Thursday, December 25

aBoUnDiNg in abundance

MERRY CHRISTMAS
we hope everyone enjoyed their christmas as much as we did! it was perfect! every year i am amazed at how much we are truly blessed and i realize there are so many people who are not able to enjoy what we do on this special day. we had a beautiful christmas eve with my parents last night. the traditional brower christmas eve dinner is spaghetti and since chris has joined the family, we have been quite happy to incorporate it into our traditions...partly because my mom's spagghetti ROCKS! chris made his fabulous cheesecake for dessert, yum!! my dad then read the christmas story from Luke and then we all tried to say the night before christmas from memory. we do this every year and none of us can say it still, but thats what makes it fun. then santa came while we were sleeping and what a surprise, he left lots and lots and LOTS of presents under our tree! chris took this picture early this morning before the rest of us were awake.
after opening presents at our house, we went to grandma and grandpa browne's. we found our stockings that santa had hidden and then played my mom's present game. chris and i received a lot of kitchen presents and the kids got tons of books, which we love. everett gave jack and ellie this awesome igloo tent! ellie LOVED it. she was inside it for the rest of the day.

ellie also got a doggie chew toy...i discovered with jack that dog chew toys can withstand all the rugged chewing of a teething baby.

beautiful babies - alli and ellie


my dad built his own go cart this past week so we all took turns driving it today. he didn't think it was going to go very fast so he built it with a child seat on the front (which alli is "testing") to take the babies around the neighborhood. well this thing actually goes wicked fast! he has decided to make another one that will be safer for the kids, but this one is definitely a fun toy for all of the rest of us.







during our present festivities this morning, ellie fell and hit her mouth on a box. because there wasn't much we could do but give her hugs, we decided to take a few pics of her painful moment, sorry ellie belly :(

jack got a potty training seat. he has been acting interested in potty time for a while and i have been putting it off as long as possible, but i think it's time.... if any one has some advice for this first-time potty trainer, please send it this way!

jack loves "going for a ride". when grandpa says let's go for a ride, he runs to the garage door and then puts on his helmet! he's so cute, most of the time! he is a go cart maniac.
our big news is that ellie started walking on christmas eve!!!! she is 10 months, which is too early if you ask me. jack started at 9 so i guess i shouldn't complain.

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dad picked out a ball popper for ellie, and of course, jack has taken over the toy!

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taking a turn with daddy-o

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oh jack loves his fish. i don't think he will ever grow out of this obsession!

Sunday, December 21

a christmas tea party


on thursday afternoon i had all the browne girls over for a tea party! it was splendid! ok, so it wasn't actually tea but hot cocoa...we browne gals love us our chocolate! we had such a good time. i made two types of hot chocolate, which is saying something since none of us had ever made it from scratch. we had a very chocolate cocoa and a white chocolate cocoa. they were both scrumptuous! pretty sweet so we also had water. delayna made each of us our own chocolate lava cakes that were divine! and of course we had all the trimmings like fresh whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate dipped peppermint sticks, and french vanilla creamer. to sort of balance the sweet we also had cheese and crackers. it was so much fun to be together with just us girls (jack was napping, score!). we talked and laughed and listened to christmas music!



there are more pictures with us in them, but unfortunately they were taken on rikki's camera and she doesn't have a way to download them on the computer here in florida, so they will have to wait. i love doing little things like making place cards and invitations and this was just a blast for me...a nice change in my normal everyday thing. this was sooo much fun, i really highly recommend doing something like this with those you are with this christmas season...or anytime... cocoa is always a good thing :)

is this not the CUTEST tea pot you have ever seen! my mom gave it to me last year when i was having a tea party with my achievement day girls for our manners night! love it!

