Thursday, December 25

aBoUnDiNg in abundance

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.

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

taking a turn with daddy-o

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


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!

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 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 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!