Saturday, December 29, 2007

Smithfield


We took a little day trip over to a neighboring town called Smithfield. Smithfield's claim to fame is that it is the home of Smithfield and Gwaltney Hams but it also has several streets full of beautiful old homes. Some of these homes date back to the colonial days. We drove down these streets lined with gorgeous old houses, strolled around downtown into antique shops and ate ice cream in an old fashioned ice cream parlor. In the town square we found a bronze statue of Benjamin Franklin sitting on a park bench. We had some fun posing with Ben and letting the girls break in their new cameras they got for Christmas. All the pics from this trip can be seen in our picasa album.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Our Christmas

Christmas this year was a big hit! Everyone here got most of the goodies on their list and then some. I know that my people were extra good to me. I got some of those fur lined Crocs and I could not be happier! I feel like I get to wear my bedroom slippers out and about and it's perfectly ok. What more could a person ask for? As for the girls ~ well lets just say that Vera Bradley will be having a great year thanks to the Brown family. The folks who came up with Webkinz won't be suffering any either. Mimi and Papa made the journey up here to Virginia to spend Christmas with us. They brought a Wii with them for the girls. Mimi did battle for it at Target, bless her heart! Anyway we've all been competing with each other in virtual tennis matches and baseball games, etc. Papa has the thing figured out and is now a fierce Wii competitor. I suppose it is now time to pack up all the Christmas decor and begin the countdown for next Christmas. Maybe this time around I can manage to start shopping earlier..... I'll give that some more thought after Thanksgiving.

Ben and Vera

Who says a real man can't hold a purse?



Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

4 More Days!!

Are you all finished shopping? I think I am but I'm not 100% sure about that. My parents are coming up from Florida on Saturday so I have a feeling my mom is gonna want to hit the mall along with about a million other shoppers like me who waited till the last minute.
Holly has just informed me that I totally bombed the reindeer question below ;-P
Today we went to Ferguson Center of Arts at Christopher Newport University in Newport News to watch a performance of the Nutcracker. It was done by the Virginia Youth Ballet and today's show was given specifically for home-schoolers and church groups. Very cool. We really enjoyed the show. Afterwards we went to eat at Cracker Barrel with a family from our church who also went to the Nutcracker performance. This family has 7 children. You should have seen the look on the hostess's face when we asked for a table for 15! We ran our poor waitress ragged but she did a great job.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Quizzy

Instead of annoying you
with my little quiz in
your inbox,

I posted it here for your
reading pleasure.
Feel free to reply!


1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Gift wrap and when we run out of
scotch tape which

somehow happens every year we
resort to Georgia chrome
(duct tape)

2. Real or artificial tree?
Usually real but when we moved
to Guam
we had to go fake
because real trees were dead
by the time they made the voyage

across the ocean.
3. When do you put up the tree?
The 1st Friday in December
after we eat Mexican food.


4. When do you take the
tree down? When I feel
like it


5. Do you like eggnog? Yep
6. Favorite gift received
as a child? Hmmmm... I got a
little sewing machine once
that was cool

7. Do you have a nativity
scene? Yep we have one in
the yard, one on the mantel
and a tiny one on the bookcase.

8. Hardest person to buy for?
Lee because he never
asks for anything

9. Easiest person to buy for?
All my girls because they
give us a list

with MANY MANY options.
10. Worst Christmas gift you
ever received? I cannot think
of anything right now.

I'm sure it will come to me
in the middle of the night, long
after I have sent this post.

11. Mail or email Christmas
cards? both but never in
the same year

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Elf and Holiday Inn

13. When do you start shopping
for
Christmas?
yesterday
14. Have you ever recycled a
Christmas present? Yep

15. Favorite thing to eat at
Christmas? Ham and sweet potato
puddin' yum-O!!!

16. Clear lights or colored on
the tree? White

17. Favorite Christmas song?
O Little Town of Bethlehem~
see post below

BOYCOTT "Christmas Shoes"!!!!
18. Travel at Christmas or stay
home? Home this

year
19. Can you name all of Santa's
reindeer? Um.. lets see Dopey,
Sneezy, Doc, Bashful,

Grumpy, Sleepy, and Happy

20. Angel on the tree top or a
star? A star
Last question added by me...
21. Do you know why we celebrate
Christmas?
I do. It's because God
loves us and sent
His only Son Jesus to be born
in a lowly stable. He did this for
US!!! For the full
story read Matthew Chapter 1 and
Luke Chapter 2 found in the Bible.
I pray that each
you who reads this will come to know
the full meaning of Christmas this year.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Discovery

Can you guys hear the music when you first pull up the blog? I can't. I have discovered though that if you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page then the music will automatically start. Maybe I should put the player up at the top? I will research that and see if it works better.

No Slidee on Icee

Slidee on Icee is exactly what we did on Friday. Ice skating that is. Alright I should probably explain myself. A few years ago Mimi and Papa gave the girls scooters for Christmas. The scooters had obviously been packaged in an Asian country because the directions and precautions were written in Engrish. For an explanation and fine examples of Engrish go to the link on the right. Anyway, one of the warnings for the scooter was "no slidee on ice road". Slidee on Icee has now become part of our vocabulary.
Ice skating with our church friends was tons of fun. My little Guam girls figured they would spend most of the time on their backsides but they managed to stay upright most of the time. Caitlin has a large bruise on her knee though from the rousing game of freeze tag, no pun intended. Pictures of the whole outing can be viewed in our picasa web album.
PS: only 8 more days till Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Holly's little escape artist

Holly puppy sat for our neighbors for a few days last week. Every time she would go over to feed or walk them, the little one named Lincoln would be out of the pen. She could not figure out how he was getting out until one day she caught him in the act. The next time she went over she took the camera to capture the little Houdini on film.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Early Christmas for the Girls

Thanks you Miss Amy and Mr Chris and Logan, Tyler and Ryland for the awesome gift cards from Target. Below is a sampling items we were able get to endure the winter weather here in Virginia.


