Husband and Father

Husband and Father
July 15, 1958 ~ August 25, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

School Break

The kids seem to have a lot of breaks from school this year.  Some are planned, and some (such as snow days) are not.  I don't mind!  I really enjoy having them around.  I am always up for a fun activity, or just a lazy day.

This past weekend they had Monday and Tuesday off.  Monday for Martin Luther King Day, and Tuesday for Teacher Prep Day (or end of term bonus day).  Monday I decided to take the two younger kids up to Brighton Ski Resort for ski lessons.  Kate got them all organized and ready the night before for the big day.  Unfortunately, Ben had another plan, and ended up staying home, so Lizzy went to ski school without him.

What a gorgeous day it was!  The sun was shining brightly, the air was fresh and pollution free, and the landscape was serene.  I love the beauty of the canyons!  It is just break taking to me!  How fortunate we are to live minutes from some of the finest canyons around.

Lizzy is considered an adult in ski school.  She enjoyed watching adults flounder down the mountain.  At the end of her lesson I asked her how she thought her lesson went.  She said, "It was great, until I got going down the mountain and realized I forgot how to stop and plowed down a toddler."  How can a person 'forget' how to stop, and if you do, don't you just lean into the mountain and sit rather than run down a toddler?  The good part was that the toddler thought it was funny - no harm done.

Tuesday, I ditched the kids and went to a movie with a friend.  I saw the movie Impossible.  It is a true story of a Spanish family's experience of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.   It is a movie I definitely don't want my kids to see.  They have seen enough tragedy in their life. Besides that, remember how we like beach vacations?  Well, I can only imagine how at least one person in our family would react after watching this.  Even though I enjoyed the movie, it was a little disturbing to me, and gave me nightmares.  Next time, I'm choosing a much happier movie to watch for sure!

Yay for breaks!

Brighton Ski School

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ben's Coach

One of the 5 basketball teams that Mitch Smith coaches is the Wildcats.  It consists of players both in 4th and 5th grade.  Ben is fortunate to be a part of this team.  I am grateful every day, that Mitch and his great wife Cindy have taken Ben under their wings, so to speak.  They have allowed Ben to play on their team consisting mainly of kids from NSL, that will most likely attend Woods Cross High School.

Ben has a nervousness about playing basketball at a competitive level.  Mitch pulls him aside, tells him how he used to "throw up" before every game because he was so nervous, easing Ben's reservations.  He always encourages Ben and tells him how great he is, giving him confidence in playing the game.

Watching Mitch coach is a delight.  He doesn't yell at the kids, and gives them encouragement.    Whether they hit or miss their shot, it is always a great shot, and he lets them know.  When teaching them defensive techniques, he doesn't use just words.  One night, after a game against the Vikings he decided to teach the kids a skill.  He put a ball between him and one of the players and wrestled on the floor with the player, teaching them about aggressiveness, and fighting for the ball. The 6 foot 8 coach was down on the floor, battling for the ball with the player, teaching the team a skill. They were in the hallway of a high school, which didn't seem to bother Mitch. The kids will never forget the lesson they learned, and the fun time they had learning it.

When Mitch doesn't agree with a call made by the officials, he usually shrugs his shoulders, or put out his arms in question.  I personally have never seen him yell or demean a ref.

Our team doesn't own fancy uniforms.  They are each given a jersey (similar to the rec jerseys) to play in.  He doesn't believe that fancy apparel qualifies a team. His philosophy is, we will show them by our abilities, not how we look.

Mitch and his wife Cindy have hosted team parties at their home.  With Mitch at the grill, and Cindy busily organizing and preparing the sides, they put on a great feast for the players and their family's.  Cindy is one of the best cooks around.  The desserts at the party look as if she spent the entire day baking.  They were fabulous!

I enjoy sitting in the stands with Mitch's lovely wife Cindy.  What a great team they are, and what a wonderful family they have.  When I saw this article in the Dessert News today, my eyes filled with tears.  Tears of joy, for their beautiful family, and the amazing journey they have been through.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Welcome 2013

One of our family's New Year's Resolutions is to become healthier through food and exercise.  I know this sounds like a cliche, but with my family in particular it is important.  I learned over the holiday, how genetic heart disease is in Steve's family.  I knew about some, but had no idea that not only did his mother's father (Steve's grandfather) die suddenly of a heart attack, but so did Steve's grandfather's brothers.

