...Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Ruth 1:16 This is the journey of our lives...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Braxtyn' s American Doll

When I was in New York, last December, my friend Amy and I bought Braxtyn and Caroline, twin American Doll's at the store in Manhattan. I was so excited to give it to her, but she hasn't been ready for it until now! We gave it to her on her birthday and she just loves her. Her name is Elizabeth, after her friend in North Carolina, Caroline Elizabeth Roberts. Caroline has one named Reese. She was so cute with her. Here are some pictures..

Good Morning Arizona!

Daniel and I went on Good Morning Az this morning. Thankfully it was early, and Saturday, before most the people we know get up and watch TV. Unfortunately Tivo has made it difficult to hide. We knew the moment my mom asked us to model with them for National day of the Cowboy, it would be cheesy! It was an experience and after watching ourselves, if we ever did it again, we would change a few things! First they sent us clothes to wear we had never tried on before, thankfully my mom got them a day early and ironed and took some of them up! The clothes were all donated by Western wear sponsors and the good thing is we got to keep it all. Daniel and I ended up getting about $1200.00 worth of clothing, boots and jewelry. That was exciting! We returned a couple of things at the local western wear store for better things, like a terrible buffalo head bolo tie (yes, I said bolo tie) for a couple shirts and some jeans for Daniel, that fit. It was funny because we walked into the studio and they didn't tell us what to do until 2 minutes before going on, so the uncomfortable looks on our faces was not good acting, it was nerve racking! It was an experience...and one that was fun to share with my parents and their friend Jana! No, I will not invite you over to watch it on our Tivo...someone accidentally deleted it!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just a quick Graham funny

Graham: mommy, I'm gonna be so big when I grow up

Brooke: Yes you are!

Graham: I'm gonna be bigger than Derek (Roberts, he's very tall)

Brooke: You think so?

Graham: I'm gonna be so big the Hulk will call me momma!

Brooke: LOL!

Home Schooling

This post is for Heidi:)

I am starting Noah on the Abeka level K curriculum and I really like it. Its a Little slow for him because we did kindergarten last year unofficially. But its great to really drive home the basics and gives him a lot of confidence.
I ordered the level K kindergarten pack but not the Teacher guide. Its so easy to follow you don't need to spend the other $200 on teachers guides. I'm sure as we get into the next grade levels we'll want to.

Letters and Sounds K- has an assortment of coloring, multiple choice and fill in the dots to answer questions. They can actually work on their own which is a good thing, because a lot of homeschooling kids get so dependent on mom helping them, they can't work alone.

Writing with phonics is great. I love how Abeka teaches them to write, using the basement, upstairs and attic to teach them how far to draw their lines when writing a letter. (ie. i - would only be in the upstairs and the dot is in the attic space a j - is in all three spaces)

Kindergarten writing tablet - this one is kinda redundant. We don't use it much, only when he needs extra writing practice. I've been incorporating homework he can do on his own time with this one.

They also include quite a few Small learn to read books that go from I learn to read, I do read, and I read well. Noah is liking the stories and moving through them quickly. They have a Word Blend Book that just focus's on vowels. All good stuff!

Numbers Skills - we did Singapore math last year, so this is really a review for him. But its very colorful and incorporates learning money and telling time with every math lesson. So I really like how its all put together. This is his favorite book.

Numbers writing tablet - a practice book for writing numbers and seeing numbers written in patterns to learn to count by 2,5,10's ect.

I purchased separately - God's world
Its a science book. It's a great beginner book about the 5 senses, the weather, the seasons, animals, seeds, and ocean. it incorporates God's plan in all these things and how they apply to us. Very simply stated so Graham is enjoying it as well.

Art Projects - I love this one. They are already printed and ready to go art projects. hardly any planning required. he can pick the project he wants to do and do it independently for the most part. They don't require a lot of extra art supplies and are very colorful.

The only thing is we might be done a little early this year. So I may add some Singapore math back in just to keep him busy. We will do the second year kindergarten math they have.
Overall I'm pretty happy with the ease of it and how he enjoys it.

My bible curriculum is my own Right now, but I will probably order Stick Figuring Through the Bible http://www.grapevinestudies.com/to start in August. Its artsy and fun, Graham can do it too.