Caitlin did get new clothes too but would not let me catch her on film

Holly-never a serious moment

Gracie's casual

Abbie's new Sunday duds

silly sisters


A new Sunday outfit (needed black skirt white top for our church Christmas program)

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Finished Product


Merry Christmas!!

13 More Days


Um... Gracie, I think the skirt goes UNDER the tree not around you


Holly and Abbie working together, what a lovely sight.

Still no shopping done here, I thrive one the pressure of having to get things done last minute. We did however get the tree decorated and a few decorations put up, as you can see from the pics above. Stay tuned tomorrow for the Brown girls fashion show. Brought to you by the Morrison family and Target. See you then!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

14 More Days

Is your shopping done? Mine's NOT!!!! The girls have all made lists though. Holly wants a puppy or a pony or both. Not sure where she thinks we will keep a pony. Caitlin wants a piano and Abbie and Gracie just want stuff, preferably Webkinz stuff.
What I want for Christmas is for every radio station to stop playing that syrupy "Christmas Shoes" song! UGH!! I apologize ahead of time if you happen to like the song, somebody out the must like it because they are playing the dog out of it around here. Out of all the wonderful options for Christmas music available and they choose to play Christmas Shoes?!! Go figure.
I mean come on, think this through logically with me for a moment.
First, what kid goes to a shoe store on Christmas Eve or any day for that matter, all by himself? Second, what kid is running off to the store while his mom is on her death bed?
Third, who worries about what shoes they have on while they lay dying? I mean if I'm sick and about to die the last thing I'm thinking about is whether or not I'm wearing my red pumps. Fourth, do they REALLY believe Jesus cares about what shoes we die in? Even if by chance we end up in heaven with the clothes on that we died in (think of all those hospital gowns gone missing, no wonder health care costs so much!) would we stand before Jesus for the first time and say "do you like my shoes? I got them just for this occasion"? I mean come on be for real! OK Lastly and probably most importantly, What does this song have to do with Christmas?! Almost nothing! As if it's not pitiful enough they have to make it ultra syrupy by throwing in the bit about it being Christmas Eve when the mom is dying. I know everyone appreciates a sappy touchy feely story every now and then but this is just too much.

Here's my suggestion, call your local Christian radio station and ask them for the love of all that's sane and rational to PLEASE stop playing this song. If they ask why, you have permission to read them this blog post.
Seriously, lets remember what Christmas truly represents, the entrance of the Savior of the world into the world He gave His life for. Here's a better song:

O little town of Bethlehem
how still we see thee lie
above thy deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by
yet in thy dark streets shineth
the Everlasting Light
the hopes and fears of all the years
are met in thee tonight


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Another Coffee Fact


Turkish bridegrooms were once required to make a promise during their wedding ceremonies to always provide their new wives with coffee. If they failed to do so, it was grounds for divorce! (Ouch!)
It's a good thing Lee knows how to make a PERFECT cup of coffee!

The countdown begins


Last years tree. I have a feeling this years tree will look alot like it.

Well maybe you started the countdown the day after Thanksgiving or if you are like my girls you've been counting the days till Christmas since you ripped open last years presents. You officially have 19 shopping days left till Christmas. I know you all needed that little stress, Oh I mean reminder. Personally I have not done one smidgen of Christmas shopping. Just can't seem to force myself to get out there and face the maddening crowd. I did however drag the Christmas decor out of the attic in preparation for Friday. What's this Friday you ask? The annual "go out and eat Mexican food then come home and put up the Christmas tree" Brown family tradition. I know it's odd but it IS our tradition and we look forward to it every year. Someday maybe my grandchildren will be eating tacos and burritos on the first Friday in December. Hey, I can dream!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Coffee Fact


Infidels only consumed this delightful beverage until Pope Clement VIII found it to his taste and lifted the ban which had long denied Christians the enjoyment of this pleasurable and stimulating beverage. (Imagine~ no coffee before Sunday School or a church social without coffee!!! I shutter to think.)

Caitlin's Driving!!!!

Caitlin has had her first on the highway, in the Suburban, loaded with passengers, driving experience. She even had to merge out onto the highway! I was in the back with my eyes closed, Lee was the brave one in the front. For her first time out on the open road she did really well. I am looking forward to the day when she can shuttle me around town and not the other way around!










