Husband and Father

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

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ben's Ordination

There's a new Deacon in town.  Quite a dapper looking Deacon if I don't say so myself.  Ben was ordained a Deacon by his Grandpa Brown.  He was so excited to move on from Primary.  They just get to that age where they need and want to be with older kids. He is such a good kid, and sincerely wants to do what is right.

He was ordained August 25th, the day before "D-Day".  Emotions were running a little high for me.  They usually are anyway having a son being ordained to a priesthood office without his Father here to perform the ordnance.  Fortunately, with lots of prayer, I made it through this great day for Ben with a smile on my face.

I am so proud of him!

Ben Turns 12

Sunshine Cafe was the perfect place for Ben's birthday breakfast.  He enjoyed feasting on their HUGE oatmeal pancakes. What a great way to start your day.

His main gift was a teen golf set.  Now he is prepared and ready to start his debut as a golfer, with all his buddies.

I love this kid, and enjoy (most of the time) his energy, and spunky personality.  He is wise beyond his years, very social, and keeps me young.  Happy Birthday Ben!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ben's Birthday Party

Ben's idea of a birthday party was to take several of his friends boating at Pineview Reservoir.  The weather was a little uncertain, but we were able to tube until about two or three in the afternoon.  Unfortunately, it wasn't a great day for water skiing, and wake boarding.

After a delightful lunch, we wrapped up our boating activities and headed home.  We left just as a storm came through. I was so glad that Brent had the day off and was able to help with the boat.  It gets tricky getting the boat off the ruff water.

Ben said it was the best birthday party ever! He says that every year, but I'll take the compliment.  

Christian, Cole, Ben, Isaac, and Colby

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Ella Comes To Town

It has been tradition that Ella comes to our house for a slumber party every July 23rd. Each year we go to the Bountiful Pioneer Parade.  This year, Lizzy was on Trek, and Ben was at the Westminster Basketball Camp, so the party had to be postponed. I missed the Pioneer festivities with these three.

We finally found a time in August to have a cousin sleepover.  The kids love having Ella, and enjoy taking her to the club for tennis and swimming. Cousins are the best!

Mason's Birthday Party

Even two year olds can have a "pinterest perfect" birthday party.  Those of you on pinterest know what I mean. Not a detail is spared on themed birthday parties with banners, balloons, centerpieces, and table decorations.  If you look closely you can see the theme coming through loud and clear, with apothecary jars filled with golf balls, and a golf club set in the background.

Meagan did such a great job throwing an adorable golf party for Mason. Even the cupcakes were golf greens with a little ball, a flag, and hole-in-one on them. Lots of work for cute little mama!

After dining on pizza, opening presents, and having cupcakes and ice-cream, we went swimming at our back door neighbors pool.  With a gate into each other's yard, it is perfect!  They are so gracious to let us use their pool on special occasions!

Happy Birthday cute Mason, love him!

Friday, September 19, 2014


(Big) Lizzy Brown has been called to serve a mission in Nashville Tennessee, Spanish speaking.  She did a fabulous job on her farewell speech.  She will be entering the Mexico Mission Training Center on August 27th.  We are so proud of her, and are going to miss that cute girl!  We love our Lizzy's!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mason Turns Two

August 6th is Mason's Birthday. This year he turned two, so we decided to take him to the Living Planet Aquarium.  I haven't been to the new aquarium so it was a new adventure for me.  It didn't disappoint.  Mason loved every minute of it.  It is always a treat when his favorite person to be around, Ben, comes along to play with him.

The Aquarium has four main exhibits:  Discover Utah, Ocean Explorer, Journey to South America, and Antarctic Adventure.

The river otter is the main attraction in the Discover Utah exhibit.  Unfortunately, we barely got to see this little critter.  The otter was not it's playful self, and was not interested in entertaining us. We did however, enjoy watching familiar fish swim around in their tank.  We might have recognized a fish or two from……is that even appropriate to say when visiting an Aquarium?

The Ocean Explorer Exhibit, houses some of the BIG fish.  It features saltwater species from all over the world.  Our favorite of course was the scary, gnarly, sharks swimming above our heads.  It gave us the feeling of fear, and comfort.  Fear that they could eat us in one bite, and comfort that we could enjoy such an animal behind a safe tank.

Journey To South America takes you through the rain forests of South America.  Our favorite was the "Froot Loop" bird the Toucan.  They are brightly colored, beautiful, curious birds, with the most noteworthy beaks.  We watched as they snacked on seeds, and flew from branch to branch.

One of the highlights was the rope bridge.  Mason and Ben had a great time crossing over the bridge. I thought Mason would be a little scared since below the bridge was a great plunge to the main floor, but he was brave and loved it.

We loved watching the penguins waddle around in the Antaractic Adventure Exhibit.  Penguins are one of my favorite animals.  The penguins put on quite a show, splish-splashing in the water, diving in the tank, and swimming around. They seem so awkward as they waddle up to the side of the water and dove in.  They make me smile. We came at a time when a staff member was feeding them, which was a bonus.

Ben bought Mason a turtle backpack from the gift shop for his birthday.  Mason, loved it!  He walked around all the exhibits strutting around his backpack.

Happy Birthday cute Mason boy!  We hope you had as much fun as we did on your special day!

Ocean Explorer Exhibit
The rope bridge.
Discover Utah
The Gift Shop
Ocean Explorer
Antarctic Exhibit

Sunday, September 14, 2014

San Francisco

San Francisco is one of my favorite cities to visit.  It is known for its ability to capture your heart, and it did just that. The last weekend in July, Ben, Lizzy, and I flew down to San Francisco to spend the weekend.  We left Friday morning, and returned Monday evening.  We met the Carling Family who had driven down and were already enjoying some baseball games and tourist attractions. The main purpose of our weekend get away, was to cheer on Brent and Alysha as they ran in the San Francisco Marathon.

