The Brown Family

The Brown Family
The Browns, Jim, Monica, Weston, Joseph, Timothy, Christianna, Elaina, Victoria, Alonna and Joshua. WELCOME TO OUR BLOG!


Bible Memory Time DVD - Now Available!

Bible Memory Time with the Brown Kids - Part 1 & 2 Now Available

Nearly 23 years ago when Monica and I were married we attended a week long seminar that changed several areas of our life.  At the end of the week there was a children's program in which over 100 children stood up and recited a long Bible verse while using hand motions. The dream was cast.  Monica and I said that when we had children and they were old enough we would do the same with our children.  Here we are 23 years later seeing that dream come true.  Over the past several years we have been teaching our children various scriptures as well as reading Psalms or Proverbs each day.

Over the last two years Monica has asked a dear friend of ours to teach our children scripture by using hand motions.  

Last year our family had the opportunity to travel overseas to London for the 2012 Olympics with Lay Witnesses for Christ.  While there our children where able to share 1st Corinthians 13 in churches, schools, restaurants, buses and trains.  What fun they had and what a blessing they were to others. 

  Once home we went to work with the help of our oldest son Weston by videoing the kids as they learned many scriptures.  

Bible Memory Time was born and now we hope to impact lives around the world for God's Kingdom by providing DVD's filled with scripture to help inspire children and parents to learn and memorize scripture in a fun and lasting way.  

Our true hope is that children and parents all over the world will learn how to hide God's Word in their hearts through Bible Memory Time.

Thank you and God Bless.

The 9 (but almost 10) Browns! 


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the Brown Family!  (and new baby due June 20th)


Weston’s New Zealand and Fiji trip: Part 1

Weston’s New Zealand and Fiji trip: Part 1

In January 2012 I was talking with my parents and praying about my desire to travel internationally and do missions work. We prayed about it together and within that next month we had 3 international trips planned! The first was a trip with a group called IPS (more about them in a second) to London and Paris for 10 days, the second trip included our whole family, a good friend, my grandparents and their big band for 20 days in London again during the Olympics (to read about that, click here) and the third was with IPS to visit New Zealand and Fiji for 26 days. Gods answered my prayer in a much bigger way than I had imagined and I am so grateful for the amazing experiences. 

Institute of Photographic Studies

IPS stands for Institute of Photographic Studies. You can read all about who they are and what they do here: .  IPS is a Christian-based organization and teaches the technical, creative and business side of photography. I would recommend these classes to anyone interested in photography. I found that IPS had the perfect balance of hands-on work and classroom instruction for me. I would definitely say that I had a ton of fun working with the instructors and students and came away with the basics in photography well covered in a short amount of time. 

First flight on the top deck of a 747!
The trip started in LAX airport where the team met to fly as a group to New Zealand. We arrived in Auckland, NZ after over 23 hours of travel and met with Rowan and Jocelyn Gillson (our trip leaders) and headed to the campsite. I knew several of the people on the trip beforehand and became friends with the rest of the group quickly. Our group had 19 total and I was amazed at the diversity of the group but at the same time the similarities we had. Looking back on the trip now I really see how blessed the group was. The level of technical knowledge, spiritual development and photographical skills that everyone had truly added so much to the trip.
Road trips are the best with friends!
The format of the trip was to stay in hostels, campgrounds and even in camper vans and travel to a new location every few days.  We would do some sight-seeing, then spend time out and about in different cities as well as many intense projects for local businesses and ministries. It was really fun to have so many new experiences multiple times every day. I see now how our trip had supernatural favor. I don't remember a single time of being delayed or having to wait a long time for transportation or people.  Everything flowed exceptionally well. The team not only got along well together but we quickly became close friends quickly.  
Sunrise shoot on the International Dateline at Te Mata Peak,
Hawke's Bay, NZ
This trip was a great time for spiritual growth. Every day we would have some type of devotional. Sometimes our group Bible time would be 30 minutes long and other times 2 hours of praying, sharing personal stories/testimonies, and 
worshiping. There's nothing quite as encouraging as seeing other people close to my age with similar visions and a loving hearts. Something that stood out to me was what David (another group leader) talked about how we can bring heaven to earth by giving encouragement, helping with projects and be willing to serve where we could without expecting something in return. Whether it is something small or big, finding ways to give to others spiritually and physically has a much bigger long-term effect than what we comprehend. 