Sunday, December 14

oh happy day!

they're here! hip hip hooray! rikki and alli flew in from salt lake tonight! and bo, larissa, and everett flew in from boise tonight as well! we are soooo happy to all be together for christmas! even though we were all together last year, we realize with everyones lives changing that it is very special each time we are all able to be together.
i had asked rikki a couple months ago to make me a tree skirt and we planned it and i was really excited about it. well as the holidays drew near, i realized she had so many projects going on that i didnt bring up the tree skirt for fear of overloading her with stuff. i had prepared myself with the idea that she had forgotten and that i would just have to ask for it next year. well, that sly dog did remember and she brought me the most amazing, incredible, stupendous, stunning, magnificent tree skirt i have ever seen! i am in absolute LOVE with this thing! i wore it over my shoulders for part of the evening! check it out, you'll love it too!
"oh oh it's magic, you knooow"




thank you rik so very very much. it's perfect!






Thursday, December 11

saturday

Last saturday chris, bo, and frankie went out on the boat. frank caught this gag grouper and brought it back to fillet. jack was on cloud 9 when they let him hold it. he discovered the grouper's eyes and just kept rubbing them. it gives me the heebie jeebies and makes my eyes water just to think about it!










spreading holiday lovehandles...i mean cheer!

so far this holiday season i have already noticed my jeans fitting a little more snug and my tops a little more tight. thats never a good sign. especially when christmas is still a couple weeks away! ouch! (not to mention that i haven't worked off all the baby weight yet.... so...moving on...). i decided to spread the love. my favorite part of holiday treats is making them and since chris worked on monday we decided to have FHE this afternoon. this consisted of me making two types of cookies (my mom's fabulous choco chippers and carrie's double chocolate chip) and delivering them to a few of the single sisters in the ward. it worked out rather nicely because no one ended up being home, so we just left them as a nice surprise on their doorstep. you might be thinking, "hey, usually it's not a good thing if people aren't home when you are delivering cookies". i liked this because i'm not so much into the whole visiting aspect of the cookie delivery thing. i'd rather just make them and have someone else take them. so it ended up being a nice holiday activity!

Tuesday, December 9

dont get in his way!

so i was just going through our pics and found this little clip of jack. he had just awakened from a nap and decided to try corn on the cob for the first time! he kept eating it even though there wasnt anything left on the cob! he can be pretty cute sometimes!

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busy bees

well we had a very fun, but busy month and i feel like i'm still recovering from it all! we went through our final trip to woodbadge, a baby shower at our house, and relatives coming to visit all in one weekend....just to give an idea of the chaos! marc and delauna came with the kids and we had so much fun. its always been exciting for me to watch others when they come to visit because its usually so different from what they are used to! we went to the beach a few times with them, went out to eat (the adults went to ruth's chris one night...wowzers!...thanks marc!), and we of course celebrated thanksgiving. i truly feel it is the most over looked holiday because christmas is so closly following it. on thanksgiving morning, chris took everybody on the boat leaving me with two grumpy kids (one of which was sick and teething), and no one to help make three batches of rolls, and wash, cut, cook and mash 10 lbs of potatoes. you might wonder why chris chose to go out on the boat in the morning rather than after, which would be the logical thing to do...one word..football. we had 18 adults for thanksgiving dinner. it was quite the production, but when all the cooking and organizing was done, the food family and friends was very enjoyable! after thanksgiving dinner, the girls went to see the movie "australia". i truly had NO desire to see the movie but was willing to do whatever it took to go just so i could get away from the kids for a while! after that we went to the miromar outlet mall and went shopping at midnight. i have never gone shopping the day after thanksgiving, but i had sooo much fun! larissa and i went to a few stores by ourselves and we had a blast picking things out and trying them on together. i have really really really enjoyed being able to hang out with her. oh, and just a side note...it was crazy enough i dont plan on shopping on black friday again! but i did find a few things for myself for christmas :) anyways at about 2 in the morning we went back to my parents house and ate another thanksgiving dinner and tried not to laugh too loud and wake anybody up. that was my favorite part of all! i felt like i was in high school again coming home after going to a show(... home to kerz's house of course) and eating food and then going to bed, completly exhausted!
while they were here we went to skunk ape. i think they all loved it, i know we did!! jack especially liked it. now whenever he sees an alligator on tv he says "wanna hold it"! i dont know of any petting zoo that will allow you get that close, let alone hold, that many animals. its pretty amazing.

we went to the beach even though the water was FREEZING! i couldnt even put my feet in the water. jack got soaked, of course, but had so much fun. he now says "beach beach beach" when we get in the car. ok, honestly, he doesnt quite say beach, it comes out as a very naughty word that sounds very similar to the word beach.

