Thursday, August 28, 2008

PS to Clark's Birthday

Just found out that Clark didn't give away his pizza to those "big 9th grade boys". He had a better, much bigger plan. He made them pay! ($2.00 for pizza slice, $1.00 for soda) Clark made $9.00 at lunch that day. I discovered this juicy little tidbit from a friend's mom. As I tried to get details from him, he responded with a sly smile that he didn't tell me because he thought I would make him give me the money. Does he think I am that heartless?!! I told him it was his birthday and he could for sure, without a doubt keep the money! Selling pizza at school...I think he might be on to something!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What's Cookin?

We tried a new recipe for dinner last night that was super easy and all the kids and Curt really liked. Just thought I would pass it on...

Crockpot Southwestern Chicken

1 small bag frozen corn
1 can black beans
2 large frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 16oz jar MEDIUM salsa, such as Pace medium picante sauce

Pour bag of frozen corn in bottom of crockpot.
Place frozen chicken breasts on top of corn.
Cover with rinsed and drained black beans and jar of salsa
Cook on high for 1 hour, and then on low for 4 hours.
(I just did low all day)

Shred chicken with forks

Serve with tortilla chips.

Add toppings to individual servings:
shredded chedder cheese
sour cream
chopped cilantro
diced avocado

It is very important that you use MEDIUM salsa. Mild simply isn't flavorful enough. Be sure to serve with tortilla chips, and not tortillas. The salty cruchy chips makes this so good!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Our Little Devil

$5500 Tuition
$ 800 Parking
$ 700 Books
A child with a college scholorship....PRICELESS!

Tia is now an official Arizona State Sun Devil! Today was her first day at ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus. The day began with stress and anticipation, and by mid-day, we added overwhelmed to the mix. The good news is she survived! She has classes MWF with MW being the bulk of her instruction. She is taking an ASU Freshman class (dumb and required), Communications, English, American Sign Language, Parks & Rec (required for her major of Recreational Therapy) and Institute. It is nice that she doesn't have to leave the house until about 9:00am, so she is able to take advantage of the carpool lane. Her secure/gated parking lot is just across a small side street from the building where most of her classes are held. One of her friends is in two of her classes, and just last night she discovered that Buddy's brother-in-law is in her English class. How convienient! The biggest change is that everything is high-tech...laptops, emailing assignments, clickers for tests, online blackboards for assignments, etc. We know she is going to have a great experience there as soon as the newness of everything wears off. We are proud of you Tia, and are looking forward to lots of college adventures!

Birthday Banner

This is the Happy Birthday Banner that we made, thanks to Elizabeth's inspiration! I think they are so fun I have also made a Halloween (BOO) and Thanksgiving (Give Thanks) Banners. Thanks Aunt Liz!

Happy Birthday Clark!

Today is Clark's 13th birthday! I can't believe we have four teenagers in the house! Crazy, but fun! Clark is such a low maintenance kid. He doesn't expect much and when asked what he wanted for his birthday, he couldn't give me any ideas. We did get him a new bike that he is riding to school with his friends, a bike lock and a jr. high He looks good and now smells, oh so good! I took him pizza, soda and cookies to school for lunch with his friends. He was swarmed by 9th grade boys twice his size as he maneuvered his way to the lunch area. I watched him walk strong and determined, gripping his feast as these big boys tried everything short of a take down to get his food! Tonight we went to dinner at Hong Kong Gourmet Buffet where he ate until his hearts content. We then came home and had zwieback pie for dessert. Because of Curt's strong food opinions, almost all the kids request zwieback pie for their birthday. I now have to make the birthday child his own pan. This dessert is a Brown family favorite, so as we speak, Carson is here, not to wish Clark a Happy Birthday, but only to eat his birthday dessert. It's really o.k., though, because on June 30th, Carson's birthday, we are eating his zwieback pie right along with him. Clark we love you!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Tub Overfloweth!

