The Bates Family
Allen, Leah, Brookelyn, & Braedyn

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Summer Races

We have had a great time this summer participating in a bunch of different races! 

To prep, the kids tried their first Triathlon Camp, coached by a member of the American Triathlon Team.  They went every day for a week, and then competed in a mini-triathlon.  They had a blast!
Ready to race!
Smiling with Coach Erin.
It has become a summer tradition for us all to compete in the Tour de Fun, a bike and run race.  Daddy hops on his bike and rides, while mom and the kiddos run the 5K.  Last year the baby was only a couple of months old when we ran.
All ready for our races!
The kids did amazing! Of course they deserved a popsicle.
And the baby was so exhausted, he needed a nice long drink!
The kiddos also participated in swim team for the first time this year. Both of them competed in one regular meet and then the Summer Championship meet.  We were so proud of how far they progressed as swimmers!
Ready for their meet!
Braedyn is on the block (far right) ready to swim! 
Brookelyn adjusting her cap.
Another summer tradition we just started last year is participating in The Color Vibe.  Last year mom stayed on the sidelines with the baby, but this year he got in on the action!
Here is our "before" shot!
Then, the fun began!
The kids loved throwing color on their uncles! 
And of course, their uncles loved throwing color on them!
What a crew! 
After all the preliminary color throws, we all hit the trail running.  Each station had people throwing different colors on us!
The "after!"
 Then, it was time to party!

Not sure who was having more fun!?
We can't wait until next year's race!
Color Vibe 2014

Fourth of July Extravaganza

The 4th of July is almost bigger than Christmas in our house--Allen might even argue bigger!

There is a couple week build up, shopping and buying and organizing and this year even building fireworks!
Analyzing all the choices.

Showing off all their goodies!
Shopping for the supplies to build their first finale firework.
Engineering and wiring up their contraption!
Every year we go to a big fireworks show at a local church before the 4th.
Ready to watch the show and get some ideas!

Family picture time!
Before the 4th, we had some "practice" evenings to shoot off some smaller fireworks. 
Sparklers are always fun!
But, nothing beats the actual 4th!
Allen engineering a pole to nail fireworks to.
Check out all those fireworks! Jamie, David, and Allen all battled it out by bringing a finale!

Braedyn loves fireworks as much as his Daddy!
And so does Brookelyn!
Braxtyn--not so much! Maybe next year!
Allen couldn't wait to shoot off his homemade finale!
Check out the after shot! They ALL went off! 
And, what fun is the 4th without a little drama from the old lady across the street? While she didn't call the cops on us this year, she still came out and yelled, videoed, and took pictures!
The boys were just trying to be "nice" by cleaning off her driveway!
Can't wait to try and top the festivities next year!!!

Emily and David's Wedding!

We were so lucky to be a part of Emily and David's wedding in June!

The weekend kicked off with a trip to The Cardinal's Game.
The kids were super excited for their first MLB game!
Sashi came too, while Honey was sweet enough to tame "the beast" aka Braxtyn, back at the hotel.
It was so much fun! 
The next morning, Uncle Jacky flew in for the festivities!
Uncle Jacky is THE BEST!
 And, before we knew it, it was time for the ceremony!!
Brookelyn was a bridesmaid, and Braedyn was the ring bearer (or ring burier as he called it).
Braxtyn's job was just to look cute!
And, give out lots of snuggles!
Until, he exhausted himself just in time to sleep through the ceremony!
After a gorgeous ceremony, Emily and David had an amazing reception! Braedyn might have even met his future bride, Emma! (She is Emily's adorable niece.)

 We couldn't be more thrilled for Emily and David!!

Viva Las Vegas!

We had the best time in Las Vegas for Brookelyn's dance competition! While Vegas wouldn't be my first choice to travel to with three young children, surprisingly, everyone had a BLAST!

Travelling with three kids is an art, and I am pretty sure both Allen and I still need lessons on mastering this art!
The baby LOVED rolling the suitcases! 
Brookelyn is such a great big sis! She attempted to keep Braxtyn busy.

Once in Vegas, we walked the strip and shopped until late. 
The poor baby pooped out!
It was around 11pm when we headed back to the hotel. Somehow, everyone seemed to gain a second wind once we were in our room!
These three are just the cutest! They had so much fun taking a midnight bath!
And, of course after their bath, they were hungry.  So, the boys had a midnight snack! 
The next couple of days were filled with all the competition dance fun! 

Ready to compete with "Daisy!"
One really cool thing about this competition is that they raise money to send dancers affected by CANcer to camp.
So proud of Brookelyn's hard work!

The cheering section!

Brookelyn's security!  Don't they look tough?

Check out those zebra lips! 
On stage for awards.

All of Brookelyn's dances placed, which was such an honor!
Brookelyn and her big sis, Emmalee.  
With all the dancing, there was still time for a little fun!
Brookelyn and Braxtyn headed to the pool.

Braedyn with his idol,  Lebron!
And, who goes to Vegas and doesn't get a tattoo?! Braedyn got Air Jordan!

Two handsome Elvis impersonators!
And, of course we had to take a little time out to celebrate Brookelyn's BIRTHDAY!
Seriously the BIGGEST slice of cake EVER!
When in Vegas, besides getting a tattoo, you have to see a show.  We saw The Jabbawockeez!

All that excitement wore our little dancer OUT! 
Check out that perfect bun and makeup--even after sleeping!
Braedyn babysat on the way home--well at least on the last leg.  The first flight he sat with a bunch of the dance girls and loved every second of it.  Something tells me the older he gets the more he won't mind hanging out with a bunch of beautiful dancers!