Monday, December 31, 2007


Iowa caucus, Jan. 3rd. If unsure how to vote, I got this great website that calculates who your candidate should be. If you're not sure how to answer questions, you can click on the issue and it gives you a rundown. It helped us a lot. Thanks, Bardwells!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Picture Of Innocence....NOT!

Here she is looking quite sorry for herself, because I've asked her what she has in her mouth (i.e. look at big brown smudge on her lips). She is a chocolate fiend. Also, note that she is still in her PJ's meaning she's hit it early. (she gets that from her mother...but we won't talk about that right now.) The Christmas stocking candy now has to go in a bowl on top of the refridgerator because it's the only place she hasn't gotten into. I'm sure she will get lots of sympathy for our blog viewers, so I will put all of your names on a rotating list for changing her poopies.


Lovely shade of blue, isn't it? Matches his PJ's well. We are always well coordinated in this house. Wish they made that color in an acrylic paint. I could bottle it and make millions.

Messy Eater.

Jackson got this new sweatshirt for Christmas that he really likes. The one downside, he said, is that he catches himself "brushing crumbs" off himself, even though it's supposed to be there. Someone's already asked him if he's been painting.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I'm Speechless.

I requested that my husband NOT buy me any presents this year, and instead give me some cash to go towards a camera I'm saving up for. So, he hands me a card that I foolishly believe is a "money card". Inside, was this wonderful treasure below...I mean, REALLY. The man is a creative genius. There's no other way to describe it than 'pure genius'.I fondly refer to this as a "joe buck". On the back is the message: Sorry, no money. I changed my mind! Along with a cute little happy face.

And THEN, he brings out a box with this inside. He's a stinker. My stinker. And I love him.
P.S. Watch out family and friends...the 'joe buck' may return someday!! When you least expect it...

Christmas Morning.

Let's torture the kids a little longer and make them sit on the steps for a picture before seeing their presents!
I think the boys have set a new world record in the amount of time opening their presents
Lily took her time and savored each scrap of paper and bow. Every present she opened she whispered, "Wow..." It was most precious.
One of Noah's favorite presents was this red blanket. He's always been my snuggle boy and loves all things warm and soft. I've pretty much dug myself a pretty big hole. Getting him up for school will be that much harder.
Lily's favorite gift was her princess hair accessories. Noah was so patient getting his wash, blow out and style. He looked like a million bucks when she was finished.
Jackson was there on Christmas morning, he really was..... it's SO not cool to have your picture taken.

Christmas Eve At The Browns.

We celebrated Christmas Eve with my family at my sister's house. We had a great time. Played a little Catch Phrase (music edition), which us women loved, and once again proved we are the superior team. C'mon doesn't everyone know "Papa Don't Preach"???? The kids opened up some small presents. We are saving the 'big ones' for when Em gets here after the first of the year. It seems the XMAS 3-D glasses were a hit. We know what's cool around here....

We had a great meal of homemade soups and sandwiches and quite a wonderful dessert mom made up in that creative brain of hers involving angel food cake, chocolate chip vanilla pudding, bananas, fudge stripe cookies, and whipped cream. UMM. We all loaded up the van and made it to church on time, which was a 'Christmas miracle'. After church, we got our PJs on and had our annual christmas light drive around town. Kids were in bed by 8:30!!

Below is a fine example of the chaos that ensues when you've got all 4 boys in the same house for an extended period of time....Sorry, it's sideways, you get the idea....

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ummm...We Got A Little Bit Of Snow Last Night.

9 degrees out.


It's cold.

Really cold.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Cookie Day!

Today was out annual Christmas cookie day. Jill, her kids, and Mom came over and spent the afternoon making cutouts. We had a good time. Lots and lots of energy, flour, Christmas music, funny times, and lots and lots of sprinkles

Max worked hard making cookies...
Can you see the perfectly floured handprint on my couch???

This one won the award for the most amount of sprinkles on one cookie...
Mom has declared that she is now the "overseer/baby watcher" so she gets out of the dirty work.

This one was done by Sam and I thought it was very, very cute.

Mom went out on limb this year and made some 'puce' colored frosting. Let's say it tasted better than it looked!
We were finding several cookies around the outer edges of the table that had little bites out of them. Lily was quickly dubbed, "The Cookie Bandit".

