Tuesday, June 30, 2009

funder don't go away...

well i wish it would rain and the little girls wish it would rain, but they want to make the thunder go away. we need the water and so if this thunder will bring us some rain too that would be great. I have to add that it is so easy to take things and people for granted. I read yesterday that our friend's little boy's tumor has grown after this amazing miraclous year of holding it off. He will get his make a wish trip to swim with the manatees. I cried when I read that. They moved shortly after we moved here but she was always kind to me and I really appreciated that. As I get older and the trials that we are all faced with seem to much bigger and so much harder than when we are young. I think of the mom's with broken hearts that miss the children they have lost or the mom's who wish they could put their fractured families back together or the dad that loves his kids so much and his wife that decided one day it was time for a divorce. I have seen 6 families in the past six months be fractured by divorce.
I realize that life is hard and it is challenging, but humility is probably the hardest attribute to keep going in a marriage. As you get older you think you are right and you don't always compromise. It gets easier to blame, and harder to quickly forgive. But like that song says...what about the love we made she's upstairs wondering what she did wrong.....
Families are started because as many people's signs say "All because two people fell in love..."
It is remembering that that can be hard in this crazy world that pulls us in all different directions.
So thank you, Jeremy for being loving, forgiving, and willing to listen to me even when I nag and complain and whine and gripe-I love you so very much and I am so glad that I will have you forever. I appreciate all the hard work you do each day for us and for me-so that I can stay home with the kids and have that time with them.
We are on day 5061 of marriage and "what a beautiful day-oh what a feeling-what a wonderful emotion-what a life-counting our blessings and knowing-we've had our ups and downs all along the way-you had a chance to leave but chose to stay-what a beautiful day!"-Kenny Chesney

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

my 101st post technically

I am struggling with that post so it will be up soon-but I am having a great summer with the kids and looking forward to more fun!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

MY 100th post and I am almost to my year mark!

So I am going to copy this idea and see if I can list 100 things...

