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About Us

Welcome to the Brookston family blog. We'll post updates here on what's going on in our part of the world, and especially with our son, Porter, who has been diagnosed with some form of autism. Our hope is that this blog will help us deal with all the issues we'll be facing and keep our friends and family informed as well.

Jay B.


Sarah J.


Porter Brookston
born September 10, 2001


Alice Brookston
born July 7, 2004

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September 25, 2006

Sea Ranch Pancakes

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Family, Food — J @ 9:27 am

Even though we’d had pancakes Sunday morning, Porter woke Monday wanting to make some more pancakes.

Pouring the water in to make the batter.

Whipping up the batter.

Damn, that would have been a cute photo.

Much to my astonishment, Porter even set the table!

Though Alice tried to undo his efforts.

• • •

September 24, 2006

Sea Ranching, Day 3

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Family, Trips — J @ 5:19 pm

Saturday evening, Sarah’s Mom and her sister Margaret joined us at the cabin for the remainder of the weekend. Sunday morning, Sarah went out and brought back breakfast for everybody while the rest of us walked down for an early morning stroll along the beach. Afterwards, we drove around to look at some artist’s studios (it was an open studio weekend) and stopped at several beaches to let the kids frolic in the sand.

Porter insisted on spreading jelly on his pancakes.

He ate quite a number of pancake triangles slathered with strawberry jelly.

The kids climbing on Mommy at Pebble Peach (no, not that one).

Later, we went back to the cabin, with Porter running ahead.

The kids then spent the rest of the afternoon playing on the bunk beds.

I even joined in the fun as Alice tried to crush my lungs.

Porter delighted in climbing up to the top bunk.

Where his room had not bee redecorated since the 1980s.

Alice wanted desperately to climb up on top, but she was too little to manage it.

At dusk we went for a stroll to watch the sunset. Porter was amused by a green fire hydrant.

Sunset at Sea Ranch.

• • •

September 13, 2006

Sarah: Friend, Wife, Mother, Goddess, Sugar Momma

Categories: Photos, Birthdays, Sarah, Family — J @ 9:00 am

Today is my beloved’s birthday, now squarely in her mid-thirties. I’ll be torturing her all day today with photos, and here is where we’ll start, with some earlier photos from her youth. Join me in wishing Sarah a very happy birthday!

Sarah rides her new big wheel she got for Christmas.

I’m not sure when this was taken but it was a while ago, that’s for sure. I just love that thoughtful chin on fist pose Sarah’s adopted for this family portrait.
Top row; Sarah’s grandfather Pappy and little brother Dave. Bottom row; sister Margaret, grandmother Pinky, Sarah and her mom Rutheanne.

Oh, the 80’s. Sarah channeling Madonna at her brother Tucker’s graduation from Pepperdine. It’s funny to see Tuck again with hair, too.

As Alice in Wonderland for Halloween.

Another new do, the late 80s, perhaps early 90s?

Sarah’s swim team photo, from high school? Love the hair!

• • •

September 11, 2006

Porter’s 5th Birthday Party

Categories: Events, Photos, Birthdays, Porter, Alice, Friends, Family — J @ 2:46 pm

We had a Superman theme birthday party yesterday for Porter at his Montessori school. They were kind enough to let us use their backyard for the party which worked out great. Lots of Porter’s friends from school plus his best friend T.J. and his cousin Julien were all there and I think he had a good time. He certainly seemed like he enjoyed himself.

Porter, a friend from school, and Julien, Porter’s cousin.

Sarah and Alice.

Porter coming down the water slide.

And running back up again.

Shmare in white pants, filling in for Nikki with the water slide.

Porter’s Superman cake. Porter has always like blowing out cadles over and over again so Margaret and Ruthanne had a devious plan. They got some of those trick candles that light back up on their own seconds after they’ve been blown out.

So he blew them out again.

But when they kept coming back to life, all the kids joined in trying to blow them out.

T.J. and Porter enjoy some cake.

Then Porter opened his presents.

