Brownie Updates

Brownie Updates
this is the life

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pre-Christmas & Christmas

One fun kick-off to the Christmas season is attending my sister-in-law Amanda's orchestra concert. It was really good music as always and fun to be with family. We hit up Village Inn after and it is just fun to hang out.

Before leaving town I headed up to This is the place state park with my cousins Katie and Melissa. Melissa also had her family with her! It was a snowy night, perfect for enjoying an old fashioned Christmas.

Santa was there.

We did some crafts, dancing, and just enjoyed activities that the pioneers would have participated in.

We had a picnic in the back of the car before heading in, that was pretty awesome.

I am also including my last two lists of things I am grateful for. So this may be the longest post EVER!

10 Foods I am Grateful For:
  1. Simply Made Orange Juice
  2. Fiber One Granola Bars
  3. Carrots, my veggie of choice
  4. guacamole
  5. chocolate chip cookies
  6. quesadillas
  7. Diet cherry pepsi, this so should not be on my list
  8. water
  9. apples
  10. home made tacos...yum, my favorite

Dan, Nancy, and I traveled home together. The weather was amazing because apparently it forgot how to snow. It is always so fun to be home.

Christmas Eve we had a Brown Family Christmas Party at the church. It was PERFECT! There was enough room for us to all hang out in one place. All of my Dad's siblings attended and almost everyone made it. A rare treat. It was super nice that we did not have to travel another day after coming from Utah. My cousin Cody brought his sound system so music was playing, there was way too much food, good company, games, and the annual gift exchange.

My Dad his siblings and their spouses, well and his mom.

Our gift exchange is white elephant and it can be a book, game, movie, or cd. Very fun!

Dan and my cousin Cody and his wife Jen.

Me and Anthony (or some people refer to him as Muhammad or Brigham)

Ann, the exchange student from China staying with Ben and Katie. She is awesome by the way.

Olivia getting some down time with her mom.

Playing Mexican Train. (Janice and Olivia)

Some happy boys!?!?!?!?

I liked that Christmas was on Sunday. We don't have any traditions that really help you think about Christ on Christmas day so it was a great kick-off to Christmas Day.

We headed to church in the morning before doing gifts, the nice thing about no little kids the gifts could wait. Sisters!

Me and two crazy boys. Sorry Aaron and Anthony I used the picture I looked good in:-P

Me and my Mom

Some other Highlights:
  • seeing so many friends in Oroville. It seemed like everyone was home and I LOVED seeing so many people I don't see very often.
  • Getting to spend Christmas with Grandma Brown
  • Playing games all day on Christmas, I mean all day (I also dominated, just saying)
  • Sleeping in the trailer my parents bought it made the trip so much nicer
  • My niece can now say my full name in October I was just Nell, now I am LaNell
  • Seeing Olivia LOVE the trike I got her. It is pink just like my bike!
  • My new quesadilla maker.

Cheese, spinach, mushroom, and avocado quesadilla...delicious.

10 Things About the Gospel I am Grateful For:

  1. Eternal Families
  2. Temples
  3. Modern Day Prophets
  4. Visiting Teaching
  5. Relief Society
  6. The Sacrament
  7. The Book of Mormon and all scripture
  8. Forgiveness
  9. The Savior, his atonement, perfect example, love
  10. HOPE...the gospel is a beautiful message of love and hope. There is so much to hope for and I love that about the gospel. It is also miraculous, but it offers so much hope.

Christmas came and went so fast. Now I have a few more days to sleep, coach basketball, get my house in order, before heading back to work.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Modern Inventions

  1. Cell Phones
  2. Computers
  3. Bikes
  4. Printing Press
  5. Gym equipment
  6. basketball
  7. Candles that smell good
  8. stove
  9. furnace/air conditioner
  10. water heater

10 Places on Earth I am Grateful for:

  1. The Temple
  2. My Home
  3. My Parents Home
  4. The top of Mt Timpanogos
  5. The Gym
  6. Jana's house, that it is so close and there is always food and usually good company
  7. Oroville
  8. My office with its shower, very important I use that shower all the time
  9. Taiwan-it changed who I am today
  10. My Aunt Nancy's home, my home away from home, I know I am welcome anytime

Monday, December 19, 2011

Today I am grateful for....

