Monday, December 29, 2008


This past month we had found ourselves walking around the store Sportsman's Warehouse. My boys (husband included) absolutely love this store . . . I kinda like it too. Anyhow, while we were
nosing through their goods, Chloe spotted a stuffed animal. I took her over to see it. She was intrigued and so I rolled the cart closer. She didn't take that too well. She got a little nervous about being face to face with that horned animal. For reasons like this is why I love having a camera that fits in my diaper bag. I love being able to capture little moments like this. It was funny to see her expression change so rapidly.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Recent Recital

These snapshots are from a recent recital from earlier this month. Both boys had the opportunity to play in the foodcourt of our local mall. I was quite suprised to see how busy the mall was . . . but this afforded the boys the opportunity to play in front of a larger crowd as well as practice tuning out distractions. They were both a bit nervous - however, I was very proud of them.

I am very thankful for the gift of music that the Lord has allowed for our boys to involve themselves with. I get tearful everytime I watch them play, thinking all the while of how gracious God has truly been to my beautiful family. My cup runneth over . . .

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Lord . . . Let Me Not

Lord, I pray that I may never cease
To meditate upon your name
Upon your richness,
Your beauty,
Upon the power of your being,
Upon what I lack without your intercession.
Once these things are forgotten
Is when my works become toil
Is when my children become burdens
Is when the blessings become bothersome
Is when I become hopeless.
For you have given so much to me,
Your grace,
Your strength,
The power of your peace . . .
My countenance drops
when I truly realize how often this ceases from my mind
Allow these truths never to vanish.
Allow me never to forget
How rich I am through just your presence.
You are worthy of so much more.
Lord . . .
Let me not . . .
. . . Forget.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year . . .

Just a few random unedited pics of what our home looks like during Christmas. There are even some snapshots of our Christmas card attempts. We are currently enjoying falling snow, Christmas movies, warm meals, hot cocoa, and just soaking one another in. I love this time of year. I am very thankful that Phillip has been able to spend so much time with me and the kids. It truly has been sweet. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas indeed.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Thanksgiving is always a special time. We were able to host it again this year. We had family and some friends over for a wonderful meal, fellowship, ad picking through, a little football, and a lotta laughs - all of which we are so thankful to be able to have shared with everyone. Here are just a few snapshots from the occassion.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

One Small Pie . . . One BIG Mess

Preparing for Thanksgiving always promises much pie making for me. I love it. I love making, smelling, and eating pies. My favorite. However, Phillip says that I cook like an Italian. A whole lotta mess - to get a whole lotta taste. Well - these pictures are self explanatory. Phillip cracked up when he came home one afternoon and found my tummy covered in flour, a whirlwind of a kitchen and one tiny little pecan pie to show for it all. He decided to record it all via camera. I can't help it - that's just the way it happens. I am just thankful he left my flour dusted face out of the picture. It's bad enough that I am standing in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant with a mismatched outfit. Craziness.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Knock, Knock - No One is Home!

These are pictures of one of the very first practices our cast had in getting ready for the Christmas Musical that our church is holding this weekend. This was a funny practice as there was no set and so April pretended she was a door for the kids to practice knocking on. We have had a lot of fun as a family serving and preparing for this musical. Busy . . . yes . . . but very memorable. We are thankful for the opportunity and pray that much fruit would abound from the efforts of everyone that has been involved.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Miracle on Mile Hill

I copied this from my friend Alice's blog. This is a wonderful local story that just touches my heart. This A&W has been so embedded in the local happenings that everyone was so sad to see it go . . .

