Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
The second video is longer and is of them singing my new favorite song, God of This City. It's one of the things that inspired me to get off my butt and start giving back to the community, but more on that in a minute.
So, needless to say, it was a WONDERFUL, worship filled day!! We ate with friends after the church service and didn't get home til about 10pm. It was a long day after leaving the house at 8:30am! We are going back to Heritage September 7th so I'll remind you when we get closer-if you'd like to come I know you will be blessed. The people of the church are so loving and really are doing amazing things in their community. A community that needs God is seeing Him and seeing Him work through Heritage. No doubt.
The Boys and I have helped with Meals on Wheels 3 times now with our 4th time coming up this Thursday. We love it! We make pictures to deliver with the meals and so one child takes the meal, one takes the milk and one takes the picture. It works out perfectly!! The Boys have really taken to our project and enjoy talking to the people and sharing their smiles. I am thinking of getting Logi's hair cut though. So many of the people think that he is a girl with his blond curls!! I don't mind correcting them, but it's getting Logan to be polite when they say "What a beautiful little girl" that is worrying me! Maybe we'll just wear a ball cap every time we make out rounds! Many of you have expressed concern for our safety and although I am still very careful and aware of our surroundings, we are just fine. I haven't felt threatened at all and have a magnet that I stick on my Mommymobile letting everyone know that we are delivering meals. Not that a rival gangster would be driving a minivan with Terrific Kid magnet on it, but you never know! :o)
So there is the update on project number one. Project number two has started off slowly. We are collecting children's clothes for the closet at Greer Community Ministries so kids can come pick out clothes to start school. I have had lots of people tell me that they have clothes for me so now I just have to get them! I''ll get Nadine's this week and I think Missy's too so next week at church I'll have 2 bunches, 3 counting mine! Let me know if you have clothes and I'll come get them from you or you can bring them to church or drop them off at my house. Whatever I can do, just let me know! I'm getting clothes through August 3rd. That will give them time to get the clothes sorted and distributed before school starts.
Also, my church is having their 2nd annual Back to School Bash Sunday, August 10th from 5-7pm at Century B Park (Kids Planet). We are collecting school supplies and are giving out free backpacks filled with what kids need to start school. So if you want to bring clothes AND school supplies...feel free!! We need pencils, glue sticks, wide ruled notebook paper and wide ruled 1 subject notebooks. There was a huge turnout for this event last year and we had backpacks left over, so this year we want more families to come!! There will be food and fun and it's all free! Let me know if you need more info or if you want to help and by george, you can help!!
The weather was a little iffy last week with the threat of rain, but we were able to hold our VBS at Lake Robinson without getting TOO wet! I have posted pictures on my FaceBook page so if you want to sign up and ask me to be your friend on there you can see them. Here are two of my favorite pictures from that week.
Here is Logan and Nancy...
...and the sugar high Brown Boys!
We had two birthday parties this weekend. Friday we went to Summer's party. She had a huge waterslide brought in so the Boys loved playing on that! Here is a picture of Garett...I think he caught the most air on it!
Saturday we had Camden's party at the pool!! I didn't have the camera, but I did get this video of Reece, Cody and Chaz diving and Summer, Lauren, Logi, Garett and Camden playing!
We had fun there and I got to hang out with the Moms while Rhett had all kinds of practices for Sunday. He did get to come for a little bit at the end and see the Boys swim and play in the pool. Thank you, Alison and Alan, for inviting us to come play and hang out with you!!
Last week we went off with Nadine, Katelyn and Luke. Look at this picture. Where do you think we went?
I love all the colors of the balls! Who of this group would be the least likely to win do you think? Yep, I would think it too, Logan. Guess who won..yep..Logan. Unbelievable! We had a super time and Nadine and I decided that we need to have a Girls Night Out and go bowling!! Wouldn't that be fun!!
Okay, well, the children are waking up and it's time for me to move on with my day, though I have lots more I could ramble about. I have loaded lots of pictures onto my FaceBook page, so again, if you'd like, add me as a friend and you can see them. It's free, easy and lots of fun!
