Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Look at that smile!

After nearly two years Lauren got her braces off today. She was so excited to be able to bite into an apple, eat Rollos, and Milk Duds. The orthodontist office gave her a bag with goodies in it - popcorn, Starbursts, Skittles, and Rollos. All the forbidden things you're not supposed to eat while you have braces on.

She looks fantastic!

Monday, December 21, 2009

25th Anniversary: Continued

With an anniversary just 5 days before Christmas our anniversary celebrations have usually amounted to going to a matinée movie, and "dinner" is the early-bird special somewhere. Since this was our 25th, we decided we'd do something a bit more special. Rewinding 25 years, when we were first engaged we came to New York in August of 1984. On a driving tour of Vermont, we stopped at The Four Chimneys for dinner. It was really nice and we've always talked about going back, so that's what we decided to do.

Once in Bennington we had planned to go to a particular restaurant that ended up being closed for the evening. Instead, we got a recommendation for Allegro Ristorante, which turned out to be fantastic. The food was great, but I have to say, they really need to ratchet up the thermostat in that place. Brrrrrr!

The Four Chimneys is a wonderful place to stay and we highly recommend it. Our room had a wood burning fireplace that had a fire already set to light. However, it still took some good old-fashioned Scouting skills to get the fire going. Once we did, it was perfect for the cold winter evening. It was remarkable how not one bit of smoke ever came in our room. I guess in the early 1900's it was important to know how to make good fireplaces and this was one of them. In the morning we had breakfast, which was delicious, at the inn sitting by a sunny bay window.

When we left we drove to Manchester along historic Rt. 7A, then back to Bennington. On our way home we stopped and took pictures of some beautiful churches and drove across a couple of covered bridges.

All in all, it set a new standard for how to celebrate anniversaries.

Thanks, Michelle, for 25 great years!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

25th Anniversary

Today is our 25th wedding anniversary. What a wonderful 25 years it's been. I hope the next 25 are just as good!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Puzzle

Every Christmas season we get a Christmas puzzle to work on. This year's was the hardest, by far. We finished at 10:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 17th after getting home from a concert at the High School for Lauren and Jared. With about 10 puzzle pieces left we were convinced that some were missing because things just weren't going together right. We looked under the table to make sure none had fallen, and asked the kids if they'd taken pieces. They hadn't. It turns out that the bottom border of the puzzle was put together incorrectly. That's what made this puzzle so hard - there were several places where pieces could fit, but not be right. Now with 6 days until Christmas Lauren wants us to do another puzzle. Perhaps an easier one!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Glen, Lauren, Helen and I all went to Wicked last night at Proctor's Theater.

It was so fun. None of us had seen it before. The singing was amazing and the costumes were fabulous. I'm so glad we went. We'd had the tickets since May - so it felt like a long time coming. But it was worth it!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Eighteen Months!

As of today Brett has been gone for 18 months! I can't believe how fast the time seems to be going.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Jared asked a friend for a ride home after select choir last Wednesday and they got rear-ended turning onto our street. They're both OK, as are the other three BH-BL kids that were in the other car, but both cars are totaled.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Welcome to the World baby Bennett

Justin Bennett Wilson
Monday, September 28, 2009
8:39 p.m. MDT - 8 pounds - 20" long

The happy family!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Back to School!

Wednesday, September 9th was the first day of school. The kids begged me not to take pictures as the bus came. Not that I have for the past few years anyway.

Here's Jared. This year he's a Senior in high school. I can't believe it.

Here's Lauren. She's in 8th grade this year.

My kids are growing up. Where does the time go?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Oh, What Do You Do in the Summertime...

...When all the world is green? Naturally you would want to install your TV antenna in your attic and mow your lawn. But what then? Well since it was a warm Summer day, Lauren and Glen went kayaking at Collins Park. It's close, it's calm and it was fun. Then, of course, since it's the last weekend that Jumpin' Jack's is open, the trip just has to end with ice cream. And what the heck, throw in some onion rings too! Special thanks to the Maughan family for loaning us the second kayak.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


We went to Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) last Friday (August 14th). It was the Philadelphia Orchestra's "Family Night". The program that night was Broadway Rocks!
They did selections from West Side Story, Ain't Misbehavin', Grease, High School Musical 1 and 2, Movin' Out, Dirty Dancing, Footloose, The Wiz, Wicked, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Fame, Jersey Boys, and Hairspray. They also had four fantastic vocalists (two men and two women) who sang a lot of the songs.
They also had free Stewarts ice cream, and a fantastic balloon artist. We'd been there the Friday before and Lauren had seen him make a motorcycle for another kid, so that is what she decided she wanted. While you waited in line they passed down a card with the different types of balloon sculptures you could ask for - and the motorcycle wasn't on there. But when Lauren got to the front of the line she decided she was going to ask for it anyway. The man looked at the line and then said that he would do one. He also said that he only does one motorcycle each night. Lauren was sooooo thrilled that she was the one that got it. We ended up taking it to the car during intermission because we knew we wouldn't be able to carry all of the other stuff we had there as well as the motorcycle.
It was a beautiful night to sit out under the stars, eat dinner, and enjoy some fantastic music!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy 13th Birthday Lauren!!!!!