Steve's brother, Jeff is acutely aware of this, and has made impressive changes to his physical wellness.  He has significantly reduced his weight and cholesterol.  He is very strict about the food he eats, and the amount of exercise he gets.  It has made a great difference in his health. We will not be AS strict with our new diet, but hope to make a few positive changes.

Since, I cook for my family, I feel a great responsibility to cook a little healthier.  I want to take little steps at first, hoping that we will progressively make better choices.  I have found a web site that I have enjoyed cooking from.  Not everything is cooked with whole grain.  Sometimes, I substitute with whole grain, and other times I stick with the original recipe.  Like I said, baby steps! The kids have LOVED everything I have made so far, so here is hoping for some healthier eating!
New Year's Day - Out with the Old.....
.....and in with the new.  
This is a crock pot recipe from the web-site.  Slow cooker chicken and black bean tacos, served with brown rice, wheat tortilla, and apples.  My kids loved it!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Winter Break

Christmas is over and Winter Break is in full swing. I love how laid back Winter Break is. We slept in, watch movies, visited the rec center multiple times, ate out a lot, went to movies, and played in the snow, to name a few.

When the kids start complaining about the cold, I reminded them, that in Utah we embrace all four seasons. They are wonderful and beautiful, as long as you learn to enjoy the great activities provided in each season, you will be happy.

We enjoyed and were quite entertained with the snow, as we went sledding at Eaglewood Golf Course with the Fulks'. The kids had a great time, slipping and sliding, down the rolling hills.  It was very crowded.  The "No Sleigh Riding" sign didn't even refrained youngsters, and their families from this great activity.

Ben may have toppled a toddler, but in his defense, once you start going it is very difficult to stop. Parents and toddlers, beware.  Or parents with toddlers don't traipse them along the bottom of the hill without looking.  Ben was very apologetic, and the parent was very understanding.

Sometimes, the speed of one hill, launches you up over a smaller one and a person could end up on the frozen pond, or in it if it is not completely frozen.  Yes, I may be speaking from previous experience (not this trip).  Brr.....

If you ever want a fun time, the Fulks' are some of the funnest!  We all had a wonderful time with our great friends!

No Sleigh Riding?
The Crew- Mike included.  He brought us an extra sleigh from the truck and couldn't resist staying.
At the top.
Let the rides begin!
Eaglewood Golf Course - Maddi, Ty, Emmi, Ben, and Lizzy.
The tubes were faster than the sleds.
The Train
Ben and Emmi
My two little snow bunnies.
Somebody has the right idea.
Mike in his jeans.  He couldn't resist going down at least once.
Lizzy and Ty.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Christmas 2012

Christmas morning is filled with excitement, wondering what Santa may have left for the nice children on his list.

Everyone seemed overjoyed with their presents.  Ben's Christmas was filled with toys, and video games, Lizzy loved her new I-Phone, and Kate and Mike enjoyed getting their missionary luggage.

In the bottom of each stocking was a key to the house.  When it gets cold the garage key pad doesn't work.  Therefore, you are locked out unless you have a key to the house.  I told the kids that if they were not on Santa's nice list, Santa may not have put a  house key in their stocking.  That was the first thing the kids looked for, especially those who received luggage.  Good thing there wasn't a one-way plane ticket to a remote destination tucked inside their luggage!:)

Steve didn't buy me any gifts this year.  I guess he forgot, or his elf just didn't get around to it.  I wasn't sad  at all about it, I just saved gifts from my friends to open on Christmas.  However, my children absolutely spoiled me!  Kate gave me a chair massage - which I love -, and the rest gave me an I-Pad.  Yes, that's right, an I-Pad!  I was a little excited, since that is what Steve would have bought me if he would have gotten around to it.  How generous and sweet of my children!

