Monday, November 30, 2009

Tis the Season

So in a few minutes, it will officially be December 1st and I cannot believe how quickly this year has flown by. It seems like yesterday that Big Brownie was 6 months old and it was his 1st Christmas. We came downstairs Christmas morning and opened our gifts. Big Brownie got a Build-a-Bear that I slept with for 2 weeks prior to Christmas. I wanted it to have my smell so when we moved him into his crib in his own room, he would have the sense that I was there...and I washed it in my favorite Brownies detergent, so to me, it was like having him with me too. He also received an Elmo walker and some other fun toys.

Last year for convenience, we decided to place our Christmas Tree in our playroom. Little Brownie was 2 1/2 months old and on his first Christmas, he slept in his swing wearing his candy cane striped pajamas as we opened our gifts. In between feedings, he received some flickering and blinking toys that sang and talked to him. He too received his first Build-a-Bear, that of course, I slept with as well. Big Brownie received a Semi-Truck that was loaded up with matchbox cars and a slue of other cars, trucks and balls.

Big Brownie is finally understanding the concepts of Christmas. He now knows that there is a Santa Clause, but he only thinks he is coming to visit us. He knows that there is a Baby Jesus and that we get to sing "Happy Birthday to Jesus". We have been talking about Jesus and how his life and death saves our lives. It completely AMAZES me when something actually sticks and I realize how smart and astute Big Brownie really is. This morning, after a long discussion about Santa Clause and Christmas, I was making breakfast in the kitchen. I heard Big Brownie talking to Little Brownie. He said, "Wanna go to the store to see Santa? I want to give him a BIG hug and a BIG kiss." I smiled and started to walk in, but then I heard, "Close your eyes, put your hands together and let's pray...Jesus, help us go to the store to see Santa, in Jesus name we pray, AMEN!"

I'll admit, I started to cried. Little Brownie all the while is sitting there just listening to his big brother and imitating his actions. He exclaims "AAAAMMMEENNN!" and then "YAY!!!" It made me so happy to know that Big Brownie understands the concept of asking Jesus for his wants, and to him, his needs. And further, that he is also teaching Little Brownie as well. Moments like these help me to know that the Brownies are understanding what I say, even more so than I ever knew.

About a week and a half ago, I heard several people around me say things like, "We are going to Advent the Season". I had heard of an Advent Calendar, heck, I even put one out for decoration each year. But I'll be honest, I really didn't know that meant. So I called Gran-Gran and asked. She explained that it is a time to prepare for the birth Jesus. A time to teach our little ones why we even celebrate December 25th to begin with. Traditionally, Advent is done either on the 4 Sunday's before Christmas or as a daily offering beginning on December 1st. But certainly, I think any time dedicated to this, anytime of year, applies.

So beginning tomorrow, we are starting a daily Advent of the season. I cannot wait. I am making a paper Christmas Advent Chain and on each link, I'll have a scripture to read and a quick and simple activity. I know and do not expect that this will go well every evening, when we sit down to read the bible together as a family and then try to have a discussion with our 1 and 2 year old. However, I believe every year, it will get easier and they will understand more and more. I want them to understand that the holiday of Christmas is not only about the gifts and Santa Clause, but more importantly that on this day, the day that Christ Jesus was born, was the beginning of our Saviors life. 'Tis the Season for a new family tradition.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Have you ever seen the movie, White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra? It is a favorite at our house around the holidays. There is a number in the movie called Sisters. I remember as a child, acting like Vera Ellen and Rosemary Clooney, a.k.a, "The Haynes Sisters" and singing this song with my sisters. I have two sisters, Aunt Apple and Aunt Berry. I also have a sister-in-law, Aunt Fudge that is as much of a sister as my biological ones.

Aunt Apple and Aunt Berry are twins and are three years older than I. We are all very similar creatures and we share more than just our dark hair and dark eyes. I think we are all each others best friend. It is true that at times, I will feel closer to one sister than another. Not for any particular reason, we simply all relate on so many levels. We all share a love for the same music and a lot of the same movies. I love sitting and sharing with them. They are the keeper of so many secrets...good and bad. They are the keeper of so many emotions...good and bad. I don't know how I would have been able to make it through life without them and they are so good with my Brownies.