I can not believe that my "baby" is 13.

Here's a picture of Lauren as a newborn.

This is a picture of Lauren with her friend Craig.

Easter 2000

Blowing out her birthday candles.

Lauren with her 1st grade teacher.

2003 - Hawaii

2004 school picture

2005 school picture

2006 school picture

2007 - 11th birthday

First day of school 2008.

Donating her hair to locks of love in April 2009.

Happy birthday Lauren! We love you!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Personal Best

Today, Michelle recorded her personal best in the Freihofer's 5K Run for Women. Ok, it was her first 5K, so by definition it was her personal best. But before you laugh, think to yourself, when was the last time YOU ran a 5K? We're very proud of her. But we're not going to bronze her shoes just yet. She may need them again next year! Below you can watch a video of her at the start and finish. Michelle finished in about 43 minutes. The video is only 5. As you will see, there was an enormous field this year.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Jared's Prom

Last Friday Jared took Carolyn to the Prom. She is a senior and will be graduating soon. They are good friends that have been in plays and musical groups together. Before they left for Saratoga we went over to her house to take pictures. It was a beautiful day. Warm and sunny. They are so lucky.

Here's the group Jared went with. They all came to Carolyn's house to take pictures before going to the Hall of Springs where the dinner and dance were held. The girls dresses were lovely and the boys all looked handsome.

The Hall of Springs is nestled in along the Avenue of the Pines in Saratoga Spa State Park. This historic facility reflects an era of grand style. Tremendous marble columns, Belgian crystal chandeliers and vaulted ceilings lend a passage back to its creation in the early 1930s.

Before the kids line up for the promenade they mill around talking to each other. It's a great time to take even more pictures. This is a picture of Scott, Marie, and Jared. All friends from church. Don't they all look great!

All of the couples line up and promenade down the hallway you can see under the arches. It is so fun to see all the girl's dresses, and see how well the girls coordinate with their dates.

Here are Jared and Carolyn at the walk-in. You only have seconds to snap a picture before they're past and headed into the banquet hall.

After the Prom walk-in Lauren and I always go into Saratoga Springs and go to Ben & Jerry's for ice cream. If we get there in time we ride the carousel in Congress Park. Unfortunately we got there just as they were closing this time, so we didn't get to go on it. After our ice cream we went and walked around Saratoga Spring's main street. It's always fun! This is our fifth time doing it. Twice for Erin, twice, for Brett, and now this once for Jared. Lauren will be a pro by the time it's her turn to go to Prom.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's Day 2009 was wonderful. It started with breakfast in bed followed by presents. Below are some flowers that Michelle received from Erin and Justin for Mother's Day.

Michelle also got some flowers from Lauren and a flat of impatiens to plant outside. So our house is smelling good!

Jared gave Michelle a Kohl's gift card, and Glen gave her some running gear. (Michelle's signed up to run the Freihofer's 5K race on May 30th).

One of the most anticipated things that happened on Mother's Day was receiving our phone call from Brett. He called home at 1:00 p.m. We had Erin and Justin on Skype and the rest of us were on a cool speaker phone that Glen had brought home. It worked great. We were all able to hear him and ask questions. It is amazing how fast time goes when we are talking to him. In our conversation he mentioned that he will probably be home for next Mother's Day. He said his mission typically releases missionaries two weeks before their entrance date - and that would put him home around the first part of May. That means we'll only talk to him once more before he's home - at Christmas time. Wow, time is flying by! Brett said that he's eaten tons of ethnic food. He usually has African, Jamaican, or Indian food, with some good old English food thrown in now and then. He said that one of his favorite dishes is a vin daloo from India. He said it has curry in it and is extremely hot (spicy). Brett also said that one of the things he thinks he'll be blown away by when he comes home is how big everything is. Cars, houses, yards, streets - they're all small in England. He said that a Ford Focus would be a "family car" in England. We thought that was funny! Michelle thanked Brett for her Mother's Day present. Glen had Brett record 116 words that the GPS uses. Then he put it into the GPS unit. On Saturday night Glen and Michelle were driving to U. Albany for a concert and the GPS was giving directions. The first was turn left and Michelle asked whose voice it was because it was a male voice when before it had always been female. Then the GPS said something else and she asked Glen what was going on - Glen asked Michelle whose voice she thought it sounded like. She said she thought it sounded like Brett. And Glen told her that it was. Once the GPS said more than just a few words it was easy to hear that it was Brett. So now every time we use the GPS it will be Brett's voice giving us directions. If we put it in the back seat we might even think that he was in the car. It was so fun to hear his voice after not talking to him since Christmas. And then to get to talk to him the next day was amazing. He'd love to get letters from anyone who wanted to write. Hint, hint! Brett expressed that he is learning the value of work, and that it's taken on a whole new meaning since being in the mission field. It's fun to hear how he's maturing and learning lessons that will benefit him for the rest of his life. Erin and Justin were able to tell Brett that they're having a baby boy. We also told him that Suzanne and Evan are having a baby boy as well. It was great to talk to him. It made us realize just how much we miss his sense of humor. He said some pretty funny things and made us all laugh.

