First Day of School 2011

There was a lot of excitement around BrownTown this morning as Sweet AbbieGirl had her first day of school. Yep. I know. I can’t believe it either. I feel like she’s still way too little to be doing something like that, but she’s not. She’s a big school-going girl now. Crazy.

We did a few fun things this morning to celebrate – starting off with donuts for Breakfast. Joshua really appreciated that surprise.

Paul liked them a little bit, too.

Desi made Abbie a special crown to wear today, and she did – all day long. Really cute.

We took the obligatory First Day of School, standing on the front porch pic.

And then a few with the boys. Paul got into the spirit of things.

Luke did not.

Mommy did really great. No tears or anything. This was one of my favorite pics of the whole morning.

All in all, it was a really special morning. I think Abbie felt celebrated, and the boys, especially Paul, did a great job of encouraging her and allowing her to have the limelight. Not an easy thing for a four year old boy to do.

Desi and I are still having a hard time believing that she’s really old enough to be starting kindergarten. It’s an amazing thing really. Seems like only yesterday that she arrived and made BrownTown such a special place to be. We’re thankful for our AbbieGirl, and wishing we could slow down time just a little.

A Trip to the Spray Park

A few weeks ago we spent the afternoon at the local spray park. Here’s some pics.

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Trip to Amarillo

We went to Amarillo to see family up there for a few days recently. Here’s some pics from our journey.

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Easter Pics

Okay, so we didn’t actually take these on Easter, but they were the clothes the kids wore on Easter.  We took these in a field of wildflowers next to the Richardson Library.  Really close to our house and a great little spot for this kind of thing.

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Party Pics

We got to go to a birthday party for our buddy Chase this past weekend.  Here are few pics:

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Made You Look

Okay. I really know nothing much about Rob Bell’s new book or exactly why John Piper is so mad at him. I’m pretty sure Charlie Sheen is not involved. However, while you’re here, why not read up a bit on our upcoming adoption or other fun stuff about our family?

Dancing Fools

I can’t even remember how this tradition got started in BrownTown but we like to make our kids dance. We’ll make them dance for just about anything. Some days they might have to dance for ice cream and other days they may have to dance to get to watch a show on tv. Sometimes when we are really wild and out of control everyone in the family will come up with their very own dance. I’m sure some dance lessons would serve us well in the future. In case you are wondering, there IS lots of singing that usually accompanies these silly little dance numbers.

New Year’s Eve 2011

So, this year we stayed home and did New Year’s Eve BrownTown style.  We ate a lot, played a fun new game that the kids had been wanting to try and did our own indoor fireworks.  Desi got the kids a package of glowsticks.  We busted them out and turned off the lights and the kids had a blast. I took a few long exposures and they turned out really cool.  I could see some of them becoming backgrounds for other graphic projects in the future.  Really fun.

What did you do to celebrate New Year’s Eve?

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BrownTown Christmas 2010

BrownTown Christmas 2010BrownTown Christmas 2010 was absolutely one of our best.  The kids had a great day and it was actually somewhat relaxing.  No big crazy meal or difficult plan.  Just having a great time together.

Waffle HouseChristmas Eve was a bit of another story.  We had four services at Watermark (2pm, 4pm, 6pm and 11pm) so I was really busy all day that day and couldn’t really contribute too much.  We did manage to grab dinner at the Waffle House, one of the kids’ favorites, and then to see some amazing Christmas lights in the Deerfield area of Plano.  It was maybe a little WT, but fun nonetheless.

After that the kids were zonked.  We put a pallet down on the floor in the living room and let them all crash out in there, thus kicking off BrownTown Christmas Eve Sleepover 2010.  After I got home from the final service, I threw down a couple of mattresses and we all slept in the living room together.  Really fun.  I think we’ll do that every year. We all woke up together and were able to really enjoy the morning hanging out around the tree, eating breakfast and kicking off our day.

Baby JesusDesi had a great idea this year that I’m sure will be part of the BrownTown Christmas from here on out.  She had me bring home some straw which we then stuck into one of Abbie’s baby cradles, serving as our manger.  Then Desi wrapped up a baby doll – our Baby Jesus – and the kids opened that package first and then put Jesus in the manger.  It gave us a great way to talk about the most important part of Christmas first and then enjoy all the gift giving and all that.  Great times.  Way to go Mama B!

Christmas Miracle

Our day wasn’t perfect. Brothers will be brothers after all, but a couple of little squabbles didn’t ruin our morning.

Christmas night we went over and had a great meal with our friends the Hernandez’. (I forgot to take my camera in, so no pics). They made a fantastic Christmas dinner and our kids all played together really well. The XBOX Kinect didn’t hurt things either. Really fun.

All in all, BrownTown Christmas Day 2010 was a big success. We remembered Jesus and enjoyed family and friends – three key elements in any excellent Christmas Day.

BrownTown Christmas Tree 2010

ChampionsToday we went in search of BrownTown Christmas Tree 2010. Since living in Dallas we’ve always gotten our tree at Home Depot – quick, easy, and cheap, but not very high on the family experience scale. In Oregon, we trudged through waist-deep snow in the National Forest and cut down a tree, but that’s another story. Anyway, we decided that this year we wanted our tree acquisition to be a bit more of an adventure so we drove out to Flower Mound and hit the Christmas Tree Farms.
Now, calling these places “farms” is a bit of a stretch. They are definitely farming something out there, but it’s not Christmas trees. Regardless, they had a lot of neat stuff set up for the kids – and some beautiful, lush, over-priced trees. We just couldn’t pony up $180 for a 7 foot tree that runs $40 at the Depot. So, we hung around and let the kids have all the fun they could handle and scooted right back on over to Old Faithful and got a beauty of a tree for 1/4 the price. All in all, it was a great day and the kids had a blast.