Sunday, August 10, 2014

Brown Family Reunion in Massachusetts - Part 1

The Brown family is spread out across the country and it's really very seldom that we can get all together. I pushed this reunion along and started making plans months ago to spend the Fourth of July together. 

We had checked our stroller so Daron devised an easy method for keeping Jacob close as we went through the St. Louis airport. Thank goodness for rolling suitcases!

We left Texas on the first of July, landing in Boston just before dinner. So we drove to the North End, the Italian part of town and my favorite area to eat. We met my parents and my sister's family at a family owned Sicilian place. The food was excellent and the back room was quiet.

Since Mom and Dad don't have enough room in their house for all of us anymore, we stayed with my good friend from high school. She and her husband were very hospitable and took very good care of us. Thanks Julie and Steven!!

Tony's family arrived late that night, and Michael and his wife live nearby in New Hampshire, so by Wednesday we were all there!

The first day we spent time relaxing and hanging out. I miss my parents' yard - quarter of an acre and no fences, tree swings, green grass, and decent enough weather that you're not stuck inside next to the AC every day of the summer. The kids played outside every chance they could and the cousins all got along fabulously.

We got to the Minuteman Museum in Lexington and the Old North Bridge in Concord. 

Esther and her cousin Bekah are best friends and co-conspirators.

My nephew Daniel is a sweet terror. This was one of his sweeter moments.

The following day we went to Salisbury Beach. It was overcast but still warm enough to swim. The water, on the other hand, was freezing. But that's completely normal for the northeast Atlantic Ocean during the summer. Daron, my California boy, was shocked when he hit the water!

Us Brown kids all have fond memories of the Fourth growing up in a small New England town. The hurricane coming up the coast nearly ruined it but I truly believe the Lord intervened on our behalf. The night before the Fourth, Chelmsford always has a celebration on the Common with food, craft, and local business booths, entertainment, and gathering with friends.It was pouring rain around 5pm and I kept praying that the rain would stop. Shortly later, the clouds parted and we all rushed to the center of town. What a blessing! I hadn't been home for the Fourth celebrations since 1998.

I ran into some old friends! Mel, Kristy, Jen, and me. We had a get together with some of us later the next week. It's crazy to think it's been 18 years since high school graduation!!

Melanie and Michael sharing a very large homemade ice cream sandwich. Yum!

My favorite meal here? Large grilled sausage and pepper sandwich, lemonade, and hot fried dough from the All Saints Church booth.

The gorgeous white church in the center of town.

Every year, the fire department downtown raises the flag on the ladder truck while the Chelmsford Band plays the national anthem. Very moving.

The next morning the clouds were threatening again and there were a few little sprinkles as we waited for the parade to begin. The rain held off until we were safe in our cars and then it poured all day!

Bekah, Esther, and Jessica - cute matching cousins!

More cute matching cousins! The only one missing is Aaron who was participating in the pre-parade road race with my sister and her husband.

A few people dressed up in fun costumes to race in. A pilgrim and Spiderman...

Here comes my brother-in-law! He made good time.

My sister and her son, Aaron. He was rather embarrassed at all of us yelling his name when they ran past.

The rest of the day was spent indoors but we still had a great BBQ, the kids had a parade in the rain with umbrellas with Grama leading the way, and everyone just talked and ate, and enjoyed being with each other.

My aunt Janet (right) and her roommate Shauna came up from Connecticut to spend the day with us.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Esther and Nathan's First Day of School

Just as the temperatures are consistently reaching into the 100s and the rain has stopped falling, our kids started school. One first grader and one third grader went very confidently and happily to school on Tuesday. Their enthusiasm for getting up early dampened by the second day but they still are enjoying themselves.

I think we have some pretty good lookin' kids. I really miss them during the day and surprisingly, so does Jacob. Each time we've dropped them off this week, he cries and says he wants to "go school too." I imagine pretty soon he'll be back to thoroughly enjoying his alone time with Mommy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Nathan's Dream Sport

We just discovered a sport that's been around since the early 1900s. It's called Parkour. Nathan already does this - though on a much lower level. When I first saw some YouTube videos of it, it reminded me of how Nathan has to jump off of every curb, swing on the shopping cart stalls in the parking lot, walk along small walls, and generally be just non stopping! Maybe someday he'll be jumping off of buildings! Yikes!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Brown Family Reunion

We just got back from a marvelous two week vacation/family reunion in Boston. We had a wonderful time as a family. I'll be posting more later!

Friday, June 20, 2014


The kids gave Daron a Captain America t-shirt (which they are hoping he'll actually wear!) and a superhero card for Father's Day. Naturally, that prompted a photo shoot outside. Then I put together a collage which will get framed for his office at work. We have some pretty super kids!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Go Tornadoes!

Daron has been coaching Nathan's tball team this season. I've been helping out, too, as Team Mom and secretary - sending out reminders, ordering uniforms, corralling kids in the dugout, giving high fives, opening water bottles, and cheering. 

Most of the boys had never played before and it's been fun to watch them improve. One of our little guys is autistic and even he has come a long ways from the first practice where he had zero interest to hitting and running around the bases and scoring runs. 

It's been such a joy to watch them become buddies. Though little boys that get too comfortable around each other start making gross noises and hitting each other for fun. Ahwell. 
We actually won two games in a row the last two nights! 

Nathan has started hitting harder and is hesitating less on where to throw the ball and chasing down players to tag them out! He's just adorable. 

And speaking of adorable, Jacob has been trying to get into the fun, too. 
Go Tornadoes!!!!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Baby Shower

I hosted a baby shower for a dear friend a short time ago. I can't take much credit for it. I merely provided a backyard, table, chairs, dishes, old suitcase, and a minimal amount of decor that we already have decorating the kids' bathroom. Kelsey and Andrea provided the cute paper decorations, food, games, goody bags, invitations, etc.

This was the first party we've held in the newly refurbished backyard. The weather was beautiful - not too hot, no bug yet - and the company was fabulous.

Andrea made a delicious lime and coconut drink. I kept singing the Muppets song about how you "put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up..."

The lady of the hour - sweet Nicole. We are really going to miss her! She and her husband just moved to Houston.