Hope this helps!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Braxtyn turned two July 21st

Uncle Josh look'in cool

A bridesmaid dress is useful again!
Dress #2

GG and her grand kids

Party Dress #1

Weekend Away...finally

We have been trying to get away for about two months now, and finally we did it. We were going to go camping, but due to Daniel's schedule we decided to take the easier route and get some rooms along the way. We started in Sedona and stayed at the Kokepelli Suites, ate at the Cowboy Club (Grammy's favorite restaurant) and then hiked a trail with some old ruins and a beautiful stream. We then traveled through Flagstaff to Happy Jack Lodge. It was fun and tiring too! The kids had a great time, we came home more tired than when we left, but isn't that how its supposed to be?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Were you born in a barn?

Graham has been having issues with using his manners and being very demanding. So here is our conversation today:

Graham: (in a monster voice) Gimme a drink, I'm thirsty!

Brooke: If you aren't going to use manners and be demanding you can go drink out of the horse water, its like you were born in a barn or something!

Noah: Jesus was born in a barn and he had good manners.

Well, now I am reminded, Jesus was the exception for absolutely everything!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Farm girls don't need bathtubs!

This week has been one of T-R-O-U-B-L-E, but spelled BRAXTYN! She had this infatuation with toilets and sinks. Last week her Swimming Dora doll was found bathing in the toilet and this week it was all six of her ponies! She will repeat back to you how gross it is and that its sooo yucky, and then look in the toilet and smile. ARGHHH! I have unclogged the toilet finding cars, sticks and candy. It is so frustrating! So she has again found another way to play with water in the house and this time it was a bit more sanitary. The pictures speak for themselves, she got in on her own and turned on the water full blast. She was fully clothed at the time!

Family Updates and pics


A few things happening here..some funny and some that leaving me wondering...What to do!
Sticking out her tongue is the new Braxtyn trick. she gets in trouble for it, so now she puts her finger over her tongue while its stuck out and then puts on the most innocent of smiles afterwards.

I thought with two boys the hitting and pushing would be at its worst, but now I'm finding the Graham and Braxtyn dynamic is worse! He cries more from her hitting him than Noah! She mostly does it for the reaction, and the power:)
Noah and I have started Kindergarten this month. It gives me more leniency for breaks and I think it will be fun for him to finish school in the spring when he can play outside more. We are doing Abeka and its so easy right now, but we will keep going, it gives him confidence and reinforces his writing skills. Yesterday he found a card from grandma Sweetie, so he wanted to make her one. He did it on his own and it was the cutest picture of them both and he wrote Sweetie like this : 2Wete - the two is supposed to be an S. He learned to write 2's this week and has been stuck on them. It was so cute!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The 100 meter

This was writien by Heather Jamison, she is the missionary who has taken care of Jonah, our little guy in Kenya. I read this and was encourged.

Dear friends,

I’ll admit it. I’m not going to pretend. The mirror is no longer my friend. What once offered itself as a reminder of youth, promise and potential has turned into a daunting reflection of bygone years, struggles and service. I looked at it again this morning . . . and cringed. Welcome to being a woman. The lines may appear light and small underneath a pound, or two – or ten, of make-up (am I right, ladies? We DO try) --- but I still see them . . . each one carved out for its own reason . . . its own worry ---- each child’s illness that was nursed, every bag of groceries chosen and carried, every diaper changed, every relationship choice of your child considered with concern, each college application sent in . . . every desire of the heart put on hold, yet once again, for the more pressing need of the moment.

