Sunday, August 31, 2008


I am now 35! We traveled to Kokomo on Sat. and had a birthday dinner with my mom, dad, grandma Fogle, Uncle Matt & "almost" Aunt Liz - that's what my kids call her.
We were stuffed, but somehow managed to get a piece of birthday cake in there too.

Today, we went to church with my mom and dad. Bethel Tabernacle is the church that I grew up in and it is always good to see all the people that are still there. My kids were taught today by Sunday School teachers that taught me when I was their age.

Tomorrow, Labor Day, we are having a cookout with my mom's side of the family. Tuesday is Uncle Matt's day off and he and the kids are trying to figure out what fun things they are going to do. Tues. evening we are getting a visit from Grandpa and Grandma Sizemore. Wednesday, Aunt Ginni and some of her kids are stopping by. As you can see we are filling up the week with family visits. It is always good to see everyone and catch up on what everyone has been doing.

Have a great Labor Day!

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Date and Packing

The field trip was fun, educating and muddy and smelly! The girls would not use the outhouse so they held their pee the entire time we were there. The outhouse smell was very very bad! Abby ended up using a pull-up to relieve herself. Last night when saying goodnight to Rach and Abby we were naming all the things we did at the farm and Rach said, "All I can remember is that horrible smell!"

Tonight we are going out to dinner for our Anniversary. My mom sent a gift card, Kevin's parents are babysitting the little ones and Zach and Jord are going to a friends.

We have been packing and cleaning all day. We leave tomorrow for Kokomo for a week. except for Kev - he is coming home Monday night, he's driving my moms car home and coming back to get us Fri/Sat. Yes, I am using my Little Green on everything. I worked on cleaning the van yesterday and today! Even the kids think it is fun to use!

I'll blog from Kokomo!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Field Trip today

The pics are of Abby's run-in with the couch - she tripped over her pillow, which she drags around the house with her all day! The other one is the necklace that Kevin got me for our Anniversary.

We are ready to go on a field trip today. Slate Run Farm - it's a 1880's run farm. They are having special classes today for homeschool kids. I can't believe we're ready to go early. We are waiting for a couple other families to show up at our house and we are going to carpool.

I'll have pics from our field trip later.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Our Anniversary

13 years! Today is our 13th anniversary. It seems to have sneaked up on us both and of course, the day is filled with work, errands, chores and school. As we were all getting dressed and making our beds Kevin found me helping Rach and Abby and surprised me with a necklace. A very different and unique necklace. The center of the necklace holds a widow's mite. The mite represents the faith of the widow. Even though the world stood by and judged her for what she gave, she was not ashamed to give it all and trust God to meet her needs. The necklace is beautiful and all the girls are now wanting one too! What did Kevin get himself into?
I am planning a date on Friday night. My mom sent us a gift card and I've arranged sitters for the kids. I have nothing to give him today - well, I did clean our bathroom this morning and he requested Meatloaf and potatos for dinner if that counts!
It has been great to be married to this man for the past 13 years. We have been through things we would have never thought could have happened when we first started out together. We had this perfect plan of what our future would be - It was something like 2 kids, a house with some acreage, and a big church with lots of outreaches. The reality is - 4 kids, a house that is worth less than we paid for it and no church. One thing has remained constant - our love for the Lord and each other in whatever situation we are in. Yes, we have been disappointed in circumstances, but the joy that we have in our family and friends that have touched our lives outweigh the disappointment. Kevin has remained the foundation for this family. He has had to work day and night, giving up alot of to keep this family going. I love the man he is - He loves the Lord and has a hunger to be used by Him, he works hard to provide, he enjoys having fun with kids and reading the Bible to them, he is a wonderful father. And of course, he loves me - I have never doubted that he loves me! How I thank God for blessing me with such a wonderful husband. I am excited to spend the rest of my life with him and watch our lives continue to unfold as we raise our kids and serve the Lord.
I need to dry my tears and get on with school - I just needed to share about this special day!
I love you Kevin!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Little Green

I woke up Friday morning and started down the steps when I noticed something brown and yucky covering about 3 of the steps. Upon inspection - Kylo had yak'd (vomited)! As long as we have had her she has never thrown up like this before! In the mix was a tomato - I'm guessing this was what caused her to do this. It was already dry and unsure of what to do I covered the steps with a beach towel, instructed everyone to walk to the right on the stairs and went about getting breakfast and school started.