We only had one day of classroom instruction, 
project briefings were fast and furious!

For more info about IPS:


Weston’s New Zealand and Fiji trip: Part 2

Weston’s New Zealand and Fiji trip: part 2

Our first project was on the second day of the trip about 40 minutes west of Auckland. We worked for a group called Headspace which took students in their gap year (out of High School and not in college) on a 10 month trip throughout New Zealand learning new skills, studying together and a 10 week mission trip in Taiwan. This group had 19 participants.
Brittany talking to us about her experience with Headspace 
The Headspace students had just come to the end of their trip and our job was to interview them on camera to help create a promotional DVD. Most of our team had little to no experience shooting video so the learning curve was sharp. The day before the project was spent in a classroom setting learning about how to use the video cameras, how to operate the sound equipment and creating a list of questions to ask during the interview. There were several crews and each crew had one person to operate the camera, one to take some still shots and one interviewer. The filming process was about 4 hours total for all of the groups and we spent the rest of the day sorting and editing pictures as well as completing a written version of the interview.  
Headspace and IPS together before we headed out
Later that day they took us to a beautiful beach on the Tasman Sea. The beach had beautiful black volcanic sand which was amazing and like nothing I’d ever seen before.  The beach also had a cave which was pretty awesome! We spent time walking on the beach playing volleyball and of course, taking pictures!
Bethells Beach, Waitakere, NZ
Our goal for all of our projects was to shoot, edit, write and have the pictures/video/written material back to the client within 48 hours. It was a big challenge to always be working somewhere new on different projects with a short time deadline but our group enjoyed each challenge and we had outstanding responses on all of our projects. One thing that I was surprised about was all of the writing projects.  Most of the projects needed some type of written material and I honestly wasn't prepared for it but I learned a ton and am really glad for the experience. 

Everyone just after a delicious Fish n Chips picnic 
in Auckland, NZ

Once we left Headspace we headed to One Tree Hill in Auckland to spend some time exploring and journaling. One Tree Hill is a volcanic peak that is almost 600 feet tall! It is an important memorial place for the Maori people as well as New Zealanders. It was a a beautiful place and perfect to spend some time alone journaling. We had a picnic here of delicious meat pies! 

Everyone at One Tree Hill
We were encouraged to be real, open and honest with each other and to ask God hard questions and take our relationships with each other and God deeper. Something I focused on (and am still focusing on) is pressing in to God and seeking a new level with Him.  I’m grateful for my wonderful IPS family:) 

Some of the other projects that we did in the North Island included family portraits, product shoots, a concert, a local church event, and did home photography for a local building company. We also had quite a few writing projects where we needed to create a brochure or some other written promotional material to support the photos. 

Our time in the North Island was great! 


Weston’s New Zealand and Fiji trip: Part 3

Our time in the North Island went by really quickly! We took a ferry from Wellington to the South Island. Once we arrived we then transferred our things to 3 camper vans. This was probably one of the hardest parts of the trip yet very fun! We stayed in national parks and campgrounds for about a week traveling somewhere new every few days.  

One of the things that amazes me about New Zealand is the diversity of the topography that you see without traveling much. We visited glaciers, canyons, volcanoes, rivers, lakes and mountains. God did an amazing job when he designed NZ! An interesting fact about NZ is that it has no venomous snakes or dangerous animals. We covered many kilometers in NZ by camper vans. It was a great time to talk and grow and learn with the other teammates!

Lots of great conversation while driving between locations
Franz Josef Glacier, Tai Poutini National Park

We only had one project on the South Island and that was for Waiuta Gold Mine. The New Zealand Department of Conservation had invited us to come to this historic location to photograph the historical buildings and create a new brochure. Waiuta was one of the West coast’s richest gold mines in the early 1900s. Our images were also preserved in the New Zealand National Archives. (really neat!)  They even liked our work so much IPS has been invited back next year to work on more projects! 
My friend MJ photographing old Mining
buildings at Waiuta Gold Mine

After our time at Waiuta we wound our way further south visiting national parks and other beautiful locations in the South Island of New Zealand. 