1. I am grateful to the Savior for His Atonement for me.
2. I was 2 pounds when I was born at 28 weeks in McAllen, Tx
3. I went to 9 different schools between kindergarten and 7th grade.
4. I began dancing when I was 4 and when I was 8 quit because I couldn't start pointe until 9.
5. So I moved over to gymnastics and competed until I was14 when I ruined my ankle on a front pike.
6. I went back to dancing at 14.
7. When I was a Sr in high school I coreographed the middle school's pop show.
8. I was the only freshman to go to State solo and ensemble contest and 1 of 3 to come home with a I from the state judge as well. I was also the only one to go to state solo and ensemble every year and every year come home with a I.
9. I am an only child and only grandchild.
10. I now have more in my own family than I do in my extended family. (I have 6 and my family is 4)
11. I went to BYU until I was a Jr.
12. I served a mission on Temple Square and my field time on the Riverside, CA mission.
13. I met Jeremy on mother's day of 1995.
14.He proposed to me on July 11th (1995)while on a temple trip up to the Dallas temple.
15. We were married in the Logan, Utah temple in the only original sealing room by one of my mission presidency members on August 18, 1995.
16. I have lived in every major city in Texas except Dallas. (Houston, Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, McAllen, Corpus Christi)
17. I have never be east of Beaumont, Tx.
18. But I have been west to CA, AZ, NM, CO, MT, ID, WY.
19. I have been to serveral border towns in Mexico.
20. I love the color blue because it reminds me of the summertime and that is my favorite part of the year. Before I had kids it was the freedom and heat-now it is the time I get to spend with them between the school year.
21. I love horses and the way they smell.
22. I love to read!
23. I love to write.
24. My grandmother has a children's book in the Alamo gift shop. "Liberty, Justice and F'Rall"
25. My mother is an attorney.
26. I wanted to go to the Houston High School for the Performing Arts.
27. My favorite car of all time is a 1969 Ford Mustang in navy blue with a rag top and light tan interior.
28. I love the sunshine and the warmth on my face.
29. I love the beach and watching the kids play in the surf.
30. I love the mountains.
31. I married my best friend. We sometimes disagree like all best friends but that is what makes us so good for each other.
32. I love spending the day outside watching Kyle play baseball and Kelsey play soccer. Maybe next year it will be Keira swimming.
33. I hope to reclaim my piano skills when I have more free time.
34. I think there is nothing better than singing in the car to loud music.
35. I love the names Kaden Paul and Kannon Gunnar wish I could still use them for my own children.
36. I love to go to the theater.
37. I love to go waterskiing.
38. I want to run a marathon one day.
39. I want to run a Susan Komen race for my friend Joette, who died from brest cancer.
40. I want to see Austraila before I die.
41. I want to see London before I die.
42. I want to go on a tour of south America.
43. I want to be a senior missionary.
44. I want to record a song for each of my children so that they will always have me singing to them even after I die.
45. I love reading to my kids every night.
47. I love camping.
48. I love new babies, the little toes, the sweet smell, the kissable heads and the closeness one feels to God when you hold one.
49. My favorite perfume is Lovely and Eternity.
50. My favorite flower is a purple tulip.
51. I wish I was a better housekeeper.
52. But I just like to roughhouse on my bed with the kids-so my bed doesn't get made all the time....
53. If two people are willing to work together-you can find success. It maybe hard-but well worth it!
54. I have been battling migraines since I was a child.
55. I used to be a lifeguard.
56. I have learned that you never know if the person you couldn't stand might turn into one of your dearest friends-if you give her a chance!
57. "pooterism" bring some of the best joys in life- "You know you'd be so happy if I was the only child" or that she has a new jersey/alabama/texan accent to just about everything she says.
58. My nickname with the youth in College Station was ABCD-I felt so old being called sister brann so when I was camp director they called me ABCD (amanda brann camp director)
59. I am half hispanic, a quarter polish and a quarter danish.
60. I love watermelon, cantalope, honey dew, papaya, kiwi, bananas, and peaches.
61. I am glad that my mom taught me how to make jam from fresh fruit.
62. I should make homemade bread more often.
63. I am getting better at food storage rotation.
64. I enjoy getting a good deal.
65. I love the solitude of a long run with nothing but my ipod. Wish I had the stamina to go for long runs, but I will get back to doing this and soon!
66. I love the military. My grandfather was a an officer. It was a priviledge to be at is military funeral.
67. Yes, I love all of the 80's music. I am one who despite all of his weirdnesslikes among others-Michael Jackson was an amazing dancer and songwriter and he is one on the list of great performer that the world has lost recently.
68. I believe that change does start with me. I guess I hope that my children will love and respect all the many wonderful cultures and peoples that make up this beautiful world that the Lord created.
69. To all my friends-you know who you are-this salute is for you.
70. It is so interesting how men and women are programed so differently. It makes us each so unique.
71. I love trees and walking through the forest.
72. I love to sit on temple grounds by the beautiful flowers and realize how much the Lord has done for me.
73. I can get addicted to listening to music.
74. I hope to be a nurse when my kids grow up.
75. I have endometriosis and have had this diagnosis since I was 21. It took 8 doctors in three different states to come to this. Thank goodness it isn't like that anymore.
76. I only have half of a thyroid. It was believed that I had thyroid cancer. Thank goodness, I didn't.
77. I had ankle recontruction surgery in 2001 when I ruptured the laterel ligament in my ankle doing a round off back handspring at my gymnastics class.
78. I have a wild rebelllious streak that I am sure Keira inherited.
79. Kyle has my toes.
80. Kelsey has my smile.
81. Kenna has my eyes.
82. but they all look more like their dad's side of the family than mine.
83. I love the color of all of my kids' eyes because I love the blue they inherited from their dad.
84. I once got to sing a solo for the director of the MOTAB.
85. I once got to sing in front of a music producer in California who told me that I had a beautiful voice.
86. My choral director in high school told me I was a better dancer than a vocalist and should pursue that not music.
87. I love to lay outside and look up at the stars and watch the planes take off.
88. I used to believe that it would be so much fun to date a cowboy so that my "knight in shining white armour" would drive a truck and ride a horse.
89. I hope one day to own farm land.
90. I am a country girl at heart. I would love to raise chickens and have a cow to milk. I'd even raise a steer for some good steak! :)
91. the year I graduated from high school in the top 15% of my class of 860 from Kingwood high school.
92. I really want two things when the kids grow up. A great dane puppy and a convertible VW.
93. The year I realized that I wanted to be a missionary, lost a friend to drunk driving, was a manager at Bennigan's in Humble, went on a blind date, and thought I knew it all.
94. The year I realized I knew nothing, had surgery, lost another friend, but realized what it truly meant to be one with God and that although life does not always turn out the way you dream that there will be other joys for the ones that were lost.
95. The year my parents got divorced and 3 months later I got married.
96. My year to learn what it truly means to be an adult and realize that I really could stand on my own and do well and have happiness in my life every day.
97. Kyle Matthew Brann: July 18th ;8 pounds 5 ounces; 20 1/2 inches long at 20:20hours. He was two weeks late in the valley heat. He changed me and brought me to a whole new level of what love meant. I can't believe he is almost 12. My little baby boy.....
98. I graduated from college with a degree in anthropology and a minor in history.
99. Kelsey Anne Brann: February 8th; 9 pounds 8 ounces:21 inches; 18:30 hours. She gave me the courage to believe I could raise a girl into a righteous beautiful woman.
100. I did it. My favorite thing of all is my dearest friend and love, Jeremy Matthew Brann. Thanks for all of the happiness and joy through these past 14 years. I know it is not always easy-but I love you and it is always worth every moment in your arms.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I love summer vacation!

