Tuesday, December 29, 2015

29 December 2015

Bobo found a pedigree chart that Rose Pink was working on.  I told him that we could substitute his name and it would be the same for him.  He liked that idea very much and pleaded with me to print a blank one for his 'grancestors'.

I just listened to Rose Pink switch her left and right hands to play Canon in D in yet another variation.  Having memorized the original, she's messed around with keys, tempos and syncopation, and now she's switching the parts.  She bought herself Harry Potter sheet music for Christmas, and has started teaching herself to play it.  So cool to watch her be in charge of her learning.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

24 November 2015


On Saturday we got our first snow of the season, and it was a big one!  The kids spent as much time as they could outside building snowmen and rolling around in the snow.  Bobo got a bunch of practice putting on his snow gear.  Rose Pink actually got up early on Sunday morning so she could go out before church and play in the snow some more.  That girl has legendary snow love.  It was so fun to have the first snow be really serious snow that the kids enjoyed so much.

This weekend was Rose Pink's piano recital as well.  The teacher structured the recital as a 'piano play' where she worked all the kids' music into a story about a spaceship from Earth finding a planet called Pacem and peace on earth, etc.  Rose Pink performed Canon in D, which she has been working on since the summer.  Here she is at the piano in the spaceship:

At the end of the program, the teacher handed out the medals.  Her students all earn points through the year for practice time, remembering their books, cooperation, performance, etc., and the top points earners win gold, silver and bronze medals.  Rose Pink tied with another student for the gold.  She has consistently applied herself in a very mature way to her practice and it was nice to have her hard work acknowledged.  She said, "It was so nice of Mrs. Martin to pick me" and I reminded her that this is an award that she earned through her own efforts.  I'm so proud of her.

Here she is with the chocolate piano she won:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

19 November 2015

The children are making their own advent calendars, I think because they think I'm not going to get around to buying one like I usually do.  At this point, they're probably right.  Also, why would I discourage such initiative?  This year we're going to do a German-style advent calendar and hang socks on a line across the living room, one for each day of Advent, with a treat and a scripture.  It'll be great.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

18 November 2015

After reading 'The Big Orange Splot', Mr. Brown asked the kids to draw their house (my house is where I like to be, and it looks like all my dreams).  Rose Pink above, Nut Brown below.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

17 November 2015


Now that soccer season is over, we have more time for our true passion: the Lego Star Wars video game.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

15 November 2015

We were going to dinner at our friends' house and bringing the ingredients for pizza.  It was extensive, and Rose Pink and Nut Brown each made a list to make sure we remembered everything.







Friday, November 13, 2015

18 November 2015

Because life with kids is so delightfully unexpected some days...

Bobo has learned the word 'thingamajig' and how to use it.  He is still working on 'th' so it comes out 'finagamajig' and it makes me laugh.  'Fingamajig' has replaced 'dat fing' in his vocabulary and I think it's an improvement.

Our FHE lesson on Monday was on the law of chastity, which, according to Rose Pink, governs our 'secular behavior'.

Last night Nut Brown and I were reading in 2 Nephi the chapter that includes the wolf lying down with the lamb. 

Nut Brown: That's not how it works!  Wolves don't lie down with lambs!  They eat them!

Mama: Let's try the Socratic method.  Why do you think the wolf might lie down with the lamb?

Nut Brown: I don't know!  Maybe because the lamb ate his brother?

Saturday, October 31, 2015

31 October 2015

Happy Halloween!!!  The party started Friday with the church trunk-or-treat/Halloween dance, which was a total blast.  Mr. Brown won the 'most spirited dancer' award, which was no surprise, because passionate dancing is a Brown family heritage.  We love to dance and so we loved the activity.  Nut Brown was planning to go as Darth Vader.  We told him 'no masks', so he decided to shave his head and paint it all white, so he could go as the unmasked Vader.  (My kids are so cool for so many reasons.)  Here we are:
(Nut Brown is making force lightning with the background)

I decided to be Batman, so Mr. Brown said he should be Robin.  So I made Mr. Brown's costume as well and was very pleased with how well it turned out!  Rose Pink is a very glamorous witch-like person, and Bobo is Luke Skywalker.