all in all, we had a great 10 days with marc and delauna and also a great november. we are looking forward to christmas very much. im hoping that jack will be able to understand opening presents and things like that. i almost feel like a kid again, picking out presents and things in anticipation of the little mans glee! our tree is full of cheap, plastic balls, and we cant actually put presents out yet, but the magic of christmas is definitly in the air in our little home! we are playing all of the old christmas music that i never heard growing up because my parents didnt like nat "king" cole or bing crosby or even frank sinatra, and i'm loving it! it makes me feel so "jolly"! im trying to teach of jesus' birthday even though i feel like its not penetrating jack's brain, but i hope that all of the little plays with the nativity sets and pictures in the friend magazine will help him to build an understanding of the true meaning of this wonderful season!





Tuesday, November 11

i'll just keep 'em coming

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this is embarrassing but i'll put it up anyways, cause i had so much fun! i didn't realize chris was recording me at first.

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incredible...thats all i can say... incredible

Monday, November 10

viva la vida...again

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i viva la vida !

Coldplay is AMAZING!!!! chris and i went to orlando on friday and saturday! we had more fun than i can even describe. on the drive there we spent a good 2-3 hours geocaching and added quite a few to our numbers. then we checked in our hotel and freshened up for the coldplay concert. we were sooooo excited because when we saw them almost 3 years ago, they were incredible! we were anxious to see how they compared. well, let me just say this. they KNOW how to put on a show! once again they proved to be the best band i have ever seen in concert. chris and i had decent seats, but they were in the back somewhat. well, halfway through the show they got off stage and came into the stand about 15 feet away from us and sang 2 songs!!!!!!! it was awesome!!! i couldnt stop screaming when i realized what was happening! i stood on my seat and screamed and danced like a maniac (much to the displeasure of those sitting behind me im sure!). the whole time i danced and screamed and sang along and and and...it was incredible! i loved every minute of it. this will be a memory of chris and i that i will treasure forever! i dont want to say to much about the concert itself because of others i know that will be going at a later date and i dont want to give anything away ;)
we have a lot of video clips (we taped pretty much the entire concert), but most of them are either too long or will, once again, give things away! hopefully you will get a little taste from the pics and clips i've selected.

ok, so after trying to upload several videos, i received a message reporting that blogger.com could not be reached and that it might not even publish. so i will try to publish this with just the pics and then i will post the videos at a later time. sorry. i guess you'll just have to check back soon!

Saturday, November 1

boo!

so this year was a fun one for us in terms of parties and costumes. the young men and young women were in charge of the ward halloween party again this year which meant larissa and i did most of the planning and prepping. ok, not true. chris did a lot of the planning as well and he definitely carried out the plans while at the party. it was on wednesday night instead of mutual. we, the brower family, volunteered to do the fish pond (imagine that!) so i sat in our car while chris helped the little ones fish through our sun roof. once jack saw what was going on, he didnt care to go visit the rest of the carnival events. jack wanted to be harry potter so i got his whole costume together which he thought was soooo cool, until wednesday night, of course. he didnt want to wear any of it! the robe, the glasses, or even hold the wand! i was so sad! chris and i copied our sister-in-law elena and went as mccain and palin. it was so much fun! people were asking to take pictures with us and everything! we did a pretty good job, if i do say so myself :)"drill here, drill now!" just kidding! any time someone tried to talk politics i lifted my hand and said, "please no, it's JUST a costume"



one afternoon mom and i took the kids to target to look at halloween stuff. ellie was really fussy, but jack was having a great time. well, i saw this wig and put it on ellie just to make mom laugh and she immediately stopped screaching. when i took it off, she screamed so i put it back on and she stopped! needless to say, mom bought the wig and it turned out to be on sale!


last night, instead of taking the kids trick-or-treating we stayed at grandmas to help pass out candy. i thought jack would have a hoot seeing all the kids come to the door....and mom always passes out full-size candy bars ;) well, no kids ended up coming! shucks! actually its very weird. anyways, we went to outback and had aussie cheese fries and a thunder down under. jack had so much fun. we went late enough that there werent too many people. so i let jack walk down our bench and dance. he shimmied like none other and the people across from us were laughing so hard. this went on for about 3 or 4 songs. it was great. he's such a ham!

water!