Tuesday, November 27, 2007

CTTS=Cute Things They Say

It's been awhile since my last "cute things they say", partly because when they say cute stuff I either forget it or fail to sit down and tap it out quickly enough. SO this time I headed straight to the computer~ well after I did the dishes, folded a load of laundry and took a shower etc... but you get the idea. Today's CTTS comes from Gracie. I was helping her with her Grammar schoolwork which was a lesson on contractions. I went through it with her explaining that contractions were two words combined into one with an apostrophe replacing the missing letters. We practiced reading them, then went through the list guessing which two words had been crammed together, like I am=I'm and is not = isn't. You get the idea, right? After rolling right along doing this for a little while, her next task was to read a list of contractions then use each one out loud in a sentence. The first contraction was the word "I'll". Gracie read it then said "oh oh I know a sentence for that one!" "OK shoot" I said. Then she proceeded with "At Food Lion the milk is on AISLE ten." Hmmmm... I wonder where I went wrong?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bob the Hog


....groundhog that is. He paid us a little visit a few days ago. We figured he was searching for food before he lays down for his long winter nap. If you remember that last time we posted about our groundhog friend Snickers had him hemmed in under Lee's car. Since his brave return to our yard, Abbie has decided that we should call him "Bob". He hung around in the yard for at least 15 minutes while we enjoyed standing at the windows watching him forage. I stealthily took all the pictures of him (which can be seen in our Picasa album) from inside. So I can now add "wildlife photographer" to my list of skills. I'm just waiting for the National Geographic or Animal Planet to call with a job offer but I'm not holding my breath.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Beautiful Beautiful Autumn in Virginia

Our first Fall in over 3 years~ thought we would share it with all of you. Enjoy!


The view from our back window

Our front yard tree

Yep it's quite lovely here in Virginia! The colors that surround us right now are AMAZING!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Just In Time For Thanksgiving

In case you were actually considering hauling out that dry ol' Homemade Mac N Cheese recipe from years gone by this Thanksgiving. I give you the all time, hands down, most fabulous mac n cheese recipe in the world! (In my not so humble opinion that is)
This recipe does come with risks involved which I will explain for you in the following disclaimer.

Disclaimer: Accept this Macaroni and Cheese recipe at your own risk. The gifting party will not and can not be held liable for any and all of the frustrations you may encounter after cooking said recipe and feeding it to others. You may become forever known as the "Mac N Cheese lady/man" and you may be asked to bring said Mac N Cheese to any and all functions you may or may not attend for the rest of your born days. By receiving this recipe you understand that you may never grumble under your breath or out loud about the person who gifted you with said recipe when you have to cook it for the umpteenth time . You now have all rights to this recipe and may share it with any and all parties concerned thereby gaining some relief of responsibility as "the Mac N Cheese lady".

Amy's (now Rebecca's) Fabulous Mac and Cheese


1 lb elbow noodles cooked and drained
1 stick butter (melted)
1 Cup of each of the following shredded cheeses
* mild cheddar
*sharp cheddar
*Mexican Mix or Italian Mix (Asiago, Mozzerella, Parmesan for example)
2 Cups Half and Half (can use evaporated milk instead)
1 16 oz. bar of Velveeta (add to this about a Tbsp of milk)
2 large eggs
salt and pepper (ortional)

Topping:
1 whole tube Ritz crackers crumbled
1 stick butter (melted)
Parmesan cheese grated

*********** In a VERY large bowl mix cooked noodles with melted butter, eggs and half and half. Then mix in the 3 cups of shredded cheeses, season with a bit of salt and pepper to taste (I used white pepper here). Melt Velveeta in the microwave or stove with a little milk until nice and smooth. Pour the melted Velveeta over the noodle mixture and stir it all together. Pour the entire shebang into a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle cracker crumbs over the top, melt the second stick of butter and pour over the top of crackers. Top it off with a little sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

AKA

Ok I totally stole this off of Jen's blog. Thanks Jen!!! It was just too much fun to pass up. Alright everyone have a little fun and send me your answers!

Reminder: I have a new email address~ snickerdoodledog@gmail.com


1. Rock star name (first pet & current car):

Me: Benji Suburban

Lee: Claude Mazda

2. Ghangsta name (favorite ice cream flavor & favorite cookie):

Me:Chocolate Snickerdoodle

Lee:Spongebob Chocolate Chip

3. Fly girl name (first initial of first name & first three letters of last):

Me: R Bro

Lee can't be a fly girl

4. Dectective name (favorite color & favorite animal):

Me: Pink Otter

Lee: Red Bull

5. Soap opera name (middle name & city where you were born):

Me: Joan Rutherfordton

Lee: Gary Warner Robins

6. Star-Wars name (first three letter of your last name & first two of your first):

Me: Brore

Lee: Brole

7. Superhero name ("The", 2nd favorite color & your favorite drink):

Me: The Blue Cream Soda

Lee: The Blue Coffee

8. Nascar name (first names of your grandfathers):

Me: Walter Walter

Lee: Rupert

9. Las Vegas Dancer Name (favorite perfume & favorite candy):

Me: Poison Snickers

Lee: No Vegas dancing for him!!

