Wednesday, December 26, 2012

This, That & the Other

What happens when your life is crazy busy and you finally get to sit down and look at your blog?

You post ...
... this, that & the other.

I do this a lot, don't I?

Well. Your gonna just love the crazy amount of time it takes you to scroll through these pictures ....

Seriously. Love.

 Asher, AKA: the smashinator, AshSmash, Smash is now a CRAWLER! He doesn't roll over (because he gets stuck) but ... the kid is on the move!

Piano lessons: Browning style. FaceTime with our wonderful new piano teacher Mary Kate. She is awesome, and I am fond of her because she's a satirical genius ... much like me. ;)

A little Christmas splash in our Sunroom. (ohhhh the joys of a Sunroom - so so so fun and COLD in the winter!)

An old chest given to us by family that we put in the Sunroom, which is also affectionately called the 'reading room'

Fireplace pretties ...

A different type of wreath this year! Mama loves . . . 

A little of our entryway - which includes an old picture of our home that was apparently moved from a different location 

Fireplace ... and a shortage of stockings. I made these many moons ago - and can not find anymore finials for holders and can't make more stockings (material long gone) Will have to get creative next year.
(my most excellent hubby got me a serger for Christmas that I am DYING to dig into)

This picture cracks me up. They are watching Russian cartoons on YouTube. Ummmmm. My girls are ALL into it and can't understand a word, and Max is like totally the cool kid who gets it!

Next few photos are from a recital just done. Mary Kate Zachary is an excellent teacher and we are SUPER grateful to be under her tutelage.

These next images are from a Christmas Cantata our church (Northwest Baptist Church of Port Orchard) just did.

The choir was EXCELLENT 
Phillip, myself and Isaac were in the play portion

Asher started solids! YAY!!!!!

 Justus is helping me make Christmas cookies here by banging candy canes to smithereens. 

And with that, the destruction of the candy cane, I hope you and yours had a very Merry Christmas!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012


What is a home? 

What makes the threshold inviting or the walls speak of memories? What reminds you of who is there and chronicles the history? What bespeaks of your beliefs and ideals?

Well ... a home is made up of the family within. A house is just a building of course, but the feeling that evokes from within that structure is the family. Who are they? What are they about? 

Oftentimes your first impressions of a family and what a home stands for is the 'feeling' you get from the first steps you take over the threshold. Is it one of joy? Is there a spirit of unity? 

First impressions are important.

This is why I love ... LOVE ... love having pictures of my family throughout my home. Now that I am setting up another house and placing my precious images throughout ... I am once again reminded of the importance of pictures. 


Often overlooked ... pictures. 

Of course pictures don't MAKE the home a home - but they can give the visitor a quick run down of your history - what's important to you - do you wear joy on your face? 

They evoke memories to the surface and remind you of whence you came. Pictures serve a far bigger purpose than just filling wall space, they help chronicle your family - and when time passes, they are an important piece to look back to with fondness. 

A dear friend of mine, Jenny Savage, just took some pictures of our family ... here are a few:

Pictured with us is my sister, Jessica's, family.

I wonder what sort of conclusions could be drawn about these two images? :)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

I found the above vinyl wording cluster online. I fell in LOVE. It might be bold ... but it is what we believe. I applied it in our dining and kitchen area. It serves as a reminder as to what we are to be about. During those particularly difficult moments I glance at this and am reminded ... 

This is what our home is made up of:

... and ...


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Them Brownings . . .

Them Brownings.

Always doing crazy things.

I hear that ... a lot. ;)

So. We aim to please. 

Add to our list one more decision. Some say crazy. We say 'bout time'.

We moved.

Yes. After being in a community longer than I care to admit, and plugging into just about every niche of it that we could - we moved. 

And fast.


My husband has been commuting from Seattle to our little town of Port Orchard every single day of the work week for the last 15 or so years. CRAZY people. THAT is crazy. It takes him on average FOUR hours in commute time per day.

Let me remind you. We have nine children. All of whom miss their Daddy. 

It was time to stop.

So ... Phillip and I being dreamers - we would often scan through house listings in Seattle, discuss options and envision a day where he walked through the door at 5pm. 

