a lot and has turned into a really great kid.  He is so darn cute too.  His teacher this year is Mrs. Steele.  I have heard great things about her and hope that she will be good for him.  Noah has been blessed each year since starting school with awesome teachers.  They all have been very patient and kind to him and I have really enjoyed getting to know each one of them.  I look forward to this school year and the opportunity to get to know Mrs. Steele.  Good Luck Noah on his 5th grade year.  I know he will continue to grow and learn.
This is Noah heading to the car so that we can take him to school.  It is a tradition in our family to always take him to school the 1st day and walk him to his classroom.  This year was the 1st year I only got to take him to school.  I guess that is part of him growing up.  I didn't get to take him to his classroom but I was able to take him to school.  Glad I still can do that.  Im not sure I am ready for him to be growing up, but I guess I have no choice.
I guess he was fed well at breakfast.  Who in the world has all this energy so early in the morning.  Noah has always been a morning person, which I guess is good since he has to get up kind of early for school each day.  Here he is playing around while we wait for Chris to be ready so that we can take him to school.
This is Noah in front of Rock Canyon Elementary.  The 1st day of 5th grade.  Good Luck!  I hope you have a great year and make many new friends.  I know you will do great and am so proud of the wonderful young man you are becoming.  I love you bud.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Adoption Collages

There is so much to do for the adoption process.  One of the things we needed to do was create two photo collages.  I guess it is a good thing that I photograph every little thing our family does.  These are the two collages that I created tonight.  It was a lot of fun going back over a ton of our pictures from over the years.  I think we have a fun little family here.  Anyway, just wanted to share our collages with you. 

School is about to begin!

Wow, this summer has really gone by fast.  Being back in Virginia for the summer was great but went by way too fast.  Now that we are back home in Utah we are gearing up for this upcoming school year.  A lot of things are happening this year.  Noah will be in the 5th grade. (Where in the world has time gone.  I remember his 1st day of Kindergarten and the tears that I shed).  Chris is entering his final year here at BYU and will be graduating in April.  (I can't wait.  We have been in school the entire time we have been married)  He will also be commissioning as an Army Officer in April.  Im so proud of him.  And I will be getting my Associates Degree mid November and then starting my Bachelors Program in January.  Noah is playing Football for the 1st time this year.  (Thank goodness it is flag) and then he will do Wrestling, Basketball, Soccer, and probably Baseball.  It is going to be a busy year.  Noah is currently a Webelo scout and is getting ready to start up his 4th year of piano lessons.  Some goals I have for the start of this school year are:

1.  Start Weight Watchers
2.  Exercise several times a week
3.  Read my Scriptures more
4.  Pray daily
5.  Continue learning with my Photography hobby
6.  Read more
7.  Watch less TV
8.  Get caught up on my Scrapbooking
9.  Learn a few new songs on the Piano
10. Complete at least one cross stitch project.

Those are my top 10 things I would like to accomplish this school year.  It is gonna be a great one I know.  We are having a lot of family come in the middle of April to see Chris graduate and Commission.  It is going to be nice to have them here and show them around where we live.  I know that this year will be only as good as we make it so I am planning on making it a blast!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Well....It's Official...............

We have officially started the adoption process.  We had our meeting on Monday with our case worker and are filling out paper work and as of today we all have our physicals done.  Our case worker is working with us to make sure that the approval process goes quickly.  She said that if we do our part she will have us approved by the end of October.  This is great since the process usually takes about 6 months.  Then we start the waiting game.  We feel so blessed to be able to have this experience as a family and are so grateful for all the love and support our family and friends have shown us in this decision.  We will keep everyone posted as to how our process is going and when the time comes we will make our announcement of our growing family.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A little surprise for Chris' mom......

So while we were home we got to spend quite a bit of time with my in laws (who are great bytheway). Anyway, Chris was at Army Officers Training (LDAC) for the entire month of July. His mom thought he was going back to Utah after training and that Noah and I would meet up with him in August when we went home. The entire family on both sides knew he was really coming to Virginia except for his mom. So I told her that we could come over on Friday morning, skype with Chris (who she thought was going to be in Utah), and then we would go out to lunch. Little did she know Chris would be joining us for lunch. Anyway, so I told her that I forgot a flag I had gotten her in my moms van and that my mom was bringing it back to us. So we went outside so that she could take her old flag off the stand and put the new one on. These pictures are in order of her reaction when she looked over at my mom's van......

