Thursday, June 26, 2008

Shiloh your heart out!!

Mom and I always tell Owen he is Shiloh's long lost girlfriend...I am sure you have all (if you are a celebrity junkie like me) seen the many shots of the Jolie-Pitt's where all of the kids always have some kind of chips or junk food in hand. One of Owen's favorite snack is chips, I know, not the healthiest, but he loves them.
So, Shiloh if you are looking for a man, here is a very handsome boy, with the same snack interest as yourself!!
Oh could you imagine having Angelina as you the mother in law to your son, BLAH...I would take Brad Pitt into the family though!! =)
While we are in a Hollywood mood, here are some close ups of fabulous Miss Claire Isabella! BTW - I have already decided her man will be Kingston Rossdale!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

FABULOUS Week of God's Blessings!!

I cannot even begin to tell you how great of a week we have had!! Shane and I are just beaming with pride over our big girl Claire!! As you know from the previous post (you will need to read it first to have any idea why I am so excited she went to VBS), this week was VBS week and we were praying that Claire would not only attend, but have a great time...she has had the greatest time!! Let me catch you up since Monday...

I take her Monday night, after a pretty good night Sunday. She was excited all day and was ready to go. I took her in and she got nervous once again. I was talking to Lane before I dropped her off and Claire was so nervous, biting her little fingernails. I turned to drop her off and she told me "Mom, I have decided to not stay, I say no thanks", is that not so sweet, but sad!? I told her she had to stay, still didn't want to, but finally gave in and went and sat down with her group. I ran off once I realized she was fine, crossing my fingers she would be okay. Shane went to pick her up that night and he called me from church...EXCITED on how well she was doing!! She had a great time, made tons of friends and did not stay glued to her Papa's side all night!! She sang the cute songs and was so excited to come home and tell us all about "the Samaritan"=). When I got off the phone with Shane, I just cried, so happy that she was happy and enjoying her time in this kind of setting!! She came home and we made such a big deal about it, she could not even sleep that night!! You have to understand, this is SUCH a big deal for us and it has been such a worry for me and Shane, to get her to attend class and be away from us for a short while and KNOW that we will come back to get her...we know that our prayers have been answered and God has been with us (and her) during this whole process, we cannot thank him enough!! I am writing this and tearing up, we are so blessed!!

So tonight, she bounced right in, went to her group (to her new friends, but she cannot remember their names =)), and me and Shane were just left to watch, BEAMING!! We were talking with some of our friends and she walked over and said "See I made friends, HIGH FIVE", hilarious!! We stuck around for a minute to watch her sing some of the beginning songs before they go to class, and all I could see was her white hair bow just bouncing up and down as she was having a blast singing the songs!!

Nana and Papa said she did even better tonight and they were two of some of the proudest grandparents (Mom and Jake were thrilled, Mom was just planning she was going to have to get certified to home school =)). Tomorrow night we go back to have a hot dog dinner, play games and the final session of songs and awards...she is so excited!

I know that this seems so dramatic for such a small thing such as this to some people. 5 years ago, I would probably be totally making fun of me if I was reading this. It is so unbelievable to see how our priorities change as we become parents, the smallest things are such BIG deals. When they are babies, you worry when they don't burp after feedings, when they are a little older, you worry over every piece of food in their mouth, don't want them to choke. When they are toddlers, you worry about where they go, they can fall off and into EVERYTHING. You are proud of things such as a new diaper size, 6oz to 8oz, sleeping through the night, even though it began at 12am and lasted through 5am, using a sippy cup, singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"...and going to Bible School on their own and having a great time! All of these things are what makes us parents and are proof of God's work and the blessings he gives us!!

We are enjoying every minute of this we can because one day we are going to have much bigger and important things to worry about, and also many to be proud of! But right now, I am absolutely the proudest Mama and would not trade this drama for the world!!

Here are some pictures of the kids in their pajamas tonight. Claire is wearing her new pajamas she got for being such a big girl this week!!

Claire is our aspiring photographer in the house, she actually took this shot of me and O. I think she is pretty good.

Here is a video of sweet Claire singing her favorite song from VBS....

