Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Just so you all know

I don't know who really cares about this aspect of our life but here's a little tid bit about Luis and I...
we are American Idol addicts!!!
We look forward to Tuesday and Wednesday nights to watch the show and judge the contestants together. I think it's the most fun wholesome entertainment on primetime TV. Being musical ourselves, we enjoy the way the show creatively covers many decades of music and honors the votes of mainstream America. This season we started out adoring David Archuleta and now David Cook has caught up in our opinion. Anyhow, the commercial is over so I'm done blogging for now. Back to AI!...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

John Paul's Birthday

John Paul is 4 today! I can't even begin to describe how wonderful this little guy is and what he means to Luis and I. He's truly a sweet, sensitive, smart and loving boy. I'll post later on the birthday events but I have to sing for two Weddings today...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Spring Pleasures

We're eating chocolate chip cookies...playing in the dirt, mulch and sand with our dump trucks, diggers & excavators...finding caterpillars...and admiring the Rose blooms.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Gemma Catherine Berg!!!

I can't contain myself! Cath had a girl! And her name is Gemma Catherine!!! I am so happy for her and Tom!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

So Stinkin Cute

Look who's crawling on all fours!

The Many Faces of Gabe

Mommy's Afternoon Treat

A chunk of chocolate and an espresso. You may call it decadent, I call it survival!

Monday, April 21, 2008

To Catherine's Baby

I have a feeling we'll be hearing about your birth within a few days. We're so excited to know who you are and what your name is! Uncle Luis and I are so very honored to be your godparents. Hopefully your Mommy will relax and your birth will be easy on her. We'll be keeping vigil until we hear...
We love you!
Auntie Cal, Uncle Luis, John Paul, Gabriel & Monica

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Evenings with Gabe

Being our dear middle child at the moment, Gabe is a riot. I say he's "his own man" as he never ceases to crack us up with his quirky stubbornness and individuality. He's in the crazy in between stage where he can go a whole day without a nap (at the end of which he crashes at 7 pm) or he crashes in the late afternoon and is wide awake well into the evening (in other words he gets to hang out with Mommy and Daddy while his siblings sleep). We could be frustrated with this, but Luis and I actually get a kick out of it. He's presently using my picture cutter which I taught him how to use...cutting strip after strip of paper from an old magazine. I like giving him individual attention because it's so hard to do this during the day. And his facial expressions! He's an actor. He really is! At some point I'll post a slideshow of his infamous faces. I suppose with Luis as a Dad, Dan as a godfather and Cath as a godmother, he's just destined to be funny and have a way with crowds.
Most of us know he absolutely loves percussion instruments. Watching a parade is so intensely exciting for him that he begs to watch our home videos for days afterwards. He perches himself on the couch with bongo & drumsticks in hand and plays along with the marching bands. He was also captivated by bagpipes and asks me to sing the "bagpipe song" at night before sleep. Well how does one sing like a bagpipe? Mommy decided that "Amazing grace" might do and Gabe accepted it as "the bagpipe song" so this is our new ritual before sleep. He usually will not go down without one of his mallets in hand.
That's it for now. It's time to hang with my little paper cutter...


Luis took the boys yesterday to Burke Lake for a short fishing run. I earned some quiet time in the house while Monica napped. I nearly didn't know what to do with myself! They came back so charged up from the experience despite the fact that they caught absolutely nothing. I guess the thrill was in the process and not the result!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandma! April 19

Dearest Grandma/Mom/Mama Brown,
Happy Birthday! This year we wish we could be with you on this day to play games and feast. But we'll see you soon in a few weeks! We figure that that best gift we can give at this point is to attempt to connect better with you in different ways. Hence the beginning of this online journal.

Pope Benedict

Two days ago we had the privilege of attending the Papal Mass at the new Nationals stadium in DC. We rolled out of bed at 5:45 and we're surprisingly out the door by 7am. We took the metro downtown (much to the delight of John Paul & Gabe) and got to the stadium by 8:30. The event was so well organized that we barely had to wait to get through security. Our seats were quite good. We were very close to the stage on the first level up between right and center field (the altar was smack in the back of center field). Right below us on the floor were hundreds of priests and religious. We all received bags with a papal flag and Mass program. The moment Pope Benedict rolled out in the Popemobile was so surreal. There is something about being in the presence of the Pope, no matter what man is holding the office. It's a concrete experience of God the Father and Son. There's a comfort in his "fatherliness". The stadium burst with a new energy as we welcomed him. We all stood and waved our flags. John Paul and Gabriel quite liked the Popemobile! I particularly enjoyed seeing hundreds of priests leap from their seats like giddy little children to run close to the border to get close to him. Anyhow, the Mass was beautiful. Thanks to the beloved Miss Emily we were able to handle the three kids without our Moutain Buggy stroller which in the past has saved our lives during big day outings. Gabe of course loved all the percussion sounds of the multi-ethnic musical selections. I have to admit some of it was really good. Placido Domingo rocked us all with "Panis Angelicus". Incredible voice. AAnyhow, Pope Benedict astounded me with his openness to the crowd, his clear words and the quiet reserved reverance he displays as a leader. I can't wait to download all of his addresses after this US visit and mull over them. I just love the theme "One who has hope lives differently." That sums it up for me. Thank you Pope Benedict for coming to us. We know you just wanted to enjoy a quiet retirement in Bavaria but God had much different plans for the twilight of your life. We need you! Viva Il Papa!
After the Mass we stayed in the stadium and picnicked on ball park food until the crowds had subsided. We all got a bit sunburned. Oops, we just welcomed Spring weather back and it's time for sunscreen! It was great to run into Jen, Matthew & Lydia even if for just a few minutes. The whole event felt a bit like a combination of World Youth Day, Mass at St. Peter's, a DC Catholic reunion and a ball game. It was great! I know for sure that John Paul will remember it. Gabe might only remember the flag he received. And Monica. Well, she got a good nap out of it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Our Living Scrapbook

Hi Family! We're finally joining the world of bloggers. As we all know, I'm not so great at sending albums of pictures...nor am I a good "phone person." I've thought for some time now that there must be some easier way to be better connected with the most important people in our life, namely our family. So we are launching "Our Little Brown Life" for our parents, siblings, relatives and close friends. This way we can tell stories with attached pictures. Hopefully this little bit of cyberspace will compensate for what we lack in "real" space being so grographically disconnected.