Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More Pictures to Share...

Considering the craziness of getting ready for Christmas 'doings,' I've succumbed to the superficiality and fun that is photo-blogging :o)

This ornament is a gift from one of our dear Israeli friends working at the nearby mall, Nadia. This is "Kathryn," "Alex," and "Chips" written in Hebrew (from right to left). We are having such a good time with our Jewish friends (long story short). Please pray that the Christ of Christmas will soon become their accepted Messiah. We recently were able to buy Bibles for two of them, written in Hebrew. They were so excited~ but not as much as I was excited that the response was so positive!!!

Just a pic of my favorite Christmas ornament~ a la Cracker Barrel last year.

Ethan, my younger brother, dropped in for a visit yesterday with his new fiancee, Jeri. This was our first meeting.

Jeri: very sweet, but a little shy. Hence the photo of her (sort of) :o)

Sleep in Heavenly Peace!

Visual proof (look closely) that Alex sucks on thumb and first finger intertwined~ never the thumb alone. And yes, he's sleeping on the carpet. Not our usual practice ;o) He rolled off his playmat and just conked out.

Stayed tuned for more pictures of Christmas festivities, travel, and friends (hopefully snow, too!)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Pictures from Our Day

Starting out, smiles for Mommy from Alex. This is pretty much his all-purpose expression ;o)

Down below... playing hard! Chips thinks I'm going to grab that bone- see the suspicious glare?!

First Curlers... which came out almost as quickly as they went in... Charming smiles from Kathryn to herself (she likes to watch herself on the camera screen)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Is this a hairbow?

Random Thoughts from Our Christmastime...

So... I'm so tired these days, I really can't think of much to say on my blog. Actually, I'm having a lot of bloggy-type thoughts, but not enough energy to develop them into actual posts. So. Here are a few of those random thoughts rolling around in my head these days- if a blog were a tree, these are the seeds.

1. Deism. Been reading some of Thomas Paine's (the author of Common Sense) Age of Reason. Shocking stuff, indeed. Speaking of the Bible, he says, "We scarcely meet with anything, a few phrases excepted, but what deserves either our abhorrence or our contempt..." To be honest, he sounds very modern. I've always kind of thought of deists rather generously. I mean, at least they believe in 'God' as Creator. Quoth the raven, "Nevermore." The truth is part truth is more dangerous than full error.

2. Which leads me to random thought #2. Nathan's teaching through Galatians in Sunday School. Galatians, for those who haven't checked it out in a while, is all about Paul's confronting those who believed circumcision was necessary for salvation. Basically, if Christ + ANYTHING ELSE is needed for salvation, then Christ's death wasn't sufficient. We are saved by grace through faith alone. How do we 'stay saved' (hail to all Wesleyan-Arminians!)- by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone! It's been eye-opening. Come on, admit it. How easy is it to think that I'm saved by grace through faith alone, and I stay saved through my obedience. How many churches follow the saved by faith, preserved by 'rules' mentality? I know I myself have sunk many times in the checking off of spiritual disciplines on my list for the day as the way to keep in a right standing with God. That's just an example- I'm sure you can think of many others. Anyways, of course there is a balance, as in all things. The faith that saves, obeys. But this Christmas, I want to remember that nothing I do can or ever could save my soul. Christmas is ours to celebrate because God wrapped up His gift in human skin, and gave His grace to all. Such a gift!

3. And surfacing to my "real life": we're busy like all the rest of ya'll right now. Christmas parties to attend, presents to wrap, pounds to lose, miles to log on the treadmill, calories to count. OK, OK, you can see what's on my mind at the moment. The children are doing wonderfully- Kathryn is such a crazy nut. I tell her to leave the Christmas tree alone. She says, "I obey you, Mommy. Unfortunately, I obey you." Alex is too good to be true- seriously. He is all smiles all day, everyday. I almost feel guilty around other babies and moms. But then I remind myself: "I deserve this for surviving Kathryn ;o)" Have a good one, dear friends & lurkers.

Oh, yes. And if you're 1. still with me, 2. have seen Bro. Wolf direct the GBS choir, 3. want a laugh, link to Marianne's post to the right. Scroll down and watch the video of my nephew Allan imitating Bro. Wolf. Too funny.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Promised Pictures

My sister, Chelsea, and I recently went to Aldridge Botanical Gardens and took the kids. It's only a couple of miles from the huge shopping area of Birmingham, and was so relaxing to escape to after a day of crowded stores and noisy places in general.