Aunt Fudge and I are very close too. She is a few years old than I. She is a great mother and she has the best laugh around. I love making her laugh and I enjoy our conversations. I think we have really grown closer over the last few years as I've become a Mama. She loves my Brownies like they were her own. She is a great sister to Daddy Brown. They can joke and give each other a hard time, without a hard feeling afterwards. I love to see them hug each other. There is a different bond that a brother and sister have and they share a close one. Daddy Brown is still very much a protective brother, even though he is the baby.

The good thing about having sisters throughout my life is that I could always get a hold of one at just about any given moment. Of course in the new age of technology, I can communicate through text messages and emails as easily as picking up the phone. However, there just is nothing greater than having a sister to sit and share or to call upon when you are in a crunch time to get the house clean for company or to help with the laundry or to pick up a child when you are having one of those days and need to breathe...or, or, or. I know I can call any one of my 3 sisters at anytime day or night and they would be here to help me in a flash. I'm pretty sure they know they same about me.

However, that is not always the case. Some families have sisters that are in competition with one another. Either for the parents love and affection, or careers. Some siblings have problems relating to one another, or communicating at all. It makes me sad to know that some family members choose not to be apart of their own families. Be it an argument, a regrettable word spoken or an action that causes irreconcilable differences, it makes me wonder how they don't pain to be apart of their family. As with every family, you have your peaks and valleys. You have your moments where your limits are met and you need a break. However, I yearn to be apart of every member of my families life.

It is Thanksgiving Day and I'm so thankful to have my family. I'm so thankful that I have sisters. If the Good Lord decides that our family is complete, I'm glad Big Brownie and Little Brownie have each other to lean on. I pray that they are close to one another. Once Daddy Brown and I are gone, hopefully many years from now, I pray they will lean on each other the way I lean on my sisters. It is, to say the least, comforting to be apart of their lives. "Sister, Sisters, there were never such devoted Sisters...", I think I could still belt out this song and give Rosemary Clooney a run for her money. But I don't have to...I know that my sisters and I are devoted beyond measure.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Green Squared...

I am proud to say to date I have yet to "spank" either of our Brownies. This doesn't include the time I have popped Big Brownies hand for spitting his medicine in my face or when he began kicking me while trying to put his pants on him. However, there has to be some form of consequence to bear for unacceptable behavior. Back in early Spring, I found a couple of colored carpet square samples and decided I needed these as "time-out" placements. So now anytime Big Brownie is exhibiting poor and unacceptable behavior, he gets to sit for 2 minutes on the "Green Square".

That being said, to date, Little Brownie has not exhibited such unsatisfactory behavior that has warranted such discipline...until last night. I knew it was coming in part, because he had only had about a 15 minute nap, but still not an excuse for unacceptable behavior. Big Brownie was playing with his cars and Little Brownie decided he wanted one. Because he is just learning that the world doesn't revolve around him, I'm trying to teach him not only to share with Big Brownie, but to also put out his hand and ask Big Brownie if he wants Big Brownie to share with him. This is not going well, but I'm trying to be consistent with this teaching. He reached for a car and decided he wanted them all. When Big Brownie reacted and told him "NO", Little Brownie reached out his hand. For a moment, I thought it was working, I thought we was asking Big Brownie for a car. The word "Psych" entered my brain when he reached out and grabbed a handful of Big Brownies hair and not only pulled hard, but began thrashing around so that he could really inflict the pain.

As this is unfolding before my eyes, I realize, Little Brownie isn't so little any longer. I have known for several months, he has a tendency to be more physical than Big Brownie. As the youngest and I may add, sometimes meanest baby of my family, I know that sometimes in order to get what you want, you have to fight for it. However, Little Brownie being only 14 months old, I wasn't expecting to deal with this so early in his little life. I ran to Big Brownies aid and Little Brownie had a good firm grip on Big Brownie. I finally got them apart and I swooped Little Brownie up for immediate discipline. Not having to officially discipline him before, I looked around in dismay. Like a traffic light appears at night so bright and colorful, the "Green Square" called my name.