Here we are with his 'most spirited dancer' award.


Tonight was trick-or-treating with some friends.  Here's Bobo as Luke Skywalker again (see the blurry lightsaber?):
Nut Brown in full Vader regalia:
(Yoda is not ours, he's one of the friends)

Rose Pink as a 'blue fairy'.

Also we carved pumpkins... Mine is the one in the middle with the tall face.  I designed it and Mr. Brown did all the carving.  Rose Pink is behind hers- it has stars for eyes and eyebrows.  Nut Brown is behind his.  His was dropped and has a big crack in it, so he decided to make crying eyes for it.  Bobo picked out a tiny pumpkin that he could carry himself, and asked for a Batman face on it.  He totally loves that pumpkin.


Today we raked leaves and he said, It's the Batmobile, and put his pumpkin in the pile of leaves so Batman could drive the Batmobile.  He's so cute.


Friday, October 23, 2015

23 Oct 2015

 We are getting ready for Halloween (Rose Pink dressed up our concrete chicken)

 enjoying the fall weather - it's the best season in Michigan


and we managed to get in a visit to a cider mill for cider donuts and hot cider.  Yum.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

20 October 2015

We had our first hard freeze and my tomato and pepper plants died.  So I gathered up everything that wasn't quite ripe and brought inside:


Mr. Brown made a green chile sauce out of the peppers, and I laid out the tomatoes on newspaper to hopefully ripen.  Rose Pink used her multiplication skills to figure out how many I got off my single tomato plant:


Total: 161.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

13 October 2015

Mr. Brown made spaghetti for dinner the other night.  He said, "I put corn in the spaghetti sauce.  But not zucchini."  Rose Pink said, "Thank goodness your zucchini plant died, Mom."

Monday, October 5, 2015

5 October 2015

Tonight Bobo offered thanks over dinner and said, "Sank you God wif my famiwee.  I yuv dem so much."  It was very tender.  Nut Brown last night told me that he wasn't sure if God existed, but that he was waiting patiently to find out.  He said he thinks he can be patient enough to get an answer. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

25 September 2015

Nut Brown has asked if we can read the Bible together at night, so after we read from the Book of Mormon we will switch over and read from the New Testament.  We're in Matthew ch 4 right now.  In the Book of Mormon, we're wading through the Isaiah chapters in 2 Nephi, which are challenging for adults, and not super interesting for an eight-year-old.  He asks a lot of questions about what we read, which is very challenging for me.  I'm glad for the opportunity to study with him.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

23 September 2015

My raspberry bushes are in full production mode and we are picking lots and lots of berries.  Nut Brown and Bobo are always ready to help me.  The other day we were out there picking and I said to Bobo, "Will you put these in the bowl for me?" He looked at me and said, "No.  Can I still have them?"  What the kids don't eat, I freeze, but so far there has been more consumption than freezing.

This summer was a good one for the garden.  We ate lots and lots of cucumbers, zucchini and green beans, lots of peas (which I also froze), and now we're getting into raspberries, tomatoes and peppers.  We  borrowed a food dryer to freeze the massive crop of serranos I'm getting - there's no way we're going to eat them all right now.  The poblanos are pretty much being eaten as they ripen.  I planted San Marzano tomatoes this year, which are 'sauce tomatoes', with the idea that whatever we didn't eat we could cook down into tomato sauce and freeze.  So far we're eating them, but the bush is seriously loaded and we'll probably run out of steam before we eat through all of them.  Oh- also we've had several cabbages, and we're eating our way through the last of the onions.  I spent less that $5 on onion starts and ended up with more than ten pounds of our favorite kind of onions.  Very gratifying.