By lunch time I had decided that I needed a Bissell Little Green. I had asked for one of these for my birthday (which is Sat), so I would just go and get it myself a week early. Thanks for the present Hubby & kids! For your 35th birthday with 4 kids, a dog and a bunny - these are the kinds of things you ask for on your birthday. I called around and Kohl's had one so I grabbed my coupon ( yes mom, I remembered my coupon) and ran out to get it. It didn't take me long to have it up, running and ready to tackle the Little Green's big first job in the Brown house! It took me about 45 min of going over and over and over the stained area - with a few interuptions, but Little Green got the job done!
I'm so excited about what this new little machine will add to my life! I'm looking forward to using it in our van this week (it needs cleaned before we go to Kokomo). I don't know how I have gone this long without one. Today I got it out to clean a couple rugs and some stains on the carpet - even the kids are wanting to use it. So there's my plug for the Bissell Little Green - if you don't have one you are missing out on a whole lot of good cleaning fun! Anyone can borrow mine if they want!

Well, the new guy starts tomorrow and we're geared up for another week of school and cleaning fun!
Love you all,

Friday, August 22, 2008

Kevin Passed His Test

Yeah! Praise the Lord! Kevin passed his test to be state certified. After 5 1/2 hrs of testing (on computer) the instructor said that he had a wonderful score. It's great to have him back to normal and not feeling the pressure of this test. Of course, all of us who know Kevin were never worried. He always does well at school type things. He retains so much of what he reads - it doesn't come that easy for me. I went to praise and worship practice at our church last night so Kev was home with the kids and they are telling me today what a great time they had with dad last night. He took them on a bike ride, let them swim in the pool and put the sprinkler under the tramp while they jumped. When I returned everyone was in bed except Zach and there were no signs of bathing suits, towels or even dirty dishes. It was wonderful!

The picture is of the kids the other night - even though we have started school we are still trying to get to bed earlier and sometimes it just doesn't work. We had put the girls to bed and I was going over Zach's next day of school with him, when Jord appeared and said that she was hot. I told her to turn her fan toward her and go back to bed. Shortly after that, Abby appeared asking, "whach ya doin?" and immediately sat down with Zach's cars on his bedroom floor. I kept working on Zach's school knowing that I would have to physically take her back to bed, but not before Rach came out saying, "Abby's out of bed". Rach immediately sat down to play with the cars as well. Kev, feeling bad that we sent Jord back to bed, went to tell her she could get up for awhile. During all of this my mom called and we began talking - I left the kids playing because they were being so good and quiet. I can't remember the last time all 4 of them were playing the same thing together and I'm sure it wasn't cars. I just had to snap a pic of them playing together when they should have all been in bed. They were too cute to get upset with. The next night we gave out consequences for getting out of bed after their lights were out! Kev had wore them out and no one got out of bed last night!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 18, 2008

First Day of School

First here are some pics of a stick bug we found and our tomatos that are growing like crazy beside our house. The girls and I usually eat them as soon as they are picked.

We also went to a neighbors to enjoy their Bonzai Waterslide on Sunday! It's great to have neighbors with a waterslide!

Ok, on to the first day of school! It went well, we were all a little slow at first, but right after breakfast we started playing some praise music, the kids started dancing around and then the whole family came together for prayer. The girls and I headed to the basement to get started. Abby was content - today at least - to color, cut and paste. Rachel learned about vowels today and we started with the letter "i" and talked about it's short sound. At lunch she was telling Kevin about what she had learned and that she could make a capital "I" and a small "i" and Abby perked up and said I have "dis eye and dat eye too "as she began to blink and point at her eyes. We all laughed and laughed! Jord had an easy day with review of Math and Language - it was all too easy for her today! Zach met his new (DVD) teachers today and is already missing a couple of the ones he had last year, but was happy to see the return of one familiar face. His day was also easy with a lot of review! It will get harder - so I will enjoy the easy days now! I think everyone enjoyed being back into a schedule and routine.

After dinner we went for a walk - well, I was the only one walking. Zach rode his ripstick, Jord rode her electric scooter, Rach rode her bike and I pushed Abby in the stroller. (Kev stayed home to study - Big Test on Thurs) We saw alot of neighbors out tonight, all the kids are excited about starting school tomorrow - even though my kids do not go to public schoool and ride the bus, we enjoy watching all the other kids walk down the street to the bus stop and get on the bus! There will a few new ones to watch this year.
Lord, bless this new school year for everyone and be with all those moms who are putting their babies on the bus for the first time!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Weekend Plans