We haven't had to really use the Green Square in quite a while. I took Little Brownie to the square, I placed him firmly on it and I told him that because he was mean to his brother, he had to sit there for 1 minute. Of course, he has NO clue what I'm saying. I walk away to attend to Big Brownie and he gets up quickly. I put him back on square and explained again that he had to sit there for pulling hair. I knew in the back of my mind that he didn't understand the concept, but I needed to be consistent and that I needed to put him there a maximum of 3 times to try to instill in him there is a consequence to his poor behavior. After the 3rd time, I brought Big Brownie over and told Little Brownie to say he was sorry. He made a good attempt at saying what I like to believe is "I'm sorry" and then we all hugged and kissed each other.

This was very difficult for me...why? Because my natural reaction to most extreme behavior is to spank. I was spanked as a child and so was Daddy Brown. We do very much believe in the punishment. However, we want to make sure the punishment fits the crime and we only want to inflict this punishment when there really are no other options. I hear myself in my head, often when the Brownies do something unacceptable, think..."I COULD BEAT YOU!!!" or "YOU ARE KILLING ME!!!" However, I have to take a step back, take a deep breath and realize that I need to teach my boys how to resolve conflict and be kind and respectful to one another and each others belongings.

We've made it 29 months with Big Brownie, hopeful we can do the same and more with Little Brownie. That being said, Little Brownie is now very much aware of the Green Square. And by the way, Big Brownie is getting a hair cut today.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mom...the Medicine Woman

Yesterday, the Brownies and I went to visit Tutu Nani for a few minutes and we had such a good time, we ended up visiting for a couple of hours. When we left, Little Brownie fell asleep on the way home. I drove around to allow Little Brownie to rest and in hopes that Big Brownie would also fall asleep, but he was a nap holdout. Once Little Brownie woke, Big Brownie was starting to get really cranky so rather than coming home and dealing with cranky Brownie, we went to our favorite store, Super Target to look at the Christmas lights and get some milk. We spent about an hour and Big Brownie got his second wind. We came home and started watching the movie "Up" that Tutu Nani let us borrow. The Brownies were really enjoying their first full-length feature film at home and it gave Daddy Brown and I a chance to catch up on our day.

Daddy Brown has not been feeling well the last couple of days due to sinuses, so I have been trying to step up my evenings as Super Mom and allow him to rest and relax as best he can. About 7:30p, Little Brownie was done, done, done. He wanted his bottle of milk, a fresh diaper and his bed. I was happy to oblige this request. Big Brownie was now on his third wind and I could tell he was running on fumes. We kissed Daddy Brown good night and went upstairs to read 3 new books, say our prayers, sing our nighttime songs and off to sleep...this is not what occurred!!!

I put Big Brownies pj's on, I began to read his 1st book, Roar with a Snore. All the while asking me for a snack, which we had, and his juice. I reminded him where his snack and juice the bed. His response, "Oh, Oh right". We moved to our second new book, God gave us Christmas, and we began to really lose interest and began jumping on his bed instead. My temperature begins to rise as this is supposed to be our quiet night time routine. I ask him to sit down. We finish this book and go to our last book, Fancy Nancy. He was just done by this time and begins jumping off the bed and bumps his head on the side of the "soft" mattress. It was on from then on.

I kissed his head and it was "all better", as per Big Brownie. I laid him down, turned off the lights and laid down with him. We said our prayers and I began singing his favorite 3 bedtime songs...Hawaiian like me, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and The Itsy Bitsy Spider. Out like a light or so I thought. I tiptoed out of his room and into bed. Daddy Brown and I were watching a movie and we hear Big Brownie screaming, "I want to hold you"...translation "please come hold me". I spring from the bed and into his room. I lay down and put my arms around him. Back to sleep he went. I tiptoed out again, and a few minutes later, the same thing. So, I asked him if he wanted me to sleep in his bed with him. "Um-hum" was his reply.

