Saturday, December 31, 2011

Out with the Old...

The past few years we have celebrated New Year's Eve
eating Chinese food at Golden Gate Restaurant.
This year was no exception!

We started early so the kids would not miss out on any
of their planned activities!

Here's to a great 2012!
(and 8:30am church tomorrow!  Wish us luck!)

Glimpses of Christmas

We enjoyed every bit of our Christmas celebration.
We spent Christmas Eve with the extended Clark Family,
where ET & Kristin hosted a delicious dinner and organized the program.

(We missed Brett and Tia who were celebrating with the Allred Family
before Brett's parents leave to Chile for two years)

The kids did a great job re-enacting the Nativity.
 Haley and Kimberly were the narrators

 Cassidy was just one of several who played the piano as we sang Christmas Carols.

 Grandma and Grandpa not only shared their testimonies and experiences of
Christmases past, but conducted the evening's events.

 Clark was the donkey for Mary (Abby) and Joseph (Cash)

 Sam, Katie, and Hailey were the glorious angels

 Max, Joey and Matthew were the awe-struck shepherds

 We played the traditional Christmas Gift Exchange Game.

 Grandma and Grandpa opened their Christmas Gift from the family.
A photo book entitled "Our Grandchildren" with a page of pictures of each grandchild
 and expressions of why they love Grandma and Grandpa.
It turned out beautifully!

The next morning, after attending church, we went to visit Great Grandpa Breinholt.

Christmas night we enjoyed a yummy dinner at Grandpa & Grandma Clark's.

We never get tired of spending time with our extended family and
celebrating the greatest of all gifts...the birth of our Savior!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season!

To see our family's past Christmas cards go here.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Caroling...Brown Style!

Every December 23rd is the Brown Family Christmas Party.
This year we combined the annual Family Dinner Party with our Caroling Party.
Grandma and Mel generously paid to have dinner catered as their
Christmas gift to both the Brown and Stradling Families.
A FABULOUS idea, in my book!

Carolina's Green Chili Burritos, rice, beans, chips and salsa were the menu for the evening.
 Brian and Curt manned the cheese crisp station for the little kids.

 We had seating for almost 100 and every seat was filled!

After dinner, we loaded up Chuck's semi-truck with a huge trailer.
 Caleb, Clark, Cassidy

 Bennett and Naaman were our skaters...
they would skate ahead of the trailer and ring doorbells,
so by the time the truck drove by, people were at their doors.

 our awesome driver, Ron
(the rig is so big that only special licensed drivers can drive it)

 the whole gang singing, visiting,
and just waiting for the hot chocolate and donuts after the cold ride!

Here's the guy who helped haul the hay for the trailer,
ordered and picked up the food,
helped with the song playlist and sound equipment,
and a gazillion other little details to pull this night together.

We could not have done it with out Clint and Debbie and their family
who spear headed this great party!

 The MVPs of the night...Grandma and Mel

 Brett, Tia and Breckyn

 Isaac and Cassidy

Our main caroling destination was to Great Grandpa Breinholt's home.
We brought him outside to sing to him and let him see his posterity.
 Love that so many of Curt's siblings could be there.
We missed Chawna and Celeste!

LOVE this picture!
Until next year...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


We have 6 of the 8 birthdays in our family
between November 13 and December 17.
I like to think I planned it that way!
(Thank you Clark and Brett for being born in August and October!)
 Cassidy turned 18 in mid November.
For 3 weeks each year Haley and Cassidy are the same age.
(I planned that, too!)

 Curt was actually born on November 28, Thanksgiving day a loooooong time ago!
5 candles for ALMOST 5 decades!  yikes!

 Bennett joined our family 14 years ago, December 6th.

Haley turned 19 on December 10th and is going to live up her last year as a teenager!
Hang on because I thought she had already lived up her teen years!

Curt and I took Tia to lunch on her birthday, December 12th.
No candle blowing picture for Tia...I'm sure Brett took care of that!

And me, by the time my birthday rolls around on December 17th,
we are done with birthday cake.
Curt unfortunately was sick on my birthday, so I'm going to take a raincheck on 
the promised German Chocolate cake with coconut pecan frosting
that will officially mark the end of the birthday season at the Brown abode. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bennett's Big Week!

Sunday, December 11th,
Bennett was ordained a teacher.
It was a special day for him and our family.
(We missed Brett, Tia and Haley who all had responsibilites
 in their own wards that conflicted with the ordination and
Mel and Grandma Charlene, who was sick from chemo)

Thanks to Grandpa and Grandma for always supporting our family!

All these awesome guys!
Clark was able to stand in the circle for Bennett's ordination...
another family first!

And to top it all off,
Bennett gets to come home to this little guy every day!
There is something rather endearing  seeing a boy with his

Then on Monday, December 12th, the big day!
Just to reminisce for a moment...
This was Bennett on his first day of braces in January 2009.

After 35 long months of palate expanders, adjustments, rubber bands,
wisdom teeth extractions, and patiently waitng for 12 year molars to grow...
Bennett got his braces off!
 Bennett before with the BEST ASSISTANT in the office...Haley!

 They are almost off!

 Yucky impressions for the retainers

 and AFTER!!!!
I couldn't believe how much older he looked!

One happy boy!  (not to mention cute!)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ice, Ice Baby - Winter Formal 2011

 Winter Formal was held this past weekend.
Not only was the theme "Ice, Ice, Baby", but the weather was frigid by AZ standards!

 Ashlynn took Clark and they had a blast!
Their day activity was held last week at DeWitt Farms in Lehi.
The couples competed in different activities...Clark & Ashlynn won the egg toss.
So cute in their matching shirts!

As Senior Class President, Cassidy was responsible for Winter Formal...
theme, decorations, refreshments, DJ, etc.
She started planning months ago and did an awesome job on a shoestring budget.
The center pieces were twigs that she spray painted silver and then hung snowflakes on

She assigned, in advance, the other student council members
to make a hundred or so big tissue paper balls.
She was super organized and had each student assigned to a different section to decorate.
These guys did a fabulous job hanging the balls from fishing line
attached to the basketball hoops that ran the length of the gym.

The entrance to the gym...
Student Council already had the trees, she just added lots of white tulle to add fullness

Curt and I were so impressed with how well these kids worked together.
They had the gym set up and decorated in two hours...a RECORD for sure!

 The giant snowflakes were taped to the tarp covered bleachers.
Good job, Cassidy!!  Way to get the job done!

 Cassidy and Clark before the dance

 Cassidy and date David...don't you love the foot and a half height difference!

 Clark was lucky enough to go to his first dance with Ashlynn

Cassidy and Katie with their darling friends

Clark's entire group!

Now the mad dash to ask to Sadie Hawkins in February!
Last night Cassidy asked her date and Clark was asked
 by two different girls within a matter of 45 minutes.
Let the craziness continue!

Friday, December 2, 2011

18 Seconds of Awesome!

Since it is basketball season once again, I thought I would share this exciting moment...

In a basketball game two years ago, Clark's team was trailing by two points.  With just seconds left in the tournament game, Clark made this unbelievable shot to win the game at the buzzer!  
Click here to watch Clark's "Shot Heard 'Round the World".