Time flies amidst the strains, and – don’t misunderstand me --- also the joys, of motherhood and of being a wife. Literally.
It flies. It does. I saw it. All 53.78 seconds – last night.
Her name is Dara. Her daughter’s name is Tessa. I tell you that because no woman is known as only herself after having given birth. Of course in announcing her attempt at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials for the 100-meter freestyle, NBC did a short video special on Dara, and Tessa, due the unique quality of her Olympic bid.
It wasn’t Dara’s first time to attempt to go to the Olympics. No, she’s gone to the trials four times before and made it every time. Her wall – or closet – or fireplace mantel already holds a colorful bouquet of medals. She’s been a steady figure in women’s swimming over the years.
What made this attempt last night so special was the fact that Dara would be considered by most, respectfully speaking, past her time. At 41 years old, Dara’s bare feet stepped one after the other onto the blocks as the oldest swimmer ever to attempt an Olympic bid. Her stated goal had been simply to make the team. In the 100-meter freestyle, the swimmers only need to finish roughly in the top 6 places of the final race in order to do that. This would secure them a spot on the relay team and a plane ticket to Beijing. Out of the 8 swimmers, Dara had a decent chance of making that goal.
But we ---- we women who watched her – at least I did, hoped for much, much more. Who wanted to see Dara lumber into the finish line in fifth place? Or even sixth? Just to get on the team? I didn’t. No, I locked my eyes on Dara in hopes that she would beat the entire field of swimmers – every last youthful one of them.
Her chances weren’t good to do so, actually, and I knew that. The 100-meter freestyle isn’t Dara’s specialty, by her own admission. It’s a lengthier sprint than the 50-meter, which is her passion, and in that extended lap of the 100-meters – there is time for the effects of aging to atrophy her speed.
But this is the Olympics.Or, at least, the Olympic trials.And as we all know from past experiences, that changes things.
So I nestled, hopeful, into my couch to watch the race with my husband nearby, mentioning to him as he walked in the room that one of the swimmers in this final is over forty years old. He nodded, his interest peaked. She had already made it down the first lap in good speed but the announcers then began to focus on the younger swimmers at that time – the girls in their early 20’s – who, as they said, had a better chance at finishing out the race strong.
But my eyes never left lane five: the lane where Dara Torres swam with all of her might.‘Swim, Dara, swim’ --- my heart pled as my hands began to clap for her.I saw my husband lean forward as I began to cheer her all the more.“She’s fading,” he said, concerned.“Oh no, she’s not,” I replied, determined to will her in, even though she had dropped back a bit.
But then Dara stayed steady down the backstretch awhile more after which something invisible began to propel her and she picked up speed. She gained on the other swimmers, some young enough to be her own biological children. She flew with all she had toward the finish and stretched out with the strength within her to reach the wall . . . FIRST.
The crowd roared. Tessa cheered. The announcers didn’t quite know what to say. Dara herself looked a bit surprised and she said later that age had dulled her eyesight so much that it took her some time to even focus on the scoreboard to see that she had won.
I sat there, stunned. . . clapping . . . tears threatening to come.She did it. She did it!Forty-one year old Dara Torres did it.Not only did she reach her goal of making her fifth Olympic team . . . but she did it by leaving the rest of the swimmers in the wake of her amazing dream.
After having competed already in two rounds of preliminary swims the day before, she later told reporters that she felt “physically whipped” prior to this final. She didn’t think she could win on her body alone, so she made the focus of her strength come from her “heart and soul.”
Take that - you mirror, mirror on my wall. Take that, I say, to every wrinkle taunting me of the aging call. Because there is a bit of Dara tucked away in every one of us all. And when our time has been given to others in such a way that God has ordained . . . and we wake up years later wondering if we might ever have the chance again to follow our own dreams . . . I know I’ll remember lane five. And Dara.
But not only that, I’ll remember verse five as well. And

It’s the fifth verse in a Psalm written about a God who knows no limits with time.David writes,
“Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities,Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion (5) Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” (psalm 103)Heart. And soul.Renewed through the redeeming power of Jesus Christ.
We may never compete in the Olympics – sure, but this truth can propel us through the race of our life. No matter how much time has already gone by.
See you in Beijing.
Heather Jamison

A very busy week..

This week we had plans just about every day and although my personality loves it, I'm ready for slow down. Graham on the other hand, does not do well with busy schedules, he had such a hard time this week adjusting to all the hectic changes. At one point, after a day of emotional outburst, he said, "mom, when I say bad words, I just say them quiet under my breath and then no one can hear me". We had a long talk about how that doesn't work with God, but I really wanted to say, "ME TOO"! I think he just meant words like shut up and stupid:) The first three days of the week we had Tate Brown staying with us to watch the kids while I traveled up and back each night to the Prescott rodeo. I took each of the boys and Tate on different nights to give them a chance to see the excitement of the rodeo and hang out with mom by themselves. It was a great time and Arlo and I had fun riding, even in the knee deep muddy arena!
Graham was photographed by the Prescott paper, asked to rope with the trick ropers and adored by all the girls. He was so happy and kept telling me so. Noah, enjoyed the attention too,but was mainly there for the kettle corn and cotton candy. Braxtyn, stayed the evenings with daddy and one night with grandma. We spent the fourth of July with Darin and Jodi and family, it was a great time. Went to see Wall-e, not a recommended movie for little ones. It was so boring for us. SO, now we are spending the week at home trying to catch up and clean up! What a great time though!