Sunday, January 10, 2010

My Christmas Present

I just had to share the amazing Christmas gift John gave me. This is a picture done by Liz Lemon Swindle entitled, "The Worth of a Soul." I love it so much. He waited until we were all done opening presents and then brought it out. It made me cry. It was such a thoughtful and beautiful gift. The story behind this painting is amazing too, I have included the artist's version of the story below.

"When Mothers Without Borders approached me about going to Africa, I told them I was not interested. For me Africa was a world away, “and besides,” I thought, “I am too busy.” Imagine my surprise when I found myself on a plane to Zambia in June 2007.

One of the first children I met was Kennedy, the little boy you see in the painting. At three years old he has lost both of his parents to AIDS and was found living alone with his six year old brother and ten year old sister. When I thought of those three children struggling to survive and the millions of others across Africa in similar circumstances, I felt an overwhelming hopelessness and said to myself, “No amount of money can fix this.”

Later that day while we were filming, Kennedy jumped into the arms of the man portraying the Savior. As I stood watching them, Kennedy turned towards me and our eyes met. At that moment I knew it wasn’t hopeless. I realized that the Savior can fix not only the problems of Africa, but of the whole world…and we can be His hands to do it.

Looking back I realize that my reasons for not wanting to go to Africa are likely the same as yours. We are busy and feel like we cannot make a difference, but I know now that neither is true. We are never too busy to lift another and every good work is known to Him who said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of…these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” - Liz Lemon Swindle

Thank You, Love.

Christmas Vacation

I failed to take very many pictures of the fun things we did between Christmas and New Years. It was a crazy fun week filled with cousins, nerf guns, swimming and play. My kids had no fun at all...

Merry Christmas

Santa Came!

A Chair for Chase

5 Babies for Bella

Cute or Creepy?

Bella lining up her babies.

Christmas morning was wonderful. Bella was so excited to get her 5 babies that she very specifically asked for. Chase got his very own chair and a play cell phone in his stocking. He got other gifts too, but those were the big hits of the day.

I am so thankful for my kids and it makes me so happy to see them experiencing and making these wonderful childhood memories.
Merry Christmas!

'Twas The Night Before Christmas

It was a Brown family Christmas this year. Christmas Eve was spent at our house. We had yummy minestrone soup and paninis and then we karaoked. It was a GOOD time.

Josh, Chase and Alex listening to John and Papa read The Christmas Story from Luke 2.

Chase opening his 1 gift on Christmas Eve. Jammies from Grammie.

Bella's PJs.

It was a wonderful night!

Gingerbread House

Every Christmas season we make a gingerbread house. It is a favorite tradition of mine. Bella loves it and Chase loves to eat the candy.

Ward Christmas Breakfast

This is the only "good" photo I got of them with Santa. However, it makes them look way more scared than they really were.
Addie and Bella

Roxy, Avery and Reese

My cute young women doing a dance for the whole ward! They did so good.

Every year our ward does a great Christmas breakfast. This year was no exception, complete with friends, delicious food and Santa!