And here is a video of Claire and Owen singing Owen's favorite "The Frog Song"!

Monday, June 23, 2008

VBS Week!!!

We had a pretty uneventful weekend. Friday night, the kids stayed the night with Nana and Papa, I went out with the girls, Shane had a Golf Tournament Dinner to attend for work. No parties =(, but it was nice to have a slow weekend. I actually started and finished a book (I highly recommend any novel written by Sophie Kinsella, HILARIOUS).
Right now, our main focus in the Brown house is VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL!! As some of you know, Claire has never been too keen on "school". She stays with me and Mom during the day, and has never had to stay with "strangers" or "not her people". As this is an awesome thing and I am extremely fortunate, it is had made for an extremely hard time getting her to attend activities such as Sunday School or Children's Church, without us staying. She has an extreme case of separation anxiety. Yes, we have tried just leaving and she literally chases us down the hall, no joke, after a complete and utter meltdown. She has gotten better as she gets older, but it is still an issue. It literally makes me sick to my stomach when I think about leaving her at school one day, but we all know, including Claire, that it is going to happen. To prepare her (and me and my Mom =)) for school, she is going to attend preschool this fall, half days a few days a week. Our main focus all the time is getting her to attend classes at church. We have not been totally successful, but she does at least enjoy them and we just have to stand in the back, rather than sitting in the story circle or on the tiny chairs during craft time (such a sight to see Shane =)). Our goal for the summer: Get her to go to VBS!

So, being the good grandparents they are, Keith and Becky (aka Nana and Papa) volunteered to help with VBS and are the guides for the 4 year olds, Claire's group =). Now, last year, I had to attend the entire VBS week with her, as she was terrified. So, with Keith and Becky helping, we were going to leave her. We really did not know if this was going to be a positive step for her or not because she was not really going to feel like she was on her own with her grandparents there, but at least we were not with her. She was very excited all day, ready to go to "Bacation Bible school" =). We get there, still excited, sign in, and take the long walk, all the way to the front of the auditorium, to her fun group of 4 year olds, her hand getting tighter and tighter on mine. I am still not worried, she loooooves her Nana and Papa, this will be just like any other day. We get to them, I lean down to give her a kiss and put her name tag on...she freaks out. Keith had to take her from me, crying and I had to run off. (sorry so long, this is what blogging is for, right?) Shane and I stayed until she was okay, which was about 10 minutes, after Keith took her out in the hall and calmed her down. We left to a very happy scene, Claire holding onto the rope with the rest of the kids, going to her first room for a story...lets all take a nice sigggghhhh of relief!

This is such a big deal and HUGE step for us!! Even though we were leaving her with her grandparents, she still felt uneasy and had to be brave and stay. I have prayed and prayed for her to get through this "phase" and start enjoying things other little boys and girls do her age. I prayed specifically last night that she would stay, have a good time, and know that we would come back for her when it was prayers were answered!! She was so happy to see us, to tell us all about her night and what she learned!! First thing she said this morning, "I can't wait for bacation bible school tonight!". We are going for round 2 tonight!!!

Here are a couple pictures we took of the kids last night. Owen was upset that he could not stay and attend!!
Owen did not want his picture taken...
Big girl!
Still doesn't want his picture taken =)...
Owen at VBS with uncle Chad's glasses on...

If you look really close, you can see a man in middle of the pic with a white shirt on, that is Papa, holding Claire...I know it is dark, but that was when she was still nervous...

Friday, June 20, 2008

SuperSTAR Claire!

While the boys were home sad with their ailments yesterday (see the previous post), Claire was hanging with Aunt Tara. Claire loves all of her aunts, but Tara picks Claire up all the time, just to hang out together. Claire loves Tara because she usually has some kind of sweet goody for her and she is usually dressed in pink or sparkly, some of Claire's favorite colors (yes, sparkly is a color=)). Well yesterday, Tara took Claire back to her apartment and let her play dress up in her of Claire's most favorite hobbies, DRESS UP!! Tara always has her camera in hand (she is going to make a good Blogger Mama one day, hopefully sooner than later =)), so she took some fun pictures of Claire in her clothes...see my little diva in action, we sooooo have our hands full!!
Rock Star - Tara's SHIRT

Posing with Aunt T...

