Wednesday, July 29, 2009

blogger vs facebook

Have you ever Googled yourself? If you just search for Justin Brown Texas you might discover that I could be….
A lawyer-
A doctor-
A preacher-
An NFL draft prospect-

If someone just got that far with it and mistakenly thought I had become any of those things that would be okay with me. If he were to add things like San Angelo, Lubbock Christian, Temple, BNSF, or any of my girls’ names to the search, then he could find this blog and contact me.

I’ve never been on the cutting edge of cool. I got into this blogging stuff just as it was losing coolness ground to facebook. My cool wife, Leslie, is a facebooker, as are many of you. It’s interesting to me and Leslie lets me peek in on things she finds interesting, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever become a facebooker. I heard it's losing marketshare to tweeting anyway. I think I’ll stick with blogging.

I like writing and I’m full of opinions, and this is a good outlet for that. I also blog for my girls as a sort of chronicle of their upbringing. I’d like to give them a book of printed copies of our posts when they leave home. If I were to depart this life before our adult children or grandkids thought to ask my opinion on an issue, perhaps they could find it or at least deduce (or is it induce, Mom?) it from my posts.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Big Girl

Our Jonesy is growing up! She asked for a haircut a couple of weeks ago after seeing a little girl at the library. After talking to the mom and finding out where and who cuts her daughters hair, I made an appointment. Today was the day that the majority of her hair was cut off and she looks like a little lady. She went into her silent mode at the salon. The lady that shampooed her hair had hot pink streaks in her hair with bright blue streaks under the pink. So, I think she was in shock, or forming ideas for her next creative addition to her style.hmmm. The stylist was wonderful and at the end she got a smile, but I missed it with the camera. I am including a before picture of her hair in doggy ears and one from the store yesterday. Can you see the ponytail, headband, leotard, scarf, butterfly wings, and Princess pink sandals? :) I also painted her toenails with a green and pink giraffe design.

Toe Party

Today was the first toe party. We had 10 moms, including myself, and a total of 12 kids, 4, 3, and 10 under 17months. I did 6 ladies feet in 3 hours. There are two additional pictures, one from the weekend and the other from Monday night. Here are the results:

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Do you like this toe design?

Thanks Carla for letting me take a picture of your fun toes.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Monday and Tuesday nights are fun for Kirsten and I. Jason works late on those two nights and when Justin is away, we get together for the afternoon and supper. Monday night we were at Kirsten's house. The girls played on Madalyn's new swingset, they played in the pool and sprinkler, we ate supper, had no bake cookies for dessert and then outside for watermelon. The donkey came to the back fence and the girls fed him. It's funny to me that all the girls want the donkey to come and they want to feed it, but when it does come it takes them awhile to get used to it being so close. It was a fun evening. Thanks for the meal, the fun and the company, Kirsten. I am glad we are friends :).

Our 3 year old ditched Bible class

This should have been written last Wednesday night....but, here's the story.

Jones, Georgia and Emma(4, 3 and almost 5) walked with me to the stairs by Annie's class. I left them at the stairs and they were to go on up to class. I took Annie to class and then I went to my class. I usually go and check to make sure they made it, but last Wednesday, for some reason, I didn't. After class, Scott met me at the their classroom door holding Georgia. And here's what happened during class:

Jones went into class by herself. Scott asked where Georgia was and she replied she was coming. Awhile after class started Georgia was still not there. Emma was not in class, but her older sister was in class too. Jenna(the high school class helper) was sent out to find the two girls. She found them. They were safe.

They were in the Coffee Spot!

Georgia was escorted to class tonight and I checked on her before I went to class.

Is this a glimpse into our future?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

People Are Crazy

Turn your speakers up. This is my current favorite song. Reminds me of my friends, my Uncle Frankie, my father-in-law, Willie and Julio's "To All The Girls I've Loved Before", and fuels my dream of retiring to Mexico.

Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Hebrews 13:1-2

Friday, July 17, 2009


Justin was a blessing to me this week on Tuesday. Our mom meet up group was having a mom's night out and I had been good about saying no to going for two reasons. 1. My husband was home and 2. We are on a new budget. But when Kirsten was on her way over for us to watch Madalyn so she could go, my heart was racing and I wanted to go. Justin was gracious and loving and supportive. He gave me money to go and he watched all four girls by himself. Thank you so very much for that precious hour and a half. I love you!
PS. It looks like the weather will be cooler this week. Do you want to go fishing? :)

Bears, Dorothy and Toes

Georgia's quote: "Did you know that bears have bear(bare) bottoms."

