Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Carpet Skating 2

Not as hilarious as the original, but the sequel has its moments. I give it a thumbs up for its colorful cast of characters and its superb film making and editing.

Stay tuned for Carpet Skates 3 - starring Max! Just kidding.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Carpet Skating

My sister, her kids and my mom came over today to 'play' with some of our new Christmas toys. Little did I know that my mom would be the biggest kid of all when it came to the boys' carpet skates.

Stay tuned for the rest of us...

Sunday, December 28, 2008


This is my first attempt at editing a movie on my new laptop. The captions were alot easier to read before it was downloaded to youtube. I think it lost some of its clarity.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Day 2008

Christmas day at the Brown Home was lots of fun! For some reason I didn't take a lot of pictures - I think I was more enjoying the moment than worrying about trying to capture pictures and videos. The boys got new sleds which we blew up OURSELVES the night before because Damon's air compressor stopped working. Wouldn't you know it - his parents got him a new one for Christmas!

Max got a Little People Farm - it makes all kinds of animal noises and has doors that open and close - what more could a guy want?!

Trying out the new slippers:
For some reason, the packaging is always more fun than the present:
Wow! Sam's reaction was similiar to the opening of his Wii game, no matter what he opened. You've got to love his enthusiasm!

In the afternoon, Damon's parents came over for dinner and presents. As you can see, Christmas Day was an all day pajama day!
Grandma and Grandpa Brown brought over presents that they'd gotten in the mail from the Cole Family. We always get such fun presents from them - especially now that our oldest nephew Jared works in a toy store. The carpet skates where hilarious!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Eve 2008

Christmas Eve was spent at our house with my side of the family. Here's the annual all-kid line up.

My mom looks shocked by the purse and wallet that McC's got her, but really I think she did like it:
Laura, looking at her "Paper Prayers" gift:
Artists at work on Lily's new light sketcher:
Don't let that grin on her face fool you. My mom is keeping her eyes pealed on the giant remote control spider Sam got from the McC's:
This year Max loved anything that opened and closed:
Contemplating what could be inside:

Sam got a remote control spider from the McC's that really freaked Lily out. She was not sure about it all day. Notice how her toes are curled up:

Will and Noah both got remote control cars that drive on the walls from Grandma and Grandpa Berends - just look at the smiles on their faces!Here's a demonstration. They REALLY drive on the walls, I wasn't kidding!
My mom wore her Christmas sweater. She claims it's the only cute one out there.
I guess I took alot of pictures of Lily:

We were tired out after being up the night before with Max from about 11:30-4am for some random unknown reason.
Another big hit was the Eyeclops that Will got from the McC's. It magnifies whatever you want 200x and you watch the image on your TV. You can't really see the TV in my video, but trust me, his nose hairs were HUGE! Leave it to my boys to explore every orifice! Ah, the wonders of the human body! I was not surprised when later that night an attempt was made to shine it down his pants. That idea was nipped in the bud. Just keepin' it real here, folks. It was really funny to see what he'd come up with next!

Sam got Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots from the grandparents:

It was a pretty fun day - we are pretty blessed to have all that we do and that we could spend the day with family.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Vacation

Everyone's continuing to do good here. Will and I never did get the stomach bug! We're getting back on track with sleeping and eating and whatnot. I just realized that the kids haven't left the house since Thursday, which may have something to do with their stir-craziness today. We made xmas cookies today - a token gesture to the usual homemade experience. We went with the Betty Crocker sugar cookies that you add a stick of butter and an egg to, and you're good to go. For some reason no one wanted to get together with us until they absolutely HAD to ;-) so we made do on our own. I thought the boys needed to have the annual cookie making experience, although I'm sure they wouldn't have even missed it. Although as we started Will said, "Wait, I thought we were supposed to do this with Jack and Noah."