I Made This Snowman At School.

It is made out of glass and is very fragile. His head is a lightbulb. I put this special kind of paint on it that is white. His eyes are buttons. His nose is a pipe cleaner. His mouth is made out of tiny buttons. His hat is made out of a sock. That's all. By, Noah

Monday, December 17, 2007

I Can't Believe I'm Old Enough To Have A Child That Needs Orthodontics.

Jackson had his first orthodontic appointment today to 'asssess' the situation. Apparently his upper jaw is growing at an alarmingly faster rate than his bottom jaw and is causing a major overbite. Heavens. Who decided that people need to have perfect jaws anyways. The kid can eat just fine. I'm in denial and think this is bogus. I've also decided I should give up my high paying job as a stay at home mom and become an orthodontist. That's OBVIOUSLY where the big bucks are made. OUCH. In his assessment, it was suggested headgear and braces be installed in about a year. Jackson was OK with the braces idea, but said, "I don't think the headgear is going to work out for me." and "I can't live with having headgear." and "It'll just interrupt my sleep too much." HA! I'm so excited to hear the excuses that come up over the next 12 months. Im sure he'll get pretty creative.

I've decided for sure, now, that I use Lily Margaret's full name a little too much. The first time she called me 'mommy margaret' was chalked up as a fluke, but just this morning as I went upstairs to brush my teeth I heard, "Where'd you go, mommy mawgwet?" coming from downstairs.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I'm Not Sure Why He Does The Things He Does...

... But, it's why I love him. Note the look of awe and adoration on Noah's face.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Painful. So Painful.

My dad was a professional photographer and I honestly don't know how he did it. Kids are the worst at picture taking, especially a group photo. The only theory that saved my dad, I think, is that your kids always act better for complete strangers. I think next year, I'm going to offer the UPS man $20 to come in and snap some pictures of my kids. This is honestly the only good one out of a bunch of about 30. I don't even really like this picture. I may try again, but time is a'tickin. The hardest challenge was not Lily, I could get her to smile with a silly face or dangling a 2 -year old Hershey's kiss from the back of my fridge over my head. She's like Pavlov's dogs when it comes to chocolate. The challenge was the boys keeping a constant 'natural' smile plastered on their face, so I could just snap the picture when that miracle moment happened. Jackson did pretty good, but Noah gave up after the first dozen. I swear I could see toothpicks in the corners of his mouth. It probably doesn't help when mother is saying, "SMILE, DANG IT!" What child wouldn't have a natural, loving, warm and happy smile after hearing that?!?! When he did have a good smile, he evidently had some itchy undies on, which would take some majorly creative cropping to make it socially acceptable. Most of the pictures are great of Lily because I'm worked into a sweat making her smile and then the boys look like they've been drugged. Not necessarily the Christmas message I'd hoped for. They might just get what they get. I do remember the vicious backlash I recieved when I decided to make a bold move and send out cards minus a picture. Whoa. I may try again, if I'm feeling brave.

Be Careful What You Ask For.

I love my husband. I really do. He loves to do his jobs well. Excessively well. This was a seemingly easy task to be done. Tack an extension cord to run under the door and plug into the other wall. Thank you, Joe. Job well done.

Pink Cheeks.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Mary, Mother of Baby Cheeses.


precious girl.

Sometimes A Guy Needs Some 'Alone Time'.

Noah had to take a little walk into the frozen tundra and have 'a moment to himself'. Why? You ask? There was a huge build-up for a video he wanted me to take of him going down the hill on his sled. It was going to be fantastic...a backwards, superfast run...the downhill trip of a lifetime, in a 6 year-old's mind. It didn't exactly pan out like he had planned. Poor guy.

Winter Wonderland.

I don't think we'll be using this tiki torch anytime soon. Beautiful outside today. I'm guessing I'll have some sledding footage to post later. To family-no comments about what's hanging in my window. Yes, they're huge. Yes, I've considered adding some fuzzy yarn. Enough said.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

After about the 5th time Noah came up to me today to complain about something Lily did, I told him, "You're just going to have to find a way to get along." Noah's reply was, " I don't know how to read her instructions." I think he was mocking me. I got 'the mock' from my 6-year old.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Back In The Saddle Again....YEE-HAW!!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

NOT The Best Decision We've Ever Made.

