December 29, 2010

What Is Life About?

December 29, 2010
Life is not about what type of hood ornament you have or what your tag on your shirt says.  It is not about the square footage of your house or where you vacationed this year.  It is about simple moments like these:

A proud Papaw
a hug from your brother

the laughter of your children

an angel in the snow
being held by your daddy for the first time

kisses from a grandmother

the feeling of "accomplishment" and the warmth of your newborn

the love for your daddy

the happiness of a proud aunty

family... its about family and your love for the Lord!

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December 26, 2010

Sister Act - Take 2

December 26, 2010
V
O
L
 S
 
 O

 L

S
GO!

VOLS!
GO!

I love these girls!

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December 24, 2010

Brooks Family Christmas Letter 2010

December 24, 2010

Hello and warmest holiday wishes from the Brooks’!  We hope that this holiday season finds you comfy, cozy, happy and well. I often wish during the holidays that the spirit of Christmas would last all year long.  Proof of this being, I put up my Christmas tree the second week of November!  By the spirit, I’m not referring to the trees and garland but more so the sense of good will, of giving to others, of peace and cooperation between people – all symbolized by a gift.  The idea of giving to others on special occasions, as an expression of good will goes back to the birth of Christ.  It is a way of showing that you value someone or something regardless of fiduciary return.

As this past year is coming to a close, and with all that is happening in our world we wanted to pause and reflect on all the blessing that have taken place within our family this year.  We are thankful for so much.  As most of you know we welcomed our second bundle of joy into the world on May 19th, Anna Claire weighed in at a whopping 8 pounds 12 ounces – a whole 2 pounds bigger than her brother!  The birth of Claire was nothing, but extraordinary.  She made her way into the world quietly and with little warning.  In spite of no epidural her birth was almost painless.  If I was assured that all future births were as wonderful as hers I would have a nest full!  Well… maybe not, but it was a great experience nonetheless. 

Claire is a spitting image of her brother – although some (very few) would disagree.  She has those big blue eyes just like Colton that melt you heart in a blink.  I have been asked several times if a girl is easier than a boy.  My response has always been the same; it has nothing to do with gender, but everything to do with birth order.  Claire has been such an easy baby, but I think the majority of that has to do with the fact that this second time around I am much more relaxed and laid back, having a little experience under our belts has certainly made a difference.  Chris and I have also realized that this could very well be our last little one so we are trying to soak up every little baby moment possible.

Colton has proven to be a great big brother.  Naturally there have been those times of jealousy, but all in all he has been great.  He loves for me to lay her beside him in the bed so he can cuddle with her and is the first to rush to clean the slobber off her chin!  Chris and I are so excited to see the brother-sister relationship develop and grow. 

We celebrated Colton’s second birthday soon after the arrival of Claire on a very HOT June afternoon with family in our home.  It was a nice day with lots of food and cake – at the end of the night while cleaning up I realized that we forgot to sing Happy Birthday!  How on earth do you forget to sing Happy Birthday!?  I was devastated and sent everyone a text message telling them they all had to come back so we could sing to him!  Of course, they did not so Chris and I just sang to him ourselves.  Chris put together a slide show of pictures to music of his first 2 years – I sat on the couch and boo hooed like a baby!  Granted my hormones were going nuts from just giving birth, but I was so overwhelmed at the fact that, and still am, the God chose ME to be his and Claire’s mother!  How wonderful of God to think of me! 

We are amazed daily with all that Colton has learned and is learning.  Toddlers brains are like sponges soaking up everything.  We’re partial of course, but we think he is one of the smartest little boys ever!  Most days you can find him with a book in hand or playing blocks in the floor.  Colton still has a found love for Preach and Garry (our Pastor and pastor’s brother – our Sunday School teacher) and loves to go to church.  He has really started to come into his own interacting well with other children, especially at church.  This summer I thought I would try to teach Colton the Lord’s Prayer, but he surprised both Chris and I by reciting it all on his own.  I was stunned when I started “Our Father who art in Heaven” and Colton ran away with the rest.  He loves to sing and his favorite is “Nothing but the Blood” – he refers to it as “The Jesus Song” – we have to hear it at least 3 times a day!  Seriously!  It warms our hearts to hear him sing about our Lord – we realize that Colton does not understand all that he is singing about, but I rest assure he (as do most children) understands more than we often give him (them) credit for.


