Friday, January 30, 2009

We would like some more snow days!

Living in Missouri you get used to battling the snow & ice. The positive side of snow & ice is that you have this lovely thing called a "snow day." All of you Texans are not familiar with that term. Hopefully by the time you get finished reading this blog you will have an idea of what a snow day is.

Snow days in the Brawner house consist of:

-Sleeping in very late
-Staying in your PJ's most of the day (and yes there was one day at about 4:00 Jackson said "Mommy how cool would it be if we could stay in our jammies all day."
-Mac and Cheese for lunch. If we have a snow day we automatically get to have Mac & Cheese for lunch (even if it is not a Thursday). Jackson and I are all about Mac & Cheese day every day ("even if it is not good for your body.")
-Sledding and making snow ramps. Although this year, I unfortunately could not sled (but pregnant or not I was really tempted).
-Building a snowman family in our front yard. Jackson insisted we build a "brother" a "sissy" and a "baby" snowmen. I told him we didn't have enough snow in our yard to make a "Daddy" snowman or especially a pregnant "Mommy" snowman.
-Dessert every night. When it is cold and snowy outside it just call for baking.
-A very fun-filled sleepover with donuts and Planet Earth, especially when school gets called off the night before and you know you get to sleep in.
-Hot Chocolate with lots of Marshmellows when you are done sledding.
-Big breakfasts of eggs, pancakes or whatever you want. Forget the usual oatmeal and banana.
-An outing to our local mall to run out our energy at the play place.
-A couple of dinners at our house with our sweet single next door neighbor Tracy.
-Extra time to play our Wii.
-Making chocolate chip cookies in the middle of the day and testing the batter.
-Playing lots of "Go Fish," Board Games and "Old Maid."
-I loved that there were several home projects finished and lots of drawer sorting. My nesting habits are kicking in a little early this pregnancy.
-Late bedtimes
-We had lot of time with our favorite babysitter Blair who was down here for school and got stranded with us for about 5 days. I think my kids got really used to her being here and so did I. Could she please come back and do my lunch and dinner dishes tomorrow?
-Snow boots are way fun and especially Mollie Jane getting to wear her themed "Dora" snow boots. They are a real treat cauz we have very limited selection of themed apparel besides PJ's because Mommy is not a big fan of it.
-Jason not really laughing after pushing Blair's car after it got stuck in the snow for about an hour one day.
-I don't have to work on snow days because most of my clients are rural and can't get out. Yeah!! Or I guess it stops being a "Yeah" when I get this week's paycheck in mid-February.
-Jackson loved playing with all the neighborhood kids at our favorite sledding spot and him finally really "living life on the edge" and going down the hill backwards on his sled or on his tummy over the ramp. He is not our daredevil, but we're working on it.
-We had some late night deliveries to our next door neighbors of our plethora of baked goods so my stomach doesn't get any wider than it needs to be.

So if that doesn't inspire all you Texans or warm weather people, I don't know what will. You just don't know what your are missing. Three Snow days in a row is pretty unusual for us here because we get used to functioning in the snow. It was lovely. No complaints from the Brawner household. The house was too quiet today when the kids went back to school.
We also got out and went to our first official "Doctor's Office Sonogram." Everything looked great and we are right on target for our June 2 due date. I am just glad it didn't get pushed back! The kids loved seeing the baby on the monitor. The ultrasound nurse printed a picture out for Jackson and Mollie Jane and told them the baby was waving at them. Jackson has been carrying it everywhere since Wednesday.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Jackson's First Basketball Game

Jackson had his first basketball game today and he was all business. Jackson sounded just like his Dad this morning (or me as we are trying to get out the door for school). "Mommy" he says, " we are getting in the car and we need to leave right now because Daddy and I have our basketball game." This was like at 11:35 and his game was at 12:30 and was literally down the street about 5 minutes. So I hurried myself up and we of course got to the game about 11:45. I am not that early anywhere!! He was all about the warm-up and informed me that I was trying to put my stuff and sit down with Mollie Jane on his team's bench. So I had to move across the courts and sit in my proper seat. Jason and I laugh because he has such a serious side to him. He tried so hard and you could just tell he loved being with all his friends and a part of the team. One of his closest friends from last year in preschool, Carson Wade, is on his team. His dribbling has greatly improved since last year. He still appears a little nervous when he gets the ball passed to him. I think he enjoys playing defense the best. Jason has taken on the role of assistant coach (which Jackson loves). During the game, Jackson was running up and down the court looking at me telling me how many points his team had. It was so cute and several times he was so busy trying to tell me what the score was and keeping the score himself that he missed what was going on with his game. Jackson was proud to report "The Wildcats" won! Especially since last year his team did not win a game. We are not really thinking a college scholarship in basketball (although he is the tallest on the team). I don't know if he'll be a Tim Duncan but he sure had some serious NBA facial expressions going on out there today. It was priceless.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