Me and kids (note the big spit up/drool? mark and how Alex's foot is conveniently trapped in the hem of my shirt. Oh yeah! Have I got it all together or what?!

Another picture of my lovely sister and very good friend holding my munchkin.

Kathryn sitting in the middle of a beautiful walking trail. A little farther down you can see tons of ivy covering the tree. Ah, this place was so relaxing!

The simple pleasures of a fallen leaf. She took these and floated them on the little lake nearby.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Top Five Ways to Panic While Driving

Kathryn found the top ONE out today. While en route to the pediatrician's office for Alex's four month appt. (yes, pictures coming shortly), she calmly says, "What's that?" I say, "What's what?" "What's that?" "What's what?" "On my blankey." "I don't know, what is it?" "A spider." I missed the nearest paved driveway and settled for the ditch (thankfully, it wasn't much of one!), whipped around trying to think about how in the world to kill the backseat monster in spite of my phobia, only to see a wad a thread on her blanket. Relief, oh blessed relief. Then, "I will definitely hang you up by your toenails if you EVER do that again!"

Number TWO: Hand Kathryn McDonald's Happy Meal box back to her booster seat. Turn curve. Hear "I need a new one!"

Number THREE: Sound of "hot mustard explosion" from OTHER carseat. Thoughts of dismantling the insanely difficult thing (and wash it and drip dry it) command immediate attention.

Number FOUR: Wonder where I placed wallet at last stop. Begin searching wildly and blindly through diaper bag filled to brim with diapers of two sizes, extra wet wipes, and sticks of gum with bits broken off the ends for Kathryn's pleasure. Picture ID-theft maniac withdrawing, withdrawing, withdrawing to buy a Hummer. Find wallet in lap.

Number FIVE: Come around the curve of the interstate near home and see brake lights making a beautiful line off into the horizon. A lovely traffic jam on I-20. Cue baby- time to nurse...

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Day My Mom Didn't Like Me
by: Kathryn

On the day my mom didn't like me, she sighed a lot. Her face had funny crinkles on top, and she seemed sad. She told me to be quiet a lot, and got sad when I came in the room. I did color on the wall and undecorate the Christmas tree. Mommy talked really loud at me then. She kept saying something quietly, but I couldn't hear what it was. When I have a bad attitude, I get in trouble. Wonder what happens to mommies? She didn't snuggle with me at bedtime- I wonder if she'll still be upset at breakfast tomorrow.

The Day I Didn't Like My Child
by: Charity

The above is a not-so-far from the truth record of the recent days with my 2 1/2 year old. I'd love to say that I've never allowed my child's behavior to affect the way I've treated her, but we all know that's not true. So we love our children. But do we like them? I've spent a lot of time thinking about how I respond to her lately. The truth is there is a strong-willed little sinner living in my house, whose main goal is satisfying self. How about in yours?
And my expectations? I guess "winning the war of the will" is a little different than I thought. I don't think you can anymore (don't panic, fellow parents). I think we as parents are responsible for consistent, unconditionally loving, responses to them. We must win the "battles" and pray for our children's salvation. I think the Holy Spirit must win the war- drawing them by God's grace into a relationship with him and then maturing them over time.

OK, that's REALLY incoherent and rambling in places, but I'm too tired to edit it at the moment. Thank God that His grace and forgiveness is extended for my loser-mom days, as well as for my child. As Kathryn said the other day, "Mommy, are you sick? (no) Well, are you tired? (no) Well, then, are you just having a bad attitude? (ouch!)" Praying that on these don't-like-my-child days, Christ living in me will love her the way she needs to be loved.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Disappearing Heroes: A Tribute to the Veterans I Once Knew

Once upon a time, there were great story-tellers in my family. That's how I thought of them, anyhow. Truth was, they were veterans- the closest thing to a world traveler one ever met in the boondocks of Nixon Chapel, Alabama. This is a little story about their little stories.