Chris has been working hard at Brooks Furniture trying to sell furniture in this nasty economy.  He loves his job and enjoys working with his dad and grandfather. He and his dad traveled to China twice this year on business.  The first time was back in April while I was around 8 months pregnant!  To help pass the time while he was away Colton and I spent a week in Atlanta with family – Colton loved getting lots of attention from Aunt Becky, Uncle Tom, Jonathon and most of all Elizabeth.  I of course enjoyed all the shopping Atlanta had to offer.  During their first trip they had 14 people give their heart to Christ!  The second trip was just this past October.  To say I was nervous about this trip was a big understatement!  I wasn’t nervous so much about Chris traveling, this was his 10th trip – I was nervous about being home alone with 2 little ones!  The trip was shorter than normal, only 8 days and frequent visits from the grandmothers helped time to go by a little faster.  During this last trip they had the opportunity to lead 17 Chinese to Christ while doing business.  You see, these trips are not “missionary” trips so to speak – they are business trips, but through the leadership of the Holy Spirit and because of their obedience to the word of God, over the past 5 years they have lead over 250 to Christ!  Most Chinese are Buddhist (works based faith) and have never heard The Good News of the gospel of Christ, but once they do and once they accept Christ as their personal Lord and Savior they are almost always eager to share it with someone else.  I am always so convicted when I hear the stories about how the ones they have led to the Lord are so eager to now share their faith and I often times find myself reluctant to share my faith.  I have been asking the Lord to help me be bolder when it comes to my faith.  We have enclosed a pamphlet (as we do most every year) called “The Steps to Peace with God” to help you in sharing your faith with someone else.  Or maybe you yourself have not accepted Christ into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior – this pamphlet helps explain the necessary steps.  If you have any questions or simply need someone to pray with please feel free to contact either one of us at any time!
Here I am continuing my role as mommy extraordinaire and COO of our home (do you like my self-given titles?  tee hee!).  Most of my days are spent trying to find balance between wife, mom, housekeeper and chef.  Often times I find myself overwhelmed and do not accomplish half of what is on my to-do list, but I am eternally grateful to the Lord and to my loving selfless husband for giving me the wonderful opportunity to stay at home with Colton and Claire.  The Lord has used motherhood to refine me in areas that I did not know existed.  I pray that He will continue to refine me and mold me into the child of God he desires.  An abundance of wisdom and grace are most often on the top of my prayer list, for without it I will surely fail.

I have found a knack for making hair bows and have started an etsy site.  I enjoy it so much because for one I am NOT a crafty person!  Seriously!  But if you’re interested you can find my stuff at thefabulouscupcake.etsy.com.  Blogging has also crept back into my life – you can check out our blog at believingboldly.blogspot.com.   

As we prepare for the New Year, we are grateful to be healthy and active.  We will be spending the holidays with family and hoping not to eat too much – did I mention we are on a new quest for health?!  Yup, we are following a great eating plan from Dr. Josh Axe called “The Healing Foods Diet” – you should check it out at draxe.com.  With that I better bring this to a close, we hope all is well with you and yours this holiday season, and we’d love to hear from you soon.

Much Love,
Chris & Summer Jo Brooks
Colton Michael & Anna Claire






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December 23, 2010

Guess Who!?

December 23, 2010
Chris and I are putting together a photo album for his grandparents for Christmas.  We have over 500 pictures printed and we have been going through them sorting by year and then by month.  We came across this picture and could not for the life of us figure out who it was!  Colton or Claire??!!  Who do you think it is!?  Something fun for the lucky winner!

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December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

December 22, 2010

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December 19, 2010

Fun in the Snow!

December 19, 2010
We had our first big snow of the season this week.

The snow was quickly followed by an ice storm....

but before the ice hit Colton and I enjoyed some fun in the snow!!  

 He mostly enjoyed trying to get me with snow!



Muah!  I love this face!

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December 18, 2010

Mom by any other name...

December 18, 2010


We may live in different regions of the United States or even outside the US, we may be from different religious backgrounds or even ethnicity.  Some of us have a small family while others have a nest full.  Many of us co-parent with our loving spouses while many of you are the mother and the father - but the one thing remains the same - We are Mom, Mother,Mama, Nene, Majka, Nana, Mor, Moer, Madre, Mutter, Mam, etc... whatever your child so sweetly (or sometimes not) call you.  We stand together blessed beyond measure!


I recently started a discussion here entitled "You Know You're a Mom When...." and here were some of the responses from some fellow mommy bloggers (check out their blogs!)... I can, and I am sure you can too, relate to almost all of these!