Until next time, I'm Fondly Yours,
Queen of the Brown Clan (Irish or not!)
P.S. We have NOISY nest of birds in our fireplace. I just heard them and thought I'd share that with you!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
This is Stephanie, our new ball python. When Logan and I were talking about the name he said, "Like OUR Aunt Stephanie?". "Yes," I told him, "like our Aunt Stephanie" (you remember her...we worked together at the Marriott and now she works for Soby's). When I sent her a picture of her namesake she called me and said "Thank You, I think." It is not that she is like a sneaky snake, it's that we love her and her name starts with a S and sounds good with "the Snake" as in Stephanie the Snake! Aunt Stephanie said, "That's cool, kind of." I don't think she knows what to think about it, but she's the godmother to the snake so she better hurry on over and bond with her!!
Reece and Garett chose Stitch's name and I think it fits nicely...it goes well with "the snake".
Here are some more pictures we took.
It took me a while to touch them and a while longer to hold them, but I did it! I had a little anxiety when she curled around my arm and started squeezing, but she was just moving. They are both very docile and although they aren't cuddly, I think they will make wonderful pets for the Boys. They aren't allowed to get them out by themselves and I have told them that if they drop one of the snakes that they will be left in the house alone because I am leaving. I can hold it, that's not a problem, but if they get down and I'm not in control...that's when I'll freak. But I did hold both of them (and I can tell the difference between the two) and I have welcomed them into our family.
Call us and come by and see them! It'll be fun!
For now, I'm Fondly Yours,
Mother to Reece, Garett, Logan Harry, Chloe the Dog and Stephanie and Stitch the Snakes
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Here's Reece and Logan and some of our friends with Joy the elephant (or it may be Ladybird the elephant, I'm sorry, I don't know the difference!) After the zoo we had a picnic and then headed to Paula's to go swimming. Reece has perfected his flip off the diving board. Here he is doing it at Nadine's last week.
He has done that flip probably 50 times since last Monday!! I, of course, was a nervous wreck the first time he did it! Here is everyone at Paula's pool. We got to take Madison S. with us for the day, so it was fun to have another girl in the van!! She is a real trooper, putting up with the Brown Boys and all their ya-yaing all day long. We had fun with Katelyn and Luke and Madison L. and Keaton (it was their pool) and Tegan. This summer has been much busier than last summer when Harry was just a butter bean and we stayed in out of the heat most of the time!
Thursday we had biscuits for breakfast at Kids Planet. I love doing that. It's cooler and there aren't as many kids there earlier in the day. We met the Allings (actually we met 4 of the Allings: Missy, Brayden, Cade and Toby and Duston) and had a great time. Here is Cade in the bunny peek out and Harry in the swing...I have a picture of Garett and Logan in the same swing at the same age. If I get ambitious, I'll find all 3 picture and post them together one day. I'll have to search the archives!
Afterwards, we got to go visit Beba for a few minutes before she had to go to an appointment. The Boys' "cousins" were there-TJ and Meredith's 2 children/dogs, Rusty and Sadie. I'll have to get a picture of the Boys with them...they are all too cute together, if you can get them to be still!
Fridays are my new favorite day. Why, you ask? Because I get to have 5 Boys with me on Fridays (well, on Saturday and Sunday too!)! Rhett is working just 4 days a week and so our weekend starts on Thursday night!! Yea! We love having an extra day to be together and get things done so there's more time for fun on the real weekend!
Saturday Rhett and I had a date night! It's a wonderful surprise when you have FABULOUS friends that actually ASK if they can keep your children! ALL 4 of your children! AT THE SAME TIME!! That's what the Batemans did on Saturday. Yes, it took 3 cars to get everyone to dinner, but we SO appreciate the effort and time that they took to spend with our Boys. I love that they make our children mind and try to instill respectful behavior in our Boys. It's wonderful! When we got back to the house, Reece and Garett were playing wii with Greg, Logan was jumping on the best pillow ever with Kent and Harry was eating up attention from Debbie and "Uncle Steve" as Logan has named him! Look at this pillow! That pillow that Logan is jumping onto is gigantic! He was worn out and asleep before we eve hit 290!! He LOVES jumping on it! I know for a fact that Kent was worn out from so much playing!! Here is a picture of Steve helping Harry walk-we don't allow too much of that :o) and a picture of the Boys and the Batemans. They have become such great friends to all of us and I hope that I can raise my Brown Boys in the awesome way that Debbie and Steve have raised the Bateman Boys.