So, this last weekend, we decided to get our Christmas tree. We found the perfect one Friday night. We decided to splurge a little and get a big tree. As in 10 feet. Big. So, we get it in the stand (which we also had to buy to accomodate the bigger tree.). This would be the stand that said on the outside "For trees up the 10 feet tall". You might know where this story is going. We decide to decorate it later in the weekend because we've got the art open house Saturday. At the show, I get a phone call. It's Lily. "Mom, tree fall down." I think this is hilarious, actually, probably because I'm across town and Joe is home with 3 kids all day trying to shop-vac a gallon of water out of our living room carpet. So, he and Jackson get the tree back in and "secure" it. I gave Joe a hard time because no one in the house yelled, "TIMBER!!!!" I mean, how many opportunities to you get to actually do that?? He REALLY didn't think that was so funny. So, yesterday we get all our ornaments on and it is BEAUTIFUL. We go out to dinner, come home and the tree is laying on the floor. Ornaments everywhere. Water everywhere. I'm quickly seeing why the 'timber joke' bombed. The kids are crying. Joe is about ready to 'snap', and I'm feeling very violated, if you will. This is not even the worst part of the story. The worst part is very hard to talk about. One member of our family is STILL not talking about it.

*DISCLAIMER* The below photograph is violent in nature and should only be viewed by those in good health. If you are pregnant, have a heart condition, or any other serious medical condition, view photo at your own risk.


Friday, November 30, 2007

Crazy Good Meatloaf.

I'm not a HUGE meatloaf-lover. This one, I have to admit is GOOD. It's EASY. My kids (and husband) LOVED it. Thanks, Jeannie. I shall title this one....

Jeannie's Meatloaf

2 lbs. ground beef
1 package Stove Top stuffing
1 C water
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 BBQ sauce (I think I used more...)

Mix all ingredients except 1/4 C BBQ sauce. Shape into a loaf in 9x13, then spread remaining BBQ on top. Bake 1 hour at 375 degrees. (I think my loaf was wider and flatter than it should have been-so I only cooked mine about 45 min., so just watch it.)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

ABC's With Lily.

Lily has been obsessed with singing the ABC's, lately. I hear it in my sleep.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Noah brought this wonderful dragon home from school today. Don't you want to just kiss that face?!?

Come One...Come All.

Doris (see below) has had a very hard week. She's been worked and reworked all week, and still cannot get the crazed look off her face. She's had blue paint blobbed on her face, her hair dyed and redyed several times. She continues to look back at me like she might snap at any moment. What to do, but give her an appropriate quote. Somehow, it all seems to make sense now.

We would like to invite you to the 3rd? 4th? (it's all a blur...) annual arts and crafts open house featuring these three lovely ladies. Come for art...conversation...snacks...a good laugh. And now... a shameless plug.

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for that 'hard to buy for' person? Find what you're looking for at our art open house. You'll be sure to find the perfect gift. This Sat. 10-3. Click to the right or go to for details and sneak previews. Be there. Bring a friend. Yes, Doris WILL be there, but come early, I don't think she'll be there long! You guys will have to duke it out amongst yourselves. See you there!

I Say Whip It. Whip It Good.

Monday, November 26, 2007


I got a very special delivery today. I'm WAY more excited than the kids, because, you know, I did "buy this for the kids..." Yeah, right. So, we sat down and watched it this evening. Needless, to say, the excitement wasn't exactly felt throughout the fam. Lily liked the music and tuned in when they were sliding down the slide. Noah just said, "Mo-om, you can see their strings.." I got an eyeroll from Jackson. He quickly went back to his book. Kids just don't appreciate 'muppetry' these days. They didn't even bat an eye when "Chuck" from The River Bottom Nightmare Band made his terrifying appearance. I remember having nightmares from that guy!! Oh, well, I thought it was very entertaining. I think I need to dig out my John Denver Muppets Christmas CD out of storage.

"Baby Cheeses."