I just think this is hilarious! Mama Cat has decided this is her favorite place to sleep and last night even Rhino was curled up with her in the basket, but Kenna chased them off before I could get a picture.

Kelsey went camping this past weekend with one of my best friends from College Station. In the middle of the day the little girls wanted to go swimming, but it was toooo hot so we told them they could fill up our tub with cold water and play while wearing their bathing suits. Well, Kenna decided that was too much so she just has her swim diaper on. But they insisted that Kyle put his suit on and get in with them. Well we have soft water and they had dumped a capful of soap in the tub.-no big deal until Kyle turned on our jets and this is what happened! It was so funny! I had to hose them down in my shower because there were so many bubbles! But the three of them had a blast in this cold water with tons of bubbles!

Here is the latest project for Kelsey's soccer coach and his wife who are expecting twins next month. They have different edges so you can tell them apart. The kids are KB's too, but they did middle initials as well so they are KDB. My other friends's girls are KB's as well and they did they same both are KEB. Kudos to them! We had a hard enough time getting K names we agreed upon!
I have been loving summer. Staying up too late and talking to the kids. I gave Kelsey a spa night last night and she looked so cute. I will have to post a picture of her today. We did a mud mask, and I did her hair, and I painted her toes and fingersnails. It was a lot of fun. After all the girls fell asleep-Kyle and I were talking. Just as we were going to bed he hugs me and says out of the blue-"Mom, I am so glad you chose to stay home and don't have to work. ****'s mom is never home so we can never get together. It must make him lonely to be home by himself so much."
Now if that doesn't make it all worth it! All the money in the world couldn't give me that joy to hear those words from my son. There maybe days that are hard and lots of work that goes unnoticed or appreciated, but when they are grateful for you just being there-I am understanding more and more President Benson's counsel to mothers to be at the crossroads of your children's lives the entire time they live at home. I have 4 friends who are going through or just in the middle of a divorce this spring and it has really opened my eyes to the importance of not letting the things of the world get in the way of the things that matter most.
At church on Sunday, the high council rep. gave an amazing talk with his wife about marriage. It touched me so much I went up and asked for a copy-(I know I am a church nerd all the way!! :)) I reread it yesterday and it once again really made me stop and think. And well kick myself a little too-we all know that a temple marriage is a covenant between three people-so why do we get caught up in the daily tasks and forget to include HIM completely in our marriage. Family prayer, FHE, scriptures-yes He is here in my home, but I need to make a better effort to include Him in my marriage not just my family. I think when kids get a little older we tend to get busy raising kids and those embers of love keep us going. I would add that by keeping Him in our marriages that those embers will burn strong and help us get through those challenges of life that migh lead to divorce. Don't get me wrong-there are times when that is the best thing for both parties-but my friend put it well-when you are going through it -it is a grief that is all consuming. So go hug your spouse tonight and let them know how much you love and appreicate them. I do appreciate you, jeremy and i love you very much!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, 'What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?' The young boy was apologetic. 'Please, mister...please, I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do,' He pleaded. 'I threw the brick because no one else would stop...' With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. 'It's my brother, 'he said 'He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up.'Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, 'Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me.' Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat.. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. 'Thank you and may God bless you,' the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy! push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home..
It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: 'Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!' God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts.. Sometimes when we don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It's our choice to listen or not.