10. Witness Protection Name (mother and father's middle names):

Me: Joan Thomas

Lee: Gary Rubeye

11. TV Weather Anchor Name (5th grade teachers last name & major city beginning with same letter):

Me: Strong Seattle

Lee: Brown Buffalo

12. Spy Name (favorite season & favorite flower):

Me: Autumn Pansy

Lee: Spring Plumeria

13. Cartoon Name (favorite fruit & article of clothing your wearing right now + "y"):

Me: Watermelon Flannel Pantsy

Lee: Pineapple Slippersy

14. Hippy Name (what you ate for breakfast & favorite tree):

Me: Fruitloop Willow

Lee: Toast MonkeyPod

15. Rockstar Tour Name ("The" + favorite hobby/craft + Favorite Weather Element + "Tour"):

Me:The Family Sunshine Tour

Lee: The Baseball Lightning Tour

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Our Cruise to Cozumel

I know it has taken me long enough to get something on here about our cruise. I've been meaning to do it for weeks now and just keep forgetting. Sorry!! We did go on a cruise in mid October with Mimi and Papa and Papaw and Theresa as well as a number of families from Grace Tab. Lee was unable to go with us because of work. :-(
We had four full days of nothing but relaxing fun and food. I LOVED going into Cozumel. Papaw and Theresa rented a van so that we could go see the "real Mexico" and not just the touristy section near the port. Thanks Papaw and Theresa!!! The funny thing is there were 10 of us so we needed a big van. Well the Mexican fellas threw a couch in the back and assured us that there would be plenty of room for everyone. Gracie and Abbie got to see Mexico backwards from their couch in the back of the van. This totally reminded me of the bonnie method of doing things that we had become used to in Guam.
Favorites from the trip:
By far Gracie and Abbie's favorite thing was being able to go down to the Lido deck and get ice cream any time they pleased. I think their record was 11 cones in one day!

Holly and Sami also enjoyed the ice cream machine and they loved shopping in Cozumel and being able to stay up late every night playing cards with friends. I heard that Sami and Holly got a kick out of being able to order room service. Such a grown up thing to do!
Caitlin loved spending every waking minute with Aubry and the other girls that came with our group. She and Aubry went around and had their pictures made at every photo spot available.
Mimi and Papa had alot of fun watching the girls have so much fun. Mimi won a little cash at the casino and papa and I donated a little cash to the casino, but we had fun doing it.
Papaw and Theresa enjoyed the casino a bit too. A highlight was watching Papaw compete in the final round of the slot tournament. He did not win but we had a ton of fun cheering him on.
Lastly, my favorite thing was seeing Mexico. I was able to get plenty of bottles of yummy Mexican Vanilla and I can now add Mexico to my list of places in the world that I have visited.
One little note.... my camera was being stubborn while we were on the cruise, so the bad news is that I did not take any pictures. The good news is that papa did take a few and you can see them in our Picasa Web album.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A Little Rant

I must say that as popular and "normal" as homeschooling is becoming I am still amazed at the reactions I often get from others that I run across while out and about. I will readily admit that every now and then I do get a positive "ATTA Girl, keep up the good work!" reaction. More times than not though I usually get one of two reactions when people find out that I homeschool the girls.
The first is the classic "you are such a (weirdo) saint" and "how and why would you possibly try to duplicate ALL that a child would be taught in the FABULOUS school down the street?". This is usually followed by a well meaning albeit unsolicited explanation of just how fabulous the school down the street actually is and why their kid is in said school AND just how much their little darling LOVES said school AND how much they would HATE being a (social reject) homeschooler. For some reason people seem to take the fact that we homeschool as an affront or judgment on my part about their decision to send their kiddos to school each day. Hmmm... I have begun to wonder if this is because deep down they might feel a bit guilty that they are not doing the best thing for their child?
The next reaction is the one that REALLY gets me right where I live! That is the one where I hear the other mom say: "oh you are such a (weirdo) saint!!! I could NEVER spend that much time with my children!!!" This is usually followed up by one of several other comments including but not limited to: "we'd kill each other", "I cannot get her to mind me even in the little time we do spend together, she is SOOO strong willed" or the ever popular " we fight like cats and dogs just trying to get the two hours of homework done each night". Mind you this is often said about elementary school aged children. To this reaction I just shake my head and try ( a little bit) to look sympathetic but realistically I am wondering what their home life must be like with all that disagreeing going on. My other immediate thought is that if you cannot get your 7 year old to mind and respect your authority while he is small, then how in the world do you think it will be when he is a teenager?!!! Mental images of their child in the back of a squad car begin to creep into my mind. Then I truly DO start to feel a little sorry for this mom in front of me, mostly because I think of all the grief and heartache she will have over her rebellious child someday. OK, I already know what some of you are a thinking right now. I AM NOT trying to say that homeschooling children do not rebel, believe me I'm not THAT naive. I AM simply saying that I wonder about the logic of a parent who says that they cannot have a respectable relationship with their 7 year old.
As far as homework goes, I wonder if most folks realize that in the time it has taken them to get homework done at night (during what should be family time) they could have just about completed a day of homeschooling? The beauty of it is that you as the teacher do not have to spend half that time deciphering what it is her school teacher is wanting your child to do. Seriously my girls spend a concentrated 2-3 hours per day on school work and then we're finished! Then we get to go spend time with other homeschooled kids and moms (socializing) chatting and laughing about what crazy things we have recently heard come out of the mouths of other parents who just don't get us (weirdo) saints.

**** The italicized, parenthesis words, ALL CAPS and overuse of explanation points were all added by me for EMPHASIS and in some cases to note extreme sarcasm!!!!!!!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Holly's Rendition

The Good Samaritan and His Dog

One day my master and I were getting ready to travel to Jericho from Jerusalem. It is quite a long way to walk, but my master made sure that he had enough water for both of us. My master is so good to me, why just yesterday he said “Barnabus” (that is my name, it means encourager) “you are a most loyal companion” that made me feel so proud. Anyhow the next morning we left and I made sure to stay right by his side the whole time. When we got out of town in the middle of nowhere, three men came out from behind a big rock, and began to beat up my master. I started to growl and bark but they wouldn’t stop. I looked at the three men, and then with all my strength I bit the one who was telling the others what to do. He yelled and picked me up and threw me. I hit my head against a rock, and then everything went black.