As we finally get into our sleeping positions and as I kiss his head, cheeks and hands, I became curious...what does the Good Lord put in a Mother's kiss that can heal almost all wounds? The warmth of my hand that makes him know I'm there. What security does the Lord give to little ones that cry out for their Moms and Dads and they know and rely on us as parents to heal their "boo-boo's"? The assurance that we are here for them and that our kisses can "make it all better". As Big Brownie drifts off to sleep, I kissed his head one more time and in his sleepy voice, "thank you for helping me fix my boo-boo". I told him, "You're welcome and I love you." He replies, "I love you too Mommy".

As I lay there, I began to pray for all the blessings in my life. I thank him that I can hear these words from my Brownie. I thank him for giving me such wonderful Brownies, even when they aren't so wonderful. It reminds me to be thankful that Jesus died on the cross for our wounds and this heals us everyday. It reminds me that we truly are made in the image of him, and when we are less than favorable children to him, he will kiss us and make it all better. Finally, I thank him for giving me the special medicine of a kiss and that it can seemingly heal all wounds.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"T.G.I.T."...Thank Goodness It's Thursday!!!

The last couple of nights the Brownies have been suffering from runny noses and nasal congestion. This has caused a few interruptions of Mama Brown's sleep. And if you know me, you know, I LOVE MY SLEEP!!! The runny noses seem to be nothing more than the seasonal changes. In the midst of this, I have tried to remain positive and thankful. So this post is dedicated to all things awesome.

Today, the Brownies and I ventured out into the day to run an errand. We ended up at the Super Target to pick up a few ingredients for Taco Soup. As soon as we walk in, Big Brownie begins negotiating when we can go see the Christmas lights. He loves to see all the Christmas decorations and it is truly like kryptonite to Big Brownie. I explain that once we had picked up all our items, we can visit the light area. He begins to rattle off my shopping list..."paper towels, milk, orange juice, cheese...are we done Mommy?" Once we are done, we head to the Christmas light section, I allow him out of the buggy and watch as his eyes light up so wonderfully. He watches the trains go round and round, the reindeer heads move, Santa wave, etc. It makes me smile to see his excitement in the little joys of life.

When we say grace at the table before our meal, we have always recited the same prayer..."God is Great, God is Good, Let us thank him for our food, In Jesus name we pray, Amen." At the end Big Brownie has always been allowed to conclude our prayer with the "Amen". He is now able to recite the prayer by heart and that makes my heart sing. Little Brownie understands when we say, "Let's pray", this means to put your hands together. This week, Little Brownie has figured out there is a part for the littlest Brownie in the family. As we concluded our prayer, he exclaimed "AAAAAMMMMEEENNNN!" I choked back the tears and we all said "YAY!". He smiled back at me knowing that I was so proud of him.

Today, I have officially completed 4 loads of laundry and have like 40 more, not really. However, I opened the door of the garage to see if Daddy Brown had any laundry to be washed. I took my first step, second step and third step down the stairs and noticed a small movement out of the corner of my eye. In a mason jar at the bottom of the steps, a small mouse was stuck. I am 100% sure I scared him as much as he scared me. He ran circles in the jar and finally jumped out and ran under the steps. I ran back in to the house and to the phone. I stepped on a brown leaf on the floor and it crunched under my foot and I jumped again. I called Daddy Brown and told him of our little visitor in the garage. I'm thankful for a husband that can do the honey-do's and does them without complaining. I love the Disney movie "Ratatouille", but that is as close of a relationship I want to have to our furry friends.

I love to see the Brownies beginning to really interact with each other. Sometimes that is a good thing and sometime not so good. Last night for instance, Big Brownie wanted some Fruity Peebles cereal as a snack. I put some in a baggy and told him to sit on the couch in the living room to eat it. Daddy Brown and I were distracted until we heard sounds of glee coming from the living room. Big Brownie and Little Brownie were throwing Fruity Peebles in the air as if they were playing in leaves outside. I know I should have stopped them from making a mess, but what is life with a mess...besides, what the dogs didn't devour after bedtime commenced, I vacuumed up this morning.

Later in the evening, Big Brownie was done playing with Little Brownie, but Little Brownie wanted to do everything Big Brownie was doing. Big Brownie finally told him "NO" and pushed him down. I nearly had a come-apart. I can handle most anything, but physical altercations are the line in the sand. After a good talking to, a time out, an apology and a hug, we were all one big happy family again.