God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.
Read this line very slowly and let it sink in...
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

My mom sent me this in an email. What a great reminder to listen for the still small voice so that we don't need a brick. The needs and blessings are there if we are willing to stop and hear.....

Sunday, June 7, 2009

locks of love for the second year in a row!

Here is everyone with their new hairstyles! Even Kenna got a trim! What a fun day at the salon!

The MASTER! Jen can take anyone's hair and make them beautiful with a cut and she always knows the best color to make you shine!!!!

The 8-9 inches she will send into locks of love!

Keira all done with her beautiful new hairdo!

Keira getting her haircut!

One last look at all of that beautiful hair!!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Great Shall Be Your Joy!

The best teachers at ESE! Mrs. Phipps and Ms. Wolfe rock!!!

Kelsey's best friends!

Last day at ESE together with crazy hair day and all!

I have to add that it has been such a sweet expereince to go to bed most nights in the past week having had the opportunity to help my friends in need. As I have written before it has been a hard move for me. I wasn't sure where I fit in, but I have really been praying to find that out and in the midst of it all have developed a love for the women of the ward that I never thought I could feel. I know as a missionary you are told to love those that you are called to serve and I have experienced this first hand-but it has been such a blessing to me in my life to get to know these amazing women who have so many talents and those that are struggling with a high risk pregnancy or an extremely high risk pregnancy or the loss of a child or a divorce or a separation on its way to a divorce. It has really brought me to think about counting my blessings and to remember to express gratitude for the hard work that is done around me. I loved being a missionary for that reason alone-to fall in bed at night exhausted from serving the Lord. As I have looked beyond my own front porch I have found that struggle with depression has gotten easier and my prayers are more heartfelt and personal again. I have realized that the path I wanted and the path He gave me may not have turned out to be the same, but the lessons learned and the treasures I have that are not of this world are precious gifts that I am so grateful for. I also realize as I now have a middle schooler and a 5th grader and a kindergartener that I am entering a new phaase in life. Next year these two won't be in the same school. One step closer to being gone...Where does the time go? Wasn't it just yesterday I was watching him run around in diapers? Then I sent him to kindergarten? The same with Kelsey. It seemed when I sent her to kindergarten her and Keira would be little forever. Now they will both be in someone else's care for more of their day than me when August comes around.

But most of all-it is good to be needed. Meals, babysitting, cleaning, loving, listening...I feel closer to the Lord and most of all I just try to follow his example. I understand more fully that scripture that if we lose our lives for His sake we shall find it. I have found mine and I have been blessed with great joy!

My accomplishments for the past week....

Here is my teacher project for Kelsey's teachers. I made pillows for their reading nooks and although you can't tell found the cutest frog fabric this year. It is pink camo and frogs on lilly pads. Plus some other cute fabric. I really had fun, but need to get it done earlier in the year next time!
Here is another fun playdate-but I think I will just adopt Kelsey Call as a sister so these kids can be my adopted neices who came over to play and we had a blast!!!!

I couldn't post the whole pictures, but the girls decided they needed sprinkles and so Keira convinced Kenna to climb up and get them out of the cupboard and dump them on the table. Well some ended up on her booster seat and she had taken off her diaper so she had sprinkles on her bum! Have a great picture, but thoought this was the better one to share! :) She just loves those sprinkles. I may have to get her that shirt at "Culver's" that says Sprinkles Rock!

We have had playdates with Carson and Hailey so Carson was in the room shot and here she is alseep on my Kelsey-Can't you tell she is just loving this!

Here is Keira and Kenna's room all organized and clean! I love it sooo much! Thanks to Jeremy and "Kelsey Call" as Kenna says for helping me accomplish this goal!

Thanks Shanta for the vinyl! It looks great! It says daughter of a heavenly king and below the crown it says princess.

Here is Kyle's "zoolander" pose.