My mother's dad, Dwight L. Moman. (The L. stood for nothing- a perfectly acceptable convention in the 20's South- like my Uncle Billy D. and J.D., etc.) Papa was a hard-to-please person, but he grew a little soft around the edges if he could interest you in a story. He spent WWII as a cook in the Pacific arena, feeding the hungry men fortunate enough to return for the next meal. The impression I got is that he didn't see a lot of first-hand action. Too bad, since he created some of his own from time to time. Like the time he fixed the latrine with chemicals that blew up under the behind of an unsuspecting and ornery superior officer. That was the closest he came to being sent to the front line, or so we hear.

My mother's uncle, Tommy L. Mitchell (his L stood for Lee). I was blessed to grow up around many great-aunts and uncles, and we were super close to Uncle Tommy. Oh, but his stories were amazing. A slight, mild-mannered man who in his post-war days became a professional watchmaker, he defined the word "genteel." So hard to believe he fought in the Battle of the Bulge, spent frigid weeks bundled in foxholes with suicidal comrades, and took Germany a house at a time. He told of an invisible hand that pulled him back onto a transport when he fell off in enemy territory. Of crawling under machine gun fire across snowy fields, of the grenade that finally took him out of the service. He would practically whisper these tales over a watch he was fixing. We tried to record the stories, but he didn't talk loud enough to get it all on tape.

Then there was Mr. Johnny, the one-legged man who kept the community cemetery mowed and weedeeded (I KNOW that can't be correct, but that's how it sounds) for donations left in a little metal box. And how my mom, looking under her bed to check for boogie-men as a child, saw his leg dressed and ready to go and nearly had a heart-attack. My grandmother had 'borrowed'? his leg for some weird reason- like show and tell for her kindergartner class or something. Sick.

And the family member, who shall remain unnamed, who survived years in a Japanese POW camp. He tells no stories, which is perhaps the most interesting story of all.

This Veteran's Day, I want to say thank you to all the veterans and active members of the service. Your sacrifice is... well, beyond words. I exercise the freedom of speech you've protected to say THANK YOU. All the people I've mentioned above are now gone, except for the POW survivor. If you have a WWII veteran left alive in your family, make sure to sit and hear their story one more time. I wish I could.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Apologies Gone Awry

(As a follow-up to my last post) Kathryn ran smack-dab into me yesterday, bumping me pretty hard. Once again, she gave me a blank stare as she was thinking of what she was to say. What came out this time was, "I forgive you, Mommy!" ;o) Aren't kids hilarious?!

P.S. Shameless Promotion of My Man: If anyone is interested, you may hear Nathan's sermon from this morning (he filled in for the pastor) at www.tarrantbiblemethodist.com under the Audio Archives. God really blessed his words today- to God be the Glory!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Girls Raised in the South

Contrary to popular belief, I am a girl raised in the South. It is only doubted by Southerners who think I sound a little too "Northern." Northeners know better ;o) In spite of my accent being dampened a bit by many years of Spanish and my itsy-bitsy forays into German and Chinese, I still find the classic phrases well-entrenched in my vocab. I do mash the potatoes, mash the button and mash the brake. At Wal-Mart I shop with a buggy, and at home we cut the lights. I use the evil multiple modals: "I might ought to have gone" & "You might should go with her." I drink lemonade in the summer and think kudzu is beautiful. And we have sweet tea year round in our fridge.

Nathan, not being a true Southerner (Floridians are not considered Southern by those of this area. Logically, nonsense- but true, nonetheless), is dismayed to hear our little girl drawling out those vowels. We go to the mayuhlbox to get our letters, etc. He suspects I revert to my dialect of origin when I hear his car pull away ;o) Anyways, all this to say, she is now a bonafide Southern girl. Last night, upon accidentally poking Mommy in the eye, she looked at me ever so sweetly and said, "BLESS YOUR HEART!" Music to the ears.... :O)

p.s. I just finished Jane Eyre, largely consumed in the only isolated spot in my house (the bathroom). Yes, Southerners can read, and we DO have indoor plumbing.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Some pictures from a recent trip to the zoo- pardon the odd layout...

Ah-Ha!!! Some Progress...

After 5 months! of sitting on the little potty, Kathryn has finally managed to do something on it. I kid you not, this is the first time! Anyways, I'll spare you the details, except that we all jumped up and down together, shouted hallelujah, and fulfilled our promise of a milkshake, french fries, and a bag of lollipops. Who couldn't be motivated by that?!