Our traditional Christmas brunch was fabulous!   We missed the fabulous Fulk Family.  They have come to brunch for years.  I am sure they were spending time with their own little family. The girl's each made a breakfast casserole, Meg and I made able skivers, and Grandma and Grandpa Brown brought the side pork.  Even our sick little Sarah - dang the flu - made a casserole for Jordan to bring.   Everything was extra yummy or we were overly hungry!

We spent the day, playing with our new Christmas toys/video games.

In the late evening I went to Les Miserables with Sarah and Jordan.  Sarah had starting feeling better, and didn't want to miss out.  Don't worry about her sharing the flu with others, she wore a medical mask (and we even sat by her).  I loved the movie!

Ben said it was the best Christmas ever, I hope it is ever year!  I love that kid!

Waiting for the door to Christmas to open.
Mike with his luggage, toys, video games and hunting scope!
Kate enjoying her luggage and clothes.  She was very happy to receive a key to the house!
Lizzy, I-Phone and clothes.  Somebody loves her I-phone!
Ben, toys, video games, swoop, and a poster of him playing football this year.
Me and my gifts.
Happy momma!
Brunch with our family and Steve's parents.
The married children, sorry you were sick Sarah.  Everyone hoots and hollers about their gifts, it makes giving and receiving more fun.
Mason's first Christmas!  Toys and a highchair from Granny, Nana, Gammy, Grandma- whoever I am.
Les Miserables

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Brown's Christmas Eve 2012

It was Masons's first year dancing around the Christmas tree, and I'm not sure what he thought about it.  He seemed overwhelmed with the amount of people being really loud, and joyous(?).  Either the relatives voices are getting worse, or they are all trying to torment me, they like to do that to Chantall and I (the somewhat musical ones in the family).  All participants, can't wait for the  O Jul Med Din Glede Norwegian song.  It gets pretty rowdy with the curtsy's, clapping, and turning, oh my!

Gifts are exchanged and opened on Christmas Eve, another Swedish tradition.  The grandchildren open presents from Grandma and Grandpa Brown, and always get exactly what they want.  Grandma and Grandpa must have some awesome elves.  The kids enjoy playing with their new toys, while the adults top off the evening with Grandma's homemade candy!

We got home from out parties late this year.  After all the fun we had, I wanted to end Christmas Eve, with the story of the birth of our Savior.  We drove up to the Bountiful Temple, and Kate read the Christmas story to us from the car.  We are so grateful for the birth of our Savior, and the wonderful example and sacrifice he made for all of us.  Our appreciation of the gift of eternal life grows ever year, as we reflect on our missing family member.  Holiday's while fun and delightful, bring a bit of a heavy heart for us, as we remember Christmas' with Steve here. We miss him! What a blessing it is to know that we will ALL be able to be together again!

Merry Christmas!

Dancing around the Christmas tree.
Opening gifts.
E, Kate, and Mike.
Mase in his toddler diaper.  Next time Quinn packs the diaper bag we hope he remembers diapers!

Getting tired of it all.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas Eve With The Wagstaff's

My brother and his wife host the Christmas Eve Party for my family every year.  It is very kind of them to do, since we attend two family parties in one night and would be unable to host.  We begin with delicious appetizers.  I always bring my HOMEMADE wings.  My extended family accuses me of picking them up at Wingers, but I really make them myself.  I even make the magical, yummy sauce that they bask in.

Dinner is served right after.  It consists of turkey, ham, salads, and funeral potatoes.  I always get assigned a salad.  This year I tried a new salad festive pomegranate salad.  It was delightful! We have a great time socializing, and catching up on the greatest, and latest.

Presents are exchanged, and everyone receives a photo calendar from my parents.  The calendar is the highlight of the night!  You will find groups of people that gaunt over the new calendar looking to see who will look most ridiculous or embarrassed; and who is most photogenic.  I usually win for the most ridiculous!  Somehow, my mom gets 'great' pictures of me - or maybe I'm just am not photogenic.

Some stay to sled down the mountain gully in my brother's backyard, while others move on to the next party.

The Hosts
Ben's lantern, and gun that shoots elastics.
My Mom
The infamous calendar.
Grandpa and Ben
 Eclairs (thanks Aunt Cindy, me)