As many of you know I am the snack queen and wherever I go I have lots of snacks. I can't really blame it on having kids because long before I had kids I always had a steady supply of snacks with me. Eating is the key to my kids hearts and as long as we have a snack of some sort we can usually get through any Brawner crisis.
My old purse was falling apart so over the weekend I found a great purse on sale that could get me through the next several months until I could use my cute spring purse.

Jackson: Mommy, did you get a new purse? (Jason hates that he always takes note of my new handbags).

Alison: Yes, bud I did get a new purse. Do you like it?

Jackson: But Mommy, how could you buy a purse that doesn't have a pouch for snacks? Mommy, I think that was a bad choice.

Clearly my children spend way too much time with me sometimes because not only are they thinking like me but they talk like me too. When I bought the purse over the weekend, I was really debating not purchasing it because I specifically thought where are all my snacks going to go? Yet, it was such a good buy, I purchased it anyways. Way to be cheap Alison.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The best babysitter in the world.

We had such an unbelievable time at Blair and Ben's Wedding. They got married on January 10, 2009. It was such a beautiful ceremony at St. Paul's Methodist Church in downtown Springfield. We got there on Saturday and Mollie Jane and I had lunch with all the girls and got ready. Jackson and Jason hung out with all the boys and had lunch and got ready. Anytime, I walked upstairs to check on Jackson and what was going on he was very serious that this was the boys room. It was so cute and he loved hanging with Ben and all his friends. The wedding was at 4:00. Jackson walked down the isle as the ring bearer with a friend of his Channing Turner and Mollie Jane walked down the isle as a flower girl with Channing's sister Hollis. Jackson and Mollie Jane both did so great. They both took their roles so seriously. We were a little worried about Mollie Jane either running down the isle or blurting out random statements as she walked down. But she did neither. She called Blair and herself a princess . She loved being all dressed up and we made a big deal before the wedding about how princess's act. It must have worked. The other big part of Blair's wedding (besides walking down the isle) was the chocolate fountain at the reception. We had been gearing up for that chocolate fountain for days before and "Oh Baby" was it wonderful. We had lots of fun dancing and eating the night away. We were of course the last guests to leave besides the wedding party. We left about the time the chocolate fountain shut down. We were so honored to be a included in her special day.

At the rehersal dinner the night before Mollie Jane got some jewelry and a purse from Ben and Blair and Jackson got a "webkinz" camel complete with a tux outfit whom he proudly named "Ben" the camel. Jackson insisted"Ben" the camel come to the weddin, so he was there. The rehersal dinner at "Millies" was fabulous. Jackson loved seeing the video of Ben and Blair growing up and as he put it "how fat Blair was as a baby." It's a good thing she grew up and lost all her "baby fat" and her "bowl cut" because I can't imagine a fat girl with a "bowl cut" pulling off that stunning wedding dress as beautifully as Blair pulled it off. Mollie Jane kept saying on Saturday "Mommy she is so beutiful." She was.

