Friday, July 7

he said, she said (part 6)

this summer has been a wild one and somehow a lazy one at the same time. there is so much to catch up on, but i don't have the time nor do i feel like doing it at the moment. 

i used to be really good at blogging and maybe even was pretty good at being a creative mom. now i feel like i am barely keeping my head above water so the creative times are in the past. i used to interview the kids each july and ask them the same questions so we could compare them over the years. i thought it had been a little while, but didn't realize that the last time i did this was in 2014... crazy how fast time flies when you have four kids. anyways, the kids remember doing this and asked that we do it again this morning. after asking owen the first question, i realized it just wasn't working and i just filled in the rest for him based on his current likes/dislikes. anyways, here it goes:

What’s your favorite and least favorite foods?
Jack (10.5 years): my favorite food is seafood, like always. And least favorite, that’s a hard one. Broccoli cheddar soup.

Ellie (9.5 years): homemade milkshakes with oreos and vanilla ice cream. My least favorite would be sushi!

Charlie (6.5 years): strawberries and least favorite is green beans. I hate every type of beans.

Owen (2.5 years): umm, hot dog and go gurt and strawberries. Don’t like oranges.

What’s your favorite and least favorite things to do?
Jack: doing stuff with dad. I hate doing the dishes.

Ellie: my favorite thing is to go on vacation and my least favorite thing is doing things that I don’t want to do.

Charlie: watch tv and least favorite is eating yucky food at dinner.

Owen: likes to kick the soccer ball, throw the football, hit the baseball… you get the idea.

What are your talents?
Jack: im a good fisherman and being funny.

Ellie: my talents are coloring and painting, actually probably all art.

Charlie: spinning

Owen: a natural athlete

What's something you're not good at, but want to improve?
Jack: being a better brother

Ellie: tennis and basketball

Charlie: soccer


What's your favorite thing about your family?
Jack: they sacrifice things for me.

Ellie: they comfort me when I need it.

Charlie: we have a cute baby

Owen: gets to stay up late with mom and dad

What are you looking forward to the most this summer?
Jack: probably seeing grandma.

Ellie: I was looking forward to going to Branson to see the family

Charlie: going on all the rides at silver dollar city

Owen: probably going to the water park almost every day

Do you have a least favorite thing about your family?
Jack: I don’t know… um… Charlie annoys me cause he always thinks he’s right

Ellie: sometimes we don’t get along.

Charlie: that I have to share my bedroom and jack makes disgusting sounds at bedtime.

Owen: he hates when its someone else’s turn to say prayers

What are you looking forward to when you're an adult?
Jack: being an anesthesiologist and im excited to be married and have kids.

Ellie: im looking forward to having a family and being a mom.

Charlie: that I get to have a job

Owen: he already thinks he is one

If you could tell your future self a piece of advice, what would it be?
Jack: ummm… try harder.

Ellie: try harder (me: that’s what jack said!) ok, then it would be keep calm when you’re having trouble.

Charlie: I would tell me I Love You!

Owen: based on his current life motto, owen would probably say “don’t take no for an answer. Ever.”

Friday, May 19

mother's day 2017

"To all of our mothers everywhere, past, present, or future, I say, “Thank you. Thank you for giving birth, for shaping souls, for forming character, and for demonstrating the pure love of Christ.” 

- Jeffrey R. Holland -

all mothers are special, but these two are the most beautiful inside and out!

i appreciate more and more what type of women our moms are as i realize more and more just how difficult it is to not only be a mom, but to be a good one. they truly are the best of the best.

just like a lot of moms on mother's day, i tend to be reminded of every little thing i'm lacking, every little thing I'm not that i should be, every little thing i am that i should not be, and every little bit of guilt for those days that i wish i could throw in the towel and walk away from it all. so on mother's day i like to think more about my own mothers than the mother i am. but chris and the kids didnt make that easy for me this year. they are so good to me. lots of loves were given, lots of hand made cards were made, and lots of kind words were said.

we stopped on the way home from church and snagged a couple pictures of me with my special people. i love them so much.

chris and i have our own love language and that language is food. thats how we show our love for each other. chris grilled burgers that were out of this world delicious! they had melty blue cheese and roasted poblano peppers on them and my mouth is watering just thinking about it again! and for dessert he made liege waffles with homemade nutella, hand-whipped whipped cream and berries. hands down, one of the best meals of my life. thank you, my sweet man.

may madness... its a thing, right?

just like every month before it, May has proven to be busy busy busy!

to kick off the month, charlie was chosen as the patriot of the month for his class! he has been waiting and waiting for this and his turn finally came! we are so proud of charlie for being proud, positive, and persistent (the criteria that the teachers use to pick the patriot of the month).


we had three days of hard core partying the first weekend of may. 
first up was thursday, may the fourth (aka star wars day!). 

we all wear star wars shirts, i make special lunches for the kids (by special i mean i throw in a couple star wars pictures, some star wars graham crackers, and a star wars napkin, so nothing crazy), and then we have a star wars dinner complete with Han-Burgers. its been a fun tradition the past couple years.