Sunday night we got to do something special! Our friend Carla (who is Missy Tucker's sister and Richie's sister in law) asked if Richie and Rhett wanted to get a group together and sing at the church her family recently joined. They said yes and so Steven Somers, Mark Sears, Kent, Carla, Richie and Rhett rehearsed just one time last week and sang Sunday night at Heritage Baptist Church near downtown Greenville. It was amazing! I SO wish I had taken my camera and taken pictures and video, but God was definitely present! I have NEVER felt my heart so full as I did that night with everyone worshiping so freely. The guy that ran the sound board for the church, Chris, sang "Friend of God" with the group and tore it up (as Rhett said :o) ). Greg was there running the slides and Ted and Chad came to support the band too. I think it always makes Rhett more comfortable when Ted's around :o). This church's purpose is to minister to the homeless that live nearby and they do it SO well. Missy told us about bible school that they held last week and how they fed between 2-300 children dinner Monday-Friday nights. The band ROCKED and everyone that was there was blessed. No doubt. There were a few supporters there from Freedom (around 15-I think), but next time I will invite more. The things this church is doing is amazing. They are living for God and blessing others in ways I have only hoped to do.
Being there Sunday night got me thinking. I have been helping the preschool kids (Freedom Kids) at church sponsor a food drive for Greer Community Ministries. Well, when I went to drop off the food that was brought this last Sunday, I saw a sign that talked about the "Clothes Closet". I met the Executive Director, Randy Kemp, and he showed me the "closet". After the food drive (which by the way, we are collecting peanut butter, canned tomatoes, canned pasta, beef stew and boxed macaroni and cheese, because that is what they are asking for), I am going to have a clothing drive for children's clothes so the parent's can go "school shopping" before school starts. I'm on a mission. I'll have more info on all this later. Also while I was there at Greer Community Ministries, I signed up to be a Meals on Wheels Volunteer. I had wanted to do this earlier, but called another county and was told that they needed more of a commitment, not substitutes, like I want to be for now. It's just hard with the Boys out of school to commit long term. SO...I met Linda, and she was more than eager for me to be a sub!! The Boys and I begin on Friday. I will let you know how it goes. I'm excited for the older Boys to be a part of this as they will be taking the food to the doors with me. It's time we gave more back as a family. Laying by the pool eating bon bons and playing at the park is fun, but I want to make a difference. I want my Boys to want to make a difference. So, here's a recap of the last paragraph:
1. When we go back to Heritage Baptist Church, come with us.
2. Bring peanut butter, canned tomatoes, canned pasta, beef stew and boxed macaroni and cheese to me at the Freedom Kids Table on Sunday (or send me money and I'll go shopping for you and take it to Greer Community Ministries!).
3. Start going through your children's clothes and save them for the Clothing Drive I will be having soon. They also desperately need men's smaller sized dress pants. If you have any of those, hold on to them, I'll take those to them too.
4. Think about how YOU can make a difference in your community. Let me know what you are doing to teach your children how to give back some of the blessings they receive everyday.
Here are my Boys. We went to have a family picture done last week and I took this while we were waiting. Everyone got to wear their favorite shirt so we do not match at all in the picture and we actually had a little bit of pattern overload, but I don't care. Garett won't always want to wear Hawaiian shirts so I wanted him to wear what he wanted now! This picture of Bug and I is one of my favorites! His smile is genuine and full and just like wearing his shirt, he won't always let me kiss him so I have to document it when I can!!