Things are definitely looking up... and above the promised pictures from a recent day at the zoo...

Saturday, October 20, 2007


So. Alex is now heading up to the 3 month mark. New pics coming soon, I promise. Just thought I'd give the rest of you moms something to smile about.
You know, the guy who asked me if I was "waiting for my baby to arrive" when I was walking down the hospital hallway AFTER Alex was born, that I could understand
. I also understood why he fled in terror from the scene ;o)
But...I'm stumped this time. Today, a very nice gentleman (family to some good friends of ours) casually asked me how many weeks I was. It took me a moment to figure out what he was asking, as I was holding our little (obviously new) guy at the moment. Yes, my weight loss is "plateau-ed" (is that a word?) at the moment, but this was utterly disheartening. My one great joy? He was more horrified than I was at the answer- heehee!! Ah... the power of the postpartum woman.
Later, folks. I've an appointment with the treadmill.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mowgli, Ronald Reagan and Chicken Noodle Soup

OK, so we've been sick. That is, Kathryn and I have been sick. Thankfully, Alex and Nathan seemed to have avoided the evil sinus problems. So, what better to do when you're sick than to sit in bed and read? Actually, I get a good bit of reading done while feeding Alex everyday- but a lot of that is Scuffy the Tugboat #3,722.

This last week I branched out. I read the complete Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling and Jim Kuhn's book on the private life of Ronald Reagan. I went to the library and just grabbed a couple of interesting reads. While my child smeared her germs all over the kids' section, I made sure to touch every classic on the shelf. Just kidding. And before you other moms become disgusted that I would so flippantly take our sick selves out to infect society, I'll have you know I haven't been to church in AGES due to protecting the weak from us.

Back to Mowgli... my knowledge is expanded from "Disney" to the "complete and unabridged" work. Shere Khan dies early on, and the battle with the dholes (what are THEY?!) was quite impressive. I skipped back and forth between Kipling and Kuhn. I know why Nancy sought advice from astrology (she was trying to avoid another assassination attempt scare like they had when Hinckley attempted to impress actress Jodie Foster- now that's truly romantic, wouldn't you say?). I know when Jimmy Carter threw Reagan's jelly beans across Air Force One (on the way back from Sadat's funeral). I know a teentsy bit about the Iran-Contra Affair. Most of all, I know that Reagan was just as impressive as I already thought!

In spite of my trivial-sounding summary, they were both worthy reads. I grabbed some Dickens and Bronte for this week. (My background in classical literature is scanty to say the least- thanks to government education) So, dear readers and lurkers, grab a new book and enjoy some chicken noodle soup with us.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fun With Family

Sunday we went to my parent's house for lunch. I thought I'd post a few pictures of our time together. I don't have pictures of everyone, but just so it's less confusing, here's how it is: I'm the second of five children. I have three brothers- Nathaniel, Ethan and Brandon & one sister-Chelsea. There are four grandbabies and one on the way.

My lovely mom, who is just as sweet-natured as she looks...

My little brother, Ethan, with Kathryn and my other brother, Brandon's daughter, Macy. He pulled babysitting duty for quite a while.

My oldest brother Nathaniel's lovely wife, Jenni, with their son Brody and our little Alex.

My dad (who loves babies) cuddling Alex while he sleeps.

The baby of the family, Chelsea, strikes a pose in the kitchen. She's nine years my junior, but old enough now that we have a blast together. (She's a senior in high school)

And Everyone Said...

ROLL TIDE!! Yes, college football season is in full swing. T-town (otherwise known as Tuscaloosa) is close enough that the excitement permeates everything and everyone. As the University of Alabama is our alma mater, we enjoy getting together with friends for fun, food and football (the football part is an acquired taste for me, the food part is not- this is unfortunate for my postpartum weight loss goals).

Enough rambling. My little sister (a rabid, albeit privately shrieking fan of the Crimson Tide) finally got to go to her first game in the stadium two weekends ago. Happily for her, it was a phenomenal game against Arkansas with lots of nail-biting and an eventual win in the last few moments. Chelsea is at heart a shy little creature, who would prefers to avoid strange places and people. I was curious as to how 92,000 strangers might affect her. Well, ever heard of crowd psychology? By the end of the game, she said she had screamed herself hoarse, had lost some hearing and had hugged people she'd never seen before :o) She testifies to moments of near tears, involuntary cheering, and heart-pounding adrenaline. I think she surprised herself, and she had a great time.

