Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Helping With the Laundry

Josh and I stepped away from folding laundry on our bed, and came back to find a certain someone...

Clearly, he was very comfortable.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Loving My TOMS

We're all about TOMS in my family these days!

Perhaps you've heard of them - they're highlighted in an AT&T commercial that is currently running.

The basic idea? You buy one (totally cute) pair of shoes, and the company sends a pair of shoes to a child who needs them. It is that simple! One for one. According to their website, they've given away 140,000 pairs already. I'm sure that number just keeps on growing.

I just love that idea. So many infections, viruses, and such can be prevented by giving kids good shoes to wear.

Want to read more? I found an LA Times article here that is pretty informative.

I've actually had my eye on these shoes for awhile now, ever since reading about the company in Relevant Magazine. Then my mom mentioned them one day over the phone. Then I got an email with a 20% off coupon to Piperlime. I figured that was my go-ahead.

I really like 'em.

Also, my dad got my mom a pair for her birthday:

And my mom got a pair for her best friend for her birthday. We're fans.

Donations to needy kids aside, I really do like the shoes. They're light and comfortable, but I wouldn't say they're overly hefty or anything. I'm not planning on trekking all over Europe in them. Nope, they'll be left at home. But they're perfect for hanging out around town, so long as it isn't raining (they're made of canvas). At $45-$55 per pair, you definitely pay a premium for the charity part of the business, but I'm okay with that.

And too, I think they're adorable.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

NOOMA Premier at Schuler

Any of you West Michigan folks looking for something fun and free to do tomorrow (Thursday) night?

Well, come on down to Schuler Books & Music for the premier of the newest NOOMA video. I'll be there - you can hang with me!

At Schuler's Books and Music on 28th Street in Kentwood.
Thursday, April 23rd at 7:00 pm.
There will be a question and answer time afterwards with some members of the Flannel Staff.

Wondering what it is about? Here is the synopsis:
Can success separate us from those who could use our help? Can it create a wall between those with and those without? Maybe we are only really successful when we can actually see who could use our help. And maybe when we give to those we see, we are reminded of what we have been given.

I've seen it, and I think it is spot on.

AND I have some more fun up my sleeve. Want a free copy? I'm giving one away.

All you have to do is A) post a comment below or shoot me an email; and B) show up. Then I'll enter you into the drawing. Easy peasy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...

Which wood is the fairest of them all?

Okay, it clearly doesn't have the same ring as the original Snow White line.

New flooring for the main level is the first project we plan to tackle in our new place. We've decided to go with hardwoods throughout, and are trying to decide which we like best. I think we've narrowed it down to these three options:

A. On one hand, we like Brazilian Cherry. We like the rich reddish color, and the varying shades in each plank. When we're looking at wood only, this is our favorite. But our couch is reddish brown. Our wood furniture is reddish brown. Do we go with this, knowing that for the next few years (goodness knows we don't have the cash for new furniture!) it will look like reddish brown threw up in our family room? Plus, we like our reddish brown furniture and look forward to using it for many, many more years.

B. Then there is Maple - stained with a "Cappuccino" color. Less expensive, still pretty, and unique. And there will certainly be a color contrast between this and the rest of our furniture. But if we're doing an entire floor of a house in this, will our home look too dark?

C. Or we could do a Brazilian Teak. It has a lot of the same features as the Cherry - a similar grain, varied colors in the planks, etc. But overall there is much less red involved. But (of course!) this is the most expensive of the three options.

Monday, April 20, 2009


It was a moment dear to the heart of God.

A beautiful woman and her darling children, all dressed in white.

A declaration of faith.

A reminder that little ones are dear to their creator.

A promise to raise children to know Jesus.

A little girl so proud to lead the church in signing.

A reminder that God is at work in people's lives.

A celebration.

The beginning of a new chapter for this little family.

It was the baptism of Montoya, Aiyannah, and Aiydan, as well as Montoya's public statement of faith.

Truly beautiful.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Traffic Tickets

I always considered myself a decent driver. Sure, I've always had a leeeeettle bit of a lead foot, but I always managed to wiggle out of tickets, and in general didn't get pulled over all that often.

Then last summer I got my very first speeding ticket.


But as I now drive a ton for my job I figured it was bound to happen sooner or later. Although I was $95 poorer, it wasn't a huge deal.

And then I got my second ticket.

This time I was speeding, but only a little bit. I had passed a cop on the highway, and watching him in my rear view mirror saw him pull out behind me.

Keep calm, I told myself. Maybe he just needs to go somewhere.

Maybe he did, but then I broke the law again, and he pulled me over. I was so nervous about being followed by a cop that I didn't notice a second cop on the side of the road giving someone else a ticket. I was trying to drive all slow and stay in the right lane, and as a result failed to move over into the left lane to give the other cop some room when I passed him.


Well, I do now. I was nailed for "Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle." I may as well have pulled in front of an ambulance that had its sirens wailing.

Suck, again.

But it gets worse.

I got a nice little notification in the mail: Notice of License Suspension. Oops.

Apparently if you get two tickets in a 12 month period, you will get one of these delightful little letters in the mail. And to avoid suspension, you have to take a four hour online class, and then pass the test at the end.

At least, they promised it would be four hours. They were wrong. Let's just say I spent a good eight hours over the past couple of weekends getting taught by an animated bobble head, fuzzy dice, and an evergreen-scented tree. Not even kidding. But at least I get to keep my driver's license and will shave 4 points off of it because I passed.

But you want to know the true silver lining? As I sat there in my car right after I got ticket #2, I reached over for the dreaded notice. After figuring out my fine, I deciphered the slightest hint of a watermark behind the text.

Yep, there was a man, an ax, and a buffalo. And mountains.

In Indiana your traffic tickets come complete with the ridiculous state seal.

It was enough to make me smile. And start driving slower.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Backseat

Back Seat Pictures, Images and Photos

Between Josh's graduation, buying a house, saying goodbye to friends, moving to a different city, starting a variety of home renovation projects AND traveling to Europe, we find ourselves in the most exciting 3 month period we've ever had.

Not to mention busiest. And most expensive.

It sank in when our offer was accepted on our house.

Wait a second, we said. We close in 5 weeks? Then move in in 6?

Then head to Europe 3 weeks after that?

And since we want to paint and stuff in our new place before furniture comes, we need to pick out our colors soon. And we're thinking of new floors... and since those need to be ordered ahead of time, we need to figure them out NOW. And what about our apartment here - we still need to paint that white again. And what about utilities? Since I work from home, I'll need Internet set up right away. But which company do we choose?

Ah, the ignorant bliss we lived in just a mere 10 days ago.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not at all complaining. I've never been so excited in my life, and I'm oh so thankful for the blessings of Josh's new job, my continued job, and our new place.

But it is clear to us that we will be busy busy busy until (at least!) the end of June. We'll be in a whirlwind of paint samples, passports, contractors, and re-learning how to cut grass in a backyard. Praise the Lord for parents eager to help!

But because of this amazingly fun and crazy schedule a few things are just going to have to take a backseat.

Like this blog.

My posting has clearly slowed down, and it will continue to be slow. But rest assured I'll do my best to keep you up to date with all the happenings in the Brown family. I'll have so many things to report on I won't be able to resist.