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Showing posts from August, 2010

What A Dying Cow Sounds Like

Now, I do not claim to be a farm animal expert and I must admit that I have never been on a farm while a cow was dying. . . .however, I do have a sixth grader and a fourth grader and today was the first day that their homework was to try out their new instruments: a saxophone and a cello (respectively). OH MY GOODNESS! Day one on a saxophone is bad. Day one on a cello is bad. Day one for two kids on each is migraine inducing. . . .bring on the Imitrex! I love my kids. And one day they may be amazing (or even good) musicians; however, today is NOT that day!

Meant To Be

Veggie Tales has a new movie coming out October 2nd called "It's A Meaningful Life" and I am so excited about it for so many different reasons!

1. I love Veggie Tales! Bob and Larry make me laugh out loud!
2. Stevie Joy Chapman gets to play the voice of Emma the Rhubarb.
3. The movie highlights adoption.
4. Steven Curtis Chapman does the "Meant To Be" song for the movie.

The Velveteen Rabbit

Tucking the kids in tonight was great. Andy is gone for the evening and we took our time getting ready for bed with showers and teeth brushing and potty and prayers (great prayers, too. . .Tiki tells God all about his day; it is the only way that I have any idea what he did. . .God gets the total play by play. Dax prays that tomorrow will be awesome sweet. Gabby starts her prayers with the only six words of "Jesus Loves Me" that she knows, "Jesus loves me this I know" and then she starts her prayer).

After that, we still had about thirty minutes to spare, so I pulled out one of my favorite books (one that made the trip with me to Durango from my Gran'ma's house this year): the Velveteen Rabbit. I haven't read that book in years, but it is always on my mind. I was the little girl who loved her stuffed animals so much that their "skin" rubbed off. I truly believed that a select few of my animals (Whitneyozen, Lt. Bondz and James to name a f…

Little Black Dress

So, I found this really cute dress at White House Black Market (love that place) when I was in Branson and I just found it online ON SALE. Why, you ask, do I need a little black dress living in Durango? Well, I for sure do NOT need one living in Durango, but I am going to Vegas in October AND to a wedding in October. . .so the question is: should I get this little black dress for those two occasions or just try and be "good" and figure out something that is already in my closet?!? Your thoughts are welcome (and, Andy, if you are reading this, your thoughts count double)!

New Friends

Last night Braner Party of 7 headed out on a new adventure to new friends' house. Ivey, who was Dax's teacher last year, invited us and some other friends over and it was a great night! They have a sixth grader who ended up coming home with us and spending the night--he and Hays hit it off great! We had jalapeno cheese burgers and fruit and Oreos. The kids ran around their property and bouldered on the great rock walls surrounding their house. And the grown ups talked and laughed! I think last night was the beginning of a wonderful friendship! I hope that was the first of many get togethers with the Patton family!


Okay, I never thought that anyone would want to subscribe to my blog (except for my mom, my Gran'ma and my mother-in-law. . .who already get email notices whenever I blog). Well, yesterday, I had my first request. So, Kristen Boyd, in response to your request, I have a "subscribe to" deal over on the right hand side of my blog under the pictures and above the "other blogs." Thanks for asking! That makes me feel special! I'll keep the blogging going because, as those of you who know me know, I always have something to say!

Mary Beth Chapman

Mary Beth's new book is out and I cannot wait to get my hands on it! Below is the "summary" from Amazon:

Grief is a journey many of us take at one time or another. For the Chapman family their journey began with the accidental death of their 5 year old daughter, Maria Sue, whom they adopted from China. In Choosing to SEE, Mary Beth Chapman shares her struggles with the tragic loss of Maria Sue, her journey to heal, and the unexpected path God has placed her on. Even as difficult as life can be, Mary Beth and the Chapmans choose to see with faith and hope. Foreword by Steven Curtis Chapman.

People magazine did an article on Mary Beth and her book and it is in the issue that came out today. However, Mary Beth feels like the article didn't get edited in a way that expressed the overall feel of the interview and below is her blog post about it. The only reason that I am re-blogging Mary Beth's blog is so that the TRUTH will get out because I adore Mary Beth and the e…

Cute Pics From The Park

This Just In From the US Embassy in Kigali

I can assure you that we are working at the highest levels to ensure that dossiers will be accepted by the Rwandan Embassy in Washington until August 31st. U.S. Ambassador Symington spoke this morning with Dr. Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya (Minister of Gender and Family Promotion) who assured him that dossiers would be accepted until the 31st and that this policy would be communicated to the Rwandan Embassy in Washington. Ambassador Symington will also contact Rwandan Ambassador Kimonyo. Our State Department colleagues in Washington will be following up with the Rwandan Embassy today to ensure that the policy is being implemented.