FYI - Claire Isabella asked me and Shane a few days ago if she could change her name....her choice: Halle Stacey Star...I am sure you are all thinking the same thing we did...what do you think this name sounds like? =)

TGIF!!! Have a good weekend!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Poor Brown Boys

I come home last night from some much needed, MOMMY ONLY, shopping. Shane and the kids are outside playing and Owen, as always, is excited to see me. Shane tells me to come over and see O's mouth...OMG! Claire was swinging and Owen ran in front of her and was knocked down, by way of foot to mouth! Now, this is not the first time Owen managed to bust his lip by walking in front of the swing, in fact his third, and he has done the same to his sis, but this was by far the WORST busted lip ever. Apparently (THANK GOD I was not home) it bled a lot, but he was okay once Shane (smart Daddy) put some Anbesol on it. So, once I am calm about this...Shane was half way proud of his boy's wound, "He is tough", I notice our Pug, Cooper is running across the yard, limping. "What has happened in the hour and a half I was gone?". We couldn't really tell what was wrong with Cooper, so I took him to the vet today. He has an "Inflamed paw" and is on 2 different medications. Owen is completely fine, eating and drinking, even without Anbesol today. His lip looks awful and I can barely stand to look at it, but it helps he doesn't seem to care. My poor little boys had a rough 24 hours, but all is well this afternoon, thanks to Sonic milkshakes and some really bad smelling dog foot cream =). Below are a few pictures of them vegging out watching Shrek the Third...Claire is off shopping with her Aunt Tara.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

19 days and counting...

...that is until our much needed, family vacation to Gulf Shores. I need this reminder today as work is crazy for both me and Shane. I don't think we even spoke last night as we both were working (of course after I watched The Bachelorette with Tara and Jessica, GO GRAHAM!!), and then today and tonight, same plans. I have had to work away from home today. I come home and Mom had the look of "Your child is a terror!!" on her face. Mom was not feeling good today, but still watched the kids so I could work. I noticed the smell of some kind of cleaner when I walked in through the laundry room. She tells me that she was on the phone and noticed Owen go into the laundry room. She asked Claire to go see what he was doing, Claire came back saying "I am not going in there, he will spray me!". Mom runs in there and Owen is spraying down the laundry room with Oxy Clean and proceeds to point it at her. Oh Owen! I notice a single Keds shoe is on top of our TV armoire, Claire's shoe when she was much younger. I ask Mom, "Why in the world is that shoe up there?". She tells me that Owen found it and wanted to wear it, the kid loves to take shoes on and off. Well, this shoe is about 2 sizes too small and there is only one, she did not see the mate. He threw such a fit wanting to wear it, she finally shoved it on to his little club foot =), and then he was furious that she did not have the other. So, she hid it on top of the armoire =). As she was telling me this, he started scaling the stairs right behind us, on the outside of the rails!! Poor Mom, hightailed it out of here as fast as she could =)...Oh Owen!! Where was Claire during the day you ask, Mom said that she barely came out of her room today. When Mom would ask / beg her to come down and play with Owen, she would say, "No, I am okay up here!".
Soooo looking forward to the beach...even if it means in a car with 2 kids for 12 hours...maybe we should start praying now =).

Both of the kiddos are sleeping and there is no way I am going to risk waking little man up to take a picture of him today, but below are some adorable pictures of them exactly 1 year ago today (what's a post without pictures).....they have grown so much!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day!!

I prayed for as long as I can remember for an awesome husband and a great father to my children...and no one could be better than my Shane!! Fortunately, he was trained by another one of the greatest Dads, Keith Brown, aka Papa. Shane is the solid foundation of our family. God truly blessed me with me him 11½ years ago. We have been through so much and he has always been there for me, and now our sweet children. Claire and Owen think their Daddy hung the moon and love him so too!!

We love you always Daddy!!
Below are some of my favorite pictures of Shane and the sweeties!!

Here are a few pictures of the cousins yesterday at Father's Day Lunch at the Browns...