She just noticed a soldier getting out of the back of the van with a flag. LOL It was great. We were all in tears by the end of the reunion.

This surprise made for one happy momma!
And it was sooooooooo nice to be reunited with my sweet husband after being apart for 2 months.

Our Amazing Summer in Virginia

My goodness, it is so nice to be back home in Utah! We had an amazing trip this summer but I realized that being away from your own home and your friends for 2 1/2 months is a bit long. I did enjoying being with my family and old friends back in Virginia. We had many great experiences while we were home. My dad works as a Civilian on Fort Lee. We were able to take him to and from work most days so that Noah and I could have a car during the day to do whatever we wanted. While we were on post we did some exploring since our life is going to ARMY really soon. Noah really liked looking at all the tanks and trucks around base.

Another great perk of being home this summer was to meet my sweet new niece Addison (Addie) for the 1st time. Noah and I feel in love with her right away. Chris' sister had Addie in April and they live in Arkansas so it was nice to have her in Virginia for a week while her husband, Nick, was on a Mission Trip for their church in Africa.

Noah did so good with her. He is going to make a great big brother one day! He loved holding her and letting her grab on to his finger. He thought it was funny that she didn't want to let go.
And you know I had to get my hands on her since I am in love with babies and then it is even better when they are family. I just love little Addie so much and was very grateful that we were able to spend some time with them.
This is a picture of the Fort Lee Military Branch. My dad is the Branch President of this branch. The branch is for soldiers who are in training for several weeks. We were able to go since my dad is the President plus they needed someone to play the piano for them for the Sunday services. I actually enjoyed playing for them. I just love soldiers especially since my wonderful husband is one too. I loved the branch. Each Sunday was so uplifting and gave me exactly what I needed to get through the next week. Those soldiers have such a sweet spirit about them which was really nice.
Noah and I got Kings Dominion season passes while we were home so we could ride roller coasters and enjoy the waterpark. IT WAS AWESOME! Noah is such a dare devil. He likes to ride all the rides (even the ones that I wouldn't). This one is the drop tower. It goes up over 272 feet and hangs at the top then it drops at 75 miles per hour down to the bottom. I was not about to get on that ride.

Emily and her kids also had Kings Dominion passes so we went together and had a blast. Emily is my Virginia Best Friend. I loved spending so much time with her this summer. All the days at the pool and the girls nights out were awesome. Em is great and I really enjoyed all the fun trips we took.

Here are all Noah's cousins on my side of the family. Bentley (the little man on Noah's lap) is going to have a little brother in December. We had fun at the pool with all the kids. Brayden and Lexi started going off the diving boards this summer and Emma loved jumping into the pool all by herself. They love the water which is great cause we Brandeberry's are water kids.
While we were at Topsail Beach this summer (which is in North Carolina), we got to visit the Turtle Rescue Hospital. It is amazing how many volunteers they have and the wonderful work they do for the turtles.

Noah and Brayden had so much fun together this summer. They are so cute. I just love them.
We went with my brother Jared to have lunch with Brayden one day. Brayden was so excited to see us show up at school. He only knew Jared was coming. It was nice to have lunch with him.
The nasty jellyfish we saw at the beach. Each night I walked on the beach and this was what Brayden and Noah found one night on our walk.
I LOVE THE BEACH!!!!!!!! (Just in case you didn't know)

Noah found a dead crab on the beach. He was in good shape so we let him keep it for a little bit. He was keeping on the front porch of our beach house until the porch started to stink. It was pretty cool looking.
We had a ton of fun this summer. I enjoyed being back in Virginia but am very happy to be back in Utah. The beach was by far my favorite part of our vacation. I ate my guts out with Mexican food since it is very different than the Mexican we have here in Utah. I was grateful for the time we had with our families and wish we could have done more but it is always nice to get back home and back to reality. We are starting our final year here at BYU and I am ready to get it started and see what the future holds for our family this upcoming year!