We humans do weird things when they mass together, don't they? Emotions are intensified, strengths and weaknesses alike are magnified, feelings of unity are produced among strangers.
It's just part of our makeup. Nathan and I began talking about this, and he brought up the largest crowd of all. Someday millions of redeemed humans will be worshipping our Savior in complete unity of heart and spirit. Well, perhaps I should say they already are- we'll just join in. Can you imagine the sensations, the emotions, the palpable excitement, Christ right there in front of our eyes? There's a good reason for glorification of the human body. I think in our present state, we'd probably have a heart attack (at least)! If an earthly crowd can build such excitement over a game of football, think of what a heavenly crowd will experience over an eternity with Christ!! And everyone will say... AMEN!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dreams DO come true!

Two asleep at the same time?! Ah, the sound of silence! :o)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fashion at Our House

Kathryn discovered my earmuffs today and thought they were just very cool! I'm sure the neighbors thought I was nuts as she traipsed around our front yard so adorned. Check her out...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Here are a few pictures I took of Alex tonight- almost 7 weeks old. This is also the first time I've caught a smile on camera! :o) Sorry the layout's so weird...





Friday, September 07, 2007

Here's two recipes since I skipped yesterday. The first is a wonderful new entree that I made for the first time this week. The recipe came from our friend, Lisa Messner, who is renowned for her great cooking at our church. I assume it could be broiled instead of grilled. The second is a fun recipe great for family nights around a Scrabble board or a chilly fall-time football party. I believe both came originally from Quick Cooking magazines.

p.s. I must say I'm dismayed at the lack of adventurous spirits in some of my friends. See previous comments on fudge recipes. ;o) OK, so it WAS a little weird, but where else can you get a low-fat, high-fiber candy?! Just think, you can skip your daily oatmeal and Citrucel...

Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
6 slices of Swiss cheese
6 thin slices of deli ham
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
3/4 c. seasoned bread crumbs (I used Italian-flavored)

Flatten chicken to 1/4 in. thickness. Place a slice of cheese and ham on each breast within 1/4 in. of edges. Fold in half; secure with toothpicks. Brush with oil and roll in bread crumbs. Grill covered over medium-high heat for 15-18 minutes or until juices run clear.

S'more Drops

4 c. Golden Grahams
1 1/2 c. mini-marshmallows
1 c. (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 c. light corn syrup
1 T. butter
1/2 t. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine cereal and marshmallows; set aside. Place the chocolate chips, corn syrup & butter in a 1 qt. microwave-safe dish. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1-2 minutes or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.
Stir in vanilla. Pour over cereal mixture & mix well. Drop by Tbsp-fuls onto waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Cool.

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen
Tip: 1 box Golden Grahams and 1 bag marshmallows makes 2 batches with some left over...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Well, Labor Day IS the end of summer, right? So, maybe it is a little early to be thinking Christmas (although I've seen some stores already decorating- yuck!), but we're definitely looking forward to the cooler days here in Alabama. Here's a fun recipe that's especially nice on the holidays, although I've made it for parties. Actually, it tastes really good. And yes, I know it should be renamed, since everyone assumes the "surprise" is the RESULT of the main ingredient...

Surprise Chocolate Fudge
(from Light & Tasty)

1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. baking cocoa
3/4 c. butter or margarine, melted
1 T. vanilla
7 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
1 c. chopped walnuts

In a microwave-safe dish, mash beans with a fork until smooth; cover and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes or until heated through. Add cocoa, butter and vanilla. Mixture will be thick. Slowly stir in sugar. Add nuts. Press mixture into a 9-inch square pan coated with nonstick spray. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Yield: 3 1/2 lbs (81 pieces)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

When Nathan tasted this at a friend's house, he immediately renounced all other chicken casseroles! This is a must-try and a winner with all guests.