by Ron Boehme

I’m writing primarily today to people who live in Kitsap County in Washington state. In my hometown, a legendary restaurant could have met a sad and unjust end this week. But ten minutes ago I heard the news that a miracle had taken place and the legacy lives on.Here’s the amazing story.If you live in South Kitsap, you are familiar with Buck’s A&W. Started by Buck and Glennys Gehring in 1959, Bucks served as the only fast food restaurant in Port Orchard for nearly a decade. At that time
Buck Gehring was a local Port Orchard basketball legend having led South Kitsap to its only state high school championship in 1950 (to this day South’s only basketball championship). I remember driving my 1961 Chevy many times to Bucks A&W during the late sixties and early seventies, asking the “carhops” for a teen burger, fries, and the best root beer in America.In 1971 our South Kitsap basketball team made the final eight of the state tournament. On game days, Buck opened his restaurant for free meals to the team–starting a tradition of supporting youth and school sports that would last for decades. Rob Gehring, Buck’s oldest son, was a starting forward on our 1971 team. His brother Rick would go on to star in basketball from 1972-74. The Gehrings loved sports and kids–and they were always welcome at Buck’s A&W.Buck Gehring died an untimely death in 1982 and Buck’s A&W scrapped its carhops and moved a half mile away under Rick Gehring’s leadership where it has served the community ever since. If you walk into Buck’s A&W today, you see signed balls, jerseys, sports league placques and memorabilia adorning every wall and most of the ceilings. The elaborate displays give you the feel of a hometown diner that champions kids and families. Over the past thirty years, Buck’s has continued its tradition of supporting youth sports, sponsoring teams, giving out free meals, and earning the distinction of being Port Orchard’s hometown hang-out. And of course when you want the “shake of the month”–and in December it’s always Eggnog or Candy Cane–the only place to go is Buck’s A&W.But seven years ago things went sour. Buck’s was sued by a former employee for sexual harassment and though the restaurant was eventually exonerated, a complicated and unjust legal decision obligated Rick Gehring to pay up to one million dollars in exorbitant legal fees. Two weeks ago I met with Rick to see if there was anything the community could do to help. The need still stood at over $700,000. He was overwhelmed by the bills, and the years of fighting the complexities of the legal system. He thanked me for coming, but didn’t have faith to see his way out of this predicament. He said he had no alternative but to declare bankruptcy and close Buck’s A&W after forty-nine years of legendary service.
The message on the reader board soon read “Closing on Sunday. We appreciate your prayers.” This started a wave of interested press and townsfolk stepping up to help. On Saturday, I drove into the restaurant parking lot where hundreds of people were lining up for their last burgers and tearfully saying goodbye to Port Orchard’s greatest family-oriented restaurant. Cameras flashed, reunions took place in every square foot of seating area, the mayor read a proclamation, and the Gehring family basked in the tearful glow of a community’s corporate thank-you.The scene continued on Sunday, and both days I met with Rick and the Gehring family and a number of local business people to see if something could be done to save Buck’s A&W. On Saturday I handed Rick a check from Youth With A Mission and while I was standing there a local businessman, Steve Krecker, handed him another. Steve told me “I’m not a religious guy, but I just told Rick Gehring that God is doing something here!” Steve didn’t know that I’d e-mailed twenty five churches the night before asking them to pray for Buck’s A&W–that God would work a miracle and allow it to survive. Many people had already given sacrificially and more were prepared to step up to the plate if necessary.On Sunday night at 8 pm. Buck’s A&W in Port Orchard, Washington closed its doors–seemingly for good. Behind the scenes, a deal was being painstakingly negotiated. These agonizing negotiations had been taking place for years and had been getting nowhere. Monday a few of us met again with the Gehrings and close friends. There was still no deal–and we were ready to do a “full court press” in the South Kitsap community to raise the funds to save Bucks A&W.But then came the call ten minutes ago. Rick Gehring told me with a relieved and grateful voice that the settlement had been reached at $230,000–that the family had talked and prayed–and the money had been provided from a number of sources! I practically wept with joy when I heard the news. Seven years of unjust pressure and abuse had just been swept away. Buck’s A&W would be reopened to continue serving the families of South Kitsap. I’m calling it the Miracle on Mile Hill. All along this situation had reminded me of George Bailey and his building and loan business in the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life. In that film, George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, sacrificially serves his small town of Bedford Falls, experiences injustice, contemplates suicide, then is rescued by Clarence the angel who convinces him he’s had a “wonderful life” that impacted many people. The movie ends with the entire community bailing out George & his savings and loan through their generous and personal giving.The parallel was clear. In our case George Bailey was Rick Gehring, the building and loan was Buck’s A&W, and we were the people of Bedford Falls i.e. Port Orchard that Buck’s had served for nearly five decades. Last week, as it looked like it was all going down, the community rose up and prayed; They came down to the business and gave it its four largest revenue days in history; They gave money and support to the Gehrings; Then God cleared the skies and brought closure.Buck’s A&W will re-open on Thursday, December 18. The legacy will continue. A miracle on Mile Hill has taken place.I want to thank all of you who prayed, gave to this great cause, and believed that God would work a miracle.He did. Buck’s A&W can continue its “Wonderful Legacy” that now includes a miracle.Merry Christmas.
P.S. If there was a “Clarence” involved in this deliverance, Lord, please be sure to give him his wings. Praise be to your glorious Name!

