A whole bunch about us you may have never wanted to know.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Happy birthday, Tyler!

Happy birthday to Tyler, who turns 8 today! I can't believe my first child is 8. I've been a mom for 8 years as of today ...

He is so happy that he will get to be baptized next week, and he is super excited to start cub scouts. We went ahead and had his party yesterday after school so we could relax a bit today.

He wanted a water party, so he wanted it to be Jedi (specifically Kit Fisto, who leads an underwater battle) versus a water Pokemon (specifically Empolian). Paul stopped by Toys R Us and actually found figurines for the cake -- Kit Fisto and Priplup, which is the Pokemon that evolves into Empolian. (You learn these things when you have boys ...)

In any case, we made the cake of these two water creatures dueling it out. I decided that instead of just making the whole cake blue and water-looking that I'd make a two-layer on one side and make a water fall going into a lake. I'm not sure it turned out much better than just having the blue cake, but Tyler liked the "grass" on it, and he was the one I was trying to impress.

Here is the final product:

So when the kids got here we split them into teams -- Team Empolian and Team Kit Fisto. The kids loved the water games, the "car wash" Paul created a couple of years ago, and our watermelon seed-spitting contest:

And Tyler loved ALL of his presents. What a cutie:

This morning we opened gifts, and Tyler loved them -- he got a couple of tiny remote control cars, a cub scout shirt, and an easel "art center" with dry erase on one side, chalkboard on the other and butcher paper on the bottom. He's so happy!

Tyler is such a sweet boy. I feel so blessed that we have him in our lives!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Shayla Bela

Leslie, you have made my Shayla Bela a VERY happy little girl! (We call her Shayla Bela, because bela means "beautiful" in Portuguese, and it's fun to say since it rhymes.)

In any case, she's now the Brown family cheerleader:

That is, when she's not being Dora:

(Notice the pretty red hair out the bottom ...)

And that's only when she's not being Princess Dora:

She loves spinning around, dancing and singing when she is dressed up. What a cutie!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Answer to the economy ...

I read a fascinating article that basically says what would cure the economy (although it wasn't even discussing the economy). It was an article about the importance of giving. It is written by an economist who was doubtful for years about the data he collected, and even threw out a
bunch of it because it didn't make economical sense.

To quote the article:
"If we were to increase our private charitable donations by just 1 percent, which is about $2 billion a year, that would translate into a gross domestic product of about 39 billion new dollars. If I can take your $2 billion in charity and turn it into $39 billion, then suddenly charitable giving is not just a great investment for you. It’s also a patriotic act for our country because it translates into jobs, growth, opportunity, and tax revenues."

$2 billion into $39 billion?!?

The author also talks about how those who give are better off financially. He said many people say that if they had more they would give, but he shows data that proves that those who give end up having more, and therefore give more. It's an interesting article from BYU Magazine written by the president of the American Enterprise Institute. Here's the link if you're interested: http://magazine.byu.edu/?act=view&a=2441.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fitness contest

Any of you looking to become a bit more fit? Join the contest we've created and starts Monday. Details: http://minus200club.blogspot.com/2009/08/it-is-on-its-so-very-on.html

This is for people who are NOT already in shape, so I ban my blog readers like Rebecca, Jessica and Liz from joining ... (and any others I didn't mention who are already fit :) Although you're welcome to leave us encouraging words along the way. :)

I'm excited for it. I think a contest is exactly what I need to get me going ...

Friday, August 21, 2009

School has started once again ...

My kiddos started school on Wednesday, and the house is so quiet! My kids are old enough that they don't require as much effort on my part as they used to (making them all their food, changing diapers, etc.), but I'm amazed at how much time it feels like I have now that three of them are in school. Maybe I will get this house back in order after all ...

Becca was giddy to start her first day of high school (9th grade is in JrHS here) -- especially since she talked my nephew into trading her lockers since his was a better location. :) This is also the very first year her high school is open, so that's very exciting for all of them. I made her go to bed early Monday night since I knew Tuesday night she wouldn't sleep. Sure enough, she woke up at 3 a.m. too excited to go back to sleep. I don't remember EVER doing that! :) Here she is on her first day -- ready to show off her new clothes and CONTACTS:

Tyler was excited to be in a class with two neighbors he's never been in with before. He's not excited to be in the portables once again (our elementary school is the most over-crowded in the district), but he says he'll deal with it since it means he gets a great teacher. (That's what I told him, so I hope she doesn't disappoint. :) Tyler came home from his first day with a binder from his teacher, so he wanted a picture with it, too.

Zachary is thrilled to be in first grade this year. He loves that he gets to eat lunch at school. Of course, I send with him the same thing he eats for lunch at home, but apparently it's a lot cooler to eat at school.

I was thinking Zachary was catching up with Tyler in height, so I took a pic of them together. I guess they're not as close as I thought, but they take about the same size of clothes!

And Shayla? She's LOVING being home alone with Mommy. She helps me do all sorts of things and she gets to watch anything on the TV she wants to when she wants to. I think this is amazing to her to not have to share the TV. She watched Bob the Builder the first day and the Chipmunks yesterday. Oh, the joys. And for two days now she's walked around non-stop as a princess. Thanks to Hilary and Brynne for the hand-me-downs!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Demolition Derby and why I won't be in one soon ...

My boys (all 3 of 'em) and I loved going to Spanish Fork's 2nd annual demolition derby this past weekend. We didn't have as good of seats as last year, but we still had a blast. However, it made me realize that there are 8 good reason I'll never drive in a demolition derby:

1. I believe in bumpers

2. I don't drive an old enough car, and therefore wouldn't last. (Are demolition derbies going to become extinct since newer cars would get hit once and be out of the competition? BORING!). These old cars are amazingly tough:

3. I like all four tires on the ground (and on the car!)

4. I have no sponsors, and I'm not about to spend my own money (as you can see the first guy was honest enough to admit to ...)

(This Skiba Auto Repair guy was our favorite since he is the brother of my sister's high school buddy. Turns out he made it to the finals, but didn't win. He won most aggressive driver, though.)

5. I don't drive well in reverse ... at least not that I know of. I've never actually tried "driving" in reverse. One guy actually came into the derby driving in reverse like his forward gears wouldn't work. Crazy. These hits are all both reverse:

6. I'd be too busy laughing at how the other cars look that I'd be an easy target. How can you not stare when cars look like this but still run:

7. If my car was smoking or on fire, I'd probably panic, jump out of the car, and get run over, thus ending my demolition derby days ...

8. I don't speed like a maniac through small spaces -- look at the dirt fly and the tires off the ground when they turn!

I guess there's also that thing called no chiropractor, too. (I did find it rather humorous, though, that one of the cars was sponsored by a chiropractor.)

After it was over we got a few pics of the boys in front of some cars. The guys with the pink car offered to lift my boys up onto the top of the car, but they didn't go for it. However, they do remember what the guy told them: "Remember -- tough guys drive pink!" (That's why Tyler's making muscles in the pic ...)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Alyssa and Jace

My niece is getting married next month, and I got to take their engagement pictures for them. I was really happy with how they turned out. Then again, who cares what I think, right? Fortunately Alyssa and Jace also liked them -- and that's what's important.

I'm posting my favorites for my mom to see since she's away on her mission and won't be here for the wedding. (Mom - you should have just told her you were going to Disneyland and that's why you won't be there ... ;)

Good luck, Alyssa and Jace!