Wednesday, December 15

the fudge hut

its only december 15th and we've been spoiled rotten!
yesterday we received a christmas package from auntie rik (she has our family for christmas this year) with strict instructions to OPEN the package upon arrival! we had no problems with that. (well, actually, the kids did have a problem waiting until chris got home. in fact ellie carried the box around all afternoon singing little ditties like, 'its wikki's birfday!". i dont know why she thought rikki would send us a gift on her birthday, but it was cute nonetheless.) so when chris got home from school, the kids each took turns opening one side of the box. inside was a treasure beyond measure
FUDGE! glorious, delicious FUDGE!

if you know my family at all, you know we LoVe fudge. in fact, id even venture to say that some of us are fudge connoisseurs. we enjoy fudge so much, that one year for our humungous browne family reunion with ALL the relatives, my mom arranged a fudge tour to visit all of the fudge shops in the tourist town of estes park, colorado to sample all the various fudges. that was the summer i went to college in 2003. its a summer i will never forget... for more reasons then just the fudge, i promise!

now, on to the fudge!

there are 5 varieties and chris carefully cut a little away from each flavor for us to sample. it was divine! and oh so soft! its from the fudge hut in washington. there is so much fudge we will have to have a fudge fest with mom & dad and bo & lari in the very near future because if anything is going to pack on the pounds over the next week or two, its a box o' fudge!

these pictures are not very focused (i was too busy drooling over the fudge to switch the lens), but you can still see the joy on the kiddos faces!

i think jack enjoyed the fudge the most. he even made up a dance for it. they both liked it so much in fact that when we put it away, this is what they looked like:

"why, WHY must you put away the fudge???"

thank you rikki for spoiling us in such a sweet delectable way! cant wait to see you in 9 days!

Monday, December 13

mystery gift

yesterday when we returned home from church, we saw a big blue bag hanging from the side door. jack ran over and grabbed it. when we got inside and pulled out the contents, this is what we found!

there was no note. just a hilarious santa head! we laughed and laughed and LAUGHED. so to whoever gifted us with this wonderful surprise- THANK YOU! we have enjoyed it immensely! i wanted to send it on to another home and hopefully have it pass around, but chris said, "heck no!". maybe after a few days he will warm up to the idea of spreading the christmas cheer!

and just a little picture of ellie from a visit to grandma and grandpas yesterday. she thinks she's very independent!

Thursday, December 9

sheesh, its about time!

after waiting for a while to sell our car (which totally paid off), we finally made the decision to get a honda odyssey. and we really, really like it. ellie loves it because its red and jack loves it because its red, which, naturally means its fast. jack is also ecstatic about having his own "coolers" in the back. thats what he calls his air vent.

it's called dark cherry pearl. but i like to call it "the cherry pearl" like "the black pearl" from Pirates of the Caribbean. not because i feel like a pirate when im driving it (that would just be weird) or like ive struck gold. but mostly because i'll use any excuse to picture johnny depp. (dont tell chris i said that)

we've only had it for a day, but im sure we will be especially glad that we have it in two and a half weeks when "mr. sir" arrives. whats up with all the nicknames you ask.... i dont know. but i do know that mr. sir already runs the show around here.

Thursday, December 2

farmers market

this morning we went to the famers market with lari, ev and soph at coconut point. it is SO NICE out right now with cooler weather. in fact, i should have brought some jackets for us with the wind, but oh well, we survived the "cold". after the market we headed to the little park that they have at the shopping mall and then checked out some of the christmas decorations. here are a few photos of our fun expedition!

ellie picked a humungous cinnamon roll from a german bakery to share with ev and jack picked out a chicago red hot/hot dog... he takes after me i think!

ev grabbed a sprig of cilantro and chomped away! it made me laugh as he shoved it in real quick! i loved these pics so much i decided to doctor them a little and make a cute collage of the ev man.

did i mention it was chilly?!

Monday, November 29


we had a fabulous thanksgiving this year! i know everyone always says that, but we truly had an enjoyable day/month of thanksgiving. we usually have a pretty large group on thanksgiving day which means that recipes are tripled and guests are spread throughout every inch of the house and yard. its always fun to be surrounded by friends, but this year we kept it very simple and small. it was so nice to sit around the table and just be family!
i wrapped our turkey in bacon and roasted pears for garnish. the purpose of the bacon (besides being deliciously naughty) was that it allowed me to leave the turkey pretty much unattended. no basting required with all that bacony-goodness! here is a photo of the aftermath:

grandpa is always willing to give the kiddos whatever they want and thanksgiving was no exception! jack has wanted a pie in his face for a number of months now...

...and he loved every second of it!

ev thought it looked like fun, and grandpa was willing to oblige!
we were able to video chat with rikki, alli and jacob, which were in idaho together for the holiday. here we are all gathered around listening to some very exciting news from alli and jacob... they are expecting their first little person in may!!!

we did several fun things through out the month to recognize this holiday...but ive just been too lazy to post any of them!
here are a few pictures:

making apple turkeys with the Taysom bunch!

we also painted handprint-turkeys

then we made indian headbands with everett, sophie, sophie beard, tommy and rhemi.
shortly after this photo was taken, ellie bashed ev's nose with a toy train. its a good thing they love each other... or are stuck with each other, whichever way you want to look at it.

riding home in style!

everett came over for an afternoon and we watched some sea creatures "grow" right before our eyes. it was truly remarkable and it changed my life forever.
and the only other thing of true importance that we did this month was go with some friends to see
HARRY POTTER opening weekend!!!!!! or as a true fan would say HP 7.1!!!!
(i also went again and saw it on thanksgiving with mom and larissa- we are such scamps, but it was so much fun!)

and now we are putting up christmas decorations and listening to bing crosby and frank sinatra on the ipod.

this was our november in a nutshell.

hope you enjoyed it.

the end.