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

6 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cans cream of chicken soup
8 oz. (2 cups) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 8 oz. sour cream
3 Tbsp. poppy seeds, divided
2 pkgs. ritz crackers
3/4 c. melted butter

Cook chicken, shred. Preheat oven to 350. Coat 13 x 9 with cooking spray. Arrange chicken in dish. Sprinkle with pepper. Combine soup and 1/4 c. water in medium sauce pan; cook over med. heat 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until hot and bubbling. Remove from heat; gradually add cheese and stir until melted. Stir in sour cream and 1 1/2 Tbsp. seeds. Pour mixture evenly over chicken, spreading to cover. Combine crushed crackers, remaining poppy seeds and butter, mix. Sprinkle over soup mixture. Bake uncovered until sauce bubbles and chicken is heated through 20-30 mins.

*Charity's variation: Cook 1-2 whole chickens, use both dark and white meats. Reduced-fat cream of chicken soup. I only use about half that many poppy seeds. Whole wheat ritz crackers. Makes it very yummy!!!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor of Love (of Cooking)

In commemoration of this Labor Day week (and because I haven't enough energy or time to come up with clever thoughts), I'm posting a recipe each day. Cooking is definitely a massive part of any homemaker's labors. Here goes:

Rice-Sausage Dip (showed up at my baby shower- very tasty!)
1 small box long grain and wild rice with seasonings
8 oz. sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 lb sausage

Prepare rice as directed on box. Brown sausage, drain well. Combine all ingredients and pour into a greased casserole dish. Bake at 350 until bubbling well. Serve with choice of crackers. (Personally, I think it would be fine as a main dish, too.)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Baby Shower!

All is well. Alex is 3 weeks old today and eating like mad. We've just passed through a growth spurt, and thankfully supply has finally caught up with demand. Hungry babies typically aren't super happy babies. Anyways, last Thursday our church (Tarrant Bible Methodist) threw him a baby shower here at the house. It was the 4th scheduled date for the shower ;o) - being in "labor" for the last month kind of threw everything out of whack. Thanks to Aneita Burroughs (my pastor's wife), Carol Bragg (her sister), and Valerie Womelsdorf (a friend) for decorating and hosting the shower. They did a beautiful job!!!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Grammy Brown and Alex

At the risk of running a 'brag page,' here are more pictures of Alex with his Grammy Brown. Thank God for family who can help out in the crazy phases of our life. We loved having her here; Kathryn even volunteered to go home with her...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Just Pictures... see post below for details on Alex's arrival...
Hospital pic of Alex

Mommy holds one sleepy little guy...

How he looks most of the time right now...

He's Here!

Here's the update on baby: he's here! Last Thursday (the 26th), Alex Kenton Brown arrived swiftly and quite easily. Why it is that I (who am known to be a wimp and who goes in asking for an epidural) always end up with an almost natural birth? So annoying... these fast and furious deliveries. No complaints on the fast part; I could do without the furious. He was born within 5 minutes of receiving the epidural and would have come faster if the staff had been ready. So that's the story for all you who like that kind of trivia. Now OF COURSE... on to the pictures. Oh yes, he was 8 lbs. 2 oz., 2 1/2 wks. early, 20 inches long and just overall, very healthy. Thank God! (There are a few of you who like itsy, bitsy details. If you are female, a close friend, and want more info than is appropriate for a forum such as this, call me).

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Just for Fun...

Having never carried a baby this long, I'm discovering what all the complaints are truly about. I remember someone saying when I delivered at 35 and 1, "Man, you got to miss the whole last miserable month!" So, I've now joined the world of stretch marks, swollen ankles, and a closet full of 'maternity' clothes I've outgrown. It also appears he's going to be quite large- although I'm hoping to avoid the ranks of those with horror L & D stories ;o)

So... just for fun... I'm curious to hear the worst thing someone said to you/about you when you were 'great with child.' Yesterday, Nathan took me to a nice restaurant. Our dear friend, Joyce Sagely, took Kathryn overnight to give us a break from what seems to be anxiety-induced insomnia (she comes looking for me 5, 6, 7 times a night- ugh!) So, anyways, upon entering the restaurant, the nicest-looking hostess says loudly to me in disbelief, "So, what'd you do? Swallow a watermelon?!" It made me laugh (lucky for her). So, any anecdotes of your own? Laughs are the best medicine.

Oh, yes. Miscellaneous Tidbit. Of course I don't agree with this quote, but it brought a smile: "Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. Then when you do, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes!"

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Waiting for baby...