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i guess every little kid has to play in the sink a few times, right!

fisherman jack











jack's favorite thing in the whole world. i wonder if he will remember these incredible times when he gets older?

Saturday, October 25

everett

is this not the CUTEST little man you have ever seen!!!!
bo and larissa sure did get a sweet one!

here is everett in his halloween costume. watch out michael phelps!





Thursday, October 23

the big 2 for our big boy

it's jack's birthday yahoooo! hip hip horray! here he is opening up a present from auntie layna. wahoo! ming ming from wonder pets. score!

ellie found her favorite spot while jack was blowing out candles.


jack got a drill from grandma browne.


i think he likes it!


jacks birthday has been a great one. he started out the day by eating scrambled eggs, which he LOVES. then he and ellie went to the doctor and both received shots. they both handle them pretty well. then jack, chris, and grandpa went fishing. jack was in heaven! they made the mistake of only taking two rods...that won't happen again.

chris and i got jack a toddler bed for his birthday. we found one that i liked alot, but we could only order online, which meant shipping would be close to $30. we ended up finding it on amazon for a really great price, so with shipping it was about the same as the ones from the store that i didnt like. i love it when things like that work out :)


jack got a new shirt for his birthday that we picked out last night at bass pro shop. it has a shark and tuna on it. currently tuna are his favorite fish, but that could change by next week.


here is jack opening his present from grandpa and grandma brower. they picked a good one! all he's wanted to watch since he opened it is the backyardigans. he loved the card they sent as well. he wouldnt let us open it to read because he was enjoying the monkey and tiger so much on the front!


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i stopped filming at the WrOnG time! i was quite upset with myself! but as you saw above, he did dive right into his cake...several times!

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jack doesn't understand what an awesome present this is quite yet. my dad is relandscaping their yard right now and he has added three very large cement circular paths through out it. while he was laying the cement he thought it would make a great path for big wheels. my mom went to target this morning and bought a big wheel and when she got home my dad said "come and look at this". he took her out to the van and inside was a big wheel put together with jack's name in vinyl lettering on it. they figured they would keep the extra one because everrett will need one soon enough! in a few months, i dont think we will be able to keep jack off of this thing!

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rikki and i have pretty similar taste. ok, very similar taste. she picked out the CUTEST outfit i have ever seen! it was a mr. messy shirt that goes over top a white thermal long-sleeve with navy blue cord pants. i LOVE it! oh, and jack does too!

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bo larissa and everrett gave jack AND us a present! not only will jack have a BlAsT at kidzoo, but that means we get a little break too! kidzoo is a huge indoor park that has tons of different things to do. we've heard great things about it from friends in the ward and have checked it out online, it looks awesome! thanks guys!

4 years....wowwie!











yesterday, the 22nd, chris and i celebrated our fourth anniversary. bo asked if it feels like its only been four days or four days under water. i can't believe it's gone by that fast. it seems like just yesterday i was looking out my window, waiting for chris to come pick me up for our first date to go ice skating.....memories. just kidding. so yesterday we did normal anniversary stuff like go to costco to buy diapers, go geocaching, oh yeah we went out to dinner. mom and dad gave us a gift card to a new restaurant here called stir crazy. its "fresh" chinese cuisine. we enjoyed it immensely, but that could just be because the kids were with grandma :) then around 7:30 we did what everyone dreams of doing on their anniversary. we went to bass pro shop to meet George Poveromo. this is jack's biggest hero. he is a fisherman who has a show on espn. we dont have cable, so jack watches his dvd's and loves fish like wahoo, grouper, and big-eye tuna because of this man. when we first saw george at bass pro, he was in the middle of teaching a seminar and jack kept whispering "sheeorge" "sheeorge" and pointing at him. we were surprised that he actually put it all together! well, george took a pick with him, signed his dvd cover and got our address so he could send us all shirts. it was really fun and we hope jack will enjoy it for a long time. it really was a great day!












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