  1. The opportunity to take the sacrament
  2. Family both near and far
  3. friends
  4. My Sunday walks, even when it is FREEZING!
  5. Church music
  6. A day of rest
  7. That it is the official start of Christmas break
  8. Missionary farewells, I attended one this morning of a former student, talk about making me feel old.
  9. My job and the friends I have made with the adults I work with, the opportunity to get to know so many amazing families, and for students who make me feel like I made a difference in their lives.
  10. The Savior, his birth, life and death. The opportunity to reflect on this every Sunday but especially at this time of year.

Friday, December 16, 2011


10 Things about nature I am grateful for:
  1. Fall, I love the colors
  2. When you wake up and everything is covered in snow and it is so quiet
  3. The smell
  4. The ocean
  5. Pink blossoms in the spring
  6. Tulips
  7. Waterfalls
  8. Redwood trees
  9. Animals, seeing them in their natural habitat
  10. Roses in full bloom when they smell so great

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Living and Dead

10 Living People I am Grateful For:
  1. My Parents, Siblings, and Sister in-laws
  2. Oroville 1st Ward. I am so grateful for where I grew up. There are so many people in Oroville that have had a huge impact on my life. I could never name them all because there are so many of them. Mostly I am grateful they showed me how to be a true disciple of Christ and how to live the gospel to the fullest. Now if I could only be more like them.
  3. My High School Friends, I seriously have the best friends from high school. I love them all. I could not imagine not having them as my friends. I love that I have life long friends from that time period of my life. People that just know me and get me. They are forgiving of all my weaknesses and quirks and like me anyways.
  4. My extended family, especially my parents sisters, well and Lou who I happen to have so much in common with (coaching, teaching, biking, hiking). But all my extended family is great! I might add that I have great cousins as well. I have loved living in Utah just for the opportunity to get to know my extended family better. I am lucky enough to be roommates with one of my cousins, Katie. One of the easiest people to live with ever.
  5. My mission president and his wife. That would be one crazy calling. I am so grateful for their example and the love they showed me while I was serving the Lord.
  6. Sariah, my mission buddy and post mission roommate. We don't talk as often as we should but we can catch up instantly. There was a time period when I believe I saw her everyday for an entire year.
  7. President Thomas S. Monson, so grateful there is a prophet on the earth to lead and guide. The first presidency and quorum of the 12 apostles are all pretty amazing men.
  8. Amber, my partner in all things crazy. It is nice to have a friend who loves to hike and bike and snowshoe as much as me. And someone who is willing to do pretty much anything that is physically active. And she has to listen to me the entire time. I talk way to much when I hike and bike.
  9. My Grandma Brown. I just think the world of my grandma. She is an example to me in so many things. I really think she is so inspiring.
  10. My co-workers. I love the people I work with. They make me laugh, they seem like they genuinely care. I love that they are all good people and all trying really hard to be good teachers as well.
10 Dead People I am Grateful For:
  1. My Mom's parents. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to get to know my grandpa Webb a little better before he passed away. I just think he is such a great example of living the gospel your whole life. I think my grandma was similar I just wish I knew her better.
  2. Joseph Smith. The restored gospel is on the earth today because of him and his sacrifices with others, but I am very grateful for him as well as the others that sacrificed so that I could be a member of the church today.
  3. Both of my Dad's grandma's. I don't know a lot about them but they were strong women. Who raised families in the midst of trials and afflictions. I wish I knew more about them but I am grateful for my Dad's parents and I know that their Mom's must have done some things right.
  4. The Savior...he should be under living. But he died once even though I know he lives now and although I can't see Him I can feel Him. I can feel His love. I am so grateful for His example and unconditional love.
  5. Gordon B. Hinckley. The prophet of my youth. It is the first prophet I feel like I really got to know. I loved him and am so grateful for his counsel, guidance, humor.
  6. The pioneers. Some of which were my ancestors. I can't imagine what they endured, especially the heart ache, but I am grateful for their strength and example.
  7. The founding fathers. I am so grateful to live in this country. Sacrifices were made so that we can enjoy so many freedoms today. Sacrifices made with faith, determination, and hope.
  8. People who have died defending this country. I don't think I know anyone personally but serving our country is so unselfish and I am truly grateful for those willing to do so.
  9. My Uncle Lynn. Who I do not know but his death was the right before I turned 8 and it was the first time I fasted and the first time I really remember praying for something for someone else.
  10. Sydnee Avilla. I loved Sydnee, her sweet smile, her death was the first time I really had to get on my knees and find out if I really believed in the plan of salvation. Her death seemed so unfair and I really struggled just feeling awful for her family and friends. But it got me to the temple numerous times to see where my testimony was and then I biked 100 miles all by myself and through tears my testimony changed and grew.
The dead people I am grateful for was actually really hard. To this point in my life I have not had to deal with the death in very many instances. Mostly it has been people that are older and their time has come. I know that won't always be the case. I have been very blessed thus far.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Material Possessions

