Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Morning 2009

Our boys had a great Christmas! I was so proud of them a couple of days ago... I told Ben and Collin to go and pick out some of their toys to give Ben actually picked some really good stuff that he realized he did not play with anymore...he wanted to give them to another little boy for Christmas... This made me so proud of him and his kind heart and willingness to give some of his things and the positive attitude he did it with even before he knew what he was getting for Christmas...Collin of course was just putting things in the pile because he thought it was a fun game...they were so sweet. Of course I told him that Santa would probably be bringing him more stuff. They got what they had asked for on their lists...well, most of it! Thank you to all of our family members that sent them gifts. They had a great morning opening everything and spending time together!!
We are so blessed with our children and our family, and our friends. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dog Sledding Trip

Some deer on the side of the road... A herd of Elk on the side of the road..

We actually went on this trip the weekend of the 20th..but due to the fact that I forgot my camera and we had to buy a disposable and get a cd of the pics...I am just now posting...they are not the best quality..but at least we have something to remember the trip by.

We had an absolute blast going up for a couple nights to Banff and going dog sledding with the kids. It has been a rough couple of weeks for my family. My grandfather, George Owen, is going through his last days right now in a hospital in Paducah, so we almost cancelled this trip. I am so glad that we went. We all really enjoyed it and the boys did great on the hour long ride.
We also spent some time taking the boys tobogganing and they had a blast. Collin actually enjoyed it this time and Ben as always is fearless and will climb to the top of any hill and throw himself on the sled head first and go down the hill full speed ahead. It was nice to spend the weekend up in the mountains one last time before we return to the States.

My grandfather is still in the hospital and he has spent the week surrounded by family. Please keep him in your prayers. Also, upon returning, we found out that a dear friend of ours from Illinois, Michelle Ashby, has been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. It has spread to many parts of her body..her spine, ribs, pelvis, and liver. We ask for your prayers also for the Ashby family. Michelle us undergoing chemo and radiation right now. Her husband, Ryan Ashby went to Harding.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Holiday Masterpiece!!

Alas, the putting together of the Gingerbread House...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I am So Proud of this Boy!!

Tonight was a milestone in the Brown household. Ben had his Christmas program for school tonight. His program started at 7pm and we left just after 6pm to make sure that we would get there in time. The snow and traffic was horrible..and it took us over an hour to get to the church for the program. I was so worried because I had a feeling that this night was going to be really good for Ben. We made it in time, his class had not gone on yet.
For most children this is always a wonderful experience. But for us until tonight, these programs have been always unpredictable because Ben has serious anxiety about these type of events. The first year of Preschool was horrible with programs...see my post from May 2008. Last Christmas was somewhat successful, but Earle and I had to hide from him to stop him from spotting us and running off of the stage in a screaming fit of anxiety. He made it though last year, but was scared and upset afterward because he did not know where we had been. Today he told me he was going to do it...yesterday he sang one of his songs for me all the way through every verse. It does not seem like two songs would be so significant, but tonight they were...just enough time to show how much my little boy is growing up and changing. I am not saying that he was not scared tonight...I think he was, but he was also excited.. This is before the concert, you can see he is fidgeting with his hands...but proud and smiling because he knows he is going to go through with it.

Our pictures did not turn out well at all, we were far away and the lighting was difficult. I was so disappointed about it, but it still gives you an idea.
Here he is, actually up there in front of hundreds of parents and kids...smiling and getting ready to sing.After the songs were over, there was applause...this cracks me up because he is holding his ears...he said the applause were too loud...but that is a good thing!!Afterwards the boys sitting down in the lobby watching the video of the can see he is still excited/nervous...fidgeting with his mouth and hands.
But you know what, he did it!!! This is a first for Ben and a huge step in his confidence. For once tonight I was the one who got teary eyed, not Earle, and it was all over two silly Christmas songs. I cannot tell you how proud I am of this kid. And also for his teachers this year who have helped him so much!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The In-Between....

Well, we are in the in-between, in between Thanksgiving and Christmas that is. I don't have much to say, but I felt we were due a post. It has been really cold here the past few days...and last weekend we had a blizzard. SO we have spent quite a lot of time at home, inside, watching movies and trying to find crafts to do, books to read, warm food to eat, hot chocolate to drink, etc. Ben has his school program tomorrow evening and we are looking forward to that. On Monday morning when we all got out to take Ben to school it was -17 degrees Fahrenheit! So it is beyond cold this week! Hope everyone is having a great week!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankgiving 2009

We had a great Thanksgiving dinner tonight with some of our friends here in Calgary. I really missed my family this year...and all through the day I sort of went about it feeling a little sorry for myself....but having these ladies over and their families truly made up for it! Erin and Nicola are American, so they were in the same boat as we were as far as not having relatives around. Brandi, was our token Canadian who had never been to an American Thanksgiving feast! I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends! I think I'll take these girls with me! Thanks for celebrating this American holiday with us!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Wish Lists

Tonight before bed Ben, Collin, and I sat down to put together their respective wish lists for Santa/Mom & Dad. Even though Ben is now 5 this is really the first time we have done this. On Saturday we went to the mall and as usual Ben asked for everything under the sun. We kept telling him, "That would be a good thing to put on your wish list". By Sunday he had it down. We went somewhere on Sunday and the questions changed to, "hey daddy, do you think I should put this on my Christmas list?". So without further delay, here are the boys carefully thought out and diverse lists.

