Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Beautiful Interlude

Yesterday was cool and rainy, but today was close to 60 degrees.  It was a little windy and cloudy at times, but that didn't keep us from enjoying the park.  
We ate our lunch at the park.  Kate is shielding her poor eyes from the bright sun.

Then we went for a walk that included dodging mud puddles, skirting rain-made mini-lakes, and Mommy acting as camel to tired kids who were not anticipating such a long walk.  Overall, we enjoyed our park day in February.  

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sick David

I came home from work last night, and David was up with daddy, which is unusual around midnight.  David had croup symptoms, so we brought out the humidifier, nebulizer, and the steamy shower.  The cough eventually loosened, but David wanted lots of snuggles, understandably.  He is still napping (4 hrs later), so I hope he kicks this sickness soon.  Until then, more snuggles.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

New Dishes

I am very hard on dishes, especially with our granite countertops. I ordered new dishes from Bed Bath and Beyond a couple weeks ago, and this is how they arrived. I called their customer service, and they sent me a replacement right away. I even got to keep the couple of plates that made it through rough shipping. 

Morning Imagination Time

Kate and David enjoy dressing up as superheroes and fairies and a prince and princess.  It is fun to watch their creativity come out as they play dress up.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Better than Play-Doh

Why did it take me so long to realize that modeling clay has all the tactile stimulation of Play-doh, but without all the OCD-flaring crumbles?  
It takes a few minutes of working it to get it pliable, but it's loads of fun afterward. 

Fun for all involved.  Yay, modeling clay!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Michael's Award

Michael won the coveted Otis the Grizzly award in the 1st grade assembly.  This award is the highest achievement a student can earn, and it's awarded to those who uphold the Grizzly code of honesty, kindness, helpfulness, courage, diligence, and other virtues.  We are so proud of Michael for earning this honor!
Michael is wearing 100 goldfish on his shirt in recognition of the 100th day of school.  He was very careful not to crush them, as I told him that they could be his snack if he took care not to demolish them.  

Michael and his 1st grade class awaiting the assembly (and for the other classes to arrive)

This is Michael's cheering section. 

Target Adventures

I had a few things to get at Target last week, and I forgot how much the kids love the outside "Target" decor. 


They enjoyed hanging out in this hallowed out circle. 

David wanted to "bounce" on the ball. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Brown Family History

My mom posted this first picture today in memory of my grandmother (who we called "Nonie"), who passed away 13 years ago today.  My Nonie was an amazing lady. I learned so much more about her when I cleaned out her house after she died.  She went to college back in the 30s, back when it was not the common thing to do.  She not only got a bachelor's degree, but she also went on to get a Masters degree in Library Science.  She managed the overseas military libraries as a civilian for many years (Japan, France, to name a few), and she raised 2 girls on her own.  When I was going through her house and cleaning after she passed away, I found her original Master's Degree Thesis (type-written, of course).  In addition to all her accomplishments, my Nonie was so generous and loving.  We loved having her nearby when we were growing up, and she is sorely missed by us all!
This picture is circa 1984, so I was around 5 years old (this was pre-Melanie, my youngest sister).  Until this picture, I didn't realize how much Kate favors me as a child.
This is my wonderful mom as an adorable toddler.  She also possesses the kindness, generosity, and love that my Nonie was known for.  My mom has never known a stranger, and she can put anyone at ease.  After raising 5 kids (and dozens of other people's kids- she ran a daycare from our home), she put herself through nursing school and graduated at age 49.  She now works home-health as an RN, and continues to take care of other people with love and kindness, as she had done all her life.  We only wish she lived closer!

This is my Nonie and my mom & Aunt Janice, probably in the mid-60s in Springfield, VA.  Nonie was a very good seamstress (in addition to her many other accomplishments), and these outfits were all hand-made by her.  My mother also used to dress me and my 2 older sisters alike in hand-made matching outfits. 

This was my Nonie's wedding (early 1950s?)

This was Nonie's parents, who were known as Nana and Gaddy by my mom and aunt.  As you can see, Walter Medding, my great grandfather, was a Colonel in the US Army, and I believe this picture was taken in Tokyo.  