I got out my stash of Christmas books for the kids today. Lily quickly decided she liked the stories about "Baby Cheeses."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

This Is For Emily In 90 Degree TX.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Getting To Know My Kids.

favorite thing to do: gamecube
favorite food: grilled cheese
favorite subject: recess
least favorite subject: math
who do you play with?: Owen
favorite teacher: Mrs. Frisbie
favorite sport: baseball
favorite animal: cheetah
favorite TV show: Arthur
favorite movie: Cars
favorite bible story: The Fruit one...
What do you want to be when you grow up?: baseball player
Where would you like to travel to?: Chicago
What would you do with a million dollars?: buy something really huge!
What do you like best about yourself?: I'm good at sports
What do you want for Christmas?: a big toy

name: Jackson
age: 11
favorite thing to do: read books
favorite food: Mt. Dew
favorite subject: science
least favorite subject: math
favorite teacher: Mrs. Kurtz
favorite sport: baseball
favorite animal: hawk
favorite TV show: Monday Night Football
favorite movie: National Treasure
favorite bible story/verse?: David and Goliath/ John 3:16
What do you want to be when you grow up?: mechanical engineer
Where would you like to travel to?: London
What would you do with a million dollars?: buy the world
What do you like best about yourself?: I'm cool.
What do you want for Christmas?: all the Legos in the world

Name: Lily
Age: 2
favorite food: pizza
favorite drink: orange juice
favorite TV show: Dora/ Blues Clues
favorite animal: puppies and kitties
favorite toy: watercolor paints
favorite song: anything from High School Musical soundtrack/ ABC's
favorite bible story: you blow your horn, then the walls come tumblin' down
favorite fruit: bapples (apples)
favorite candy: buppers (suckers)
favorite thing to do with daddy: let him tickle my armpits
favorite thing to do with mommy: go to the mall
favorite thing to do with Noah: wrestle
favorite thing to do with Jackson: 'play' gamecube with an unplugged controller
What I want for Christmas: Butterscotch the Fur-real pony ($299 @ Target. PLEEEASE, GRANDMA!!!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I've been tagged by Kristin. Here goes...

Name 5 things you were doing 10 years ago:
1. Got married.
2. Had a 8 month old.
3. Lived in Hawkeye Court apartments
4. Worked full time/Joe worked and went to school
5. Dad went to Jesus.
(That was one HECK of a year)

Name 5 things you were doing 5 years ago:
1. had a 6 year old and a 1 year old
2. was doing in -home day care (ugh.)
3. living on 12th street
4. Emily lived in our basement
5. crying because my baby was in Kindergarten

Name 5 things you were doing 1 year ago:
1. raking LOTS and LOTS of leaves
2. had a 10 year old, 5 year old, 1 year old
3. trying to decide whether to move or not
4. installing a floor in the bathroom
5. volunteering at the kid's school

Name 5 jobs you've held:
1. babysitting
2. checker and bagger at Hy-Vee
3. worked at a group home for disabled people
4. mom
5. am I missing something?

Name 5 of your favorite snacks:
1. diet cherry coke (good thing it's diet, huh, see below...)
2. chocolate
3. pastries of any sort
4. popcorn, buttered, salted
5. cookies

Name 5 things you did yesterday:
1. Went to Hobby Lobby
2. painted
3. took the kids to Mickey D's
4. went to the kid's conferences
5. pulled my hair out because there was no school

Name 5 things you'd do with a million dollars:
1. buy the new olive green mustang
2. go to Disney world
3. give lots of anonymous gifts to people
4. pay off our loans
5. let Joe invest his little heart out

Name 5 things you hate doing:
1. laundry
2. going to the dentist
3. excercise
4. trying to figure out what to have for dinner
5. cleaning the boys toilet!

Name 5 shows I like:
1. The Office
2. Dancing With the Stars
3. Cops
4. AFV
5. Project Runway

Name my 5 biggest joys in life:
1. being forgiven
2. being a wife
3. being a mom
4. being an artist
5. chocolate!

Name 5 people to tag:
1. Em
2. Jill
3. Mom
4. Angie
5. Shadley

You're it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Some Of My Thankfuls, In No Particular Order...

God provided so much, above and beyond...

(Poor Cookie...)
My 'How-To Manual' for everything...

No explanation needed...
Again, no explanation...
3 best gifts in the world...
Can't go into it right now, or I'll cry...
Thank You, Jesus, for all these things. I love you more than anything.