Material Possessions I am grateful for:
  1. My Home: I love owning a home, until I have to fix things. It is so nice to truly have a refuge from the storm. I love coming home to a clean and quiet home.
  2. My Car: Gets me where I need to go and has not had any problems, knock on wood.
  3. My Bike: Road Bike, love that bike. I saved and saved for it and I have not been disappointed.
  4. My Phone: Isn't it great that it is so easy to stay connected with family and friends? What if we had to do it all through letters like in the old days...crazy!
  5. Katie's Luvsac. Needs no explanation, love that thing.
  6. My camera: I love capturing my favorite people on film, when I remember to use it.
  7. My Pearl Earrings: I love them and I almost wear them everyday.
  8. My Kindle: I love to read and it has made reading so easy, especially at the gym.
  9. My Computer: I couldn't do this without it.
  10. The scriptures (Book of Mormon, Bible, Doctorine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price): isn't it crazy at one time people couldn't and didn't have scripture in their home. So glad times have changed!
  11. Bonus bed and down comforter....great combination of comfort and coziness.
Is my job a material possession? If it is that is at the top of the list. I am so grateful for my job every single day. Even on the bad days I am grateful for my job.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Something About Christmas Time

I love this time of year. I love love love getting Christmas Cards, maybe I should actually send some?!?!?! I love the excitement in the air. I love Christmas music. The Christmas Devotional. The opportunities to serve. The parties, visiting, and eating. I mean really what is not to love. This last weekend was no exception it was full of fun activities.

Saturday we headed to my Aunt Loralie's to help set-up Christmas and to bake. I was baking three huge batches of cookies for the Wassail party. I recruited Kylie to help me and I think I spent a good 4 and 1/2 hours baking cookies.

In between batches I wrapped Christmas presents for my cousin Heather, another thing I love about this time of year wrapping presents. I only wrapped the easy ones though, sorry. Dan read and played with his new phone, in case you were wondering.

Then we went to my Sister in law Amanda's Orchestra Concert. So fun. I love Christmas music. Then to top it all off we went to eat after. I just love my family and it was so fun to visit and to laugh after a super long day.

Sunday I hosted Dan and Joel's Wassail party. I am not going to lie the night after I agreed I had a nightmare that someone spilled Grandma Robertson's punch on my couch. I know so stupid. It is just a couch. I hate that I care so much but at the same time I just want to keep my stuff nice. I have to find a balance. The good news was no spills and the party was a success. Don't worry my camera spent the evening on the stairs I got it out but never took a picture. There were a ton of people that came through my house. So fun, so crowded, so hot. I loved it though and am so glad I got to host.

Ok so does anyone else feel so busy at this time of year that they are just stressed? That is me. I want to serve and do things for others. I also still have to work and coach...oh and clean and do my Saturday chores. I have just been stressed the past two Saturdays and I hate that. It is the one thing that puts a damper on the season for me. There is so much to do and I don't even really have to buy any presents...pathetic. I am trying to find a balance. I am exhausted by the time the weekend gets here and then I go go go and never recover. I have to work on that.

I saw on Shauna's blog that she is doing the grateful list from the Ensign and I decided I am going to copy her and do it as well. If nothing else it will be great to look back on and see what things I was grateful for in 2011. I may or may not do a list everyday but before the New Year I will do all 10 lists.