When I woke up few minutes later I saw a terrible sight. My master was lying on the side of the road bleeding and he looked half dead. From what I could tell the three men beat my master, ripped his clothes, and stole all of our stuff. I went and went and laid down beside my master, I was so tired, but I didn’t dare fall asleep, I wanted to be awake to protect my master, just in case those men came back. About twenty minutes later a priest came walking down the road. I know it was a priest because he was wearing the clothes only a priest is allowed to wear. He looked at us, and then just walked by on the other side. I was thinking “how rude of a priest to just walk by! “ A little while later, another man came down the road. When he came upon us, he looked at me and said, ”sorry little fellow I can’t help you right now, I’m to busy” I was thinking “ you are to busy for a dieing man?” I had just about given up I was almost asleep, when I heard foot steps. I looked up and saw a man with a donkey coming down the road. When the man came upon us he stopped and helped my master up upon his donkey, then the kind man dressed my master’s wounds. In an hour or two we were in Jericho. The kind man paid for a room in an inn. The nice man stayed the night, but in the morning he had to say good bye. My master thanked him before he left. The nice man gave the inn keeper two silver coins and said “if you spend more than that on the hurt man, I will pay you back the next time come through town”. What a nice man! I do not have thumbs since I am a dog so I could not shake his hand but for his kindness to my master, I gave two wags of my tail.

Written by Holly Brown

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A Fun Word Game

http://www.freerice .com

Increase you vocabulary and feed the hungry! Let me just warn you though, it's addicting!!
I will be posting more soon. We just got our internet back up after almost a month without. Did you all miss me? I missed you!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Watch Out World

Caitlin has a drivers license!!!! Well, actually it is a learner's permit. We went down to the DMV yesterday, she took the test and walked away with the coveted little card. She is SOOO excited! I personally am having a hard time getting used to the fact that my baby is old enough to drive!! Thankfully Lee has taken on the job of teaching her all she needs to know in this arena. As far as I'm concerned this paticular parenting job is "a daddy thing". As a mom I have taken on many challenges but this one, I happily hand over to Lee.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

More Family Time


Sad, yet joyful times for the Brown family recently. Within five weeks of each other Lee's Uncle and Aunt have gone to be with the Lord in their eternal home in heaven. It's sad for us because we will miss them dearly. To me they were a wonderful example of faithfulness . They loved the Lord and they loved each other for over 54 years. The joyful part is simply that they are together again in heaven and that we will someday see them again if we know Jesus. What a blessing!

Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.

Family fun even in the sad times.

It just so happened that while we were home Bella, Lesley, Papa, Grandaddy and myself celebrated a birthday. I won't tell you how old the rest of us are ;-) but Bella turned 2! We partied over at Aunt Pattie's house. We had some Fabulous Finchers BBQ and Brunswick Stew and a DELICIOUS Ice Cream Cake from Cold Stone. Happy Birthday us!

On the way back home to Virginia we had the chance to stop and have lunch with our ol' pals from Camp LeJeune Chad and Jennifer. We got to meet their two little sweethearts Julianna and Ava. Thanks for living right off of the interstate guys!
All the pictures from this trip have been added to the album labeled "Family" in our Picasa Web albums.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Someone is Praying

Hi everyone! I have not been in the blogging mood much lately. Don't worry it's just a temporary slump. I ran across this poem in my inbox the other day, actually I think it's the lyrics to a song. It talks about someone remembering you in prayer. This reminded me of Paul's words in the Scriptures where he comforts those he is addressing by telling them that he often lifts their names up in prayer to the Lord. There is something wonderfully comforting about knowing that someone is praying for you, even when there is nothing especially pressing happening in your life; but especially when there is. I just wanted you all to know (since I have a relatively small blog audience I can safely say this) that I regularly lift your names to Jesus in prayer. So, be comforted today knowing that you have recently been prayed for by "Someone Far Away."

“Someone Far Away"

Somewhere far away a prayer is being said
In that quiet place a heart is being led
Led to mention me by name
To Him who bore my guilt and shame
I’ve been remembered
By someone far away

Someone far away is standing in my place
And asking that the Lord of love
Would smother me with grace
That I’d be deaf to Satan’s lies
That I’d run the race
And claim my prize
I’ve been remembered
By someone far away

And my heart sings with the knowledge
That I do not stand alone
We are truly connected
Not by post or faxophone
With a humble heart and bended knee
They ask the Lord to carry me
Through battles I dare not face alone
Someone far away
Someone far away
My heart sings
Cause I’ve been remembered
By someone far away

~ Angela DiPrima

Sunday, October 7, 2007

LOL

I'm having a strange sense of humor day. Thought I'd share a few tidbits I ran across that tickled my funny bone:

1. There are really only two necessary tools in life: Duct tape and WD-40. If it moves and it shouldn't, duct tape it. If it should move and it doesn't, WD-40 it.

And since flu season is upon us:

2. If you feel a cough coming on take a good dose of laxative and you will be too afraid to cough anymore.

There you have it.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Is it Groundhog Day?