it took the kids a while to notice the extra members of our family in these pictures :)

friday the 5th was cinco de mayo!!!
our favorite food to cook (and eat) is mexican, so we always go all out!

chris made some authentic pork carnitas and they were DIVINE! seriously. the kids said they were the best tacos they'd ever had and we agreed :)

of course we listened to mariachi music while getting dinner together which of course means these kiddos got their groove on!


then saturday the 6th was the kentucky derby which means mint juleps for everyone!

ellie's horse came in first place (out of our family's bets) so she won the prize.

 charlie was the first student in his class (2nd child in the whole of kindergarten) to reach the AR 50 Point Club! super proud of this boy!!! he received his certificate on the 8th, but will be receiving a trophy next week at the end of the year awards ceremony.

last thursday was a busy one! ellie had the 3rd grade play called Goals, then we went to jack's amusement park (more about that in a minute!) and then i had book club.

ellie really, really enjoyed being part of the play. she had a small speaking part that she practiced so many times and she nailed it! she was so cute up there holding hands with her best friend in class, anna, and together they were singing as loud as they could and laughing the whole time. it was pretty heart warming to watch.


the 4th grade classes had a huge economics project the last couple weeks of april and the first two of may. they designed and built an amusement park, complete with carnival games, roller coasters for marbles, a concession stand, and other fun things. each 4th grader had to apply for 3 different jobs, write and submit a resume along with two letters of recommendation, and then have interviews with the three 4th grade teachers. jack was thrilled when he receive the job of manager! he basically oversaw the whole project, kept the kids on track, did all of the public speaking (including a voice message home to every parent at the school), and was the liaison between teachers and students. he loved this project so much! it was very fun to go see him the night that Woods Wondrous Wacky World was open for families to visit. he's such a good boy and takes things seriously, but was also able to take a small break to give owen hugs and take him to play a game or two.

the money they made went to charity. jack really wanted the money to go to the Children's Shelter here in fort smith, but the 4th grade kids voted and the $1361 went to the sebastian county humane society.


after the amusement park, i buzzed out and headed to book club. i realized that i haven't written anything on this ol' blog about the book club that i started a little over a year ago. we have about 12 people in the group, and usually about 6 or 7 show up for our meetings each month. it's been fun, but i will be totally honest and admit that it just isn't the same as our book club in bonita :( 
this particular night we were reading one of my favorites and my friend cassy, who loves to do chalk art, whipped up this beauty on her pantry door:

cassy is the third person from the right.
the author, john flanagan, saw her picture on instagram and liked it, so thats pretty cool!

we've been spending most of our days at the soccer fields. here are a few photos of charlie

he's definitely not our aggressive athlete, but he has a great time. he especially loves to throw in the ball and takes every chance he can get to do it.
we got a kick out of this one with his glasses falling off mid throw! he refuses to take them off for his games even though he doesn't need them.

and this picture is great because owen took it!

he has made one or two goals this season and they finally won their first game last night. ellie and jack's team is kicking trash right now. they have only lost one game this season and the score was 6-5. when they played that team again, they made sure they won it 4-0. but one of the coolest events of this season was about a week ago ellie scored her first goal! chris and i jumped out of our chairs and shouted so loud! she had the biggest smile on her face and all the guys on the team were giving her high fives. it was an awesome moment!!! she's been working so hard and its crazy how much she has improved so far this year. the other kids didn't really expect too much from her at the beginning of the season. sometimes she would be wide open and ready to take a shot, but they wouldn't pass her the ball. but she's fast and doesn't give up. she's always right there where the action is and doesn't let any one get in her way. she's a fighter. she's proven herself to her teammates and her coach and she feels like she is an asset to the team. and jack is always right there cheering her on and passing the ball to her to give her a chance. its been the best having them on the same team!

Sprint for Compassion

chris and the kids participated in a local race called Sprint For Compassion on April 22. 
chris did the 10k and the kids did the mile run. it was the kids first time in an official timed race and they had a great time. it was very small with only a few runners. i think the mile run only had around 12-15 people, mostly kids. 

stretching before the race!

the kids race started at a different spot than chris', so i didn't get any shots of him at the start line. the kids had to run around a school track 6 times and then around the school once and in to the finish line.

owen was my little buddy at the finish line, waiting to cheer for our runners!

it was no surprise to me when jack was the first runner around the corner and into the finish.

and ellie was right behind him, taking first place for the females! 
i loved this sequence of pictures because owen was just so happy to see the kids and ran right up to give ellie hugs.

and charlie came in 9th!

they had so much fun watching the time screen as the racers came in.

and chris took 1st place for the 10k!!! there were only 10 running the 10k, but he definitely blew the others away, coming in at 44:57 minutes! the second place runner was almost 4 minutes behind.

it was fun to hear the announcer as chris crossed the finish line say, "the brower family makes a clean sweep and wins all across the board today!". 
go team brower!

there was a 4H group set up at the finish line with several baby animals. only in arkansas! 
but we sure loved the baby bunnies and piglet and owen really loved the baby kittens.