It wasn't all good- I planted kale, which turned rotten and buggy.  It was truly, truly nasty.  The broccoli was also a disappointment, and I also planted radishes and discovered that nobody really likes them from the garden.  The lettuce only kind of worked out, so I won't be planting that again next year.  Still learning- but we did get so much that we enjoyed eating this year, it was very rewarding. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

22 September 2015


Kids messing around with mutant animals.  Rose Pink came up with a 'shee-en' - sheep-chicken based on the question, what if sheep hatched from eggs?
 
Nut Brown's was more complex- his sheep-chicken is thinking about punching the banana and knocking its head off.  Behind the sheep-chicken is an alligator pig that's thinking about eating bacon.

They giggled over these for awhile on my bed.  Eventually I sent Rose Pink to bed so I could read scriptures with Nut Brown, but he continued work on his drawing.  Finally he said, "This isn't as much fun without Rose Pink to laugh with.  You don't think this is as funny as she does."

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

15 September 2015

This week we celebrated National Moldy Bread Day, when we discovered that every bread product in the house was moldy - three loaves of bread and a package of hot dog buns. Mr. Brown attributes it to the hot humid weather and no air conditioning.

At church on Sunday, the speaker said something about those in the spirit world preparing for the Second Coming of the Savior.  Nut Brown turned to me and said, "Why would they prepare for it?  Doesn't He just come?  ....  Oh, it's probably like Christmas.  Christmas doesn't come unless you prepare for it.  You know, buying presents and putting up the tree..."  He's a chip off the old block for sure.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

12 September 2015

Mr. Brown is taking Nut Brown to gymnastics.  He goes out the back door to the garage, and returns to the house a minute later.  Bobo immediately runs over to the desk, gets Mr. Brown's keys, and brings them to him.  "Here you go, Papa!"

Friday, September 11, 2015

11 September 2015

Nut Brown tells a joke tonight: What did the forgetful owl say when he got home from work?  Honey, I'm whoooom?

Rose Pink received two pairs of shoes from a friend, identical except one is yellow and one is blue.  She's been wearing them as mixed pairs: one yellow, one blue.  'I want to clash,' she said.

Bobo, the other day, as we were coming back from our after-dinner walk, told me he was going to have something to eat.  I said, well, it's time to get ready for bed.  He says, 'how about something to eat?' and I said, "how about scriptures?" and he said, "To eat?!?!"

The older they get, the funnier they are.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

10 September 2015

I love reading the scriptures at night with the kids.  Nut Brown and I had an in-depth analysis of 2 Nephi 4 in the Book of Mormon the other night that was spiritual and enlightening, and I was so glad to share it with him.  Now we've moved on and are working our way through some of the Isaiah chapters.  He read about people being like garments that moths eat and immediately envisioned giant killer moths, which really brought the scriptures alive for a moment.  I told him that it might be better to read Isaiah with Papa's help, because he is better at explaining it.  I think it's because both Mr. Brown and Isaiah love analogies.  Some nights Nut Brown asks more questions than others, and last night I was glad it was a low-question night because we read about sons lying in the street and wild bulls in nets and I didn't really have a clue what Isaiah was getting at.

Rose Pink and I are at the very beginning of the book of Alma, reading about the contentions and persecution that stressed the early church organization.  It was very instructive - and she and I had a good discussion about how righteousness and obedience can lead to economic prosperity.  (not always)

Monday, September 7, 2015

7 September 2015

Bobo basically potty-trained in a couple weeks in August, pretty uneventfully.  We had been talking about it with him for awhile, but we bought him a 'tiny toilet' (he likes little things) and once he used that a couple times, he was sold on the idea.  He never really used the tiny toilet again, instead opting for a seat insert on the big toilet, but it was still worth the $30 to get him over the hump.