Thought I'd update everyone on the upcoming birth of little Alex. I'm now 36 weeks and 3 days, and he's weighing in at an estimated 7 lbs. 6 oz. Kathryn came at 35 weeks, 1 day, so I'm grateful for the extra time and weight Alex is getting. To prevent my having another itsy-bitsy one, they placed me on Terbutaline/Brethine for a few weeks. Within 48 hours of discontinuing it, I began having regular (6 minutes apart) contractions. So off we went to the hospital. They observed me overnight and sent me home. That was last Tuesday. As of today, I've had continuous contractions 6 minutes apart for a week! As the wise say, "Life is what happens when you're expecting something else." ;o) They're keeping an eye on us, but don't want me admitted until things "pick up." So, now you know why I haven't blogged much. I'm pretty tired all the time right now. Please pray that we (our little family) will have extra strength and patience for each other during this time. Nathan's been an angel; I can't say the same for Kathryn ;o)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Food For Thought

Read an insightful quote in Today in the Word (devotional published by Moody Bible Institute) that I thought was worth sharing. Context: Genesis 22- God's test of Abraham by requesting sacrifice of his son, Isaac.

"Two statements frame the Genesis 22 story: God tests (v. 1) and God provides (v. 14). Often it is easier to affirm the God who provides, yet not welcome the God who tests. Or we despair to endure God's tests and find it hopeless to believe He actually provides. If you feel burdened by a trial that seems unbearable, pray today that the Holy Spirit would strengthen your heart to trust God and respond to Him with faith like Abraham."

With a thankful heart, I can say I'm not going through any "unbearable trials" today, but we all do and have at some time or another. Have my responses been 'in faith' in the past? Can I plan to frame them 'in faith' for the future? Just an encouraging thought.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

For Your Celebration!

Happy Fourth to all our friends and family! This has to be my favorite holiday after Easter. I have a tasty lemonade recipe I picked up in Amish country, PA if you're looking for something yummy to quench thirsty palates today.

Homemade Lemonade (makes 1 gallon)
2 large lemons, cut up
1 1/2 c. sugar

Place cut up lemons and sugar in the bottom of your pitcher. Using a wooden spoon (or other hard utensil), mash the lemons into the sugar, making a yummy paste. Add a little water to the mixture and stir. Fill the rest of the pitcher up with water and ice. (Of course, one lemon and 3/4 c. sugar does great for 1/2 gallon pitchers) Enjoy!!!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Beware, Ye Voles!

So we've sunk to a new low (as Nathan so aptly puts it). Neither of us being feline-friendly, we've adopted a kitten to keep the yard free of voles, moles, and chipmunks. Meet Kitty. She/he has no official name; all suggestions will be considered. Thankfully, it's very good natured, doesn't scratch, and even gets along with Chips, our miniature dachshund. It's even alleviating my fear of cats. The last cat I was around was owned by a lady in Tequesta, FL whose house I cleaned. It would hide when I let myself in the house, usually under the bed or a couch pillow. Then it would leap on my legs when I made the bed or on my back when I bent over to dust the gazillion photo frames in the living room. Many battles later, I learned to find HER first and sweep her into the back room with a broom. The rest of the four hours were punctuated by sounds of a cat leaping from the bed and flinging her body against the door. Gives me the willies just remembering that evil creature. Then there was the one my parents had who was perfectly civil until someone turned off the lights, whereupon she would leap in full attack mode onto the nearest unsuspecting victim. Such is my cat history. This had better be worth it!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

For Those Curious Few

This post is specifically for those friends of mine who have been begging to see pictures of my pregnant self. It is not for those of you who are rolling your eyes. This photo was taken under coercion. It was taken on the same day I was arrested for beating two Pizza Hut employees to death with my diaper bag after they made remarks about my size. I am not due until August 11th and yes, there is only one.