Tag I'm It . . .

1. I Saviour's servant, my husband's wife, and my children's mom.

2. I be known for striving to glorify Christ in raising strong godly children.

3. I HAVE...many faults.

4. I KEEP...every child's first birthday cards.

5. I WISH I a marathon.

6. I legs being hairy.

7. I FEAR...failure - ascribe that to whatever role I am currently fulfilling.

8. I HEAR...Phillip call me "Chari" and I know he loves me.

9. I DON'T THINK...I will ever regret my life as it is - a stay at home mommy with many blessings abounding.

10. I REGRET...many things I have said or done in my past.

11. I LOVE...leading someone to Christ and then seeing them grow spiritually.

12. I AM NOT...someone who always needs to be around others. I often enjoy puttering around a quiet home.

13. I DANCE...when Phillip is away. My little girls love to dance with me as we just act silly in our living room.

14. I SING...when no one else can hear me.

15. I NEVER...go to bed with dirty feet.

16. I RARELY...use babysitters.

17. I CRY WHEN I WATCH..."It's a Wonderful Life." (the best movie ever)

18. I AM NOT on top of things as some may think.

19. I HATE THAT...some have false perceptions of me.

20. I'M CONFUSED ABOUT...Christians who have no desire to truly be a witness to those who need Christ, yet sit in judgement and display no charity.

21. I get over this cold.

22. I SHOULD...spray my bathroom ceiling with bleach today.

I tag Alice and Amanda H. (if you both haven't done these yet)!

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's A . . .

. . . Boy!
We are very excited to announce that we will be expecting to deliver little
Justus Theodore Browning in early May of 2009!
Justus is a name found in scripture and means "upright."
Theodore is for my hardworking grandfather who fought in WWII, helped to lay the Alaskan pipeline, and owned a gas station. He was a great man.
We praise the Lord for His goodness to our family.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


It's time for all of you to guess what we are going to have: boy or girl (just in case you needed clarification) ;-) I am having an ultrasound this coming Monday - and thought it would be fun to see what everyone else thinks.
The prize: a nice . . . big . . . warm . . . Congratulations!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Our Prayers for The Hand Family

I would just like to encourage you to pray for a very dear family that is so close to our hearts. The Hands (The Hands Trust in Him [blog]) are enduring something that is very difficult. Jason had to leave last night on a 7 month deployment to Africa. (Special Operations) He left behind my sweet friend, Amanda and her two children Adah, and Jadon. Jason will be in a very dangerous land. Please pray for his safe arrival home. Please pray for Amanda to have strength and peace. Please pray for the children as they miss their Daddy. I would also encourage you to stop by her blog and post a sweet comment to help uplift her spirit.
I love you Amanda! Give the kiddos hugs and more hugs from all of us here in the Browning household!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Butterflies In My Tummy

Just a quick post to relay something wonderful and fun . . . I felt baby move today! I am 18 weeks today - this is a little early for me to feel the tiny movements. I was sitting in church this morning and felt what I thought was a kick. I held my breath and sat really still - to see if perhaps it was just a muscle spasm or something. Then it happened again, and again, and again! It is so amazing to feel those little movements. It is absolutely my most favorite part of being with child. With each new pregnancy the ability to feel your little wee one never ceases to amaze me. I just love it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wanna Be Mama

Elisabeth is most assuredly the motherly type. She loves babies. She often asks the mothers of infants at church if she can hold their sweet little bundles. She loves to coo back into their faces and snuggle with them. Here she is loving on baby Malachi. I love it. I love that she has that desire that God has given her to nurture. I know that if God allows her to be a mother, she will make a wonderful one. This makes me excited to see how she reacts to our little one due in May. I think she will be tickled pink to be able to hold "her baby." My little Ellie girl is such a sweet and loving child. I praise the Lord for the gift He has given to us in her. She brings us much joy.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Phillip!

