Saturday, October 25, 2008

Browns in September 2008

School is in full swing so our first weekend we took the opportunity while Aunt Tori and Uncle Tyler and Rachel were here to hit the lake one more time. There is actually a great little lake near our house called Indian Lakes. They have paddle boats, slides, diving boards, grill pits, picnic tables, volleyball nets, and tons of shade trees. We invited several of our church families to go with us spending the whole day out there. The kids loved it! (Again, no pictures, so hopefully we will remedy that soon.) But, you can just imagine how much fun it was with all the kids playing and the moms chatting and the dads trying to show out on the diving boards. The weather was perfect and no sun burns.
Then, I started volleyball season, so we get a little hectic as usual. We made several birthday parties this month; one to Keegan and Colby’s fire station birthday. Jalen’s friends are mostly next month except for Ben Hicks. He’s had a lot of play dates, though.
We celebrated Grandparent’s Day with Grandma Edgmon, too. What a day! We ate lunch twice and spent lots of money on new books at the Scholastic Book Fair. Tricky how they get those grandmas in there. Jalen and Deserae look a lot alike in the picture! The kids have been going to Nathan’s gym after school so I can get to my games on time. Brodie’s love for ball, needless to say, has grown since then. He actually climbs up in Nathan’s chair in the evening and makes him turn on a football game to watch together. He never moves. He just sits right by his dad and watches every play as if he knew what was going on. A coach in the making I’m sure. He likes to watch baseball and basketball, too, but seems to know that football is in season. Soccer started this month, too.

Deserae is on an all girls team which seems to be less distracting for her. She’s one of the best players on her team, but is starting to wonder if she is missing out on some social event by playing too much soccer. Her coach is amazing and she’s made some great new friends like Myka. Jalen absolutely loves soccer playing his heart out every game winning all of their games so far. He’s got moves if you’re ever in town to see them, you should stop by! And Tallin of course is doing awesome in Pre-K now that she has adjusted. She gets smiley faces everyday and enjoys her days learning that, “hands are for helping, not hurting.” I think we’ve moved on to cooler social and academic projects.

Nathan and the kids came out to our Greystone 5K at the end of the month. I came in 10th out of about 40 women and 26th overall of 78 people with a time of 27:16. It was so much fun! A group of ladies from church and I have been training for 10 weeks in a fitness group, running, biking, swimming and eating healthy (haha) to prepare for the race. They are all so tough. What a challenge! I think they are all addicted now. I can’t wait to run Memphis again. I am training to run under 2 hours this time, so hopefully I’ll be ready!

Women’s conference was that day, too. It is unbelievable how many great things happened in one day. We must keep working towards our goals here and for eternity. The Lord loves us and wants us to be happy and healthy. If we continue to prepare, though we may not become perfect in this life, we will be ready for our chance in eternity. I’m so grateful for the understanding of the priesthood leaders in my life, especially Nathan, who know of the load we women take upon ourselves so willingly. I’m proud of my family and our ambitions to convert the city of Cabot to the desire of learning more about his gospel. I’m proud of Caleb for going on his mission to prove to my children its importance and all the dads before him. With this legacy of priesthood, our world will survive the pains of these latter days by shining with pride in our hearts to continue the work. We love all of you! Until next month….which I hope to accomplish before the middle of November this time. J

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

End of Summer

You have to hear about our 4th! Josh and Am came in with the kids and we all went to Uncle Daniels’ for a pig roasting! We swam all morning and then played the rest of the day at Daniel and Lacy’s while the whole pig cooked in a pit by the pond. After the party, we drove into Searcy for the Harding firework show. Am and I even threw in a firecracker 5.8 mile run that day. It was another great day with the family! Aunt Mae and Uncle Jason and all our cousins came to spend a fantastic week of fun with us. We went bowling, swimming, and played our hearts out. Then, we took them to a Travelers game that was awesome, though a little hot. The kids even ran the bases on the field at the end. We also spent a whole day at Wild River Country which you can just imagine was a blast. Oh, and we can’t forget a day a Chuck E Cheese for Rebecca and Tallin’s birthday party. Tallin is 4 now and excited about Pre-K next month.When the Dietz’s’ left, Nathan and I followed them to St. Louis to take Grandma Edgmon to see her family for one of my cousins weddings. The kids got lucky and spent the weekend with Aunt Bec. The wedding was beautiful and my Aunt Carrie and Martha had a blast with their sister. While we were there we took advantage of another 10 year anniversary celebration. We went to Six Flags, dinner, and a movie. We went to the temple, danced at the reception and we stayed out late! It was a good break.
After, we got home, Madison and Gillian got to spend a week with us and Nathan went back on contract. I think the highlight may have been the Hannah Montana 3D concert party at the neighbors. We spent lots of time playing still, but are trying to get back on a schedule now. We’ve really enjoyed all the family visits and anticipate more to come.
I thought at the end I would put our top 10 favorite memories from this summer:

Jalen said,
Playing with my school friends that I don’t see all summer
Spending time with our family

Deserae said,
Going to Papa’s house
Boating with Bret and Leslie in Mountain Home

Tallin said,
Going camping in Hot Springs
Going to the water park with Aunt Mae

Brodie said,
Tubing behind Papa’s boat, Stan’s boat, and Bret’s boat….

Mom said,
Hosting family fun-time at the house and on the road
St Louis!!

Dad said,
St Louis!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Finished the Race!

Saturday was our big day. We woke up by 4:30 am to catch our ride up the side of a mountain in Ogden Canyon. After our taxi--Thank you Tyler--dropped us off we huddled around the small campfires and waited for the beginning of the race. Warmed up and ready to go we ran around a nearby reservoir and then through the canyon surrounded by the most beautiful outdoors you can imagine. Mountainous backdrops with natural waterfalls spilling off the sides into the babbling brooks all along the road would welcome any runner. For the first 10 miles we refreshed our spirits as we soaked it all in. At the bottom of the canyon, we hit a park near town and realized with all the downhills we had run under 10 minute miles the entire way and were determined to make the next 3 miles count. Melinda being a good mile ahead of us and Tori's training aches setting in made for a long 3 miles as most 1/2 marathons seem. However, we visualized the huge fan club of family that were waiting for us at the finish and charged on! Melinda made it in just under 2 hours; as we followed her footsteps we could hear the bands of people and looked intetly for the ones we loved. All of a sudden, there they were! Mae and Jason and Robyn and Tyler and Caleb and David and Tiffany and all the kids jumping up and down, cheering us on to the finish! What a great blessing it was to have them there as we crossed the finish at just over 2 hours 10 minutes. We did it! Not only did we do it, but we hit our goals!
Thanks to all of you for your donations and support as we tackled this great accomplishment! We couldn't have done it with you and appreciate the donations of almost $300 dollars to help muscular dystrophy. Please feel free to go to our individual blogs to read our story and also to again visit our donation blog for the race to place your last minute donations! We will leave it open until June 10th for all those interested in helping us achieve this amazing day!

We love you all!

Tori, Dawn, and Melinda

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


So, as most of you know, it's been raining and yucky here alot...that is in between the awesome sunny days. Anyway, one day I decided to get the mowing done before the rain again that night and of course got stuck out in the front ditch. One of my most amazing friends, Tiffany, called me in the middle of the day just because and then ended up coming over with another friend and before I knew it, had pulled me out of the ditch and quickly disappeared back to work. I felt so special that day and just thought all day about the great friends I have. I feel so blessed to have learned so much from all of them. I feel so comforted in knowing that I have so many people that have "got my back" no matter what. And what a great opportunity awaits me to meet even more new friends, as I hold the ones I have as cherished rubies. God has truly blessed my life with each of you in my path and in my families path so that we may become better people because of all you guys do to teach us. I love the examples you are to my kids. I hope your influences will one day make my job easier as our kids grow together. To all my friends I will have for LIFE and a special thanks to my friends now that I have made in the last several months who seem to have appeared as answer to my prayer for someone to lean on without feeling so much like I'm leaning. Or at least I hope not too much:). Anyway, so much for the mushy stuff. You know who you are and I love you all!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Horseless Rodeo

I almost forgot about the Horseless Rodeo! Easter weekend we went up to Gramma Sherwoods for a little family reunion which was a blast in it's self. Then we went to Jacob and Cami Slades for a Horseless Rodeo, what a RIOT! The kids rode steers, chased chickens, and dressed goats. Mom and dad even got in on the fun with some steer dressing and cow milking contests. We were glad to have the Woffinden's there, too and hope they enjoyed a down-home Arkansas day at the farm! Here are some photos of the kids that will blow you away!