Blair has been babysitting for my kids since Jackson was one and before Blair came along her sister Kristen babysat for Jackson when he was a tiny baby. We have so many funny Blair and Kristen stories about them babysitting our kids. Blair always babysits for us us while I work which is one or two days a week and then when we need her otherwise. I think we had some really bad timing having a baby in June and our favorite babysitter is leaving. Clearly, we were not thinking. Jackson and Mollie Jane's favorite day of the week is Thursday because it is Mac & Cheese day (for lunch) and when Blair comes. I asked Jackson what he most likes about Blair. His responses: I like Blair when she plays Wii with me, she colors with me, we play games, we wrestle and dance, we get on the computer, she doesn't really make me take body rest anymore, we read books, her phone is cool, we like riding in her car going places, I like Oscar her cat, and we do my homework together. He then asks since Blair is moving to Kansas City if Sherry (Blair's Mom who he adores) could watch him. When you ask Mollie Jane about Blair the first thing that comes out of her mouth is "Ben." Which just about sums it up for Mollie Jane. She loves Blair but Ben is "It" for Mollie Jane. We have been fortunate that often times when Blair comes and watches our kids Ben comes over too. They have been so great to call several times and just take our kids out for the evening. Seriously, what kind of a babysitter does that? I think babysitter's don't do that, just family. That is what Ben and Blair are to Jason and I and our kids, family. We seriously couldn't love them any more. We are so proud of both of them and so excited for them and this new chapter in their life called marriage. Jackson knows she is moving to Kansas City in May but said during the reception can Blair still come on Thursdays even after she moves to Kansas City? Poor guy, he just doesn't get it. Thursdays will be a sad day come May. At least it is still Mac & Cheese day. We are hoping this semester while Blair is in KC on the weekends with Ben in her new apartment and here in Springfield midweek finishing up nursing school that she will come and stay at the "Brawner Hotel."

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The wonderful things my kids teach me about God

I had a story for Jackson and Mollie Jane that really hit me this week. Bible Study Fellowship is a wonderful, extremely disciplined, scriptural study that the kids and I have been involved in the last four year. It has taught me so much but probably the main thing is how much I can stand to learn about my relationship with Christ. My children have loved it as well and I seriously cannot wrap my brain around all the concepts and scripture they are learning. They both take it so seriously. They have a little class they go to every week and they learn and study the same lesson that I do. One of my favorite things is how disciplined the kids teachers are to pray for my children and my leader and group are to pray for me. I welcome all the prayers I can get for my kids in this crazy world in which we live to help them grow up to have a deep relationship with their Saviour. My favorite story to explain this point is from last year. Jackson was in the four year class and his teacher had a spiral notebook where she wrote all the prayers for the children in her class all year. She had written a prayer down for Jackson when she got her class list before she had ever met him. Every week she continued praying for him. Last year my Mom gave Jackson a Bible for his birthday. It was such a special present to him and he truly loved it. I would and still catch him in the morning just flipping through his Bible trying to pick out words he can read and checking out the pictures. He insists on bringing it with him every week to BSF and to church. He always says in his most serious voice "this is God's true word" to almost anyone who asks him about his Bible. His BSF teachers had noticed this specialness with Jackson and his Bible. His teacher pulled me aside a few weeks after his birthday last May and said I just have to show you this. She showed me that first entry in her prayer journal (which I didn't read the other entries for the other kids but noticed that each of the dozen of kid's listed had different prayers). I read what she wrote down on that first entry for Jackson. Her prayer was that "Jackson would hide God's true word upon his heart." She looked at me and said "God hears our prayers and he answers them, doesn't He?"
How thankful I am to my kids teachers for praying for them and when will I quit underestimating the importance of prayer for myself and those around me. Thank you God for hearing our prayers and answering them.

Mollie Jane's story was a few days ago coming home from Bible Study Fellowship. Our lesson that week was on Moses seeing God's image and Moses talking to God on the mountain for 40 days. It had not been a particularly great week for me with stress and just lots of things going on. I had been thinking about how much I wanted to go on a mountain and talk to God face to face and see him. I just felt like if I could do that like Moses my problems wouldn't seem so heavy. God why can't you make yourself accessible to me in the same way you did to Moses? It seems so much easier sometimes.
In the car, I was asking Mollie Jane about her lesson and what she learned. She told me about Moses on the Mountain and then she said "I talked to My God on my pillowcase." They have a little quiet/prayer time where the children lay down on their pillowcases and pray to God. She then proceeded to talk about John and Sally and how they don't like to talk to God on their pillowcases and they cried. (I assume they don't love the lay down quiet part of the day). I asked her what she said to God and she responded "I just wave to him and he waves back to me Mommy." I can just picture Mollie Jane on her Dora pillowcase at quiet time waving her chubby little hand up towards God. From that precious response, I realized from my two year old that God was reminding me while I can't always see Him the exact way that I want to see him if I would take may own agenda out of it I could be reminded that I can actually see him.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2009 Jackson Brawner Style

Our usual and favorite couple and their kids to spend New Years Eve with were in Arkansas this year. So this year we decided rather than twist our babysitters arms to babysit our kiddo on New Years Eve that we would make it a fun filled family night. So Jackson planned his perfect night and we got out some paper and wrote down our agenda for the night.

