Thursday, September 30, 2010

Who knew?

Flowers aren't just for smelling!
Hmmm... what is this thing?

I DARE you to take this out of my hands!

I wonder if I can rip this thing into smaller pieces so I can put them in my mouth...

Oh, who cares about smaller pieces, why don't I just shove the whole thing in here?

Braxton is so smart that he knows that Rose petals are edible... he thought he'd taste a few.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

There are just days...

... When I feel like I'm not a very good mom.
I know that every normal mom experiences feelings like this, but it seems like the last few weeks I've been really struggling to relish in all the joys of motherhood. I feel so overwhelmed with everyday mundane tasks. I'm constantly being requested by my children to give them my undivided attention and entertain them. I find that as a mom to young children I have little time alone during the day- who knew using the bathroom would become a group activity?- and I have almost no time at all to spend on me. I also find the challenge of allowing Tyler time to unwind from work when he gets home is MOST difficult. It's always when the kids are screaming, the house is a mess (not because it started that way, but because with two little children it's bound to end up that way), I'm desperately trying to get dinner on the table, and the boys ready for bed. Needless to say, there are numerous days where I think to myself ***'Am I really accomplishing anything?'***......... ***'Is what I'm doing really making a difference?'***
Even on some of my worst days when I'm wrestling with these negative thoughts that are floating around in my head I have that nagging feeling-- and more realistically a prompting from the Spirit-- that my work as a Mother IS important. Which of course is why I continue to love, teach, and nurture my children.
The other day while I was sitting on the couch with Quincy he looked over at me and said, "I love you Mom!" I didn't prompt him to say this and thought it was sweet that he decided to tell me that and so I responded, "I love you too Quincy!" He took about 2 seconds before he spoke again and then said, "You're a great Mom!" This statement took me by surprise-- thinking what qualifies me as a great mom in Quincy's eyes-- and so I asked, "Why am I a great Mom?" He contemplated the question for a moment and then replied, "Cuz you do everything for us. You wash our clothes, and hang them up, you pick up our toys, and wash the dishes, you make our beds, and clean the sink!" I couldn't help but laugh at Quincy's qualifications for being a great mom and told him, "Well, thanks for noticing Quincy! You're a great kid!"
I know that it's moments like this that Heavenly Father is reassuring me that Motherhood is important.
I had another occasion to be reassured of my divine nature two weeks ago. Our poor little Braxton has come down with a cold. The little guy has been all stuffed up, and as any parent to a baby knows, there hasn't been much we can do about it. He had been sleeping very poorly- waking up gagging on mucus and what not. He'd wake up each morning at 4:00 or 5:00AM and cry. Since Tyler has to get up for work at 6:00AM, I'd try to go in there and get him back to sleep for a little while.
During the second day (in a row) I went into my boys' room to calm down my troubled baby. Part of me dreaded hearing that first cry because I was SO tired, the other nurturing-mom part of me felt the urge to help him go back to sleep. As I dragged my body into their room with my eyes half shut, lifting him out of his crib and settling down to rock him in the rocking chair, a thought occurred to me. It was 5:30AM and as I rocked Braxton back and forth rubbing his little back and shhhhing him, the Spirit spoke to my heart that I was indeed experiencing something grand as a Mother. Here in my arms was my helpless baby, all stuffy and sick, who couldn't sleep because he felt awful and I had the pleasure of comforting him. How many times have I needed comfort as a Daughter of God and He has filled me with peace? Braxton may not be able to speak to me just yet, but I believe if he could he would have told me how grateful he was that I was there to help him feel better.
As a mother, if I can take the pain away from my child just for a moment-- no matter how brief it is-- what other glorious purpose can I serve? I thank my Heavenly Father for blessing me to feel the Spirit so early in the morning and opening my eyes that I might be able to see the bigger (more important) picture as He sees it!
Even on days when things are a mess and I feel all my hard work goes unnoticed I try to remind myself that what I'm doing MATTERS! I'm thankful for these blessings.
God is good.
He has blessed me with two healthy children and a wonderful husband.
I will count my blessings and try to remember that I don't have to be the perfect Mom that I think I'm supposed to be... Heavenly Father doesn't expect me to be perfect He just expects me to do my best.....
Maybe I'm not such a terrible Mom after all.............