I'm also thankful that it is Thursday and it is a BEAUTIFUL day outside. I love the sunshine and the Good Lord knew that I needed it today.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

11th Heaven

Today, 11 years ago, Daddy Brown and I stood before a small group of family, friends and God and vowed to love, obey, honor, and cherish each other for the remainder of our days. Vows that to this day are the most precious and important words ever spoken to me by the love of my life.

There has to be a beginning to every relationship and ours began back in our teenage years. Although Daddy Brown and I lived within 5 miles of each other in a small town in Middle Tennessee, we had never officially met. Well, we were in a karate class when we were little kids, but he mostly kicked my butt and laughed at me, so we really didn't have a hopeful future. We went to separate schools and separate churches. Only by a mutual friend did we have an official chance meeting. An awkward introduction in the 10th grade at a Friday night football game that ended up with Daddy Brown teasing me over a silly stuffed animal I was carrying for a social group I was apart.

I'll be honest, I didn't give Daddy Brown a second look...I didn't. Daddy Brown was a big athlete. Many of the girls swooned around him, but I didn't. It wasn't that I didn't find him attractive or interesting, it was that I was dating someone else and had been for almost a year. My eyes were not open to anything beyond that initial meeting. However, Daddy Brown told me long after we were married that he knew there was something special about me. He called me shortly after we first met and I remember my sister telling me some guy that sounds like Forest Gump was on the phone. He was so polite, he even called me ma'am. We here in the south do have an accent. Because I just wasn't interested, I actually just blew him off.

Over the next couple of years, we crossed each others path and exchanged pleasantries. He dated other people and so did I. The summer we graduated high school, I went to the movies with a friend and Daddy Brown was sitting on the curb of the local theater with his friends. We passed them with a wave and a smile. Later that night, my friend and I were enjoying ice cream at Baskin Robbins and Daddy Brown drove by in his silver Mazda RX-7, I still love that car. I yelled out his name as he drove past. Not knowing who had called out his name, Daddy Brown circled around and drove in. We all shared some small talk. He joined us as I ran an errand to Kroger to pick up rice for my mother. I had a friend that worked at Krogers that was chinese and his nickname was "Chops". I walked in and asked Chops where the rice aisle was located. Because Daddy Brown and I didn't go to the same school, he thought I was actually making fun of a china-man. He still makes fun of me for calling a chinese guy "Chops"...but that really was his nickname!

A few weeks later, I was washing my car in the driveway. I was not expecting to see anyone that day and I was not looking very presentable. To this day, I'm still a little embarrassed as to my attire. Daddy Brown was visiting a friend that lived in my neighborhood and happened to drive by my house. Being the gentleman that he is, he stopped and offered to help me. He teased me about the poor job I was doing and we laughed and giggled and smiled. Over the next couple of months, we talked on the phone, shared a movie or two and a few meals. We began to develop a friendship.

Then one day, he came to visit me at my house and I remember the moment I looked at him and I lost my words. I couldn't remember what I was saying, what I was going to say or what to say for that matter. I could hardly breathe. He was getting ready to leave and I kissed him. Yes people...I kissed him. It happens. In my mind, I had to know if he would kiss me back and...he did. From that moment on, it has been a journey together. We dated for 4 years and then we decided to spend the rest of our days discovering everything we could about each other, about life and about what was in store of us.

On the day of our wedding, I remember thinking, today I will be married to the man of my dreams. Married to the man that God has given me. What a gift, what an honor, what a life. When I stood at the back of the church with my dad, I remember looking at my husband to be and I cried. My dad looked at me and said, "'s not too late if you don't want to do this." I told him, "This is exactly what I'm supposed to be doing." Such a good Dad!!! My sister gave me a handkerchief and said, "I think you are going to need this. " Within 15 minutes, I became Mama Brown.