As the weekend begins we are still preparing to start school on Mon. I still have to get a few things in order for Jord and Rach, but I am ready for Zach and 6th grade!
Kev is studying like crazy! The test is Thurs and I guess there is a 40% pass rate and the test could take up to 6 hrs to finish. So needless to say he is a under some pressure these days and stuck in a book studying every spare minute. Thankfully, the orders for MWAS were down this week and he told some companies not to send any until mid-week. The new guy starts Aug 25, and Kev has pass this test to be certified and for the new guys hours to count toward his apprenticeship.
I'm not sure what the weekend holds for us. There is always yardwork and house chores to do. There is a Community Picnic at the Maranatha Baptist Church right here by us. Last year we went to that and the kids had a blast. They had blow-up games, bouncy things, and crawl thru tunnels along with food and unlimited snowcones! Maybe the kids and I could go over there and give Kev some quiet time to study.
Potty training is still going well! We've taken her out a few times now and she has made it every time - although we have had numerous trips to public restrooms YUCK! At least we are staying dry!
Have a great weekend family and friends!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

No More Diapers!

Yep! No more diapers. Abby has gone 3 days in undies! It's hard to believe that I will probably never buy diapers again. WOW! The only thing I do not like is how much time I've spent in public bathrooms the last few days. Yesterday at Walmart, we went 2x. Friday, at Meijer - 4x. At church Sunday, I lost count. When I potty trained Rachel, I was more than 6 months pregnant with Abby. I can't imagine being like that now and having the energy to keep up with this one.
I'm off to a homeschool group teacher meeting. We are getting together to discuss lesson plans materials needed for this years classes. Zach will be taking a Cooking class and a Drama class - that should be intersting. Jord will be taking Art and Human Body. Rach will also be doing a Pre-K Human Body and Abby will be in the Nursery. It's was my job this year to lay out the classes for all age groups, organize teachers and materials. Of course, there were others that helped steer me in the right direction when I wasn't sure how to put it all together. I'm excited about starting a new year and getting together with all my homeshcool mom friends. It's always encouraging to be around other homeschoolers and get ideas and support from them.

Happy Birthday Melissa - I hope you had a great day friend!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Are you watching the Olympics?

We are glued to the Olympics around here and I was wondering if anyone else has been watching them. We are recording them and then the kids are watching them as if it were the Disney Channel! Which is great! Anyone see that men's swimming relay (the one France was supposed to win)? U.S. won and the crowd, annnouncers & the U.S. swim team went crazy! It's great to hear the kids chanting, "Go United States, Go United States!"
Of course, Jord likes to watch gymnastics - some of those young girls are amazing!

We had a busy weekend. I am trying to get every room in this house ready before school starts next week. I had been keeping all of my school supplies in the laundry room, but now I am moving all school to the basement. We have a room down there that Kev was going to use for an office but never did. So we moved everything out of the laundry room, painted it (the walls had been penciled and colored) and but a cabinet and counter top in there.
The basement room now has three desks, a table, a dry erase board and a book shelf ! We are working to get our supplies and books in order and posters and charts on the wall.

Sunday we went to church and then out to lunch with some friends. We came home for a short break and then back to church for the VBS picnic! When we got home we played outside in the cul-de-sac with the kids for a while (until the bugs started getting us).
Today is a grocery day for me. Kev is at a class that he has to take for Appraising. More of the same today - getting ready for school, laundry and Olympics!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Jesus Gives Us The Power

"Jesus gives us the power" was the start to every Bible Point for VBS this week. He gives us the power to be thankful, help others, be brave, live forever and tell others. I'm glad that Jesus gives us the power to make it through VBS with a group of Pre-K's! This VBS went from Sunday - Thurs. so we have tonight off. Although, we do have a cousin birthday party (Lexi), tonight, but we are actually looking forward to that. Zach and Jord are sleeping over and everyone always has a good time at Uncle Keith and Aunt Cookie's house! We tried to talk them into keeping the other two girls, but I don't think it's going to happen. Maybe Kev and I will have to take the little ones out for breakfast or something in the morning!

Rachel is feeling better, antibiotics are amazing! No one else has come down with it - thank you Lord!

Kevin met with his new "Apprentice" today. He starts on Aug. 25th. He is such a young kid - to us anyway. Kevin is really looking forward to having him on board. He thinks that he could stop working everyday by 6pm or so with the help of an Apprentice. Which would be great!

