Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgivivg to everyone. I hope you all have a fantastic time with friends and family!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Giving Heart

Today's post was written by a guest blogger, my husband Dan. I was busy baking last night so I asked him to put this post together. I think he did a fantastic job and I know y'all will enjoy it!

One of the hardest things as a parent is to get your kid's attention off of what they want, what they have, what they need and focus on OTHERS. Obviously, having a little brother requires a little sacrifice every now and again, but we try to really push the point across when we can. Christmas provides an awesome opportunity to find others with greater needs than we have.

For the last couple of years, we have selected from a child from the Sharing Tree at the mall, pick out a gift for that child. This year, we decided to go a different route and fill a box for Operation Christmas Child. Through this program, needy children around the world get to receive a gift for Christmas, and hear the story of Christ and how He gave the ultimate gift for them. With Jonathan being 4, we thought it would be great if the gift was from him to another 2-4 year old boy.

We made a special trip to Wal-Mart just so we could pick out these items. We had a basic list of needs and general gifts to give to the little boy, but it was somewhat open in what we actually could get. We got a box of crayons, some coloring and sticker books, some simple toiletries, and a couple other small toys. The hardest thing for Jonathan was simply remembering that what we were getting was not for him.

The one thing we couldn't find at our Wal-Mart was a small stuffed animal. Since Jonathan has a closet full he never plays withe we decided to choose an animal that he had no particular attachment to and give it away. When we got home, we went into Jonathan's closet to pick out a small stuffed animal to give in the box as well. This did not go over well with Jonathan, as we picked out HIS kitten. Even though he had no special attachment to this particular stuffed animal, he was very unwilling to let go, because it was HIS. We finally convinced him that the little boy we were sending it to would love it even more.

We didn't actually put the box together until Saturday.

He started by filling out a form that had information about him and what he likes.
Then he packed the box with all the things we had purchased. When he got to the kitty, he prayed over it, praying that the kitty would bring the boy who receives it a lot of happiness and comfort.
Then he finished putting that last few things in there. We packed that box pretty full!
That right there is one proud little boy. (He, however, did not do the wrapping... That was done by my wife.)
And here is our little giver with the sticker he got for giving a box. Hopefully, the child who receives that box will be blessed. For Jonathan, we are hoping that he will continually remember how special it is, and what a blessing it is, to be the one able to give.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas Decorating

Christmas is a season that is rich with family traditions. My family had a lot of traditions that we carried on as I grew up. I'd go into greater detail but I already know this is going to be a long post and I don't want to make it longer.

One of the traditions that I clearly remember, partly because if I'm home to decorate the tree we still abide by it, was that I always got to put the first decoration on the tree. For the last two years this has been Jonathan's job, and since Jason isn't old enough to care yet, it was his job again this year. Of course there was always a picture to go along with the placing of the first decoration. Perhaps when I'm home I'll dig up some pictures of me over the years.
Here is Jonathan placing the first decoration on the 2009 Brough Family Christmas Tree. This year's choice for first decoration was a Lightning McQueen.

We gave Jason a bear decoration to hang on the tree. I wanted to let him try on his own before we helped him out.
He didn't really understand quite what to do with the decoration. I don't think he quite has the motor skills to hold the decoration by the string and get it onto the tree. But fear not, his overly helpful older brother was more than willing to help.
And between the two of them they got the job done!

As I was hanging decorations on the tree last night I thought it might be fun to showcase some of the decorations that have special meaning to our family. I quickly realized that I could probably take a picture and share a story for almost every decoration on the tree. Since I didn't want to write that much, and I'm certain you don't want to read that much, I chose some of the most meaningful, or ones with unique stories, to share.

If you know anything about me you should know the significance of a University of Idaho decoration. Dan and I both got our degrees from the University of Idaho. It's also where we met. We are Vandal faithful and I was so excited to find this decoration in the bookstore last year.

This little giraffe came from Lenox and commemorates Jonathan's 1st Christmas in 2005. We also have one for Jason but I do believe that one is in Fairbanks. Sooner or later Jason's decoration will join Jonathan's on our tree.

This bear is named Chaucer. I found him last Christmas at a bookstore. He also has a story book that goes with him. It is a really cute story about the little bear's first winter. Perfect for our little bear who was celebrating his first winter.

This moose is part of a series from Lenox. Growing up in Alaska I saw a lot of moose. The first decoration I got came with a card that said something about making sure to lock my doors. Yes, there is a story behind that. One very early, dark Alaska morning my mom was driving me to jazz band before school. We backed out of our garage and started off when we noticed a moose in the driveway. I was a little tired and not thinking clearly so when I saw the moose I locked the doors. Not sure what good I thought it was going to do but its been a family joke ever since.

My granddaddy loved Snoppy and he passed his love of Snoppy on to me. This is just one of several decorations of Snoppy and the gang that grace our Christmas tree. They are a reminder of my granddaddy. Someplace I have a cow beanie baby that reminds me of my grandmother but that's another story for another time!

My husband LOVES Star Wars. Enough said! (And after previewing my blog my husband wanted to make sure I added that this is a member of the 501st legion. Whatever!)