One night at a campground near Mt. Cook we had a great Bible study and all made a commitment to be all the way in for God and not be a lukewarm person but all the way hot. The spiritual leadership was so great and I am grateful to have people that want to help bring me up to a new level. 

On the side of the road on the way in to Queenstown, NZ.  Simply stunning!

Polar plunge in lake Wanaka in Otago, NZ!

As we came to the end of our time in NZ we got to spend a few days in Queenstown. I went Jet Boating which was a thrilling hour long ride through canyons in a shallow river. It was a blast! Some of the others went bungy jumping at the original bungy jump location, some on a helicopter ride and some on high speed ATV Lord of the Rings tours.  Later we went to the ice bar where everything is made from ice and had mocktails just to say we did it, it was fun:)

Everyone ready to go to the ice bar! I was the only one in shorts...

On the dock at lake Wakatipu in Queenstown, NZ

We had a great time relaxing and having fun our last few days in New Zealand. The time went by quickly and I learned a lot and made great friends with everyone. I really felt like we're ready for the final and most challenging part of the trip in Fiji.


Weston’s New Zealand and Fiji trip: Part 4

Flying into Nadi, Fiji 

We flew from Dunedin, NZ to Nadi, FJ early in the day then drove about 4 hours to Suva, FJ on the other side of the Island. We stayed with Homes of Hope in Suva. 

Homes of Hope helps women recover from abusive relationships and human trafficking. They teach basic skills to the women and help them to develop more advanced skills in different areas such as baking, raising animals, jewelry making, gardening, and sewing. Part of our team worked on producing a short video for their website. The video team had a significant challenge in producing this because they could not show the faces of the women being interview to protect their identity.

Please note: This video talks about human trafficking and abuse.

We had several teams go to different locations in Fiji to do projects. One team went to a special needs school and a deaf school and the team I was on went to a Christian private school then on to a women's prison and then a men's prison. 

Our job at the Christian school was to photograph the buildings, the students working and take a group photo. It was great fun to meet and talk with the students at lunch time. This school uses the PACE curriculum which I had used when I was in eighth grade. It was fun being able to relate to the students a little more since I had some familiarity with their school work. 

Later that day we went to an all female prison to photograph the facilities and inmates. The prisons here are very unique and the Fijian government wanted us to document how they run and what they do so other countries could model after them for a lower criminal return rate. 
It was great to see a country that used the 
Bible as a base for counseling

The Fijian prison system bases their counseling on the Bible and encourages the inmates to study the Word and seek God. It was amazing to see these women studying the Bible and praying. 

If there is no family to watch after the inmates children, they can
 stay in the in the prison. 

One of the other things that I noticed was the relationship between the guards and the inmates was sort of like a friendship. Even though the guards were clearly superiors they treated the inmates with respect and care. 

One of the guards joins in a game of volleyball
While a prisoner is serving their term they are taught a variety of skills. The prison that we visited had a tailor shop and cafe on site. The main goal of the Fijian prisons was to bring in criminals and help them become responsible citizens.

At the men's prison this man works on a 
large wooden chest. It will then be sold and 
the money can be sent to his family.

Once a prisoner is near the end of their sentence they are allowed to work at a job with supervision. We went to three different locations to take pictures of them working. We visited a fish processing plant and toured the facilities then went to a print and framing shop. It was quite a lot work and the required output from the projects was high but our team worked together well and were able to deliver the finished pictures within a day and a half of shooting them.

This man is now supporting himself in a print shop after
being released from prison
Sarah, Kay and me in Tosa Bussan fish processing plant, Nadi, Fiji

Tosa Bussan fish processing plant exports over 2,000 kilos of
tuna to Japan daily (this freezer was 50 below zero!)
Near the end of our time in Fiji we visited a slum village that had been devastated in 2011 by flooding. We went in and met the families and took family portraits then printed them onsite and delivered them. It was a wonderful gift to give to the families. 
Me editing and printing photos in the Nawaka village in Nadi, Fiji

One of the last nights in Fiji we had a simple dinner of rice to experience what many families would be eating. We talked about the value of our gear that we have and not taking for granted how blessed we are. In some places in Fiji, the contents of my camera bag could buy a small settlement village. Or, concerning human trafficking, the price of my iPhone charger could keep a girl off the streets for almost a month. Just being in America is a huge blessing. I came away challenged to use the gear that I have and my talents to help others and to take time to value even the little things. I would encourage all of you to do the same. 