My great Grandfather was a pretty important military man, from what I hear.  I'll have to get together with my mom one day and go through her pictures with her.  I'd love to hear some of the fascinating stories of the Brown side of the family. 

This is at Fort Belvoir around 1953 when my Great Grandfather retired from the Army.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Kids

The Valentine packs that the kids got from Walmart came with cool posters, which the kids thought were really awesome.  
David chose Cars valentines, Kate chose Disney princess valentines, and Michael was not present at Walmart, but I picked Lego Star Wars for him, and he loved it.  
Nothing like a $2.97 pack of paper, stickers, and a poster to bring much delight and a long, enjoyable project together. 

May the Force Be With You

We spent the evening working on Valentines. 
Michael will be handing out Star Wars V-tines with glow-stick light sabers.

Michael and David had their own light saber battle tonight.  

This Too Shall Pass

All I need is about 10-15 minutes of uninterrupted time in the morning to shower and get dressed.
I lock the bathroom door to get the "uninterrupted" part, and yet David still managed to communicate his apparent need to watch Veggie Tales right. this. moment.  I know one day I will miss tiny, chubby fingers under the door, so I don't begrudge this time of excessive neediness.  But an uninterrupted shower would be nice. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Impending Award

I got notice today that Michael will be receiving an award during an assembly on Thursday.  I can't wait to see what it is for.  

Fashionista

This girl has her own sense of style.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Craft Time

Aunt Deb got the kids a cool craft project for Christmas.  They got shirts with iron-on decals and fabric markers.  They loved designing their shirts and decorating them.
David caused me to learn that fabric markers do not wash off of hands.  Kate and I helped him with his shirt, and he insisted on wearing it all evening, then to bed.

Kate was in creative heaven.  She ADORES crafts and anything artsy.  

Michael decided to use his shirt in conjunction with his 100-days-of-school celebration.  He is coloring 100 things that he likes on it.

Story Time at the Library

The younger two kids really enjoy library story time on Fridays.  
It includes stories, rhymes, songs, and a dancing interlude

This week, the kids got to use streamers to making it a little more fun

The loved adding this to their movement time, and it helped to get some of the wiggles out before the next story.  We love our local library.


Tuesday, February 05, 2013

In Case You Were Wondering...

In case you were wondering, the after-hours ATM check deposit machine DOES take a check signed with a crayon.  
Good information to know in the future, but I will plan on putting a pen or 12 in the van in the mean time. 

Monday, February 04, 2013

Ministering to the Elderly

One of the ways that we serve in our church is to occasionally lead Sunday service in a local assisted living center in the area.  This past Sunday was our turn to serve, and we were blessed as we ministered to the residents. 
My husband led music and preached (or mini-preached), and I read the scripture and assisted the residents with their papers and such.   I wish I played the piano, but we winged it a cappella.

The kids participated as well, and they did a good job singing out and in talking with some of the people there.  David was especially good at giving his cute smile and waving as we were talking and having fellowship with those who were able to come.  Michael did a portion of the scripture reading.  
The kids sat well and did a great job, and I think they are starting to see what a blessing it is to serve others.  My prayer is that they will grow up to love God and others, especially those who are not able to do anything for them. 

Farewell, Crib

David has been out of the crib for a little while now, but I just got the nerve to sell it.  I nearly cried.  See the slat-marks on the wall?  Dirty feet, maybe? 

We are converting the office (that we were using as a nursery) back to an office, and David has joined Michael upstairs in the boys' room.  It was an momentous occasion, though mostly for me.  They're growing up!  
On a side note, I mentioned that Kate had some blood drawn on Friday, as they suspected that she had Lyme disease.  Thankfully, the Lyme disease titer came back negative, but her blood work showed that she had a strep infection in recent months, so they put her on her very first antibiotic today.  She was so excited that it tasted like pink candy.  :-)  We're really thankful that it was a simple fix.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Blackberry Pancakes

Kate had to have some blood drawn on Friday, and to make it a less traumatic experience for her, we had a Mommy-Daughter outing to Cracker Barrel.  She was a trooper.  I guess blackberry pancakes make everything better. BTW, this is a kid serving.  She ate about 1/3 of the plate, then took the rest home to share with her brothers.