Ski Trip!

We had a blast in Utah with some of our dearest friends for spring break! I think skiing is one of my new list of "hardest things I've ever done." However, it was a perfect leg workout for the day since all the other days were passed with cabin games and food! Mike and Gina, well Gina anyway, made the best food including an amazing Mocha Lava cake! Heather and Bryan shared in our entertainment by providing endless hours of Wii tournaments of which I think Shandi, Heather, and Gina kicked my tail for the most part. Brian and Shandi killed us on the slopes even though I think they would have been even scarier on snowboards. And don't worry about the kiddos, they had a blast hanging out at Papa and Grandma's house in Mississippi. Nathan and I feel like we still are so blessed after these short 10 years to have such great friends. Our family has grown so amazingly. You can't imagine the power of our family with our 4 spunky kids always asking us questions to keep our minds sharp! Following as close as we can the gospel of Christ and having fun while doing it. We are so grateful for all of you to be a part of what makes us the Browns we are today!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

"Mrs. Graff, I rode a marathon!"

Last Saturday, my batteries were dead on my headset and my friends were unavailable to run. I said something out loud to Nathan about it and then Jalen and Deserae suggested that they could come and ride their bikes while I ran. It was so much fun. We went 5 long miles which I would say normally might challenge a 6 and 8 year old. They really had fun and Deserae claims to have tighter abs now that she exercised so long. Anyway, she was so proud of herself that she told her kindergarten teacher that she "rode a marathon." Tomorrow I will remember Deserae's engaging journey as I get more like 7 or 8 miles in for my long run before spring break.
I have also been attending a Women Can Run clinic twice a week to work on technique. I have to say it has been very rewarding. I no longer run like a robot and I can charge a finish! I am excited to learn about the uphill and downhill techniques coming up soon. My instructor actually said he wasn't sure I could break an 8 minute mile, so I am proud to have impressed him and hope to do even better at our 5K graduation.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Okay, so I know it's been a long time. Actually I just set this up last year because of sibling pressure. Ha! Now, it has become something I understand everyone does and uses to keep in touch. So, I will participate as best I can with our new marathon goal in mind. My sister, Tori and her sister-in-law, Melinda, have decided to run the ever amazing 1/2 marathon. I completed my first last December with St Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. The experience I had training with my newest and will probably be one of my greatest friends ever (Natalie) was intense and grouling and what seemed impossible at times. The team of friends from Conway that I actually raced with were strong and determined. Even more, though, was the power of the children we raced on behalf of St Judes. The children and their families who were able to attend were all along the 13.1 mile stretch cheering and high-fiving us with all the energy we couldn't have created on our own to finish such a fantastic race. The rush that comes to your heart while you run can only be found with such a cause. It's addicting leaving you wanting for more.
Thus, I have decided to train again for the Ogden, Utah 1/2 with Melinda and Tori. This time on my mind a family friend very dear to my heart, Sarah Combs. Mother of 4; Baden, Brooklyn, Ella, Porter, heart of Mother Teresa, strength of a lioness, and spirit of an angel does not even begin to describe my passionate friend. Her blessing in this life is to care for a hard working husband and her children of which her 2 boys, Baden and Porter, with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Each year they send out flyers not needing help for themselves, but help for this cause that a cure or relief may be found through their efforts to comfort others in their shoes. I have know Sarah for a long time and have come to understand that she is strong and so will be her children, but in this life our help in medical research will help weaken this disease. I wish that each and everyone of you could have the gift I've had in knowing Sarah, but since you may not get that chance I challenge you to read the information on our blog and join our efforts to raise the needed funding for MD research. Even the smallest donation will bless the lives of many as we work together to sponsor this cause. Thank you in advance to all of you. You will give us "all the energy we couldn't have created on our own to finish such a fantastic race."