Rwanda Adoption & 1st Day of Pre School

Well, I need to get out there (for those of you who use my blog for information about adopting from Rwanda) that for now Rwanda has closed its doors to adoption (This happened on Wednesday). On so many levels, this is so sad for so many families, but on so many more levels, this is a super thing! They have closed temporarily in order to become compliant with the Hague Treaty. This is a treaty that was signed to help protect orphans from sex trafficking and from other illegal adoptions. It is a fantastic thing to have in place and if used correctly, I believe that every country should be required to abide by its regulations in order for adoptions to take place. However, for many of the families "in process" this is a very sad blow that I can relate well to.

Here is the skinny: if your dossier is in Rwanda by Monday, then you are safe. They will process your dossier in the same manner they have been processing adoptions in the past. I have heard that if your dossier was…

Relaxing At The Braner House

So, we are all relaxed here. . . .

I really should pay better attention when I am asking someone a question about my little African's hair. My friend, Kelly, put some smoothing stuff in her daughter's hair and it looked so great and healthy and soft and silky. Her curls were bouncy and not frizzy and it looked great! I asked Kelly what she used and then I went to buy that same great stuff. . . .only apparently I didn't. . . . you can see for yourself:

Working Hard

I have been working so hard these last two days and it feels so good to be so productive! I have been Andy's "bookie" and I am loving it! I am trying to fill up his weeks (most weeks, not all weeks) with traveling to promote KIVU!!! Next summer we need 3000 campers and it is going to take A TON OF WORK to get that many kids to camp!

So, I am booking Andy in different cities in order to spread the word about Camp Kivu! I am trying to get him in homes and churches and youth groups and Christian schools and anywhere else where he can speak! He can talk about KIVU or just do his Christian Worldview and Teen Pop Culture stuff. . .anything to get him in front of people!

So, if you want Andy to come to your town, please let me know! I need to get like 11 campers signed up per day from now until summer in order to make Camp Kivu continue to work! I welcome any help I can get for that to happen!!!

Day One. . .Handled!

Well, the day was a success! Dax shouted out that school was "AWESOME!" as soon as I saw him! Tiki whined because I was picking him up. . .he wanted to stay at school. Apparently Maggie dressed so cute that some girl asked her to be the "head of a posse". . .not really sure what that means, but I'm thinking it is good! She seemed to enjoy her day. Hays liked middle school for the most part. . .he said that changing classes was a tad confusing, but overall good. . .and in true middle school fashion, that is about all I got out of him.
So, today was good!
Oh, and the MeMo square. . .he didn't use it all day!

First Day Of School

Well, I did it. I survived drop off on the first day of school. . .barely! I managed to hold back the tears until I got the "twins" into their classroom and I met the new principal. . .then I high-tailed it to my car and let the water works flow! Man oh man! First days kill me!

Maggie was fine. She flitted off without a care in the world. . .in her darling sequin skirt and her new haircut (I vow never to cut her hair again. . .thankfully she is curly and so you cannot tell what a semi-disaster it is).

Tiki was so excited to be back with Mrs. Greenberg and he was so excited to have his brother with him! Dax started so excited this morning, chanting with Tiki, "GO RIVERVIEW! GO RIVERVIEW!" But once the detachment actually had to occur, he was much slower pulling away from his mommy. . .thank goodness we had a piece of his MeMo in his pocket! I know, Andy, I am an enabler!

Dropping those two off was so tough for me for such different reasons. I felt like I w…

Hello Again!

Well, hello again, my blogging friends. I'm so sorry that I have been gone for so long, but I went "off the grid" as my husband would say. I headed to Branson on August 4th (with my dear friend, Kelly, who flew to Durango to drive all the way back with me) and haven't been on the internet since. I am home now and what a whirlwind it has been!!!
August 5
Jean de Dieu Rukarara born on some unknown date in some unknown corner of Rwanda is now officially Tiki Rukarara Braner born on February 3, 2004 (02/03/04--I made it an easy one to remember)!!!! The adoption is COMPLETE and now he has an official birthday and an official name and the birth certificate is on its way! We went to court and had a really good time! I love the "small town-ness" of Taney County! (No pictures because they are on a camera that I loaned to my cousin.)
We then headed out to see my parents at K2 where the three little kids spent the day on the slip 'n' slide and the water slides e…