Last time I checked, Groundhog day was in February, but we had ourselves a personal groundhog day yesterday. I was sitting out in the front yard enjoying a few moments of peace, quiet and the beautiful Virginia Fall weather. Snickers was curled up on my lap snoozing the afternoon away as I read. Suddenly she popped up and leaped out of my lap bolted across the yard toward the driveway barking her little head off. I could see that she was after something furry and had managed to trap it underneath Lee's car. She kept circling around keeping the creature hemmed in. As I approached I could hear its little teeth chattering! I bent down to look and the above pictured groundhog is what I saw. He was NOT happy at being cornered by a wiener dog. I yelled for the girls to come look and of course bring the all important camera. I let Snickers feel important for a few more minutes while we ALL laid down on our bellies in the driveway to get a good look and take a few pictures. I can just hear the neighbors now... "I knew that home school family was a bit odd!" Our encounter with this little guy led to a bit of study about groundhogs. See, we take every chance to learn something new, it's what every self respecting home school mom would insist on doing. Can you hear my children groaning?
Anyway two very important things we learned about groundhogs are as follows:
1. Groundhogs and also called Woodchucks.
2. Groundhogs hibernate ALL winter....which means that every year they have to wake poor Punxsutawney Phil from his peaceful slumber just so that we can see if Spring will be early.
If I were him I'd tell em to go turn on the weather channel!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My hat, it has 3 corners....

Home schooling here in Virginia has already proven to have some wonderful advantages. The area is SO rich in early American history that I have decided to not even use an official history curriculum but rather take advantage off all that there is to see and do all around us. We had one such opportunity just last week. Colonial Williamsburg offers homeschooling families enormously discounted tickets for 1 week twice a year. We were able to get in on the action for two days with several other homeschooling families. The girls were especially diligent to get all of their other schoolwork done so that we could devote Thursday and Friday just to our field trip. We were able to take tours of colonial buildings, watch re-enactments, do hands on activities as well as watch skilled craftsmen at work. We visited a brickmaker, a silversmith, a leather worker, a carpenter, and toured a working colonial kitchen. We also got to be involved in a mock trial at the courthouse. I was chosen to be one of the 12 magistrates. That was interesting! Caitlin was disappointed that no one got thrown in the stockade or tarred and feathered. Speaking of punishment, we toured the original jail which is famous for housing 15 of Blackbeard's crew while they awaited trial. They were made to ride to their lynchings sitting atop their coffins! Yikes!! Talk about creepy. All in all it was tons of fun. We got spend time with great friends AND learn so much more than would be possible from a book. I have attempted to tell the story of our 2 days in our Picasa Web album labeled Colonial Williamsburg. I hope you enjoy the pics, who knows; you just might learn a few things.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

...one cat two cat dry cat wet cat....


Ever try washing a cat? I have and I was completely unsuccessful. Therefore, ever since that moment of failure I have figured that 1. cats were not meant to be washed by people and 2. people who attempt washing cats are destined to fail miserably. Even after all of my warnings and motherly/experiential wisdom was offered, the girls decided that Fraidy and Spooky needed a bath. Worse yet, they would use the fruity/flowery scented shampoo for said bath. I decided that some lessons must be learned the hard way. In a last ditch effort to steer them toward the dog (a much more willing bath taker) I yelled " I don't want to hear you moaning and groaning when you are all covered with cat scratches!". I also figured if nothing else I could get some good pictures of the ordeal. I know, I'm the picture of compassion. HA!
Spooky went first and proved to be a mighty warrior. The girls quickly realized that this would be a "4 sister battle" so Gracie and Abbie were recruited to help. Four girls against one feisty cat. It was a fierce battle, in the end the girls won but not without their war wounds. Spooky emerged wet and humiliated but smelling quite lovely. Fraidy was a much more willing subject. The girls had armed themselves for a fight but he did not even put up a fuss. He yowled a few times and that was it. So now we have two nice smelling cats and four girls who MIGHT listen to their momma next time. All of the cat washing pictures can be viewed in our picasa web album.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Is It Fall Already?


Sure does feel like it to us! There is a definite nip in the air. Today the temp never went above 75 degrees. For some that would be perfect weather but for us it feels downright COLD! After 3 years of 90 degree temps everyday, I think our blood has thinned out. We have really missed seeing the beautiful fall colors and just the general feel of Fall and all that goes with it. You know things like pumpkin patches, mums, hay rides, warm soups and stews for supper. Not to mention Friday night football. This picture on the left was taken today while we were up in Colonial Williamsburg on a field trip. I happened to notice the tree on the way up and determined to stop and take a picture of it on the way home. We literally stopped traffic for a moment or two in order to do this. Oh Well! I'm appreciative of those travelers behind us who patiently waited so that I could take a picture of the first Autumn colors I've seen in a long time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

School of Beauty


Caitlin decided to try making Holly's long, bone straight hair as curly as her own. Holly very patiently sat through the ordeal while her sister painstakingly curled hundreds of small sections of her hair with a tiny curling iron. All of this while the two little sisters pestered them both. Caitlin then pinned every curl in place all over Holly's head. For about 30 minutes it looked very pretty. Then it slowly began to melt. About an hour later it was all as straight as ever only still pinned up on her head. Might as well get used to it girls, some of us were just born with straight hair and there is nothing we can do about it.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Poor Snicky

Bless her little puppy heart. Snick had to go get her teeth done today and they ended up having to pull four of them. She has already had several pulled, so pretty soon I think we will have a toothless Doxie on our hands. Evidently Doxies are prone to teeth troubles. I think Snickers has had more than her share of teeth issues. This latest episode has really caused her a lot of pain. Hopefully now we have it all taken care of and she will back to her happy tail waggin' self before long. Right now though she in a nice drug induced sleep on my lap as I type. Ever dealt with a dopey dog? It's pretty funny! At least she's feelin' no pain.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