On the last day of the trip we got to take a boat out to a small island in Fiji. It was simply amazing! We packed all of our things at the hostel where we were staying then headed to the port where we took a boat out to a tiny island where we spent the day.  

Only blond on the trip....

We could kayak, swim, and dive around the island. It was an amazing day in a perfect tropical paradise! Sadly all good things must come to an end and we had to prepare for the journey home. 

Our wonderful little island on the last day in Fiji
Kay, Me, Carissa, and Haylee on the last leg of the trip at DFW airport after a little 
over 23 hours of travel!

We had pizza for dinner then finished packing our luggages then drove to the airport to fly from Nadi to LAX then to DFW. The flights seemed to go by quickly and I was glad to be home. It's hard to believe that I was gone for close to 30 days and that I got to be part of an amazing journey! Dad picked me up at and everyone at home was ready to welcome me home. It was a great ending to a great trip. 


Weston's plans for this fall

Weston’s graduation and plan for this fall

I have finished my high school studies and used Switched On Schoolhouse which is a computer program that will automatically grade about 90% of my work and help me maintain a certain grade level. It runs on my mac so I can take it anywhere so as we travel I can stay caught up. I also studied the Wisdom books from ATI. These books cover a variety of topics and involve character, Biblical accounts and people, missionaries as well as law and medicine. 

I have also had some good experience with web building.  For about a year now I have been helping a ministry with their monthly newsletter and a little over two years ago I built the Joshua Experience website from scratch and since then I have been maintaining it. 

I also have a big interest in photography and last November I went to a two week course in San Antonio near the river walk for intensive photographic studies. I learned about how cameras work, how to compose photos, different lighting and composition rules, how to use an external flash, how to sort and edit and even about the business side of photography. This was with a group called IPS (Institute of Photographic Studies) which hosts classes across the US at various times and also leads expeditions to different countries. It was a fantastic experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to learn about professional photography. This June I got to go to London and Paris for 10 days with IPS. We went to the major historical places and took some awesome pictures and learned a lot.

Then this summer our whole family went to London again for 20 days during the Olympics with my grandparents big band and invited people to events, passed out tracks and also got to do some sight seeing. It was a great time for all bringing us closer together and closer to God, getting more experience with missions work and spending time navigating London when it was the busiest! 

This October/November I will be in New Zealand and Fiji for 26 days again with IPS once again only this is a mainly missions trip but of course we will get to do some sight seeing. We will be taking pictures and video and documenting professionally what some of the churches are doing. One thing that I am looking forward to is in Fiji.  We will be taking family pictures within some of the local tribes.  It is a really big deal for them because this will probably be the only family portrait they will ever have printed. It gives us a great opportunity to minister to them and pray for them. 

As far as business goes, I have started working with a company called Saladmaster. They have been around for over 65 years. They host healthy cooking classes in the US, Canada and the UK. Their main focus is food preparation and cooking. They developed their own cookware and my job is to demonstrate it and if someone is interested, I help them get a set. Even if no one buys, I still get paid to demonstrate it so its been good. I go in and show people the cookware, cook a full dinner and show them the whys and hows of saladmaster. Its really been a fun part time business. (If you’re interested in seeing what its all about, please email/call/FB me, I’d be more than happy to show you, its about 2.5 hours, I bring food for 6 and cook it while you watch and I clean everything up. Its a lot of fun:)

And of course, I work in our family business which is the Your Health Source co-op. I work at our base site, deliver food and also do some computer work. I really enjoy it as it is such a unique business and I really have a passion for health. 

I am always open to new business ideas but those are the two main things I’m doing for now. 

As for college, I do not feel called to go to college but I am considering College Plus which is fully accredited and I can do it at my own pace and with my own hours. I may continue studies in photography, graphic design or web building/design. 

I intend to further my education through a variety of means. I am also looking for a guitar teacher and would love to learn basic guitar skills. 

Between May 2011 and May 2012 I read my Bible straight through and I want to continue studying the entire Bible, memorizing scripture and journaling. The Bible and an active relationship with God is the most important thing that I can focus on. 

Theres a summary of what I have been up to in recent times :)