• • •

July 25, 2006

Digging in the Dirt

Categories: Photos, Porter, Family — J @ 7:46 am

Not be outdone by his sister, Porter along with his cousin Julien also worked pretty hard at laying down a thick coating of dirt all over their bodies. Work began on the construction project in the dirt shortly after Porter finally left the hammock and continued right up until the time we left for home.

Julien’s mother tried in vain to clean him up.

Digging in the dirt.

Smiling through the filth. It almost looks like theyve tanned, but that’s a layer of dirt.

• • •

July 23, 2006

On the Banks of the Mighty Russian

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Sarah, Family — J @ 11:16 am

This weekend was Sarah’s family’s annual river trip that they’ve been taking literally for decades with a couple of other neighborhood families. We were ging to spend one night camping there but we’ve been so swamped lately plus there’s this whole heatwave thing so decided instead to just join them at the campsite for the day on Saturday. We arrived while almost everyone was still on the river canoeing. While we waited, we went down to the river with Dave, Cyndi and their kids.

Julien and Porter in their life vests that the camp nazis insisted all the kids had to wear.

Alice was none to happy about having to wear a life vest and resisted it.

Instead, she and Sarah played on the bank of the Russian River.

But Porter and Jukes seemed okay with their vests abd had a great time.

They waded all through the shallow river.

Meanwhile, ALice found some mud to play with.

She kept transporting mud back to the river.

Jules and Porter with Julien’s super soaker.

Porter demonstrating the super soaker.

Cyndi and Lily, who was no more excited about the vest than Alice.

Dave takes Porter and Julie for a ride.

Riding Uncle Dave.

While Alice got muddier and muddier.

But the boys stayed in the water the whole time we were there.

Porter trying to splash me with water so I’d stop taking pictures.

• • •

July 20, 2006

Uncle Jim: Uncle, Teacher

Categories: History, Photos, Birthdays, J, Family — J @ 11:56 am

Today is my Uncle Jim’s birthday. I think he’s about ten years older than me, but that’s really just a guess. Jim is/was my Mom’s half-brother and they were pretty close. They shared a father, my grandfather, who I called Pop Pop. I always got along with Jim pretty as was always the closest to me in age until the younger cousins came along. He’s been an elementary school teacher almost as long as I can remember. Happy birthday Jim.

My Mom when she was a student nurse with my uncle Jim as a young boy. Is that a feather in his hat?

This is still one my favorite pictures from the Seventies. It was taken at my house where for some reason my mother always had matching drapes and sofa in these god-awful patterns. This was defintely one of the worst. This is my Aunt Bernie when she and my uncle were just dating. She’s also a nurse and my Mom introduced the two of them. Don’t you just love the fashions?

My cousins Mike (top) and Matt with Jim and Bernie. I haver no idea when this was taken but my guess is the mid-1980s after I’d moved to California.

Home for Christmas a few years later with most of the clan on my mother’s side. Top row, from left: my grandfather Harry, my Mom’s cousin Stephanie and me. Middle row, from left: Maude, or Mom-Mom, my step-grandmother and Harry’s second wife (and Uncle Jim’s Mom), Jim, my Great-Uncle Paul, Great-Uncle Leon, cousin Susan and her husband George, Bernie and my cousin Peter. Front row, from left: My Great-Aunt Deanie, and cousins Matt and Mike.

• • •

July 16, 2006

Cyndi: Sister-in-Law

Categories: Photos, Birthdays, Alice, Sarah, Family — J @ 12:58 pm

Sarah’s little sister Dave married Cyndi around five years ago. They’d been living in Texas untll last fall, when they moved back to the Bay Area. Happy birthday Cyndi.

Dave and Cyndi at their wedding.

Amir (Cyndi’s son), Cyndi, Dave and Julien, shortly after he was born about nine months after Porter.

Cyndi and her daughter Lily at Tuck and Debbie’s wedding.

Cyndi and her family. From left: Lily, Cyndi, Dave, Julien and Amir.