We also went over to Evan and Suzanne's house for dinner with Helen. The missionaries serving in Evan and Suzanne's ward were also over for dinner and it was fun to talk to them since they'd both preciously served in our ward. It was a wonderful evening (except when Emma fell and her top teeth went through her bottom lip) and we were glad to be able to celebrate it with Helen and everyone else.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring Break 2009

For Spring break we decided to go to Niagara Falls. I know, you'd think we would of headed South rather than North in April - but you know the crazy Brooksbys do the unexpected.

When we first arrived in Niagara Falls we headed down to the falls themselves. Along the way the kids wanted to look in gift shops (don't they always?) and we got this sweet picture!

The weather was sunny and bright, but freezing. Glen and I wore our parkas the whole time (we're not as "cool" as the kids who wouldn't be caught dead in a parka). This picture is taken from a walkway above the falls.

We took the Journey Behind the Falls tour and before we entered the tunnel they snapped a picture of our family and superimposed it on a falls background. We didn't really want to pay $15 for a picture and as it turns out this one below looks almost exactly like the one they wanted to sell us.

On Easter Sunday we left Niagara Falls and headed to Kirtland, OH. We went to visit the LDS Church historical sites there. In the picture below Glen and Lauren are in the ashery. Lauren is holding a very heavy metal spoon that they used to stir the potash.

Unfortunately we weren't able to go inside the Kirtland temple. It wasn't open that day, but we took pictures.

After seeing the sites in Kirtland we went on to Dayton, OH. Home of the United States Air Force Museum. Glen has been wanting to go here for a long time. There are three big hangers full of every kind of airplane you can imagine. The Wright brothers are from Dayton. We toured the museum on Monday, but weren't able to go onto the base to see the Presidential planes and experimental planes until Tuesday. The picture below is in the hanger with the different presidential planes. They had Eisenhower's, Roosevelt's, Kennedy's and Truman's presidential planes there. We got to go inside four of them.

After going on the Wright-Patterson Air Base we headed back towards home. On the way we passed the Columbus Temple. Unfortunately it wasn't open until later that evening, so we had to be content with pictures.

As we were driving through PA we got off the interstate so Jared could buy some fireworks. When we were turning back onto the freeway we saw all of these Amish buggies stopped. It was raining, but I'm not sure why they were all congregated there and what they were waiting for.

On our way back to NY we went to the John Johnson Farm - also an LDS historical church site. That's where we are in the picture below.

We spent our last night in Corning, NY. We went to the Corning Glass Museum. It was fascinating! (Good thing, since I think Jared was just about done with museums - but even he thought the glass museum was good.) The picture below is of one of the favorite things they had there. You could watch someone actually working with the glass. The demo was so interesting that we watched it twice. Each time someone different made something different.

There were also exhibits of other's glass works. Jared and Lauren had a fun time looking at all of the different glass sculptures.

It was a fun Spring break. I'm glad we went!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Yesterday morning before conference Glen and I went to the Albany Rural Cemetery to look for headstones of some Brooksbys that we'd heard were there. This is a picture of Glen (whose middle name is William) standing by the headstone of William Brooksby. There were four different sections that had Brooksbys in them. We took pictures and got information for family history. We're not exactly sure how the Brooksbys we found are related, but they must be somehow.

I took a picture of this headstone because I though it was so beautiful. There were three together that all looked the same.

I took this picture because the headstone was so unusual. This is the headstone of a 22 year-old young man who died in battle at Gettysburg. It is a tree trunk with a sword and shield resting against it. Around the bottom are carved stones with different places engraved into them. Some of the places I recognized as places that battles had been fought.

We got home just in time to make it for the first session of conference.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Fools' Day

The morning started off with the kids waking up to this sign on their bedroom doors.

Glen went in and told Lauren that we had a two hour delay for school. She was a little sad when she realized that it wasn't true. When they came downstairs I gave Glen, Jared, and Lauren a bag of these:

I also gave each of them a card that was impossible to open, no matter which side you tried to open it from.

Before I left to go to the gym I put this parking citation on Glen's car in the garage. He got a kick out of it, but didn't for a minute think it was real. Jared, on the other hand was another matter. Jared was working at the library and so Glen and I both drove over there in two cars so we could leave Jared the Focus to go to Jazz Band and then come home. When he got in the car he started to freak out thinking that somehow he'd really gotten a ticket. It wasn't until he got out and read the ticket that he got the joke.

Here's Lauren eating out yummy dinner.

We had apple juice (lemon jello with a drop of red food coloring in it).

We had grilled cheese sandwiches (pound cake with american cheese colored yellow frosting).

And a berry pie (shepherd's pie with red potatoes).

It was a fun filled day full of jokes of all kinds!