Saturday, August 31, 2013

31 August 2013

One of my favorite times with Bobo is in the morning just after he wakes up.  He snuggles for a minute in bed with us and then he wants his cup of soy milk and a graham cracker and he'll sit on my lap on the couch and be a very satisfied baby because there's nothing better than a cracker and milk with Mom.  It's very sweet.  I miss it on days when he doesn't wake up before I leave for work, and sometimes it makes me late for work if he wakes up late.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

27 August 2013

 
Our stake is having a parent/child choir for its upcoming conference.  Rose Pink and I have been going to rehearsals on Sunday evenings.  At the first one she was very upset because she wasn't already perfect at the song we were practicing.  But we are not giving up!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

25 August 2013

 So just an illustration of why we thought gymnastics might be good for Nut Brown:
 
And if that wasn't enough:
Look Ma, no hands!

This fall we may have overbooked ourselves:  Mr. Brown is going back to school, which will require weekly trips to Ann Arbor (45 min away).  Both kids are playing soccer, which means weekly practices and games.  Nut Brown is continuing with gymnastics, which is in the evenings, and Rose Pink is joining a choir, which meets during the day.  This is in addition to church activities (like Activity Day Girls).  I just suggested to Spencer that we get some audiobooks, because I think we're going to be spending a lot of time in the car this fall!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

22 August 2013

Our Bobo has discovered the power of stools.  Mr. Brown says that he is going to put away the kitchen stool for awhile because Bobo can get into entirely too many things since he's figured out how to move it around.  On the night before Nut Brown's birthday party I caught him climbing up on a chair he'd slid over next to the counter with the cupcakes on it.  Fortunately he was quite noisy in his excitement so I came to investigate before he'd successfully helped himself.

He will also use anything to help him get to the computer/keyboard/mouse.  Mr. Brown started turning off the monitor so that playing with the keyboard/mouse would be less appealing, but Bobo just figured out how to turn it back on by himself.  One of his favorite things to do is push the button that opens a calculator (and yes, he knows which button that is) so if left unattended, occasionally we find the computer with 150 instances of Calculator open. 



Wednesday, August 21, 2013

21 August 2013

Some photos from my sister's visit:
 
(I missed the moment when there were six children in the bathroom brushing teeth at the same time.)

This is as close as I got to an action shot.  All those kids made for a lot of running around and lots of noise.

Nut Brown wanted to be like his cousin Jason and wear a long tie to church.  Outside his vest, because what's the point of a tie if you can't see it?

Drawing on the back porch.

Required group shot of all the cousins on the couch.  I couldn't pick a favorite so here are three.


 
 
We went out for ice cream at our favorite place on their last day.
They all loved it.

when grandma and grandpa visited

Photos courtesy of Grandpa.  Here are some of the things we did together while they were visiting the first weekend in August.
 
We went to Jim's for ice cream... 

 
...played at the park...
 
...were treated to an afternoon showing of Much Ado About Nothing by Grandpa...
 
...rode miniature steam engines...
 
...waved good-bye!

dream cruise

This year is Bobo's first Woodward Dream Cruise.  On Friday night the kids and I rode down to Woodward and pulled up a piece of grass to watch the cars go by.  Here's Bobo posing with a fabulous example of Toyota engineering.

We ate popcorn and watched the show.  I picked a spot next to two old guys so I could listen to what they said about the cars, but they were mostly discussing the paint jobs and body work.  Traffic was pretty free-flowing at first but after about a half hour it was pretty clogged and everyone was going about two miles an hour.  Bobo figured out that we wave to cool cars, so he waved all by himself to people, which was completely adorable.

I gave the kids the camera to take turns taking photos (it keeps them interested).  Here are some of the vehicles that caught their eye:




 
On Saturday, my uncle and aunt from Ann Arbor came over for the day and we met them in the afternoon to hang out for awhile.  Here's a shot Nut Brown took of us.  I'm wearing pink, talking to my uncle in the hat, and my aunt is in the blue chair to my right.

 
Once again, the kids had the camera.  Nut Brown also ran over to hang out in the landscaping with some other kids when he got bored.  Here are a few of the 4,386 photos that we came home with from Saturday (you think I'm kidding?):







This last photo my uncle actually suggested I take.  He said, "My father - your grandfather - used to own one of those- it's a 1954 Plymouth (i don't remember the model)."  So I ran over and took a picture, and when I came back he said, "Actually, I'm wrong - it's a 1955 Plymouth xxx.  You can tell by the extra chrome pieces it has around the back windshield.  So it's not the same car that my dad used to drive."  I said wonderingly, "You are just full of trivia!" and he laughed and said, "About some things."
 
We walked up to the Chrysler display at the corner of 13 Mile and Woodward to check out the new Viper for Grandpa.  Photographs are courtesy of Nut Brown:
 

We also checked out the new 2014 Jeep and Nut Brown discovered the truth behind marketing: it's all hollow.  (He was trying to climb on the 'rocks' that were strewn around for atmosphere.)