Cousin Lily with her Cyndi, posing with Sarah and Alice.

• • •

July 13, 2006

After the Ceremony

Categories: Events, History, Photos, J, Sarah, Friends, Family — J @ 11:00 am

We got married in the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, which was a beautiful setting. After the ceremony, we had the standard wedding photos taken. Here are a few of those.

Us with Sarah’s family. From left: Don, Margaret, Tucker, Lyman, Sarah, me, RuthAnne, Kit and Dave.

Maid of Honor Emily, Sarah, me and my best man, Sheldon.

Sarah and me, moments after our marriage began.

• • •

The Big Ten-O

Categories: Events, History, Photos, J, Sarah, Friends, Family — J @ 9:00 am

Today is Sarah and my tenth wedding aniversary. Our first big milestone anniversary, we’re leaving tomorrow for a four-day vacation in Kauai, our favorite Hawaiian island. So today’s posts will mostly be photos from the wedding and reception a decade ago.

Sarah and her bridesmaids. From left: Margaret, Kit, Emily, Fifi and Deanna.

Me with my groomspeople. Top row, from left: Michelle, me, Karen and Chantal. Bottom row, from left: Jim, Sheldon and Greg (who gave me away).

Sarah as resplendent bride enters the rose garden with her father.

During the ceremony, with Judge Morgan officiating.

• • •

July 12, 2006

Opening Presents Problems

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Sarah, Friends, Family — J @ 9:32 am

When it was time for Alice to open her presents, she wasn’t quite yet up to the task. That will come, we know. But for now, she gratefully accepted her big brother’s help and he was only to happy to lend a hand.

She was a good sport in the beginning and tried to open a present or two.

Before handing over her duties to Porter.

Who opened her gifts with glee.

Although some presents baffled him. “Clothes? What’s with the clothes? Where are the toys?

Look T.J., a car! Now that’s more like it.

But Alice was off riding the wooden pony and didn’t care one way or the other.

• • •

July 11, 2006

Uppity

Categories: Photos, Alice, Family — J @ 2:23 pm

At Alice’s party on Sunday, she wanted her Uncle Tuck to pick her up … again and again.

Uppity! I want uppity!”

That’s more like it.

Ha ha. This is fun!

Uh-oh. He’s going to bite me. Run away!

• • •

Cake! Cake!

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Sarah, Friends, Family — J @ 9:38 am

All of the kids were having such a great time and bouncing off the walls that the only thing we could do was give them sugar. What a fabulous idea. Anyway, it was time for cake.

All of the girly cakes featured princesses, strawberry shortcake sweeteness and didn’t seem to fit Alice at all. So instead I got a Madagascar cake since I know she loves the movie and the animals (plus Porter likes it, too).

Sarah readies the cake.

And brings it to Alice, who isn’t quite sure what to do with it.

Eventually the candles all went out on their own. Aunt Kit helps take them out while Porter watches from the wings, wondering when he can eat some of that cake.

Alice and T.J. stare rapturously at the cake.

Alice helps serve her guests the cake.

Sugar smile, which seems to say “I’ll be good and smile if I can have some cake.

Alice also helps scoop the ice cream.

But Nikki and Corey’s daughter Gianna didn’t get any cake, which she didn’t seem to think was fair.

• • •

July 10, 2006

Sand Play

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Friends, Family — J @ 2:21 pm

At one point during Alice’s party, all the kids went up to our roof patio and played in the sand box/water park that’s in the shade up there. The adults sat around drinking beer and watching, which suited us fine.

Margaret watches with beer in hand as (clockwise from left) Julien, T.J., Alice, Lily and Porter play.

T.J. makes a boat fly.

While much sand made it to the waterways.

I love this expression on Lily’s face. Is that bemusement?

Against type? Boys in the water, girls in the sand.

• • •

Grandpa Snuggles

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Family — J @ 10:44 am

Even with the hectic party, Grandpa found time to snuggle on the sofa with the kids.

Sofa snuggling.

• • •
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