Sunday, December 21, 2008


We pulled out all the presents this afternoon to "evaluate" the situation and do some wrapping, while the boys were engrossed in Inspector Gadget cartoons upstairs - and lo and behold, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a 2 week old package of Jimmy Dean breakfast sausages, stuck in with a bag of toys. Ah, the joys and conveniences of "one-stop shopping!" Damon commented that it IS pretty cold in the closet under the stairs, but it's not THAT cold.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pukefest 2008

We are on day 5 of Pukefest 2008. It started Tuesday with Max throwing up everytime he slept. It was weird. He'd be fine during the day, but a mess at night. Thursday night Damon got it and threw up everytime Max did (or so it seemed to me who was dealing with it alone.) Last night Sam got it and threw up all evening until about 1:30 this morning. Good news is that Damon and Max seem to be doing better. Last night was the first night Max hasn't thrown up since Monday. Sam too is on the mend - trying to eat a little here and there. Will and I have the odds stacked against us, but we're strong. Damon and I disinfected every surface within kid reach that we could think of this morning. We are acting like it's over with. Please, let it be over with.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


That's all I have to say.

Just "lips."

Step Right Up, Folks...

...and see the Bearded Boy. It will amaze and astound you.

School Days

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Living Proof

After posting such horrific and saddening hospital videos, it has come to my attention that certain family members are in need of solid evidence that Max is recooperating nicely. Here are my attempts to prove that he is indeed alive and well (and that he's home):

Did you notice his newest tricks? He says "Hmmm?" alot - it is very expressive and can mean alot of different things. I realized I do that alot to him, which I suppose is why he's now doing it to me so much. He's got a very cute tongue roll thing he does. (I know, it's not as cute when I do it.) Also he says, "Bye, see you!" and "Bye, see you later!" Over and over and OVER again all day long. You don't even have to be leaving the room. He'll just get a hankerin' for playing on the stairs and it'll start up a whole new round of goodbyes. Speaking of stairs. He's a boy OBSESSED. The day after his surgery he squeezed himself through the banister railings (the last two are wider than the rest and he's caught on that his brothers bypass the baby gate by going through the railings) 4 times and fell down the stairs 4 times before Damon decided maybe he'd better off with no gate at all. Now that the gate is down he's still constantly on the stairs, but he's got much better control over what he's doing and hasn't fallen yet. It still gives my heart a good shake everytime I see him start out though. I find myself better off not even watching. Is that bad?!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Yesterday school was cancelled because of the weather so the boys entertained themselves by making a carnival in the living room. I was banned from entering until it was finished.

Sister Elves

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Monday, December 08, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Tubes and Adenoids

Wow, it's been a crazy week! Friday morning we had to be at Mercy's Ambulatory Surgical Center for Max's tubes and adenoidectomy at 6:15 am. Unfortunately, he was up from 2-4am the night before, so it was a very short night. Luckily, he was the first surgury, at 7am, and we were home again by 10am. He did so good. He drank right away, cried only a bit and was talking in a gravelly voice on the way home. He was running around by late morning, although he fell down alot (due to them messing around in his inner ears.) Wake up times were a little rough at first, but all in all he's done remarkably well! He's got a 10 day antibiotic and 3 days of ear drop antibiotics and a follow up appointment in 2 weeks. Damon says he looks like an angel in this pic (this was before his surgery:)


***Just in case you were wondering, yes, that really is his breathing you're hearing. It was very loud, ragged and uneven, kind of hiccupy. It was kind of scary, but I remembered Sam doing the same thing when he had his tubes, adenoids and tonsils done.

My super husband practically insisted that I join my sister and mom Friday afternoon for set-up of our open house the following day. (Boy, was I ever glad that we'd decided to have it at my sister's house this year!) So I left him alone with the boys for half the afternoon and all evening. Luckily we'd thought ahead to bring all my artwork the night before in case Max needed us all day Friday. He was doing so well though, that I was able to leave. Damon spent all day Saturday with the boys too, while I was at the art open house. He even took them all to Burger King for lunch. They made a short visit to the open house and then hung out at home for the rest of the day. I'm so blessed to have a healthy, recooperating child and a great, caring husband. The only down side has been that through the last several days, Max has preferred his dad over me. :(

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sam's List

Do you want to know what's on my list of things to be scared of? (Evidently there's a list?)