Ben's List
1. Mcdonald's cash register - Ben and Collin have been obsessed w/ playing McDonald's lately. They pretend that they are McDonald's employees and take your order, make your meal and then serve it to you. Either we should be worried that they are setting their sights low or we should reconsider how often we are getting them McDs.
2. Starbucks Frappacino Insulated Cup w/ red and white candy cane straw - If you know Carrie then this is really not a surprise.
3. Vampire costume? - No clue but apparently Ben has been pretending that the big toy box in our basement is his own personal coffin and will clear out the toys and rise up out of his coffin just like the Count himself. Don't ask me how he even knows that this is what vampires do. He's obsessed w/ wearing capes so I guess this make sense.
4. Star Wars battle droid ship
5. Superman Xbox game
6. Darth Vader doll from Blockbuster - We saw this Monday night while getting a movie. He loves Darth Vader. He wears a cape. Enough said.
7. Star Wars Wii game
8. Batman cartoon Wii game - I don't even think this exists but he got stuck on Wii games for a minute.
9. Blue Batman costume - He identifies Batman by the color of his costume. He's got the black costume from the recent movies but his collection is not complete w/o the traditional "blue Batman" costume from the cartoons.
10. Spiderman movie - We recently let him spend some of his "allowance" money on a used Spiderman video game for $9 bucks so he's got Spiderman on the brain. He's not a huge fan of Spiderman but since he doesn't wear a cape this shouldn't come as a surprise.

Collin's List
1. McD's cash register - See #1 above and there is NO WAY we only get one of these. It would not be good.
2. Hot chocolate with cream - Collin really just thought we were talking about things we like so this naturally makes the list.
3. Spiderman - clearly influenced by his older brother
4. Upsy Daisy w/ bed - This is some character from a REALLY strange children's show that comes on here in Canada. They both have watched this but Collin loves this show. Trust me, this show is strange. With names like Macca Paka and Iggle Piggle how can it not be?
5. Hamburger - We really don't eat McDonald's every day. Seriously, we don't.
6. Cartoon - Why not?

Not bad for a first list. Ben's got a couple of items on there that he has been talking about for some time but for the most part these were really random and funny. Now we'll just have to wait and see what Santa will bring.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Star of the Week....

I was about to throw away this paper and decided it needed to be recorded in our here it is...Ben's 10 question interview to share with the class as "Star of the Week"

1. Name: Ben Brown

2. Birthday: Sept. 7, 2004

3. Favorite Animal: Turtle (???)

4. Favorite Bible Story: David and Goliath

5. Favorite Bible Character: Jesus (good pick son;)

6. Favorite Book: The Franklin Books (I am guessing thus the turtle phase?)

7. Favorite Movie: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

8. Favorite Food: Pizza and Chocolate

9. Likes to: Play with my brother, go swimming, go hiking, go camping, go to movies, read stories, play the Wii.

10. Wants to: Have a job saving people when he grows up.

Yesterday Ben and I were at church by ourselves because Collin was sick and Earle had stayed home with him. Ben had decided that he had not wanted to go to Children's Worship so he sat and listened to the sermon with me. It was on The Fruits of the Spirit. When we got home I told Ben to tell his dad what he learned about in church...he rattled off all of the Fruits of the order...we stood there shocked and baffled...then we realized that he had been learning them in school as well. I need to remind myself not to underestimate that kid:)

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Yesterday Earle was off of work due to Remembrance Day(Veterans' Day). He was driving us all to the mall
and I pulled down the mirror and started putting on my lipstick. This conversation followed....
Ben: Mommy what is that?
Me: It is my lipstick.
Ben: Why do you have to put that on?
Me: Because it makes mommy look better.
Ben: No, it doesn't make you look better makes you makes you look just like a ROCK STAR!!!
Me: That is exactly why I have to put it on.
Gotta love him!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Girls' Trip to Edmonton

This past weekend some of the precious friends I have made here in Calgary and I went on an overnight trip to the huge mall in Edmonton for a fun weekend of shopping and girl time. We had a great time of deep conversation, coffee, shopping and encouragement.

The next few pictures are totally acted out for our husbands. Apparently they think that when somewhat mature ladies get together for overnight trips all they do is run around in their pajamas, giggling, and having pillow fights. These are for you Earle, Jeff, Josh, Steve and Jordan...hee hee!!

Now for what actually happened....
We went out for a nice dinner... We got pedicures...

Did LOTS of shopping!!

Manicures as well!!

And basically enjoyed the time getting to know each other better and encouraging each other. Thank you ladies for going!! It was an awesome time! You are all special ladies!! Missed you Nicola J.!! And thank you Earle, for letting me get away and taking care of the boys! Love you!