Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Nov 2011

On Monday, Mr. Brown and the kids wandered up the street on their bikes and found someone at work renovating an old house.  He was taking down the chimney.  So Mr. Brown and the little people volunteered to assist and spent all afternoon pulling down bricks and trundling them off for disposal.  They found a desiccated squirrel carcass, and came home covered in soot.  Rose Pink said that she got a warm feeling from assisting our neighbor, and they all enjoyed it very much.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

signs of the season

Nut Brown drew up a letter as well- he asked for a tomato.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

27 November 2011

Busy month this month.  We bought a house and moved in and unpacked and tried to figure out how to live in this new space that's going to be home for years to come.  Mr. Brown has been busy with home improvement projects and has been so far successful and has learned a lot.  He loves our new house.

Also we're expecting a baby next May so there have been the beginning of doctor's visits and hormonal mood swings.  Everyone but me thinks it's a girl.  I think it's probably a girl too, but I was hoping for a boy.  We're taking suggestions for names because so far nothing has sounded right to me.  Today I suggested 'Zephyr' to Mr. Brown.  He said, is that a boy or a girl name? and I said, it could be either! 

For Thanksgiving my brother came up from Chicago and we had a good time with him: riding bikes, going to parks, raking the lawn at 'the cabin' (what Nut Brown calls the rental we just moved out of), and of course cooking (although my brother mostly contributed by washing dishes, which was greatly appreciated).  A few other notes:

I say to Nut Brown today, You're getting so big!  When did you get so big? and he says, I'm almost an adult!

Tonight at our first Advent celebration for this year, Rose Pink sang her version of 'The Friendly Beasts' to our guests.  It's to the tune of 'The Streets of Laredo'.  She's a superstar.

Nut Brown, at Family Home Evening a couple weeks ago, struggled to bear his testimony as Mr. Brown was talking about the plan of salvation and the role of our Savior.  We waited as he stumbled with his words and finally just said, 'I know... I know... I know that God is TRUE.'  It was beautifully sincere statement from our dear little boy who was obviously feeling the Spirit and trying to verbalize.

Our kids both did an excellent job in the Primary Program at church this month.  Rose Pink was asked to 'share her testimony of the prophet', and she and I came up with, "I know who President Monson is.  He speaks at General Conference.  I recognize him by his hair."  She was dismayed when people laughed during rehearsals, but when we discussed some other things she could say, and the importance of sharing honest feelings, she went ahead with the original line.

Nut Brown was asked to 'share a time when your prayers were answered'.  That's a bit much for a four-year-old, so instead he got to tell a story that had just happened on our trip to the beach, about how he had gotten lost and his mom had said a prayer asking for help to find him, and was given that help.  It was a long story with six or seven sentences (I made up a little card for him with picture cues) but he did the whole thing perfectly.

We're going to see my brother in Chicago graduate in two weeks and looking forward to that.  I really appreciate at my new job that my supervisors are more flexible with time off. :) 

Monday, November 7, 2011

7 November 2011

Image: Rose Pink's rendering of one of the houses they visited while trick-or-treating.  She's the pink person on the left of the door and Nut Brown to the right.  This was drawn for Gia (and posted to her) and she drew some for her other grandparents but I was unable to mail them because we have packed the envelopes already in preparation for moving this Saturday!
Last night Rose Pink was deconstructing a dresser on the back porch while Mr. Brown and I raked the back lawn.  Mr. Brown noticed that the thin wood of the defunct dresser drawers was perfect for karate chops, and he taught Nut Brown how to break a board, which he did successfully (!).  He demonstrated board breaking with his fist, on his head, knee and belly (!).  Totally amazing.  And I broke one too. Mr. Brown said, "You didn't think it would actually break, did you?" and I admitted that I didn't.  But it did!  Nut Brown was especially pleased with himself: he's been in a 'little ninjas' karate class through the rec center for the past couple of weeks, and was very happy to discover that he has ninja skills.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

6 November 2011

Nut Brown has been throwing up all day.  He hasn't been able to keep anything down, except maybe occasional sips of water.  Mr. Brown went to the store to get Powerade for him, and also came home with a two liter of orange soda that he told Nut Brown was his entirely.  Nut Brown immediately had two glasses (which he threw up fifteen minutes later) and turned to me and said, This is the best day of my life.

His grandma sent him a letter recently in which she referenced the incident recorded on this blog with the friendly construction equipment operator who let him drive the steam shovel briefly.  After having the letter read to him, Nut Brown turned to me with round eyes and said, 'Did that really happen?'  I assured him that it was an actual occurrence, and he said, 'Wow!'

Friday, November 4, 2011

5 November 2011

We've been listening to a Halloween soundtrack and the kids love 'Monster Mash', 'The Flying Purple People Eater', and the Ghostbusters theme, as well as the other songs.  I found out that Nut Brown thought that when they shout 'Ghostbusters!' in the song that they're actually saying 'Ghost Butlers!' which is cool in a different kind of way.  When Rose Pink and I were trying to decipher what Nut Brown was saying, she came up with 'Ghost Butt Nerds!', which is also very funny.  She's very anxious to watch the movie.  We told her she has to wait til she's at least eight.

4 November 2011

Nut Brown has been really interested in letters lately.  We've been slowly practicing their names and the sounds they make and lately he's been sounding out words all by himself without prompting.  He also thinks that a 'homework' assignment to copy letters is the best thing ever- he's much more interested in coloring, drawing, and fine motor control than his sister, and loves to sit down with a pen and Dr. Seuss's ABC to write the alphabet. 
Here is a drawing he produced recently of a pickle on which he has written 'PICKLE', although it is backwards and the letters are also backwards. 
Nut Brown keeps referring to the letter 'S' as 'see', because it makes the sound 'sssss', which 'see' starts with.  He also calls 'C'... 'see'.  I'm sure he'll figure it out eventually: more importantly, he knows what sound they make when you're reading.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

La Plage 22-29 Oct

We spent last week in Clearwater Beach, FL, doing nothing much.  We sat on the beach and built sandcastles, we walked along the beach and picked up shells, we laid around the vacation cottage and watched tv, and we swam in the pool.  Pretty much that sums it up.  It was wonderfully luxuriously lazy, and we had time to spend with each other for seven whole days.
My sister and her husband and most of their kids drove down from Tallahassee and spent the first part of the week with us.  It was so lovely to see them and hold her new baby and stay up late talking and watch our kids play together.
Some of the most amazing and special things that happened:
*we saw a dead baby octopus wash up on the beach, a whole specimen
*we built drip castles that spelled out our initials
*we found live conchs and hermit crabs in quasi-tide pools
*we watched the sun come up in the morning, cuddled up on a bench under a blanket on the bay side of the Clearwater island/sandbar
*we put the sun to bed every night on the beach
*Rose Pink actually caught a gecko, which bit her so that she screamed and dropped it.
*Nut Brown showed us how to play 'duck', which involved throwing a ball, running after it, and then diving on to it in the sand
*we hung out with a fisherman on the pier who let the kids handle and throw back the fish he caught
*we saw dolphins porpoising
*we went to a Halloween party at the library.  We actually got temporary library cards and checked out some books and movies.
*we (Rose Pink & Nut Brown) threw large quantities of clear blobs of jelly back into the ocean
*we saw jellyfish swimming
*we lost Nut Brown and then we found him again
We came home asking ourselves how soon we could do this again.  Our family is closer and happier for the time spent away together.
PS. We wore our Charlie Brown shirts when we were traveling and to the Halloween party.  We got lots of comments on how cute we were.  Thank you, Joellen!!