The other night, as Bennett was turning on the shower, he accidentally broke the handle off! He comes running to me, holding the handle as I hear water pouring out of the bath tub faucet. I did what any wife would do and immediately called the husband. Curt left mutual and hurried home to save us all! We are now waiting for the plumber to come and make us whole. Good thing we are used to sharing bathrooms. (I never knew that a 9 month bathroom remodel would be such good practice!)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sweet Hour of Prayer for Christian and Stephanie

We are in shock and our hearts are breaking. Christian and Stephanie Nielson in our ward were involved in a small plane crash last night in St. Johns, Arizona. They were life flighted to Maricopa County Hospital's Burn Unit. Both are suffering from serious burns, Stephanie being much more critical of the two. The flight instructor, Doug Kinneard, who is in a neighboring stake, passed away this evening of his injuries. It is incredible that none of them suffered any blunt force trauma, but the burns are severe and deep. Curt was able to be at the hospital within hours of the accident. He, along with Christian's father, gave them both a blessing. Christian and Stephanie have been in our ward just over a year and have four young children, ages six and under. They are a dynamic couple, full of life and wonderful examples to all they meet. They are truly a breath of fresh air. The ward held a special fast for them on Monday. The ward members and neighbors, many of which are not members, gathered in the chapel at 6pm to break our fast. Curt conducted the meeting. We opened with a hymn and a prayer. Curt then gave a chronology of the events leading up to the accident. He also gave an update on the conditions of Christian and Stephanie, acknowledging that the healing process for both would be long and painful. The doctors have given Stephanie a 60-70% chance of survival. (Christian's prognosis is 1-2 months in the hospital with follow up therapy and Stephanie 4-6 months in the hospital.) With the family's encouragement, Curt prepared us all for the fact that when Stephanie returns to us, she will be the same wonderful person on the inside, but that she will look very different. It is so hard to put into words the devastation that we all feel. President Wright then invited the congregation to kneel down as he offered a heartfelt and pleading prayer for their recovery. It was truly an amazing experience and one that I know will not be forgotten. I was so humbled by all that were there, even the Nielson's mailman. The chapel and overflow were filled with friends, family and ward members. All my children were there, hungry from their fast of the day. I was so touched that without being asked or prodded, they each on their own fasted through a long, hot school day. We left the meeting with tears in our eyes, but hope in our hearts.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back to School

We are in mourning! Summer is over and it is back to the grind! Homework, piano practicing, early mornings, bed times (although that is still in negotiations), having to actually get dressed and not hang out in shorts and swimsuits all day... it is all coming to a screeching halt! This is the first year we have kids in college, highschool, jr. high and elementary school. It is hard to believe my babies are growing up! All the kids had a great first day and were happy upon their arrival home. Haley called after her first hour laughing that she had lost her schedule. Luckily, there was a copy on the bulletin board and I was able to remind her of her classes and room numbers. (I am so glad my kids are not as uptight as I was at their ages!) Cassidy didn't try to intentionally humiliate Clark as she yelled his name across campus, he just chose to ignore her. All in all it was a great day for everyone, even Tia and I, as we lunched with Grandma, Robin, Kristin and Anna.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

08.08.08 Our Lucky Day

The Brown Family is huge! At last count there are 72 plus two babies on the way. With two cousin weddings back to back, it was a very lucky day when we were all together (with the exception of John, Bryce, Stephanie, and Charlie). We took a few pictures to mark the momentous occasion. I think next time, we ought to hire a professional photographer! The kids all love being with their cousins and nobody is ever lonely at a Brown Family get together. There is a cousin for everyone.

Great Grandpa Breinholt

He walks with a shuffle, used to eat an In-n-Out hamburger every day when he could drive, doesn't like to wear his hearing aids, knows all his grandchildren and great-grandchildren by name, tells a great story...this is our Grandpa C. Leroy Breinholt who just turned 89 this past month. He doesn't get out much these days, so when he is able to come to a family function, it becomes a "Kodak moment". Grandpa is always so interested in the kids' activities and knows that the kids swim, play tennis and cheer. We sure love him and are so glad he is our Grandpa and Great-Grandpa!

Wedding Bells Take Two

Our cousin, Blake Ray, and his fiance Alisa Nelson, were married on Friday, August 8th in the Mesa Temple. Grandpa Tom Clark performed the sealing and did such a wonderful job. (He has now married the past 3 out of 4 Brown cousins!). Alisa is such a cute girl with an awesome personality. We are so excited to have her in the family. Thanks once more to cousins who set the right example for all of us!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

Wedding Bells

A blind date at Aspen Grove last summer began the courtship that resulted in Paul and Skye being married August 1, 2008 in the Mt. Timpanogas Temple. It was a beautiful occasion and we loved being there and participating in all the festivities. (Skye's endowment session, tour of the newlywed's apartment, blowing up 800 helium balloons, the bachelor party, wedding ceremony, wedding dinner and reception). The family support was amazing and we are so blessed to be part of such a great family. We are so happy for the bride and groom and are grateful for their wonderful examples! Congratulations Mr. & Mrs Brown!