Furniture that's alive. Like tables with eyes that eat your food and drink so that you'll never be able to eat ever again.

Now that is scary.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I am Thankful!

This Thanksgiving we had a special last-minute surprise visit from my sister Emily! Everyone knew she was coming except for my mom and Don. So we bombarded in on them on Thursday, coming straight from the airport. She was so surprised. The best part is that it was captured all on video! The scream my mom made when she saw Emmy will haunt me for the rest of my days. I never get tired of watching that surprise video. It makes me laugh every time!

I am super thankful this year for all of my family and friends, for wonderful in-laws who are healthy and wise, for sons who are beautiful and growing, for a husband who loves me and who is my best friend, for a home and food and clothes that are more than enough, for art and the joy that it brings me.

I made a paper runner for the table where everyone could write things that they were thankful for. Or 'thanful' for, as I misspelled.

It took Max a good while to warm up to Emmy, but once he did, they read books and ran around. Unfortunately, the warming up process restarted every day.

(Max's newest thing is spinning and making himself dizzy.)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Battle of "Wills"

For some reason we had a major battle of "wills" (get it?!) over doing homework tonight. It wasn't any big news flash that homework needed to be done, but for some reason it was very traumatic and was going to take "forever," which delayed Will from even wanting to start. (Maybe it had something to do with re-entering the school routine after Thanksgiving break.) At one point Will said to me, " It's a matter of fact and opinion. I have the facts, and you have the opinion." Wow.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Mr. John Bacon, our awesome Lemme principal recently received an A+ Award for Education from our local news KCRG, TV 9 news. Our school librarian, blogged about it on the school's blog Lemme Happenings. Be sure to watch the actual TV 9 footage and look through the slide show. Will is in the green shirt - can you find him? :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Last weekend Will took 2 friends to Wasserbahn as a birthday treat. They had lots of fun, even though it was so much smaller than the waterparks we're used to in the Dells. We could pretty much just let them run around - there was no way they could get lost!

Sam was very patient as we tried to figure out his trunks. The wrong ones got packed and we had to rig up a way to keep them from falling off!

Little whirlpool area - it was kind of like a circular lazy river:

Fun times!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

For Laura

...Thinking of you, Laura. Interpret that as you will. The only bad part of this video is that they leave out the best part - the do, de do, de do, do, do, de do, de do's at the end.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We Start 'Em Early Around Here

Max is a good helper.

(Damon was putting together these cubicles for me for an art show last weekend.)

Friday, November 14, 2008


This week has been crazy. Max has been to the doctor 3 times this week! Monday we took him in and yep, he has new ear infections. I think I posted awhile back about him and his ears. The last bout of ear infections took 3 antibiotics before they cleared. He turned around and got sick again a few days later. With clear fluid still sitting in his ears from last time, he was much more likely to redevelop ear infections and he did. On Wednesday, I took him in because Brother snapped a plastic slinky in his face and he got a corneal abrasion - two vertical scratches down his eye. He did very well tolerating that whole rigamorole - putting dye in his eye, checking for the scratch with a special light, antibiotic drops, and then a patch over his eye, that lasted about 5 minutes before he ripped it off! He was so upset all day Wednesday - he was hurting from his eye and his ears. They peeked in his ears while we were there, (might as well) and they were not looking much better. Round two for antibiotics! I went to the dr. that morning as well - sinus infection for me! So we're on Augmentin together. After realizing despite the pharmacist's specific warning to refridgerate, that I'd left Max's medicine out on the counter for 9 hours, we had to go through phone calls to get a new bottle of Max's augmentin. Thursday we took Max to the eye doctor, just to recheck his eye 24 hours later. Again, he did well with all the drops. We've got to back for another eye recheck on Monday, and an ear re-check the following Monday. I'm confident we will be receiving a referral to the ENT for tubes, after all this. Today he finally seems to be doing a little better. He only woke up once last night - as opposed to the every hour thing he's been doing for days. So hopefully we're headed in the right direction. Just in time for me to head out this afternoon to the Beaverdale Holiday Boutique in Des Moines. It's one of the best shows we do and hopefully it will be successful and that everyone at home will survive without me for a night.