Wednesday, November 24

Bonita's Got Talent!

this morning we went to a talent show put on by our friends sydney and leah!
there were gymnastics routines, art displays, songs sung (some in sign-language even), ballet dances and a few more acts. jack even got out there and started twirling around, doing a dance i've never seen before, only to biff it and run off the stage looking a little embarrassed, but also a little pleased with himself. it was a lot of fun.
and then they served donuts and chocolate milk! how fun is that?! kids are so creative.
thanks sydney and leah!!!

tomorrow we are going to mom and dads for thanksgiving with bo and larissa. it will be so nice to celebrate the holiday a little more low-key without a bunch of people there. ive only cooked a whole turkey one other time, but i volunteered to make our turkey this year. no pressure! actually there really isnt, so it will be nice to practice making a turkey and not worry if it ends up like this, with a smile included:

or like this:
happy thanksgiving everyone!!!
we are one holiday closer to having our own little turkey out of the oven :)

Tuesday, November 23

BiRtHdAy QuEeN, only 17...

i hope you sung that title to the tune of abba because this birthday girl is also a dancing queen and she turned 17 yesterday. wait, WHAT?! shes not 17??? well she had a birthday yesterday anyways and she does like abba....


opening gifts

and blowing out candles

and twirling party thingies (what are those called anyways??)

and winding up said party thingies

and squeezing sweet babies
are all a part of celebrating birthdays around here!
we hope your day was fabulous larissa! i am so lucky to have such an amazing sister so close!!!!

ellie stole the camera during the par-tay and took a few (thousand) shots...

say "howdy" everett!

yoo-hooo, over here!

hey bo, make your zombie face... perfect!

and because i am feeling nostalgic, here are pictures of november 22, 2006
(yes, that sweet bundle is a brand-spankin'-new jack)

Wednesday, November 17


jack can be a pretty funny kid.
here are a couple things he has said this past week that had us giggling
chris read the kids a story about the creation at bedtime. usually after we read, the kids each take a turn 'reading' the story too. when jack was toward the end of the story he said, "and god made adam and steve". i think we need to review our bible stories a little more.

while at panera for dinner last weekend, we saw two ladies walking by. as they approached us jack says loud enough for those around us to hear, "hmmm. that could be either a lady or a man".

jack was laying on the back of our couch and i asked him to get down so he wouldnt fall. he said that it felt good and i once again asked him to get down because it wouldnt feel good if he fell, to which he replied, "but mom, it helps my chicken chups!" after a few questions i learned that chicken chups are actually chicken pox... i dont know where he learned about chicken pox, but apparently hes got them.

he keeps us on our toes!

Monday, November 15

Hey Baby, you can do it!

well, she did it!
all by herself, she did it!
im talking of the exhausting task of potty training. dun dun dun! (thats supposed to be scary background music)
warning: this is a rather lengthy post dealing with a lot of potty talk. proceed with caution. im sure ellie will be so glad that i recorded this for her when she is about 16. but its my journal of sorts, so i dont really give a darn tootin'! ok, back to the post...

after what we went through with jack, i decided to take the laid-back, stress-free approach, and wait until she was completely ready. i guess you could say that it was the lazy approach. yeah, you could say that... and you'd be correct.
she's been going tinkles on her potty every once in a while for quite some time. but if i ever asked her if she wanted to go, she'd say no. so i didnt push it. well i decided to put a potty chart on the fridge a couple weeks ago and told her if she went potty ten times, she got to pick out a new toy. and that was it. no pressure. i never asked her if she wanted to go or tried to put her in panties. if she wanted to go, she'd tell me and i'd take her in and she'd go. then sometimes she'd ask to wear panties and i'd let her and just remind her that we dont pee pee in our panties. that was it. and of course, she would always end up pooping in them, but hardly ever tinkled in them. i knew it would be a long process, but at least i wasnt pulling my hair out and feeling frustrated beyond all reason.

never under estimate the power and influence of friends! she's learning this very important lesson at a young age. she's so wise. i guess having all of her little friends potty training right now had a great influence on her because this morning she decided she didnt want anything to do with a diaper. not even for her nap. all day she took herself to the bathroom and she even ended up pooping on the potty, which she has never done before. she even put panties on her babies and set them on her potty and she'd pretend like they went and dance around the bathroom in celebration, which is what jack and i have always done for her. so after filling out her chart with stickers, we went shopping!

it was a very difficult choice...

... but i think she chose the right one. a new stroller for her babies!
can you tell she's excited?!
now comes the tricky part- waiting to see if she sticks with it! only time will tell

my mom found this song online that ellie adores.
here she is, our little singer doin' her doodie, oops... i meant duty :)

in case you cant tell what she's saying, here are the lyrics:
Hey baby! you can do it!
squat on the pot
ain't nothin' to it!