  1. Any little noise your children make in the night you are up and checking on them. Even if they are 16 and 18
  2. You cease to care if you get a Christmas present because you'd rather the money be spent on the kids!  Esther author of Laugh With Us Blog
  3. When you get back home, put away ALL your shopping and realize you didn't buy a single item for yourself.  Hilda author of from me to you - a blog about giving love in many different ways
  4. You spend YOUR birthday at McDonald's so the kids can enjoy it, too! :)  Cookie author of "Mommy's Home!"
  5. You try to fish your cell phone out from your purse. Instead you grab hold of a sock, a plushie, or a random object belonging to your child that he or she had somehow managed to hide in your purse.  Dee author of MOMMYFUL
  6. You only have one pair of jeans because you are so tired of shopping by the time you shop for your kids; you just want to go home!!  Danielle author of Parenting For Less
  7. Your child is wearing nicer clothing than you.  This is the story of my life lately. I look like poo and he's a stylish little dude.  Hockey Wife author of A Day in the Life of a Hockey Wife
  8. You lock your keys in the car because you are getting a prenatal test at the hospital and your 2year old has you all wacky.  You then have roadside assistance pre-programmed into your cell, thank gosh!  All the while you are stressed about picking up your 12 year old from the dance and what time your 14 year old gets out of wrestling practice!!  And all of this is normal and part of your day...and you are STILL excited to have JUST ONE MORE???  Meredyth author of Journey 2 Health
  9. When you gladly pick the yuck out of their nose, so they don't do it themselves and..... (You know!)  You wear the same 2 sweatshirts all winter with the one pair of pants you own..And then you remember that you have had those same 2 sweatshirts for about 12 years.  Jeannie author of The Polka Cabana
  10. When a really great date includes a nap.  Alessandra author of Lala's Tribal Times
  11. Your husband asks you where you want to go to dinner, and you reply "Souper Salad!".  Melissa author of A Heavenly Journey
  12. Your toddler begins to vomit and without hesitation you reach your hand out to catch it so none of it gets on her....all the while telling her, she will be okay in a cheerful, this happens all the time way.  Heather author of The Meadows Family
  13. You know you're a mom when you're in a sound sleep or in another room and you can hear your child *not breathing.  You also know you're a mom when you can hear your child calling for you from school *mentally* and they tell you they did too.  ooohhh!!!  Mary Beth author of http://enjoycountryliving.com/wp/?p=1262
  14. You know you're a mom when your purse contains lots of Kleenex (fresh and not-so-fresh), diaper rash cream, spare nursing pads, and several crayon notes that say "I luv you mom"  When three hours of sleep in a row is something to celebrate.  When you organize your plastic cups by color so that SOMETHING in your life will look orderly!
  15. You can't remember the last time you put on pretty underwear or blow dried your hair.  You find weird crusty things in your hair and on your left shoulder.  You lose your mind if they don't listen to you or lick the wall in the doctor's office, but it is okay if they throw up in your hands or on your bed.  Theresa author of A Mountain Momma
  16. You lament the fact that women's jeans don't come with reinforced knees because you just put a hole in your 3rd pair this month from crawling around with your 8-month-old.  You find yourself detailing what you will do next on your grocery list out loud...and this time the cart is empty because you left the kids home with Daddy!  You cry every time you hear about the death of a child.  Every time.  Every child.  (Sorry.  It's true.)  The mommy author of Long Daze Short Years
  17. When you will do anything to help, nuture and love the little being you created.  Author of  BE POSITIVE MOM
  18. You find bags of breast milk from 6 months ago in your freezer and feel sick at the thought of having to dump it.  After all you worked DARN HARD for those 6 ounces! When you find out it is ok to give your baby {who has been on formula for the last 6 months} those 6 ounces of breast milk, it is the highlight of your week.  Comparable to winning the lottery!  When you literally jump up and down the next day when you find yet another bag of breast milk in the freezer!  Kelly author of Smedley Family
  19. Your child, who is sleeping with you, throws up on your chest and the first thing you think is that you are glad it wasn't on your husband because then you would have to clean up after him too.  Elizabeth Life With A Princess and A Hobbit
  20. You know you are a mom when your relaxing bubble bath turns into the perfect time to clean bathtub crayon markings off of the sides of the tub.  Author of The Frugal Free Gal
  21. You ask your husband to call your cell phone once a day, because your 17 month old daughter ran off with it again.  I have found it in the toy box, garbage can, and yesterday inside a pot in the kitchen cabinet..... Someday I will remember to put that phone out of her reach.  Until then I will just drive myself crazy daily!  Lauren author of I am THAT Lady
  22. You think it's totally normal to discuss whether or not your toddler (who has horrible chronic constipation) has went poop today and if it looks soft enough that she doesn't need her medicine tonight.  Elizabeth  Life With A Princess and A Hobbit
  23. You pick your 4 year old up from Pre-K, and see green slime up the arm of his white sleeved shirt...You say "Umm...Did ya wipe your nose with your sleeve?" and he says " How did you know I did that?".....And, you don't even gag or barf....And, he still has that same shirt on hours later...  Tammy author of His + Hers + Ours = %*&^?*#$%
  24. You know you're a mom when you're not sure which one you're sadder about not having recently: a shower or sex.  Gina author of Fantasy casting
  25. Your friends call you because you have the local children's hospital phone number memorized.  You can sing the words to the potty video that all of your children have watched.  And then you start making up your own words to said tune.  You can describe your child’s poop without turning red because to you it's no big deal.  Angela author of The Alphabet Family
  26. The only sculptures on your mantle are made of lego.  It's a treat to wake up to only one child in your bed.  You don't remember the last time you went to the bathroom without company (or someone banging on the door).  Kristyn author of ABC and 1-2-3!
  27. You tell your coworker I will be back I need to go  potty
  28. You know you are a mum, when you wake at 7am and it feels like a lie in.  When you go to work to get a break.  When instead of a needing a lipstick close to hand in the car its baby wipes.  When bathroom and kitchen cleaner become important smells in your life.  When you realise its just easier to crawl in to bed with them.  When getting to eat vegetables without someone crying or pretending to vomit is a treat.  When just sitting down at 11pm is your personal time.  Caroline author of Day to day living in the nut house
  29. You know you are Mom when you go to bed earlier than your young adult children!  Joan author of Her Royal Joaness
  30. When you're sitting in a meeting at work and the Sponge Bob theme is ringing in your head.  Author of Jersey Diva Mom
  31. The words you use most throughout the day end in the "y" sound (i.e. poopy, dipey, potty, sippy, paci, owie, puppy, kitty, etc., etc.)  The rest of the words you use most often are doubles (night-night, tee tee, bye bye, num num, etc.)  Despite being totally non-athletic for most of your life, you are able to reach your crying child at with the speed and agility of an Olympic athlete. Melissa author of Tiny Greek Goddess
  32. You run toward the vomit, instead of away from it!  Brit author of Living With Three Boys of Our Own
  33. You're finally on a date with your husband & when dinner arrives, you ask him if his dinner is "yummy." 
  34. You dream car has 3rd row seating. 
  35. You make frequent and long trips to the bathroom not because you have to go, but just to get some alone time.
  36. You get a babysitter for the night & I want to rush home to clean while the kids are gone instead of going to a movie.