Our first day, we visited Fisherman's Wharf, where we enjoyed browsing the streets, and shops, and spent the early afternoon on a bay cruise.  This cruise was the perfect way to see the breathtaking San Francisco city skyline, Alcatraz Island, and travel under the Golden Gate Bridge. As our spectacular cruise concluded we were able to watch the Sea Lions that had taken over a boat dock basking in the sun.

Muir Woods is only a 30 minute drive from the city, and was our next destination. It is quite the contrast from the hustle and bustle of city life, to the quite, serene mountainside. Muir Woods is a National Forest, with trails and walkways that are lined with aged redwood trees ranging from 400 to 800 years old.  Some are small in size, with the tallest over 250 feet tall.  The sunlight glimmering through the trees, and the peaceful stream is a spectacular sight.

When you reach Cathedral Grove, there is a quite area where visitors are asked to remain silent.   It is recommended that you listen to the sounds of nature as you walk along the path.  We were able to hear the sounds of nature as well as watch deer and other wild life frolic in the preserve.

Lambard Street was our next source of entertainment.  Cory drove us down this steep one-way street, with eight sharp turns making it one of the crookedest streets in the world.  The design was chosen to reduce the hill's natural grade which is way to steep for most vehicles.  Thankfully Cory took it slow and easy down this famous San Francisco street.

Day two began at Alamo Square Park.  This park resides at the top of a hill overlooking much of downtown San Francisco.  The streets are lined with beautifully architectural large homes.  If you have ever watched Full House, you can find the house used in the TV series close by.  Shay and Lizzy enjoyed grabbing a photo at this memorable landmark.

Visiting the Apple Campus was next on our agenda.  It is located just outside of SF in Cupertino.  Unfortunately, it was closed on Saturday, so we quickly moved on to our next destination….Google.

The Googleplex is located near San Jose. I was pleasantly surprised by their kid-friendly environment. The kids rode the brightly-colored bikes available for tourist around their campus.  We explored the reception area, and took pictures of the dessert statues.  Maybe there was one little green robot among the desserts, I might have just been a little hungry.

Our last stop was Stanford University.  What a beautiful campus! Stanford University is one of the most reputable universities in the world. Stanford's undergraduate program is one of the most selective in the country.  Since, it is unlikely any of our kids will be attending there, sorry kids, we visited instead.  We spent most of our time roaming the grounds, and finding souvenirs  in the book store. I loved strolling through the stunning cathedral walkways with the sun beaming through the archways. It is a beautiful campus.

Marathon Day was of course our favorite day, and the reason for our trip. The San Francisco Marathon starts on the Embarcadero and continues through many tourist attractions such as Fisherman's Wharf, across the Golden Gate Bridge (and back), through Golden Gate Park.  It is a loop course, so once you pass behind AT&T Park you are almost done.  Runners must be able to complete the 26 mile course in under 6 hours to qualify as an official finisher.

Us non-marathon runners, woke up much later than the marathon runners, watched the production of a movie in front of our hotel, had a leisurely breakfast, and walked down to the end of the marathon.  We thought we would be able to watch and cheer for Brent and Alysha along the way, but taking a car anywhere during the marathon was not a good idea.

Unfortuatenly, Alysha had a medical problem, and was warned by the marathon medical team not to continue after they treated her.  She completed the half marathon before she was told to stop, and was able to receive a metal.  We were so proud of her.  She is such an ambitious young lady.

We were all waiting by the finishing line, as Brent completed the marathon.  Both Brent and Alysha were running in honor of their mother who passed away in January.  Their family had T-Shirts made with the nick names Angie had for each one of them printed on it, as well as the date she passed, and Team Angie.  They proudly wore these shirts honoring their mother and Brent's wife.  It was a tender moment watching them at the finish line together.  We were so proud of them!

We walked from the end of the marathon back up to our hotel.  Pretty impressive for those that just finished running.  Once our marathon runners recovered, we ventured out to China Town, and walked, and shopped around town. Ben loved China Town with all it's junky trinkets. He begged me to let him buy a harmonica.  Being a seasoned mom, and owner of a recorder (school requirement), there was not a chance I was going to let that happen.

Evenings in San Francisco are absolutely wonderful.  It is such a busy, beautiful city.  I loved walking around town, and basking in the ambience.  The kids took off shopping together and Brent and I walked through the city.  One evening we were walking through Union Square and happened upon a basketball hoop event.  We watched as the experts took to the hoops.  It was pretty impressive.

After dinner one night, Brent and I went shopping with Shay.  We were able to catch a ride from the cable car on our way home.  You can't visit San Francisco without riding a cable car.  It was such a treat to ride and an excellent way to make our way up the steep street to our hotel.

Our last day, we rented bikes and rode across the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a cooler day, which was perfect for riding bikes. The views from a top the bridge were spectaular.  We were able to see San Francisco's city skyline,  the beautiful town of Sausalito, Alcatraz Island, and the Bay waterfront.

We had a wonderful time in San Francisco, and as the saying goes, "I left my heart in San Francisco." We hope to return soon.

Fishermans Wharf
Bay Cruise

Muir Woods
Photo credit: Wikipedia
Lambard Street
Alamo Square Park
Full House

Apple Headquarters

Cable Car

China Town
Worn out kids.
Golden Gate Bridge
Baseball games without the Brownies.