School Days

Caitlin working on her writing skills (the easiest subject she has this year)
It's a good thing Holly has an online math teacher
UGH!! Decimals.....
The third grader blazes in to new territory... Spelling and Literature

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Home


They say "Home is where the heart is" . For the Brown Family we say "Home is wherever your furniture happens to be". Spoken like a true military family. We do however have a soft spot in our hearts for Middle Georgia and Central Florida, for those are the places we can refer to as home even though we do not have any furniture there. These places are home for us not because we grew up there but because we still have family and friends there. These are the places that we can go to and be loved on by people who have known us for years and are still happy to see us. For a military family who has to uproot and start over every few years, having a place to go to where you don't have to introduce yourself is very comforting. I love how my kids can just pop in at Grace Tab after a year or two absence as if they never left, and how they know where to find all the goodies in Grandma's closets because she would never dream of moving their goodies from the spots where they left them. We have just recently returned from a bit of time spent in both of these places we love so much. It was hard to leave and return back here to our new life of starting over in this new place. I have to keep telling myself to plug on and remember all that God has rewarded us with in the past. In every place we have lived, He has given us friends, most of which have been of the "life-long" variety. He has been very good to us and I have no doubt that He will continue. You never know we just may meet our new life long friends tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Meet Bella Grace

During our recent trip to Georgia the girls had the privilege of meeting their new cousin "Bella" for the first time. They were thrilled!! For 3 days it was Bella, Bella, Bella and they loved every minute of it. Miss Bella is a cute, chatty, playful, smart and determined 23 month old. Now the girls are wishing we lived closer so that we could see her every day. Be sure to check out the "Beautiful Bella" album in our Picasa Web Albums.

Whose new coffee table is it anyway?


Spooky obviously believes that the new coffee table belongs to her.
Wait just one cotton pickin' minute you silly cat!! We went through a lot of grief getting that table all the way from Guam to our Virginia living room.
She is actually laying inside the table. The piece of glass that fits on top is still wrapped in paper, propped up on the bookcase. Maybe with the glass in, Spook will not find this such an appealing nap spot.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Biker Chicks!

That's what our girls have turned into~ biker chicks! Papa took each of the girls riding on the Harley yesterday. They LOVE riding on the motorcycle perched behind Papa or Daddy or Mr. Danny or whoever will offer to take them for a spin around town. They have the fever now for daddy to get another bike. I'm pretty sure daddy would be happy to oblige their biker chick tendencies!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Introducing....Jet Puff

Ok I know it's silly to name your vehicle but I always have probably always will. I'm wondering how many other people name their cars or appliances? Growing up we had a garbage disposal named Ralph. To this day I tell the children and Lee that Ralph will eat the leftovers or scraps off of their supper dishes. Seems natural to me. Anyway, when we left Guam we sold the big black rolly thing aka our black Suburban. The Navy would only move one car for us so we chose to have them move Lee's Mazda aka Sparkles. BTW Lee's not real crazy about the whole naming the cars concept but he's coping well. When we arrived here in Virginia we had to replace the family vehicle. Jet Puff is what we bought. The girls and I thought it looked like and enormous marshmallow so she was properly named Jet Puff. I think it fits, don't you? I just read on my blog home page that they have added a feature where I could post a survey on my blog. I think I may go research it and see if I can post a "Who names their things?" survey. In the meantime we'd love to hear back from you. What's your car's name?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Our First Month


I have been meaning to sit down and type all of this out for awhile now. We are finally almost completely out of boxes and just about settled into the house. Moving is such a pain!!! The day after arriving here in Virginia my mom and dad came to help us get moved in to the house. Well lets not quibble~ they really came to see the girls, but we put them straight to work! We painted and did minor repairs, hung things on the walls and painted and made numerous trips to Lowes, received household goods, unpacked tons of boxes and painted some more. It was a very busy two weeks. Caitlin escaped to Peru after 5 days of all of this busyness. As soon as I can get her to stay home for a little while we will sit down and blog all about her mission trip to Peru.
Don't misunderstand me, it was not ALL work and no play. While Mimi and Papa were here we went out to eat at many of the places we have been missing for three years, we spent time at the library, we went to Colonial Williamsburg, we took a day trip across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel, we went the Mariners Museum where Papa got to see the Monitor's turret (he was so excited). We also shopped a bit and Mimi gave Gracie a few sewing lessons. I would say we accomplished a lot in about 16 days!
After Mimi and Papa went home we welcomed Grandma and Grand-daddy for a visit. They did not have to paint anything but they did help unpack a few boxes. Mostly we just played and enjoyed each others company. We also took a day trip to Williamsburg. Lee's ship was finally out of the shipyard so we got to go to the pier and get a look at her. Lee's dad took lots of pictures. Speaking of pictures~ our moving to Virginia album is posted on our Picasa Web albums (link on the right). Our camera's memory card was full while G&G were here so there are not many pics of their visit. :-(
I will post finished room pictures of the house as soon as I take them ;-).

