Thursday, December 6

'tis the season

tuesday was a special day at our house.
december 4th is the
International Day of Root Beer
and we live it up!
the past couple years we have had a sampling of different root beers to test and decide which ones are our favorites, which ones are "too spicy", which ones have the best caramel flavor, etc. 
of course, we always go back to the best: 
publix brand root beer. 
its our fave.
hope all of you celebrated this great holiday!

delayna requested a few pictures of our christmas decorations and reluctantly i have obliged. i say reluctantly because most every decoration is either broken or covered in peanut butter or boogers. but that is how we roll right now.

jack is getting pretty darn good at making snow flakes. we saved all of the ones from last year and have added a few more this year. i love doing this with them and its one of those messes that they dont mind sweeping up, so its a win-win. 
our walls are covered in flakes and we try to pretend its chilly outside.

our advent is pretty simple. 
i like to keep gifts out of it because we try to help the kids remember its not just about getting things this time of year. so instead we have scriptures on the back of each day that tell the story of christ's birth found in Luke.

grandma janie made the most beautiful christmas quilt for us! her talents never cease to amaze us. one person gets to sleep with the quilt and the next day, that person must do a service for another family member then put the quilt on that person's bed. the kids have loved doing this so far and are trying not to be too sad when they dont get to sleep with it. i dont blame them, its SO soft!

we have tried to make the theme of our month all about service. each morning i remind the kids to look for something they can do for someone else at school and of course at home too. then after we read scriptures in the evening, we go around the family and each member tells a service or two that they have done through out the day. hopefully it will help us keep our focus this month.

and skippy is back!
although he seems to keep forgetting to fly to the north pole at night because he remains in the same spot each morning. oops! luckily he remembers while the kids are at school each day :)

and charlie likes to eat chex cereal.

Monday, December 3

our holiday

we had a wonderful thanksgiving holiday this year that was full of family, good friends (we miss you already aprihl!), and a ton of delicious food. 
chris has a brother, doug, who lives in ohio. their family of eight went on a cruise for thanksgiving break. they left from miami so on their return, we drove over to ft. lauderdale to meet them for a morning before their long drive home. it was SO GOOD to see them! jack and ellie loved loved loved being around older cousins. its a good thing those older cousins have a lot of younger siblings or else all that loving attention could have gotten old... :)

here is the group, minus doug, our cameraman. 
this was in a mcdonalds parking lot haha!
the last time we were with these guys was back in 2009! holy smokes, alot changes when kids are involved.

while in ft lauderdale we had to visit the temple to see its progress.
im so excited! 
it is amazing how close it is to the interstate. its probably going to be an interesting sight for people unfamiliar with LDS temples, but we thought it was AWESOME!

 we also found this little gem:
Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlor

it was built in the 50's and smelled like it was built in the 50's. it was so fun and the kids thought all the lights and fun, quirky details were great.

the sounds of an old man playing the harmonica filled the parking lot while we waited in line to go in.

charlie's favorite food right now is popcorn.
does popcorn count as a favorite food?
he polished off this bowl in lightning speed.

nothing beats a banana split!
we had no problems polishing off that sucker.

we saw this beauty in a parking lot.

as chris snapped this picture, the owner walked up and asked him if he had scratched his baby and then had a good laugh. what would cause a person to think that gluing a bunch of fast food toys to their car would be a good idea?

we love trips. but a trip to see cousins takes the cake!

Friday, November 30

girl time

ellie and i spend the afternoons together while the boys are napping, schooling, and working. i remembered these pictures i took at the beginning of the month. we were picnicking in the backyard, watching the bees on the flowers, and obviously, being silly.
she has the best smile.


Friday, November 9

pride & joy

wednesday morning started out rough with news on the election. not gonna lie, some tears were shed at the brower home. even jack was sad by the news. they "voted" at school and he proudly told me that he voted for mitt romney and then when his friend, ava, told him that she voted for obama, jack yelled "obama is a liar!". maybe we shouldnt have told jack that much :) but, i think everything will end up ok. at least, we are going to make sure everything ends up ok in our home. we have renewed our resolve to be self-reliant and get our food storage and gun supply together. 

but wednesday afternoon was an entirely different story!
jack was awarded the 
at school!
we are so proud of jack and the awesome kid he is becoming.

here is a portion of an email i received from his teacher the following day:
I can only imagine how proud you are as parents to have Jack! Myself as well as the other teachers are constantly impressed by his great behavior and willingness to be such a great help to anyone and everyone. He always acknowledges the other teachers and is incredibly polite. I am not sure how much he told you about the award, but only one student in each grade receives it each quarter (voted on by the teachers of that grade). Jack truly deserved the award and is a great inspiration to all other students.

when picking him up from school, i have had several teachers stop and tell me how helpful jack was in art class or spanish class or in PE or with a substitute and he has had two "positive referrals" sent home from the principal letting us know that he excelled in various areas. we are so glad jack is our "first quarter of the gator", as he keeps calling it. we celebrated by going to.... chick-fil-a!

then yesterday we went to feed the horses

all three of the kids enjoyed it. in fact, when we left jack was in tears because the horses looked sad that we were leaving (we didnt want tell him it was because the carrots were gone). and then when we got home ellie was crying on her bed because she just loves horses so much and already missed them. she really does love horses and sleeps with 2 horse toys most nights. she was thrilled to feed/pet them. and, truth be told, i love feeding them too. theres just something so majestic about horses. not to mention their soft lips nibbling on your palms... i love it!

then the cows came over and unfortunately most the carrots were gone, but they tried to give one to this little guy.

check out that tongue!

im thinking this girl needs to get on a horse and try it out... maybe for christmas???

Thursday, November 1

soccer is over

we had a great fall soccer season.
jack is getting pretty dang good. he has even begun trying to pass the ball to his teammates, which have no clue whats going on, and he has figured out the importance of having a goalie. ellie wasnt afraid to get in there either, but i dont know how long she will want to keep playing. before each game she would say, "im TIRED of soccer. i dont WANNA play soccer", but she'd get out there and play once we were there.

jack and his best bud, Ava.

yes, they are holding hands.
and yes, chris is going to talk to him about it :)
they hold hands everywhere they go.

poor charlie.
he spent every tuesday night strapped in his stroller growling and grunting, trying to escape.
luckily chris made it for the last game (making 2 out of 8) and was able to help entertain the little beast.


being an aunt is the best.

we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of delayna's second babe, who is due at any moment! 
good luck layna!!! and good luck quentin- your world is about to get rocked, kiddo :)
grandma and aunt rikki flew to hawaii last saturday to be there when the baby arrives- lucky girls. the last text i got was saying they had just left the PCC and were headed to waikiki.