I named this post Hootie, Hootie and have gotten to the end and haven't even explained it. I've written so much, what's another line or 3 or 20?! 16 years ago I met Lynnette Roddy (she was Lynnette Smith at the time!) when we were roommates at Anderson College. One day, for some reason, she said Hootie, Hootie! It stuck. We use it as an exclamation when we are excited...about anything! Rhett talked about something during worship a couple of weeks ago and when everyone clapped, I hootie, hootied. We do something great at the park and hootie, hootie! It's great! Anyway, we go by the old Apalache Mill like 2o times a week and when we do, we go by the Apalache Lake Dam. Here is a picture of it.
Usually, there is water spilling all the way across, not just at the end like it is here. Maybe it's because we need rain, maybe they have it blocked on the other side, either way, it's low right now. But even though it's low, we still have to HOOTIE, HOOTIE! EVERY time we go by it. If the kids are asleep when we go by at night, Rhett and I hootie hootie quietly. If I'm on the phone, in the car by myself (a rare occurrence!) I take the phone away from my mouth and hootie hootie. We love to hootie hootie. I wanted to share that. I want my children to read this years from now and remember that one of our family traditions is to hootie hootie. I don't ever want them to loose their Hootie Ability. If we move away and don't see Apalache Lake Dam anymore, I still want them to have hootie hootie moments in life. Don't forget that Boys. Always remember to Hootie, Hootie! And pass it on to your children too, so you can tall them the story of how when you were little, you tried not to miss the Hootie Hootie times.
Okay, so since I've been blogging for 2 hours now. It's time to end. I know it's long today, but I won't apologize, because you can leave at any time!
Make it a GREAT DAY and remember to HOOTIE, HOOTIE when the notion hits you!!
Until Next Time, I'm Fondly Yours,
Queen of the Brown Hootie Hootiers!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Brad, Brady and Hannah
Our Pastor, Cliff, and his daughters Grace and Emily
Steve's Doughnut, Greg, Steve and Kent
This last picture isn't a Father, but one day he may be a Father! Garett took the camera for a while and went off to take his own pictures. Here is another picture of Kent...Garett loves closeups...and Kent! Every week Garett uses Kent and his brother Greg as jungle gyms. He loves to climb all over them and get piggy backs from them. Kent is home from USC for the summer and Greg just graduated and will be at Clemson in the fall. I don't know what Bug will do without them! Anyway, here is Garett's portrait of Kent.
Doughnuts for Dad was a success! I think the Dads all felt appreciated. There were alot there so that was good.
After church , Rhett wanted all of us to go to the movies so we did...even Harry. We went to see Kung Fu Panda. It was cute...except now the Boys think they can "Kung Fu" each other. Not so good. Harry did great...okay, that's stretching it...Harry did good and seemed to enjoy what he saw of the movie.
We had gone out to eat Saturday since we knew everything would be covered up on Sunday. Rhett chose Mimi's Cafe. We love that restaurant. Mike Glass introduced me to it a couple of years ago and I introduced Rhett to it in Atlanta in April. Everything is good there (I LOVE the fried pickles!) and the Boys eat well so it's a win/win situation!
All in all we had a good weekend. I hope that this year I appreciate Rhett more for everything, but most of all for being the "Working Dad" so I can be the "Stay At Home Mom" which I'm not really. He needs to get a second job just to keep my Mommymobile filled with gas---are these prices CRAZY or what?!?! Anywho, remember to thank your Dads and Dads of your Children for all that they do. I know they will appreciate it.
When I was little, I asked my Dad if I could eat sideburns. I don't know the reason why I asked that but I did... and I asked it alot! Daddy, thank you for your patience in my asking you that question over and over and over. It is a happy memory I share with you. I love you.
Until Next Time, I Am Fondly Yours,
Daughter of Larry and Wife of Rhett
Monday, June 16, 2008
...and here they are doing their Ric Flair impersonations...WOOOO!
They are like two peas in a pod! Lee has a granddaughter a little younger than Elena (I think she's a little younger-I may be mistaken)but she lives in NC, so Lee gets his "being silly" fix with Elena. Logan loves seeing Lee at the Hotel...Lee always gives him candy from Cindy's office...but for some reason Logi calls him "Mean Man". I can't remember why. It started last year, when Logan could hardly even talk, but we could understand "Mean Man"! It's always said with a smile and if we drive by the Hotel Logan will ask to go see "the Mean Man". Lee adds humor to any situation and I miss lunch with him and Chris in Cafe La Poo Poo.