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

USS San Antonio

Lee's ship LPD-17 otherwise known as the USS San Antonio. Lee has already been to sea for a short time, and I am SURE there will be plenty more times during the next two years. So far he says he is enjoying his new job. Being a sailor stationed on a ship is quite different than being stationed in a hospital or with Marines. He is working hard at making the adjustments needed. Lee will have to fill you in on all the finer details of the ship if you are interested. All I know is that it is a very large, gray, intimidating piece of machinery. It is very impressive to be see her docked at the pier alongside battleships, cruisers and carriers. Come visit us and we will take you to the pier, then you can have your own personal look at what your country's navy has to offer. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

We're Back

Yep the Brown Fam is back in the good ol US of A. It has been a long and exhausting journey! As soon as I get the pictures downloaded onto this machine I will post again to fill you in on all the details of our move. For now I just wanted to let everyone know we're here in Virginia! Its good to be back.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Mt. Lam Lam, and Mt. Jumalong


You know really hope that I got the name of that second mountain correct. Your host has asked me to put this posting together and tell you just a bit about my last boonie stomp on Guam (yep, I'm the husband). I went with two friends, Chris and Tom, to the highest point on Guam --Mt. Lam Lam. Actually Mt. Lam Lam is the highest point in the world if you consider the Marianas Trench that sits just off our coast, but few people will give that distinction. Our trek to the top of Lam Lam was a fairly challenging. As we got just more than half way to the summit we had to nearly make our own trail through the badly overgrown jungle and saw grass. The strangest part was not being sure of our next step. With none of us over 5'8" it was almost like wading through a river and thinking that with your next step you may go under. It was absolutely beautiful though, a very lush undergrowth and wonderful double and at times triple canopy. However once we reached the summit it was well worth the work of getting there.
As we descended, Tom found one of those holes. Actually he slipped off the trail (the one we were blazing) and fell into a ravine parallel to our trail. All in all he fell about 9'! That was a little scary --good thing we had good cell coverage. After a rescue and a little rest we continued on and went to the top of Jumalong, immediately adjacent to Lam Lam. To get to the top of Jumalong was a simple fifteen minute walk basically on a very well marked and traveled trail. At the top of Jumalong is a very large cross and several smaller crosses. These crosses were placed to mark the tricentennial of villages on Guam in 1980. The views from there are stunning. Cocos Island is beautiful from there, as well as the interior mountains. The hike to the top of each with time to enjoy the views took us about two and a half hours in all. This turned out to be a very nice hike (boonie stomp) with two of my best friends on Guam. I hope you enjoy the pictures in the picasa web album titled Mt. Lam Lam.

Daddy Day

Lee and his girlies

Let me just start by saying Happy Fathers Day! Lee and I had a bit of an emotional Fathers Day. It started off with the girls giving him his gifts. He got a fun coffee dyed T-shirt and a pair of matching plaid shorts. He'll be stylin' now! Since it was Sunday we got ready and went to chapel. Our
last Sunday at chapel. Gifts were given, kind words were exchanged, lots and hugs and tears were shared and goodbyes were said. Lee preached a bit on the huge job of being a Dad and about giving a blessing to your children.
In honor of the Dads I know personally who have and are doing the best they can for their kiddos I applaud you!
To my own Dad~ I love you and miss you! You are a great Papa!
To Lee's Dad~ Thanks for raising Lee to be the man that he is and for being a good grand-daddy to our girls.
To Lee~ words cannot express how much I appreciate your love and faithfulness to me and our girls. You are an awesome Dad!!

Salon Day


The Brown girls LOVE going to the salon! Everyone was in need of a trim, so we loaded up and went to the salon. Abbie had the most drastic change. She is partial to shorter hair, so she got a cute and sassy little style. Everyone else just got trimmed. If you are ever in Guam and will be looking for a hairdresser we can highly recommend Salon Paradis above Old Hagatna Grill. The ladies here have taken excellent care of us for almost 3 years now. Rosie and Gina are our favorites! After our hair appointments we picked Daddy up from work for a lunch date at The Curry Kebob. We had to get our Chicken Masala fix before leaving Guam. All of the days pictures can be seen on our Picasa web albums.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Our People

Our neighborhood bible study group with all of the kiddos. This was our last meeting together to say goodbye. Four families in this picture are leaving Guam this summer.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Guam's Beauty


One of the things that we will miss the most about Guam when we leave is the natural beauty that surrounds us. We daily get to enjoy and take in Gods handiwork at its finest. Every time we take a ride in the car we see the enormous, beautiful ocean that literally surrounds us. We see the gorgeous blue colors inside the reef and watch the colorful sunsets on the horizon. I'm told that people pay big money to see what we get to see daily. The flowers and trees that surround us make the warm tropical breezes smell heavenly. When we first moved to Guam our family made a pact that we would try our best to never take our beautiful surroundings for granted no matter how commonplace they became. I can honestly say that each time we ride down the only highway on the island which runs immediately beside the shore I am in awe. For three years we have looked out into the vastness of that ocean and contemplated what a Wondrous God we serve who would create such an enormous, amazing, beautiful and ever changing thing. It is a difficult thing to put into words. In honor of Guam's beauty we spent the afternoon wandering our neighborhood taking pictures of all the lovely things we wanted to remember. These photos were all taken right in our own yard or in our neighborhood. If we walk up the street about two blocks we get an amazing view of the harbor and the sunsets. We have stood on that hill and watched the storms blow in across the ocean, viewed a full double rainbow, watched ships pull in and sail out or looked up into the crystal clear night sky. We have been blessed to live in such an amazing place. The photos can be viewed on our Picasa web album labeled Guam's Beauty. Enjoy!

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