Happy Birthday to my love! I won't mention his age, I'll just say he is one year sweeter! Phillip, you are an incredible husband and father. I truly admire you for your love of Christ and your desire to serve Him. You inspire many to do the same. You are known for your joy and easygoing attitude. You desire to invest in others and make sure needs are being met. You are also a very funny person and often make me giggle. You love to preach the Word of God. You are my best friend. I love you and am so very proud of the man that you are.
Happy Birthday!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

One Whole Day

Well, at least about five hours or so. That was the amount of time I spent alone with the Lord on Monday. Yep, alone with God. Phillip and I have a bible study group that we meet with once in awhile and study some great biblical truths along with. There is a book that we have used as a guide. This book has shed much light on my Christian walk. In this particular chapter that we were studying a suggestion was made to spend a day with God - alone. A whole day . . . hmmm. I read this and immediately thought "Well, nice ideal - but not very realistic." Who has a whole day to sit and read the bible and pray??? Who could really do that???? In the discussion time I mentioned this out loud. My husband just looked at me squarely, and in front of everyone said it's going to happen, what day works for you?
Well, Monday was the day I picked. I went into it thinking what is going to happen? I just sit there and talk to God and read His word, and . . . that's it? No babies to change, no noses to wipe, no distractions whatsoever? I think that I have been a mother so long and have become so used to the distractions that my mind is almost ADD in nature. I constantly am bouncing around from one task to another, or one thought to another - that to sit and focus on one thing, all day, is a crazy notion.
I didn't know I needed it, but am thankful that my husband did.
I prayed fervently for my children, my husband, myself, my friends, and family. I uttered prayers of thanksgiving and concentrated on some unreconciled sin. I read about joy, and meditated on the word like I haven't in a long time. I looked out at my surroundings and praised the Lord for His creation.
I felt peace.
I felt close with God.
I felt joy.
I came home refreshed. Truly refreshed.
I would urge you to consider getting alone with God and spending time with Him. If we can find the time to do the daily wants/needs/chores/etc. in our life, how much the more to put Christ first and meditate upon just him.
It was just what I needed. . .
. . . and Phillip knew it.
I love that man!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


There are many things I can list that would make me smile with gratitude, here are just a few:
1. My Salvation
2. My husband's longsuffering and considerate, passionate love
3. My children - for each different personality within them
4. The hand of God on our family
5. Our wonderful family and friends who seem to always be there when needed
6. My home
7. Razor blades - I know it seems silly - I just CANNOT STAND hairy legs
8. Peppermint Mocha Twists at Starbuck's (hint, hint to those who love me)
9. My computer
10. Disinfectant Wipes - whoever thought these up needs an award
11. Cannot forget my dishwasher, and washer and dryer - that's a no brainer
12. Quiet times - Yes, I do have these - late, late, late at night
13. My daughter's butterfly kisses
14. Chloe's outreached hands
15. A quick meal idea
16. A snow day
17. A good sale
18. My steam mop
19. For Isaac putting away his clothes
20. For a movie night with the fam aka: floor parties
21. For the things that make me cry, but help me grow
Really for everything and anything that the Lord allows in my life. For the bible tells us to give thanks for it all. For in it all we can grow, become stronger. My family is richly blessed even through trials.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Little Helper

Here are a couple of snapshots of Chloe helping me with the dishes. She was being extra cute with her smiles and goofiness. I love that whenever she sees a camera she automatically puts on a smile and her face lights up. She reminds me alot of Isaac when he was her age. Same facial expressions, etc. Ohhhhh . . . if only I could be this excited to do my dishes!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Did I Ever Post These???

I don't think I did. Hmmm . . . that is the way my brain has been working lately. Well, these are from awhile back. Amanda made the shirts and skirts. I thought the girls were just beautiful in their garb. The shirt no longer fits Chlobug. She is such a chunk. The first picture is just a cute one of Chloe peeking over the table when she first learned to scoot around furniture. BTW - Did you read Jenny S.'s post about Malachi having an allergic reaction to milk? Well, we did - and the next day Chloe spilled her milk bottle on her forehead - and guess what happened??!!! Her head got a big red welp on it. We stopped the milk right away and noticed that she is like a new baby! Not so fussy, no more runny nose and her eyes don't have big black circles under them. We give her rice milk now. I just wanted to thank Jenny for her post. It was a BLESSING and a real help to our family. Enjoy the pics!