Jones went to WalMart today dressed as Dorothy carrying Toto in a purse. I did warn her that people were going to talk to her and call her Dorothy. And they did. She handled it very well.

The girls are so excited that I am painting toe nails. They want theirs done all the time. Today, I was working on Kirsten's toes and I got up for a cup of water. Annie got in my chair and put the towel on her lap, patted the towel for Kirsten to put her foot up, and (with a clean brush)started painting her toes. She was very serious about the job.

Here are a few more that I have done:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What's Wrong With Our Education System- Part II

Back in the “good old days” of western civilization, once a kid learned to read and write (in English, German, Spanish or whatever) the rest of his formal education would consist of studying Latin, History, philosophers, and religious teachers. Classical Education. None of this stuff was meant to lead him into his career as our secondary and higher education attempts to do today. Life experience, parents, reading, and apprenticeships did that. Instead his education was designed to teach him to think, research, discipline himself, develop ethics and an understanding of the events of history that lead to the current state of the affairs of the world. I do believe that it is still possible for a kid to go through the public school system and get a great education. Some of the elements of a classical education are still there, but without an understanding of the wherefores.
Let’s use the research paper as an example. Most kids are still required to do them in high school and in college. I believe the original intent of the assignment of research papers was not only to make students miserable, but also to develop curiosity and the ability to find the answers to things that puzzle them. It was about learning how to learn.
Yes, many teachers teach to test these days. Unfortunately, even when teachers aren’t teaching to test, most of our students are learning for the test, or memorizing what they need to get a good grade, but failing to grasp concepts and an understanding that what they are learning should be retained and can and should be used “in real life.” (To me, this explains how we ended up with President O’Bama.)
I’m thankful that my mother bought a set of encyclopedias for our home when we were kids. I was fortunate enough to have parents and teachers who said, “Look it up,” when I had questions about various things. This is where the previous post about canola oil ties in. How many people not only don’t know where canola oil comes from, but have had no curiosity about it? How many people get their news from Conan O’Brian or Letterman’s monologue? Do you know why a Ponzi scheme is called a Ponzi scheme?
Relative to the whole of human history, compulsory education is still a pretty new idea. While I do believe that every child in our society should be given the opportunity to learn to read and write, beyond that I say let each family give direction and let the individual decide what he will pursue. But what I say doesn’t usually affect TEA or my local ISD. So if we must have compulsory education and continue to tell everyone that he should go to college, I’d like to see our kids learning more than multiculturalmumbojumbo, completely filling bubbles with #2 lead, and self-esteem. I’d like to see them learning how to learn. Let’s teach them to be teachable.

I’d like comments from those of you who are teachers or teachers of teachers. You are the pros. I just drive trains and have opinions.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What's Wrong With Our Education System-Part I

In case you’ve ever wondered…..

Some men take a lot of pride in grilling and/or barbecuing. I don’t. I’ve never cooked a steak that was even close to as good as a good steakhouse steak. I do like to fry things though. People who fry debate oils like pit masters debate charcoal, gas, hickory, and mesquite. Well, near the top of my list of oils is canola. Do you know what a canola is? I always wondered, but could never find out.

I went to England in 2001 and saw vast fields of bright yellow. I asked someone what it was and they said rape weed. “Rape?” I asked. “Yeah, rape.” he said. I asked what they did with it and was told that it was for canola oil. My question had finally been answered and relief spread over that sore spot on my brain, but it was soon replaced with another question…..If that’s rape, then what’s a canola?
A couple of days ago, the “What’s a canola?” question was bothering me again so I decided to Google it on my internets. It turns out than canola oil does come from rape seed, but rapeseed oil was always too acidic to be of much use and was very unhealthy, even toxic. Then this bunch of Canadians developed a low-acid breed of rape and began to market it. As you can imagine, rape oil didn’t sell very well. So they renamed it, Canadian oil, low-acid.

There's no such thing as a canola. It was just about marketing.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Job!

A dear friend in Amarillo has an adventure with toe nails. While I was in Amarillo she taught me how and I am beginning my business in Temple. What do you think of the toes below?(I have done a few more, but they are on my cousins camera) Would you be interested?

Black Eye Update

These two pictures were taken Saturday morning in Portales.

Saturday afternoon in Amarillo a scratch(from a stick)was added below the injured eye.


Uncle John and Aunt Sheila, Great Grandma Wilhoit, and Mimi with the girls


Lunch with Great Papaw Jones

TEXAS in Palo Duro Canyon

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