On a serious note, I have thoroughly enjoyed and found helpful all the posts you gals made on 'teachableness.' Wow- what interesting thoughts and great ideas! A brief anecdote from home: In talking to Nathan about the subject, we found ourselves talking about his dad. *Alert, Alert! The secret lives of the Browns that you've all been wondering about is hereby revealed* As you've probably guessed, home life / vacation time is often filled with discussions about the Bible. I've been blessed to sit in on many of these. And inevitably, someone's theory is discussed and picked apart and analyzed. I can't tell you the number of times I've heard Dad Brown say something along the lines of, "We are interested in the truth. Even if we have to change something we've been saying for years, we want the truth of the Word!" Nathan says that this attitude toward learning is and was the model that taught him 'teachableness.' Thank God for the teachable people in our lives.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Teachable Spirit

I'd like to open a little discussion for those interested. I've been thinking a good bit about the emphasis in Proverbs on having a teachable spirit. I've seen lots of lists of qualities we're to instill in our children, but this rarely makes the list. How do we inculcate a teachable spirit in our children? Is it the same thing as humility? Is it all in a response to correction? Why is it that the "I don't want to be told what to do" attitude is so prevalent in us in late adolescence when our decisions are so crucial? (I know I wasn't very teachable at that point in my life). Any thoughts out there?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Attack of the Voles

Perhaps you're lucky enough to never have experienced a summer attack of the voles. No, there's been no little army of rats banging down my front door. In fact, I've not seen a one. These little guys work undercover. Translation: Our landscaping is falling over- literally. To date, we've lost four flame bushes in a row. One morning I'm convinced that we'll wake up to see all vertical plants in our front flower beds just lying flat on the grass. The roots are chewed out from under them. It's been a case of misdiagnosis up until this point. We were sure we had an armadillo rooting around and knocking over the plants. When I found out it would cost $500!!! to rid us professionally of said armadillo, I spent $100 buying my own trap and bait. We loaded it and hid it behind some bushes. I've been worried that we'll catch a neighborhood cat instead. Well, the bushes we hid it behind have fallen over, and we've been exposed. These little guys are going down! And did I mention we have an armadillo trap for sale?!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Things Are Looking Up... and Baby Has A Name!

Thanks to all my dear and wonderful friends who posted such encouraging thoughts in the last few days. I must have posted that blog entry at my lowest point, because I've been doing so much better since then. We went to see the OB today, and that made a world of difference in how I'm feeling. (Kathryn was born 5 weeks early, so they begin monitoring me early). So I'm 30 weeks along, and thankfully, baby is 2 weeks bigger than that. Also, although there is some change (or 'ripening' as they call it) occurring, it's not as drastic as it was with Kathryn. Hopefully, that means he'll stay put a little longer than she did. And he now has a name- Alex Kenton Brown (And if for some odd reason, "he" is actually a "she," then Natalie Faith). Nathan and I struggle with the naming process. He's so very traditional, and I believe variety is the spice of life. So I'm proud to announce we have arrived at this decision- and no marital counseling was necessary ;o)

Friday, June 01, 2007

"You Don't Have a Soul"

Shocking statement, isn't it? I haven't put a lot of my thoughts on my blog recently. Unlike my friend Sonja's recent (and brilliant) excuse of having a monkey on her head, I have no such excuse. The truth is I've been living in what I assume is the pregnancy hormone-induced world of depression. No thoughts that any of you would want to read, I can assure you. As the rest of C.S. Lewis' quote says, "You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." Some days I feel like the true ME is a caboose, linked up to a train of hormones, chemicals, and 'body.' I rattle along behind, not wanting to travel down into THAT valley, or across THAT river, or through THOSE mountains. I truly, truly, truly am a control freak, and so these days leave me quite discombobulated. It's on these days that my wonderful husband advises me to come to no conclusions, and to not think too hard about anything. Anyone else find that it's easiest to jump to weird conclusions when you're least lucid? ;o) So... on today, I'm just trying not to derail somewhere in some conclusion about my life in general. I'm just praying for enough balance to stay sane, enough clarity of thought to parent 'decently,' and enough sense to allow myself and others some grace and mercy. "Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow..." He is faithful!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Keeping Our Eyes on the Goal!
“That she has trained her children for heaven, rather than for earth, for God, rather than for man--she is the parent that will be considered wise at last. Train with an eye to children's souls. We are made what we are by training. Our character takes the form of what mold into which our first years were cast. The path of obedience is the way in which He gives blessing. Determine to make your children obey you, though it cost you much trouble, and cost them many tears. Obedience is the only reality. The mark of well-trained children is that they do whatsoever their parents command them - cheerfully, willingly and at once."

~J. C. Ryle 1888
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