1)Going to dinner at Chick Fill A and playing in the play place after we eat.

2)Wii Tournament complete with official paperwork of the various rounds of the tournament. He insisted on inviting our single neighbor next door to participate. "Don't you think she would love to be in our tournament Mommy?" I didn't have the heart to tell him she is single and dating and I am sure she will not be hanging out by herself next door. Before I knew it, he had sounded out the cutest flyer complete with a picture telling Ms Tracy that there was a Wii tournament at the Brawner House and taped it to her door.

3) No bath. It is a treat for my kids when their "germ a fobe" Mom lets them skip a bath. Even in the winter.

4)A sleepover for the whole family in Mommy and Daddy's bed complete with donuts (chocolate and powdered sugar). He insisted since it was New Years Eve that Mollie Jane participate in the sleepover too. Mollie Jane really didn't know what a sleepover was but couldn't have been mor excited about it.

Chick Fill A was fabulous dinner. Besides the police officers who were on duty eating there, the Brawners just about had the restaurant to ourselves. Jackson and Mollie Jane loved having the run of the play place.
We then came home and started the Wii tournament. Daddy kicked everyone's "biscuits" in bowling. Jackson kicked everyone's "biscuits" in Golf and the running portion on the Wii Fit. Jackson was deemed the winner of the tournament and proudly placed his name in the winner's brackets. Mollie Jane actually did some of the running portion of the Wii fit with a real remote. Usually we just hand her a numb chuck and let her think she's playing.
We then got in bed with our Donuts and watched our favorite sleepover show "Planet Earth." Mollie Jane did excellent for the donut portion of the sleepover but then kept getting on and off the bed during "Planet Earth" saying "I be right back." Mommy quickly decided a New Years Eve hangover would have been better than a sleepover with a two year old. So poor Mollie Jane got booted to her crib but had a lovely nights sleep and so did the three of us in our big bed.
Jackson woke me up in the morning saying "Mommy you have been sleeping a long time." I then open my eyes with his nose literally pressed to my nose and a giant smile Jackson says "Wasn't that the best sleepover?"

All that to say. Jason and I have had some really great New Years Eve parties and rang in the New Year in some fun places. We have been with wonderful friends in lovely atmospheres with awesome food. We have even gotten all "fancied up" and one year I remember busting out my "millennium skirt." Yes, I actually bought a silver one!!! It was lovely (ask Anne E. and my sister).
But this one will definitely go down at the top of my list. Once again, I am reminded by my five year old that it is not always about what you are doing, where you are or how much money your spend, but only who you are with.
I think this is the first year I can recall ringing in the new year in my PJ's and retainer but it was sure lovely.

A Chilly SDC Christmas

We had a fun filled Brawner family Christmas on the 27th. We went down to Branson to Big and SueSue's for a fun day with out cousins Jameson (5) and Owen (2). Jackson and Jameson were watching a movie in a back bedroom so Uncle Travis decided to set up the Wii that they had gotten for Christmas in the family room. Jackson with his radar ears for the Wii comes out of the bedroom with his mouth wide open. He could not have been more excited that Jameson had a Wii too. So needless to say Mary Poppins and body rest was over and the boys and their Daddies were all about the Wii the rest of the afternoon.
We then opened some presents and decided we would get out of the house and have a fun family adventure at Silver Dollar City. It was so fun but it was crazy cold. We managed to get our yummy skillet bowls for dinner and about freeze eating them outside without gloves. But David got his most favorite skillet bowl. We saw the parade, took the train, and played a round of the "Shoot em up game." Besides a few crabby adults who shall remain nameless the kids had a blast seeing their cousins and being at their most favorite place in the world with them (or is it really Mommy's favorite place in the world?). Either way it was way chilly but Mollie Jane talked about seeing Frosty at the parade at Silver Dollar City for Days after that. She kept asking in her two year old voice "Did Owen see Frosty too Mommy? Does Owen love Frosty?" It was cold but it was fun.