Anyway, he has his own big-boy underwear now, and wears them to bed and to church and everywhere.  We also shifted around the boys' clothes in their dresser so Bobo can get to his clothes and choose his own outfits.  The other night Nut Brown got up and changed his underwear in the middle of the night.  Then he threw up and came and asked me to help him clean it up.  While I was cleaning, he was chattering away to me a mile a minute and I paused him to ask, "Are you wearing Thomas underwear?"  He looked down and started to laugh.  I said, "I think you're wearing a pair of Bobo's underpants!"  He said, "I thought they were a little tight.  I must have forgotten that we switched drawers for our clothes!"  My eight year old, wearing 3T underpants.  He went and changed them right away.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

5 September 2015

I forgot to mention that Mr. Brown had his gall bladder removed on August 8.  He was in some discomfort on Friday night, which worsened through the night so we went to the emergency room early Saturday morning.  They diagnosed him by 10 am and he went into surgery at 3 pm and was kept overnight in the hospital.  The whole experience was really great - the nurses were great, the surgery went well, and he has healed from the surgery without further incident.  His diet has been rearranged as he's adjusted to a gall bladder-less existence, but otherwise, for major surgery, it was pretty unexciting with no complications.  I'm so glad to live close to a good hospital and to live right now when such relief from bodily illness is possible!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

30 August 2015

Bobo's word of the week: sockumber.  What does it mean?  Interpretation is open.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

27 August 2015


Rose Pink worked all summer on a play with her friend Cora.  It was called "Lily Valley" and Rose Pink was a mermaid.  They put it on for us at the lunch after Nut Brown's baptism.  There were songs and so much drama and of course a princess.  The only thing missing were the orphans - usually she and Cora are orphans in the stories they tell each other.  The play went very well and Rose Pink was so pleased to participate.  I wish I had a photo of the mermaid to post here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

26 August 2015

We've been on a bit of a Star Wars kick lately.  The kids have been playing the Lego Star Wars video game, Nut Brown had a Star Wars birthday party, and we have finally started watching the Star Wars movies together.  On Sunday, Bobo's nursery leader told me that Bobo announced to them that he was Darth Vader.  The leader replied, 'Oh?  I'm Luke Skywalker!'  Bobo studied him for a minute and then proclaimed, "I am your father!"

Nut Brown just acquired his Halloween costume from the store- it's Darth Vader.  We had guests for dinner and he asked if he could try it on.  Mr. Brown said, not right now.  He and Rose Pink disappeared into his bedroom and reappeared half an hour later carrying the costume, which they had stuffed with clothes and a stuffed animal to make it appear like a mannequin.  Nut Brown was holding it in front of himself when they came in, because they hadn't figured out how to make a head.  They crack me up!

Rose Pink is upstairs singing to herself.  I know she's happy when I can hear her talking or singing to herself.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

25 August 2015

Nut Brown was baptized on Saturday!  It was a very sweet service.  Mr Brown and I have been touched over the last couple weeks with the way that his kind heart and desire to do right have been evident.  We had our crises this morning getting ready (like the washer leaking on the floor) but everything worked out in the end.  We just got Windows 10 on the computer and it doesn't like the camera, so I have no photos to share, alas.  Nut Brown asked my brother Chris to come up and baptize him, and it was really nice to see him as well.  My parents were there, and our friends the Peers from Mt. Pleasant, and our friends the Scotts also came, as well as  the Truscotts and other friends from the ward.   (With a Saturday baptism, you find out who your real friends are.)  I'm so grateful I got to be there for his baptism.  I'm grateful for Nut Brown's attention to spiritual things.  And I'm also grateful for the friends who helped this happen - who reminded me to make sure we had white clothes, for example, and who planned to get the font filled without me remembering, and for my friend Karen who organized the reception afterwards.  We had an informal lunch afterwards, and she also hosted that at her house.  I think Nut Brown had a good time, and I know that I was grateful to see the people who love us all together.

Monday, August 3, 2015

3 August 2015

Nut Brown has lost three teeth (he has an adorable gappy grin) and he has three more that are loose.  It's like they all decided to fall out at once!