Then when we were walking back to our car in the neighborhood behind Woodward, we randomly passed this:
The official pace car from the Indy 500 a few years ago.  Just parked in our neighborhood.  We also passed a Lamborghini parked by the side of the road back in the neighborhood as well.

I love dream cruise weekend.  It's so fun to live in a place that is so completely focused on one thing.  Detroit IS the Motor City.  There are two new families in our ward this summer, young people (younger than us) who have finished college and are living the dream: they've come to live and breathe cars in Detroit and work for the auto companies.  We passed a guy from Australia who was telling someone, "There's nowhere else for a petrolhead to be than in Detroit this weekend."   I'm not defending the car companies, and Detroit city certainly has problems, but I love being in a place that is so obsessed with and passionate about something.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

20 August 2013

A couple weeks ago Mr. Brown had to move someone who lived close to a grocery store that we'd been thinking might be reachable by bike.  We decided to take him a lunch (because he wasn't sure if he would have to go on and help unload as well) and see if we could get to the grocery store.
 
Here we are getting ready to cross at the light:
 
We made it to the moving site without any trouble at all.  The kids were pretty pleased with themselves.  We hung out for a little while and then rode the remaining block to the grocery store.

The baby desperately wants the camera.
 
We did all our shopping and lined up to check out, and then I realized I hadn't grabbed my wallet when we left the house.  Embarrassing!  But the kids decided we should race back over to the moving site and see if I could borrow Mr. Brown's wallet, because he's always very responsible about taking it with him when he leaves the house.  We hurried back over and (hooray!) caught him just as they were finishing up.  So then it was back to the grocery store to actually check out, and then ride home.
 
The grocery store is 1.5 miles from our house, but it was no trouble at all for the kids.  I love going places on bikes with our kids, and I'm so glad to live in a bike-friendly place.  Not only are there sidewalks all over the place, but drivers are very aware of bikes and are willing to inconvenience themselves to make sure that my kids cross the roads safely.  I love it!

Monday, August 19, 2013

19 August 2013

Bobo loves music.  He'll dance to anything that he feels invites movement.  He plays the piano whenever he can.  Mr. Brown says that he must be a bard (D&D class).  Not only does he like to play instruments, he makes a tremendous amount of noise talking to himself and to the rest of us.  So chatty!



A couple nights ago he climbed up the chairs to play the piano.  He turns the pages in the piano books for himself.  When we applauded his efforts (he actually plays with one finger rather than a fist), he was so pleased, that he started to pause for the applause, and if we were not immediately forthcoming, he would clap himself in order to remind us.  Then Rose Pink bounced up to play a song, and he sat on the couch and applauded for her!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

18 August 2013

On one of my furlough days this summer, we decided to go to Greenfield Village with our friends the Truskies.  (that's a nickname)  I fell asleep after breakfast and that delayed preparations so we didn't actually leave until we were supposed to be arriving there, but fortunately they were running late too so they were still there when we showed up.  Here is some documentation of activity that day:
 







My whole family is completely bummed that furloughs got canceled for the rest of the summer.  We all seriously felt that the 32-hour work week was the way to go.  I loved having the extra day at home, and the kids loved having me.  It was worth the pay cut, and I'll happily do it again if Congress doesn't pass a budget. Actually, I'm secretly hoping for more furloughs.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

17 August 2013

Last night Mr. Brown was remonstrating with Rose Pink about leaving out a heavy brass dog that the baby managed to pull down on himself from above. 
Mr. Brown: It should have been put away when you were done playing with it so that the baby couldn't get to it.  Please put it away now.

Rose Pink: I don't know where it goes.

Mr. Brown: Where was it when you found it?

Rose Pink: On the floor by the baby's bed.  It's Nut Brown's.

Mr. Brown: Well, please ask him where it goes and then put it away.  Nut Brown, you should have put it away when you were done playing with it today.

Nut Brown: That wasn't today!  That was a few days ago!

Friday, August 16, 2013

16 August 2013

The kids laid a trail of Rose-of-Sharon blossoms from our back porch out to my favorite spot in the yard: the garden.

Here it is on close approach.  You can see the pumpkin vine on the right that is taking over.  We had to direct it away from the bed and behind the garage.  My neighbor in back did not believe that it was only one vine!
The front bed has peas on the right end, zinnias in the middle, carrots, basil and cilantro on the left side.

Back bed has cucumbers, the infamous pumpkin, a watermelon vine being overgrown by cucumbers, and two gigantic tomato plants.  Mr. Brown said, maybe you should have planted them farther apart... and I said, I planted them almost a yard apart!  I didn't expect them to be monsters!
 

Kids with sunflowers- someone gave us some seeds so we are experimenting with roasting.  They sprouted and grew just fine.  Their bed also has some poppies (chosen by Nut Brown) and some marigolds from seed (chosen by Rose Pink).  I was not super impressed with either one.

Kids with carrots.  We're experimenting with harvest times to find out when they're done growing.  I think they're still getting bigger at the moment.  This summer we have consumed voluminous amounts of ranch dressing to go with carrots and cucumbers.