We took our neice and nephew to VBS that last couple nights and last night on the way home they started making up songs - the idea is to start a cousin band and make lots of money (like the Jonas Bros.). They promised to give a cut to their parents and make sure they were set for retirement! So, they started trying to make up lines that rhyme and it became quite funny.
Still today, Zach and Jord are walking around "rhyming" and making up songs! Who knows - maybe someday the Brown cousin band will make it BIG!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Strep Throat

Yep! Rachel has Strep! This is not a good week to be sick! Yesterday afternoon she came down with a fever and slept most of the rest of the day. About 4am, she woke up crying that her throat hurt. Abby had a DR. appt this morning anyway so I just took Rachel with me too. She looked so pitiful this morning with her droopy eyes and dragging body. We have antibiotics and are on the road to revcovery. I pray no one else gets it!
She was so disappointed about not being able to go to VBS last night. Kevin stayed home with Rach and Abby and I went to church to man the Pre-K group - they seemed to be really pumped up last night! We have been picking up Kane and Gabriel for VBS, so our van is full. When Zach and Jord found out that there would be empty seats they started inviting neighbors and we ended up taking one extra.
VBS week is great because your kids end up singing the songs all week, quoting Bible points and verses, and inviting friends to come with them. I love to see the kids so excited about the Lord. Wouldn't it be great if we as adults could be so excited about the power of Jesus in our lives that we would sing about His greatness, quote scripture and invite others to know Him everyday!
It's so easy to get distracted from sharing His love with others.
That's something we could always work on around here!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Boating, VBS & Cheese

Finally, now that it is August, we have made our first trip out on the boat. It was a beautiful day and the kids really had a great time. I did not want to put a pic of me in a bathing suit, but I wanted you to see the kids enjoying the beach (I tried to find one without me in it). They have been talking about the "beach" every day since we went. Abby cried when we took her out of the water. We went to the Delaware Reservoir and stayed out on the water about 6 hours. Everyone was tired and only Zach got sunburned on the face a little bit!

VBS at our church started this week and Kevin and I are heading up the Pre-K group. They have a lot of energy and it seemed to grow as the night went on tonight. They were bouncing all over the place by the end of the night ( and we weren't). My heart goes out to some of the kids that come. Even the first night, some of the girls were wanting to hold my hand and sit on my lap and be near me as we moved from station to station - as if they wanted affection/attention from me. Now these kids are unchurched and their parents do not attend church (at least not this one) and they live in a neighborhood closeby. They actually were brought by the "church bus" so to speak (it's actually a couple of vans). These girls have the most beautiful faces and such an innocence about them. I pray that God will just shower them this week with love and self-worth. I pray that God would move the parents to come to church and come to know Him.
Oh how I love to see the power of Jesus Christ change lives!
I had the priveledge of being raised in church and knowing the Lord at a young age - and now I love watching my children grow in their relationship with Him. I see such a servant's heart in each one of them.

Abby has slept through the past 3 nights!!!! Yeah!!! I have been avoiding any and all naps! It seems to be working, but she did have a nap today. Between boating Saturday (we had to keep her awake on the way home), and being at church all day Sunday to get ready for VBS (10am-9pm) she was falling apart on me around 1:30 today. She didn't get in bed tonight until 10pm and she did fall right asleep. I pray she makes it through the night!

We got a fridge for the garage to put extra food and drinks in and the kids and I cleaned it out today. It had been in the basement at the lab (Kev's parents business) and it really needed a good cleaning. The kids jumped right in - scrubbing and wiping & hosing off shelves. Kev said it didn't even look like the same fridge. Well anyway, Rachel is so proud of this new fridge that she was telling people about it tonight and saying, "You should come and see it, it's all clean and it has pop and water in it." She told me tonight as I was saying goodnight that she loves the new fridge but it's missing something. I asked her, "What?" and she said, "Cheese!" How funny that was to me, but then I asked her, "Why?" and she explained that the shelf that we put the cheese on in the fridge in the house is too high, but in this fridge she could reach it! We put our cheese in the very top under the clear door - where you usually keep your eggs. So, I guess tomorrow I need to go get some cheese for the garage fridge, she is tired of asking me and waiting for me to get cheese for her I guess.

Cheese - Who knew!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Sleeping Buddies

Abby slept all night! We went to check on the girls before going to bed and this is how we found them. They love being sisters. Abby would rather be without me than Rachel. She cries if we leave her anywhere or she is not home with us. They are the best of friends. Jord is more like a mom to them both. They love it when she reads to them and includes them on her "crafting". She gets them snacks and helps them with their shoes. The new thing she wants to do with them is practice braiding their hair. You know how Jord is, she will keep trying until she gets it right. I hope the girls have enough patience for that.

I love seeing them be such good sisters to each other.