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December 16, 2010

Colton's First Christmas .... Remembering

December 16, 2010
I have been going through old photos making a Christmas gift for Chris' grandparents and also trying to back up all my photos.  In doing so I ran across photos of Colton's First Christmas.  I remember this time just like it were yesterday.  Colton was 6 1/2 months at his first Christmas and so full of life.  Prior to children Chris and I participated in what I would like to refer to as "The Christmas Marathon" - going to too many homes in a 2 day period!  Post children we have slowed down and thus been able to enjoy the holiday a little more.

Here are some wonderful photos from Colton's first Christmas - our first Christmas as a family of three!

I was trying to get a picture of him and he just wanted to get the camera
Opening gifts at Nana's (Chris' mom)
Such a happy boy!
Snoozing while we finish opening gifts!
Claire would never do this... for one she will not really take a pacy!
Even though we have decided to "not do" Santa we still wanted to get a photo for his first Christmas.
We did the same for Claire this year (Colton wouldn't get out of the stroller - he wanted nothing to do with the big guy!)



Mickey Mouse was his first Christmas gift from Poppy & Nanny.
It is one of Colton's favorites now!  He sleeps with it every night!
I forgot how short I had my hair!
Colton was baby Jesus in our church Christmas program.
He did a great job and didn't make a peep.
I was so overwhelmed thinking of how Mary, the mother of Jesus must of felt knowing that she has given birth  to The Savior!  I often think about what lullaby's she must of sung him.

Christmas Sunday at Church.


We are looking so forward to Claire's first Christmas!

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December 12, 2010

The Fantasy of Trees

December 12, 2010
Over the Thanksgiving Holiday we went to the Fantasy of Trees.  This is an awesome event/fundraiser for East Tennessee Children's Hospital.
Claire really enjoyed that lights... Colton too, but I could not get any pictures of him....
See!  This is him having a complete MELT DOWN!
He didn't sleep well the night before and was currently missing lunch and nap time.
I told him we were going to ride the horses and he started to calm down....



Wave a Daddy!
Ahhh... Finally, a smile!

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