So it's been a crazy week - still had all the regular school stuff to deal with, a boyscout meeting, AWANA's, and Will's teacher conference. On Sunday we'll take Will and a couple of his friends out to Wasserbahn for a day of water sliding as a birthday treat for Will. Whew!

I'll be home tomorrow!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Yesterday was Just Another Day....

I've been informed repeatedly that I do not fully understand or appreciate the enormity of yesterday's football game-that this will be one of those games that will go down in history. That people will be talking about this game for years and years to come. I get it, I just don't particularly care all that much. All I do know is this:
-I got an incoherent phone call from my husband during the game where he screamed and laughed into the phone and I didn't understand a word he said.
-my husband came home smelling like beer (from being spilled on) and with no voice (from all the screaming) At least that's what he said happened. And he was giddy. I mean like, GIDDY!
-my oldest was just about as excited as his father and didn't want to leave the game early like they'd planned. And it's a mighty good thing they didn't!
-when I went to pick them up downtown, I was offered $4 to drive two guys across the river (which I turned down.)
-Hawkeye fans are nuts - we saw a guy in a pumpkin costume, painted bare chests, and people coming right up to our car window hootin' and hollerin'.

I'm just happy that they had a good time, got to spend some quality guy time together, (poor Sam was bummed - he told Grandma and Grandpa today, "There were only two tickets.") and that they took some PICTURES!

Saturday, November 08, 2008


We told the boys to come eat their lunch (which involved pausing the Lego Batman game.) We got some grumbling from Will but we got this surprising and lovely response from Sam:

"I love lunch! It's the lunch of miracles!"

A bit later I asked him how his "lunch of miracles" was and he pointed to his empty plate and gave me a thumbs up.

It IS the lunch of miracles! It's disappeared!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Invisible Ink

I never thought to set any parameters as to where is an appropriate place to put invisible ink and where is not.

Banister railings? Not.

Walls? Not.

Face and Body? Oh, I don't know...it's darn funny.

Thanks to the Coles for creative and fun birthday gifts!!!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Finally Home

Mercy Me's "Finally Home"

Be blessed.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Best Day Ever....

Sam was more excited about Will's birthday today than he was about his OWN birthday! It had a little something to do with Lego Batman.

He kept saying things like, "This is the best day ever!" and "This is the best day of my life!" He also said, "You are the best parents a boy could ever have!"

Yeah, and don't you forget it.


Evidence that he really enjoyed the dessert at Carlos O' Kelly's tonight:

Happy Birthday, Will!!!!

- Gives a whole new meaning to the endearment, "Sugar Lips," doesn't it?!

Will is 9 years old today! I'm having a hard time believing it, 9 seems so old!!! Here are some of the many things I love about him:

  1. he's got so much crazy energy
  2. he is smart
  3. he loves to be with his Dad and help him
  4. his smile
  5. his deep, dark eyes
  6. he's more sensitive than he lets on
  7. he's a good friend to his friends
  8. he's always got a scheme, an idea, or a plan in the works
  9. he's a good cousin
  10. he's a good older brother, who cares and looks after his younger brothers
  11. he's not too old for hugs and kisses
  12. he's anything but predictable - there's never a dull moment
  13. the ways I see him taking after his father
  14. his creativity
  15. his curiosity
  16. his laugh
  17. his sense of humor
  18. he asks good questions
  19. his confidence

Happy Birthday, Will!! We love you so much!

Halloween Tradition


and Max.
The tradition continues....

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

Will's party in his classroom:

Will's good friend was Indiana Jones. I was particularly fond of his stubble:

John McCain:

Sarah Palin being interviewed about her views on the economy (seriously!) by Julianne Hough from Dancing with the Stars (notice she's using her disco ball trophy as a microphone):

The costume parade (Sam thought a different boy was Will!):

Neighbors (I still say homemade costumes are the best.):