It would be nearly 8 years before we began a family. That was truly by design. Daddy Brown and I wanted to enjoy each other. We wanted to be just the two of us for the only time in our lives. When we got married, we had been together for almost 5 years but we needed to really get to know each other before starting our family. I think all newly married couples should wait and I'm glad we did. Of course, when we became pregnant and told everyone we were expecting, we shocked everyone...I'll share that in another post.

So...on this day, at 3:15p, we will have been married for 11 years. Not only am I in love, but I'm in like with Daddy Brown. I can honestly say, Daddy Brown continues to surprise me. He continues to make me laugh and smile. He continues to comfort me when I cry and he continues to make me feel like I'm the most important person in his life. I hope I do the same for him. I hope I am the best wife and life partner he could have ever imagined. I hope that I'm the person his parents prayed for their son. I pray we have the best years of our life ahead of us. I can't imagine our lives any different and I can't imagine it being any better. He is my best friend and he is my rock. 11 heavenly years down and hopefully many more to go.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday...

Taking a page from my friend over at With these hands, I wanted to express my love, affection and thanksgiving for my sweet Mama (Tutu Nani). It is her birthday and today, she is 56 years young. She was born and raised in Hawaii and moved at the age of 10 to Texas with her Dad, Mom and 4 brothers. Tutu Nani is the 4th and only daughter of 5 children. She met and married my Dad (Papa) in 3 months back in 1972 and 9 months later, gave birth to my twin sisters (Aunt Apple and Aunt Berry). Three years later by the hand of God, she gave birth to me. The Good Lord had a plan for all of us and I am so glad he did.

Tutu Nani and Papa were like most families, even today, struggling in the beginning to make it work. In her desire to be a stay at home mom, she began watching babies and kids in our home during the day. When she started, we had up to 20 kids in our home. This obviously was before she was licensed. Several years went by and she became licensed and began her true journey as an in-home care provider. Many of the kids that were apart of the day care, truly became part of our family. She began training other in-home providers and eventually began a non-profit organization to help support in-home providers. After 19 years in the business, and once I had officially left home, she closed her day care and began training full-time. She wrote a grant and received federal funding for the support of in-home providers and their continuing education. The grant is currently funded at over a quarter million dollars and has began its 11th successful year. She travels all over the State of Tennessee and has a presence in all 95 counties. She works extremely hard and has been recognized with prestigious honors from all over the country. She is asked to be involved as keynote speakers for many conferences and has even traveled to fight for children on Capital Hill in Washington DC. She is a rock, she is a defender, she is MY MAMA!!!

In the midst of building a successful career, she never took her first priority of raising us three girls lightly. She was very much an overprotective mom. She wielded a heavy hand if she needed but also has the softest touch and lightest kiss. I'm so very thankful that the Lord picked her to be my Mom and I know that because of my upbringing, I'm the best Mom that I can be to the Brownies. I thank God everyday for her and I am thankful for every minute I get to spend with her. So, on this Thursday, November 12, 2009, I am thankful for her, I am proud of her, I love her!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

S'more Fall Fun anyone? enjoy one more beautiful evening!!! We had an impromptu bonfire this past Sunday and enjoyed one last day of yummy weather, food and family. Bonfire...check, hot dogs...check, s'mores...check, popcorn and a movie....check check.

What an adventure. Aside from a technical difficulty with the sound, we still enjoyed watching, "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" in the backyard. Since we were sick during Halloween, the Brownies got to run around in their "Indian" and "Horse" costume. We had so much fun laughing and enjoying one another over a bonfire. Something about the brisk fall evening air, hearing conversations between loved ones and watching the twinkle in a young child's eye makes me ever more thankful. This is what it's truly all about.

What a great night we had!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Who am I?

Ever felt the Lord "slap" you in the face with a message that is undeniable? For almost an entire day this past week, I was not my normal self. I was in a less than desirable mood for all the Brownies. On this particular day I put the boys down for a nap and began to search for something to change my mood. Music usually makes me feel better, so I flipped through some old music CD's. What did I find...Who am I? by Watermark.

It is the last track of the CD, so when I put it in the computer to listen, for whatever reason, it went straight to this track and began to play. Tears, tears and more tears. I fell to my knees and asked for forgiveness. I haven't had a quiet time with my Father in quite some time. I was looking for something tangible to lift me, when all I need is him. I went to my bible. I read, I prayed, I cried and felt him cover me with his grace. Here are just a few of the verses that spoke to me...