Last, but certainly not least, was Chris. He came and brought Elena for Lee and his newest daughter, Natalie, for me (okay, for me AND Annie B). She was born at the end of April and I didn't get to hold her nearly enough! Here is Chris playing Inspector Gadget-Lee said that, not me-and his adorable Natalie. Chris has my old office (well, ONE of my old offices!), which is really little more than a closet. I loved that office! I had a lamp on my desk and never had the overhead light on. It of course has no windows, so I could work in there and be totally shut off from the world. There was a chair in there and so people (Stephanie, Kristy and Annie B) could escape to my office, close the door and vent. It was Vegas. What happened in Vegas, stayed in Vegas. Chris, I envy you for your office...and your precious Baby Girls! When Chris first started at the Marriott he worked at the Bellstand, or was it the Front Desk? Either way, it was out front. Mr. Nelker, my first GM, told us in staff meeting (ahhh, I don't miss those!!) that Chris was a professional football player...and Jeanne, naive little girl that I am, believed him. I loved Mr. Nelker...he could hit a fly or spider on the wall with a rubber band...and he would throw a box of kleenex out his office door into the hall if he heard you complaining...and if you had the hiccups, he'd put a dollar (or one time he handed me a $20) on the floor and tell you to pick it up and if you hiccuped again while you were holding it, you could keep the money. But I digress...point of the story, Chris was not a professional football player and I looked like an idiot-not the first time or the last time. I was sure at one point that Chris didn't like me, so now that he does like me (I think!) he reminds me that he once didn't. Chris was my go to guy. I'd call him on the phone and ask him to go get me the paper I printed off the printer...and he would. He's the greatest. I SO used my pregnancy (all four of them) to their fullest advantage with Chris. So, now that we both have multiple children, we trade Kid Stories! I love it! I get to hear all about having Baby Girls and he gets tidbits about having Boys!!
It was a super fun night and I loved getting together with everyone. Thank you again for planning it Stephanie. One day we'll have to plan a BIG get together and invite everyone from the Marriott...at least all the people we like, right JO?!? Here's our group picture. I need to frame it and put it on my counter...since my kitchen is now my office!
Since my CHOOSE JOY coffee cup is empty, it must be time to start the day. I'm off to wake my sleeping princes and get them ready to spend the day at Nadine's by the pool. I know, it's a rough life, but if I don't live it then who will?!
Until next time, I'm Fondly Yours,
Queen of the Quit and Return to the Marriott Scam!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Today we went to Kids Planet with our Wednesday Outing Group and had lots of fun! Here is a picture of everyone, well, of all the kids! We had Duston and Jenna spend the night so they got to go with us. It was a little scary to be outnumbered 6 kids to 1 me in the van, but we made it!
After that, we headed home for lunch with some girls, well, they aren't girls anymore, but anyway, I used to babysit them. Madison (here she is with her Mom, Melanie) is a junior at Charleston Southern University (she was in an earlier blog about her golf team's accomplishments). Amanda met us and played at Kids Planet with her charge for the day, Taylor (isn't she cute?!) and is a junior at Clemson. It's amazing to think that I helped these girls get ready for dance recitals and now they are grown women. I feel really experienced...not old, experienced! Alot that I learned about parenting I learned from helping to raise them. We had a great time and I'm so proud of both of them!
One last thing before I get ready to meet my Marriott friends for dinner. Did you know that honeysuckle is a weed?!? I did not! How in the world could it be classified as a weed? It's pretty, it smells great and tastes wonderful!! Here is a picture of our state butterfly, which Reecie tells me is an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, on our honeysuckle. I will not be cutting OUR honeysuckle down because it's not a weed to me!!
Make it a great rest of the week! I'll post again very soon, since Stephanie is bound and determined to be on my blah-blah-blog!!
Till then, I am Fondly Yours,
Queen of the Browns!!