Friday, October 2


i hate playing catch-up, but we had such a busy and fun summer. here are a few highlights from july and august:

jack attended a 3 day football camp at southside high school. playing football with a hundred other boys without his shirt on was pretty much perfection for him. he won a couple awards for his age group, including the longest punt.

ellie spent a few days at art camp with dani smith and was able to craft with a few different mediums, including paper met and clay. she really loves getting her hands dirty.

chris has been putting his new smoker to good use and is working on perfecting his ribs, much to the family's delight. these kids sure love papa's ribs.

we had a back to school feast and introduced a family theme for the school year. jack mentioned having a family scripture during an fhe right before school started and i have seen several other families come up with themes for their school years, so we adopted the idea. chris and i decided that our family needs to work on serving others, especially in our home, so Mosiah 2:17 Serve One Another is the family theme we picked.

we have our theme framed in the living room.

jack started 3rd grade with a brand new teacher named Ms. Weaver. Ellie is lucky enough to have Mrs. Been for 2nd grade. and Charlie man is the biggest preschooler at the first lutheran preschool. charlie goes to school on M, W, F and stays for lunch and recess and is there until 12:30. he loves taking his lunchbox to school, just like jack and ellie get to.

owen hit a few milestones at the end of august. he sprouted two teeth and began crawling. the kids helped teach and encourage the crawling. he's pretty happy being mobile. he now has 4 teeth, with 4 more on the way. chris was finally able to catch a picture of his champers last night.


owen also discovered pickles. along with ice cream, pickles make owen a happy boy.


early august brought my 30th birthday! i think i finally feel like an adult :) i was completely spoiled by chris. he planned a surprise party for me at the smith's and several of our good friends came including the peczuh's, rackham's, and sexton's. i have a hard time being the center of attention, but it was so fun and i know chris and katie worked really hard to make it a great night!

chris also let me bust open a piƱata that was filled with my favorite treats, bottles of visine, chapstick, and 30 twenty dollar bills! I've never experienced anything like it! 
and if that wasn't enough of a celebration, i was able to go up to northern arkansas with my dear friend anna leah and go zip lining! we had an amazing time and hopefully i'll get some pictures soon.

ellie grew some butterflies this summer. she got the kit for her birthday back in february, but it was too cold then. we ordered our larvae and she grew 11 little butterflies from start to finish! it was fun for the kids to check their progress each day after school.


our last few days of summer were spent doing fun crafts, like tie dying t-shirts and making slime, going to the water park, and playing catch in the yard during the evenings. 

Tuesday, September 29

oh florida, we love you

here are some pictures of the rest of our time in florida, which could easily rival our time at universal because nothing in the world is better than being with those you love (cheesy, but oh so true).

we met sweet little Olive for the first time and felt so lucky that we were able to be there for her blessing. she is seriously adorable and absolutely the sweetest little person.
jack was smitten and has asked if we can have another baby and maybe it will be a girl.

chris, grandma, and 'merica all turned another year older while we were visiting so of course we celebrated till we couldn't possibly celebrate any more!

the kids scored big in the candy department at the parade on 5th with cousin lou

bo and lari got some pops for the kids and we ended our night with a bang, like literally. we put on quite the fireworks display. it was magical

we had an awesome girls night out. mom treated us to dinner at DeRomo's that was superb.

it was fun getting to know alli's inlaws, bob and heather call, a bit better. amazing, amazing people!
so glad heather got to be with us for our girls night.

chicks! chicks! chicks!

everett, sophie, and ashton got baby chicks while we were there and let each of the cousins name one.

another highlight of the trip was visiting the zoo at the shell factory with all the cousins.

and since the shell factory was close to our favorite donut shop we had to make a quick stop and grab a few. bennet's, why do you have to be so tasty?

grandpa is so clever and adventurous. we love him and his crazy fun ideas. he came up with an epic dart gun battle complete with kings, queens, and dragons. 

we ended that adventure with a pantyhose tug o war. boy those suckers were tight!


grandma watched the kids so chris and i could go on a date. we tried Brooks burgers. its been voted one of the top 10 burgers in the country according to trip advisor. we didn't think it was anything too spectacular, although the blueberry & blue cheese milkshake was scrumptious.

but the best part of our trip, as always, was just hanging out. we love these guys so much

leaving the family was so hard this time around. ellie started crying the night before we left. she sobbed as we pulled out of the drive way and didn't stop until we passed venice... about 2 hours away. we miss florida and all of our dear ones there. it was a perfect two weeks. the only thing that would have mede it better was if our germany family was visiting too.

florida summer 2015 from Lisa Brower on Vimeo.

we made a couple stops on the way home, but nothing too exciting.  one of the quick stops we made was in tupelo, mississippi, which is where elvis was born. jack's 2nd grade teacher (who is now ellie's teacher) loves elvis, so he really wanted to stop here.

and just like that, our adventure was over.
 chris had to get back for work and i had to get ready for girls camp the following week. i was the assistant stake camp director this year.... so much fun.... so much work