Ephesians 6:24 says "Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love"

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says "Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing."

The lyrics are scrolling below of this song by Watermark...but here is the main chorus:

Who am I that you would love me so gently?
Who am I that you would recognize my name?
Lord, who am I that you would speak to me so softly
Conversation with the love most high
Who am I?

Renewed strength and renewed desire to know him. I've dedicated and enjoyed every free minute I have with him. Reading, praying and most of all...listening. It is in him that I find the most comfort. Who am I...I am a sinner. Who am I...I am imperfect. Who am I...I am HIS!!!

Lyrics | Watermark - Who Am I lyrics

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday...

What a beautiful Fall day in Tennessee!!! It truly could not have been a better day for the Brownies and I to have an adventure in our own backyard. We had over 3 hours of exploration, playtime, learning and fun. We began with swings and our new slide adventure. We ran with the dogs, examined the different colors of the leaves, found berries and sticks, and watched as the hay in the back field was cut by a HUGE tractor. The boys are exhausted to say the least and after a quick lunch and clean up are down for their very late naps. What a wonderful Wednesday this has been!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Silver Linings...

The definition of a "silver lining" is as follows...A hopeful or comforting prospect in the midst of difficulty. I think I'm blessed to have an optimistic outlook on life. It has been a huge week to search for the little silver linings or blessings around here.

This past week, our family came in contact with Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. Not sure where, not sure how, but neverless, it jumped up into the air and landed square on the Brown household. Without going into the specific gross and unappealing details, we suffered from mouth ulcers and painful sores on our hands and feet. Fevers, irritations, lack of sleep or the inability to sleep, created some pretty touchy moments. Myself and Big Brownie were the only two affected.

The blessing in a couple of ways. Even though I really wish I had not contracted the illness, I was actually happy to suffer with my Big Brownie. By being sick with the exact illness at the exact same time, I was able to know what he was going through and have the right amount of compassion and sympathy for his pains. So infrequently as parents, we have knowledge of exactly what our children are going through. When they are teething, we have a sense of the pain...but not really to what extent. We just know our children are suffering. Depending on our mood or our own amount of patience, we may react to certain symptoms and not so much to others that don't seem to be that big of a deal.

Since the Big Brownie's mouth was so tender from the mouth ulcers, he couldn't use his comforting "binky" the entire weekend. So, now that he is better, he doesn't need it at all!!! YAY!!! Little Brownie and Daddy Brown didn't get sick. This actually gave them time to be just with each other and bond. Little Brownie has been a BIG mama's boy, but now, he is also a BIG daddy's boy too.

Today, my sister (Aunt Apple), ended up in the ER. Myself, the Brownies, my other sister (Aunt Berry), my mom (Tutu Nani) and my father (Papa), all surrounded Aunt Apple with uncertainty of what was happening. Faulty equipment and an inexperienced technician at a physician's office, didn't make for a great medical experience. Once at the ER, she was given the proper tests by trained personnel and she is ok. The blessing? The obvious...she is ok. The hidden blessing...even though she had a poor reading at the physician's office by a technician and faulty equipment, she at least had a physician that followed through and contacted the hospital to find out what was the best course of action for Aunt Apple. So glad that the end result was good news, but what if the equipment wasn't faulty and the test they ran was accurate. The physician followed through with proper protocol based on what information was presented to her.

Life throws us all curve balls and sometimes...hard balls. How do you handle the difficulties in life? Do you complain? Do you have a bad attitude? Do you turn to the bottle or other things? you look for the positives? Look for the silver linings in life, it is what keeps me going. I admit, there are times that I turn to the dark side and complain about a situation that didn't go my way. Then I'm reminded that others may have a more difficult situation or life than me. I remember how blessed I am and what a hopeful life we lead. Silver linings are the little blessings from God that tells you he does have compassion, he does believe in you and he is ultimately in control of it all. Every cloud has a silver lining...have you found yours today? It's there...just look for it.