Friday, July 31, 2015

31 July 2015

Good things that come out of children's television: pointillism executed with acrylics and qtips!






Tuesday, July 21, 2015

21 July 2015

Nut Brown has been on a roll losing teeth.  Last Thursday at the park he said to Mr. Brown, "Papa, I think I have a loose tooth."  Mr. Brown looked in his mouth, and then he pulled the tooth out.  It had been so tightly jammed between two other teeth that by the time Nut Brown noticed it was loose, it was ready to come out.

On Sunday at church, Nut Brown was playing with another loose tooth, turning it so that it was at funny angles.  Bobo was totally weirded out by it.  Then Nut Brown went to the bathroom, and when he came back he showed me his tooth in his hand - he'd pulled it out himself in the bathroom.  Right when he got back, Bobo asked to see his mouth.  Nut Brown grinned at him and Bobo exclaimed, right in the middle of services, "You missing teeth!"  He carefully examined Nut Brown's extracted tooth, and then said to me, "Are you missing teeth, Mama?  I'm not missing teeth.  See?"

Monday, July 20, 2015

20 July 2015

Rose Pink & Nut Brown wrote a book!  I especially love the page numbers.






Friday, July 17, 2015

17 July 2015

At our last stake conference, Nut Brown produced this image of Joseph Smith's First Vision:


Also this drawing of a dragon:

Thursday, July 16, 2015

16 July 2015

Mr. Brown gathered everyone in the kitchen one night and decided to read scriptures together while they were eating ice cream since it was already late.  He saw he had everybody and said, "Now that I've got everyone in the kitchen..." and went to get the scriptures.  Nut Brown immediately got up and went and sat on the cellar stairs out of sight on the other side of the kitchen, so that when Mr. Brown came back, we weren't all there any more.  Prankster!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

15 July 2015

Rose Pink is going to be a mermaid in play that she and a friend are putting on.  We were working on sketching out her costume.  She was not satisfied with my understanding of what was needed, so she drew for me a step-by-step process of what she wanted to happen.
 




Tuesday, July 14, 2015

14 July 2015

The city recently painted bike lanes on the roads here, including on the road we ride to the library.  On a recent trip I let the kids ride in the bike lane.  They took pride in riding right over the bikers painted on the pavement in the bike lane.  Rose Pink said to Nut Brown, "Where did you get on that last one?  I got another skull."

Monday, July 13, 2015

13 July 2015

Nut Brown was playing around the other day with our initials, melding them in various ways.







Saturday, July 11, 2015

11 July 2015

When we read the scriptures lately, the kids have fixated on the phrase 'the reign of the judges'.  So whenever we run across it, we repeat the following four lines:

1. It was raining judges?
2. That must have been a heavy rain!
3. Nah, judges are mostly full of hot air.
4. Now a rain of frogs, that would be something!

Even Bobo will jump in to start it.  It's fun to be silly together.

Friday, July 10, 2015

10 July 2015

At our 4th of July feast in the backyard, Bobo offered thanks and said, 'Thank you with it's so beautiful... it's so beautiful...'  It was a very sweet prayer of thanksgiving for the beautiful afternoon and anticipated meal, and it summed up both Mr. Brown's and my feelings of gratitude for our place in life at the moment.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

8 July 2015


At the park the other day Nut Brown was being wheelbarrowed around by Mr. Brown.  Bobo wanted to do it too, but wasn't able to keep up quite so much with Nut Brown.  So he wheelbarrowed over to Nut Brown and tackled him, so they ended up rolling around on the grass.  Ah, said Mr. Brown.  The recurring strategy of younger brothers.  If you can't win, wrestle.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

7 July 2015



Thank goodness for friends.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

4 July 2015



The kids treated us to a 4th of July parade in the front yard.  They marched around from the back singing the Emperor's march from Star Wars and then threw confetti on us.  Happy 4th!