A house caught our eye. So we loaded up the kidlets and made the hour and  a half drive to the city to take a peek. We LOVED it. Things moved very quickly from that point. People move fast in the city! They want to know like ASAP what your decision is. So, we took a bit of time to pray and decided to move. In TWO WEEKS from that time.

Again. Crazy.

This is our home in Port Orchard. Ahhhh. It's a place of refuge. A haven. A place where I brought six babies home, and hosted many fun fellowships with brethren and family. It's jam packed full of memories and .... I miss it.

(PS - we are preparing this home to rent out. So please keep that in prayer as it is a weighty issue)

This is our new home! Yes, I said home. It is quickly becoming that. It boasts five bedrooms and more square footage than I'm used to. It has a fenced back yard and ... BONUS ... Top Pot donuts and Starbucks are right around the corner from us.

It is also turning 100 years old next year. Trust me ... it's beautifully quirky. Just like us.

(I keep hearing George Bailey from 'It's a Wonderful Life' complaining about his old drafty house)

As if moving was not enough, here is a photo listing of the other things that took place recently:

Puget Sound Buddy Walk 2012

A good friend and I being cheesy!

 Justus and Ivanna hanging out.

The Savage crew.
My friend. My comrade. My love. 
(and whoa ... I need to chill with the crazy face.)

Ellie and Chloe celebrated Birthdays:

Ellie turned the big SEVEN!
She is such a beautiful girl. She is currently finishing first grade and will be starting second grade by Christmas. She is crazy smart and loves to be rough and rumble with the boys.

These girls have my heart!
I went into labor with Chloe on Ellie's actual 2nd birthday. I gave birth to Chloe the very next day!

Chloe. Man alive this girl is funny! She always has something crazy going on. (like her mama?) She is also a mother hen, to Max's chagrin.

A NEW School for Max and Ivanna
Because of the move Max and Ivanna had to switch schools. Talk about nerve wracking. BUT ... I am confident that this is an awesome thing for them both. Their new class is phenomenal. Their new teacher is creative and inspired. They have great spirits when they come home and we have wonderful communication between the teacher. 

Very pleased and grateful.

We are awaiting to hear back from the EEU (experimental education unit) of the University of Washington (just minutes from our house) on if they will accept Justus into an EXCEPTIONAL program there.

Ivanna's first day of school. Cutie patootie ... I know!

Max's desk.

He loves puzzles!

Ivanna is checking it all out too!

A concerning grayish blue for Justus:

As many of you know, Justus has had open heart surgery when very young. He has a heart condition known as Tetrology of Fallot. (four complications in one)  He will likely need another surgery when a bit older and probably need a cath procedure prior to that. The reason? His pulmonary valve is small, it's called pulmonary stenosis. In short, he is not getting as much blood to his lungs.

I have noticed for awhile now that his hands and lips and toes are turning grayish blue. I struggle. I know that some of this will be the norm for him, but I also have to weigh all of the red flags and know when something is off. It's a balancing game and it's difficult at times.

These images are hard to see the blue/gray but I think you can see it. It is more prominent in person and I often will take his hands, or feet and rub them to get the blood flowing. No, his hands and feet are not simply cold. They are warm to touch. 

October was National Down syndrome Awareness month. 

'Be a Buddy'

Random picture of cuteness. Asher is growing so big. Already six months old and wearing 12 month clothing. He is so huggable and sweet.

Family Pictures 2012

Every year a good friend, Jenny Savage, takes our family pictures. This year we have been so so busy, but I was DETERMINED to get this done!
She did a great job!

This one is entitled 'GRAB A BABY'

My sister and I are VERY close! So, we got together for one shot. I love Jessica and Lucas and their little girl Rudi so very much. The kids adore them as well. Aren't they a gorgeous family?

Oh. And completely random:  
My boys are done with cowboys. (sad)
So ... as I pick through the ton of boxes, I will be getting rid of all their cowboy decor. There isn't a ton, but some. Let me know (if your local) if you are interested.

Some views I'll miss from our 'old' home in Port Orchard:

Them Brownings.

Onto the next adventure.