10 Physical Abilities I am Grateful For
  1. My ability to participate in activities I love: basketball, soccer, hiking, biking, snowshoeing
  2. My ability to stand on my feet and move all day long while I work. It gets harder every year but I can still do it. My feet ache at night but I am still grateful.
  3. My ability see. In one of my grad school classes we talked about the hardest disability and all of us has been athletes thought it was the ability to walk and then they talked to us about why sight is the biggest blessing of all. Ever since then I have been so grateful to be able to see all of Heavenly Father's beautiful creations.
  4. The ability to hear. Especially uplifting music.
  5. The ability to hug and be hugged. I don't love to hug in general but there is a time and a place where a hug (physical contact) can by really important.
  6. The ability to eat most food. My body does really well with all different kinds of food and I can usually eat most anything.
  7. My ability to fight sickness. Bodies are seriously so amazing. I rarely get sick. This machine of mine is a fighter. There are many days when I will feel like I am getting sick but my body seems to fight infection and little bugs well. Too well sometimes, I have so many sick days (just kidding).
  8. My ability to laugh. I seriously love to laugh. And the ability to smile. They kind of go together but both are important. I should do both more!
  9. The ability to sleep at night. As long as I exercise I pretty much get a good nights sleep every single night.
  10. My ability to feel the effects of exercise. I love to exercise mainly because of the benefits it provides and just not as far as calories are concerned. I love that I can think and work out at the same time and life just seems better when I am done. Something is to be said for all of those endorphins that are released.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Recovery Week

Was anyone else exhausted all of last week? I was. I obviously slept way too much over Thanksgiving because getting 7 or 8 hours of sleep just wasn't cutting it. I am hoping this week will be better.

After the long week I went to Festival of Trees on Friday night with Sam, Amanda, Katie, My cousin Heather and her family, and my counsin in law Kriss and her kids. So fun! I was so tired but I loved it. All the proceeds go to Primary Children's and it was seriously amazing. We were there three hours and didn't get to see the majority of the stuff. This is all I have pictures of this week but all the stuff was super cute.

One section was just gingerbread houses. Here are some of my favorites...

There was a section of small trees, quilts, wreaths, and big trees. Here are a few of my favorite big trees. Notice the kids with their drinks. We wore them out then gave them soda so they would finish the night up. Actually I think that Dr. Pepper helped me to finish the night out as well.

Overall a really fun night. I learned you need more time and there is tons of walking involved.

Saturday was my basketball fundraiser. We shot 200 free throws. I always shoot with them. I made 179 out of 200. I was a little bugged because I really wanted to be 90%, I guess 89.5% will have to do. I learned that I do not like waking up early on the weekend. I think having to be somewhere at 8am ruined my day. I was just a little grouchy all afternoon and evening...for no reason. So the only thing I could think of was I did not get enough sleep!

My Christmas shopping is done. I did it all online. I seriously love not having to fight the crowds at the stores. Other highlights of the week:
  • Went to a "Favorite Things" party hosted by a a neighbor. It was a super cute idea and I had the opportunity to meet some people in my ward. really fun.
  • Got the Creche for my Nativity set. I have been adding pieces every year since I bought my house. I didn't think it would be a big deal but I LOVE it! I love how it just draws all the pieces together.
  • I taught spin to my PE classes. That was a workout. I was so tired. I showed up in spandex for one of my 9th grade classes. Hilarious...they were laughing and I was telling them good thing no one ever comes into our class. And we were saying what if this person came in...or this person. Well 20 minutes later the librarian comes in. It's a He and they died laughing, so funny.
  • I seriously want some real snow so I can do some outdoor winter activities. If it is going to be cold bring on the SNOW!
  • I am in 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon and I have really enjoyed reading about Christ's visit to the America's at this time of year. I love the Book of Mormon and don't judge but I love reading it while at the gym. Is that weird?
Two more weeks until Christmas break. Until then there is lots of teaching and coaching to get done. Treats to make and friends to visit. Love the holidays.


Amber and I decided we needed a weekend away. We debated for awhile on where to go. In the end Moab was a great option for us. I could bring...