Paddington is here representing a whole collection of decorations that were given to me by my Great Great Aunt Lucy. I don't remember her, in fact I'm not sure I ever met her, (mom if you are reading help me out here!) but I heard so many stories about her and her adventures that I feel like I know her at least a little bit. Paddington was also a big part of my childhood. I had a Paddington bear and his Aunt Lucy in stuffed animal form. We also read the stories frequently while I was growing up. My very favorite Paddington story is Paddington and the Knickerbocker Rainbow.

And so that brings us to the owl. Before I was born my mom and dad spent sometime living in Guatemala and this little owl is souvenir of that period in their lives. They come in three colors: red, green, and yellow. I'm not sure how many the brought back but I know they had some and they gave some to each of my grandparents as gifts.

And so that concludes your tour of my Christmas tree. Mom if you are out there reading and have anything to add to the stories I've told please do so!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I've Been Tagged

My blogging friend Kristen tagged me as a Theta Mom. A Theta Mom is a True Authentic mom. Thank you Kristen, I am humbled. And I am now charged with writing about 5 things that make me a True Authentic Mom. Alright lets do this!

1) The contents of my purse always includes both and EpiPen and a diaper. Sadly wipes are optional, besides you can always use wet toilet paper in a pinch. I also almost always have a pacifier, although it never seems to be there when I really need it.

2) I have walked through church, the mall, the airport, and may other public places with spit-up pooling on my shoulder or running down my back. I've also had to change my pants as I was leaving because someone spit-up in a very inconvenient place!

3) I have more apps on my iPhone to entertain my kids than to entertain myself.

4) The pharmacist at Safeway knows my name.

5) Conversations around my house include everything from cars to bodily functions.

Now I tag Kristin, Renee, Erin, April, and Jamie. I can't wait to read what you ladies have to share!

Jason's Message

He just wanted to say "Hi."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Green Bean

Yesterday was Thanksgiving dress-up at the boy's daycare. Of all the dress-up days they have at the daycare this is one of the most difficult. How exactly do you dress up for Thanksgiving? In the past Jonathan has dressed up as a Pilgrim but he just didn't have anything that fit the bill this year.

This morning Dan picked out clothes for him. Jonathan was appalled that the clothes did not fit the dress-up day theme. Dan told him that he just didn't have anything he could wear for Thanksgiving day. Jonathan said, "But Dad I want to be a green bean so I just need to dress in all green!" I have no idea where this idea came from but Dan ran with it and picked out a green shirt and a pair of green Carhartt pants (thanks AG!) And so here is our creative little Green Bean!
I was so impressed with his creativity. I never would have thought of being a green bean. I wonder what he will come up with next!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Brothers... Oh I think so!

Any guesses who this is?

This picture of Jonathan was taken in March of 2006 when he was 8 months old. I love the similarities between his expression and the expression Jason had in yesterdays post. They are most definitely brothers. While their little personalities are VERY different they both have this happy little boy energy that I think this picture captures very well.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What we've been up to

So it's been a few days (or maybe a few months) since I've blogged so y'all are a little behind on what is going on in the Brough Family Life. I think I shall do a full update in bullet point form.
  • I started my student teaching in September. I have to do a full year of student teaching and I am fortunate enough that the teacher I'm with this fall wanted me for the full year so I don't have to get a new placement for the spring. I'm in the 6th grade at Russell Elementary School in Moscow, Idaho and I could not be happier. I've got a great team that I get to work with every day and I'm learning a lot from them. I also have a great group of students. I also got to go to the McCall Outdoor Science School for a week in October. That was an experience! One week basically on 24 hours a day, lots of hiking, and a few embarrassing moments. It was beautiful there and I would totally do it again!
  • Dan started his 4th year of teaching at Pullman Christian School. This year they changed the format of the school so his home room class is now 6th-8th grade instead of 7th-8th as it was for the last two year. He's also still teaching Algebra I and computer class. He also had the opportunity to coach soccer this year. He loved coaching and the relationship that it builds with the students, and he learned a little about soccer too. I loved watching the team play and was sad when the season ended, although very glad to have my husband back! They finished 5th in league for the regular season.
  • Jason is now almost 19 months old. He is a wonderfully sweet little boy. His vocabulary has really taken off recently and he is always saying new words or phrases. His latest is "lunch box". He is full of joy and always makes us smile and laugh. He is showing some hints at the "terrible twos" but hopefully that's far as it goes. Hey, I can dream right!
  • Jonathan is in preschool and continues to blow us away with all that he knows. He loves to learn. He is full of energy and definitely keeps us on our toes. He loves books and can read some sight words but isn't "reading" yet. He as already shown hints of his daddy's gifting with numbers and rhythms.
As of right now that's all I can think of right now so I'll end this with a recent picture of our two boys. I think this picture pretty well captures the boys personalities, Jonathan hamming it up for the camera and Jason too busy and on the go to be bothered with taking a picture.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Remember me? I'll give you a second to think about it.
I'm Jason and my mom has really been neglecting her blog. And while she's been neglecting her blog I've been growing, a lot!

Seriously I've totally dropped the ball. Thank you Kristin and Lisa for a little push to start blogging again. I will get back in the swing of things. I PROMISE!