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It only took me a year....

.... to print some pictures and hang them in these frames!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Brothers = Buddies

My boys love to just hang out together! Although there are days where they are driving me crazy, they do have a certain bond that I suppose only brothers can have. One minute they are at each others throats wrestling and crying...then the next minute they are laughing and smiling at each other. That's how boys are, right?
I love these two!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I guess boys are easy to please...

One day I decided I wanted to live on the edge and do something spontaneous. I cleared out a spot in our living room... brought down all our old sheets and chairs.....and made a fort for the boys.
I tend to be a pretty clean neat freak so frankly the idea of bringing out a bunch of stuff and making a mess in my living room, that I would have to take down and clean up later, isn't usually something that appeals to me.
It was worth the effort of taking down all those things and making more work for me the moment that I saw my happy little boys playing in that tent!
They thought it was pretty cool.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Our Big Baby Boy

Braxton is getting bigger each day. Lately I feel that he's really starting to thin out. Especially now that he's crawling! He looks longer too.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Tyler (Part Two - Labor Day WEEK)

Okay... so this post should have been like two weeks ago. Alas, our neighbor's Internet hasn't been working-- the Internet we sometimes 'borrow'. I've also been really busy with the boys lately.
Tyler had a great birthday. I made him a huge breakfast. Let him play XBOX all morning and afternoon. He watched two sports games on TV. Then I whipped up a fabulous lunch for the two of us while the boys took their naps. We did some quick errands, and then had his nice birthday dinner. I wanted to get Tyler something for his birthday, but he's so picky that I'm always hesitant to get him something he doesn't like. So I opted to make him a fancy smanchy dinner.
Tyler didn't want a birthday cake or ice cream and instead requested root beer floats for his dessert. I said he had to have something to put a candle on so I made Quincy and I some cupcakes. (And I know that this candle is gigantic, but it was the only one we had.)

Quincy made his dad a card... and he can even write his name now. He was quite proud of it.
For Tyler's Birthday dinner I made a Honey and BBQ glazed Salmon, Garlic smashed Potatoes, and fresh green beans sauteed in a light garlic and vinaigrette sauce.
It was very tasty!
We had some fancy drinks which was a blend of orange juice, pina colada mix, 7 UP, and raspberries. It sounds like a weird combination, but it was really yummy!
Tyler's Birthday cupcake. :)
And at Tyler's request: Root beer Floats for dessert!
All in all, we had a great day celebrating Tyler's 29th Birthday.
Happy Late Birthday Tyler-- we Love You!

Labor Day WEEK-end (Part One)

Our Labor Day Weekend was really more for like something of a Labor Day WEEK.
Tyler had Monday off for the holiday, of course, but took off the next four days as well. It was SO nice to have him home with us!
This was my best attempt at the end of our visit to get a shot of all the boys. Don't you love how Braxton's trying to escape out from the stroller?

While Tyler was home last week we were able to do some fun things together as a family. We went to the Portland Oregon Rose Gardens. I've been dying to go when the roses are actually in bloom. Tyler and I have been to the gardens a few times, when we were dating and engaged, but never in the day or during a season when all the roses are in bloom.
And I also love how in this picture both my boys are having trouble feigning interest in the trip. Braxton's not even looking and Quincy's prepped to run.
For some reason I think Braxton looks just like Tyler. Something about those eyes...
And here's Quincy's best try at a smile... Can you tell they are thrilled to be looking at flowers?
The gardens are absolutely beautiful! The pictures I took don't even do it justice!
Since it was pretty much nap time when we visited the Rose Gardens our trip was cut a little short, but we did manage to stop by Washington Park which is just down the street from the Rose Gardens. I've never been to this park and I have to say, I was truly impressed with the whole layout of the playground and it's unique and interesting equipment. If Quincy hadn't been so tired (and completely overwhelmed with everything) I think he would have LOVED it even MORE than he did.
After playing at the park we headed to Jack in the Box, which I know-- doesn't sound all that great, but for how HUNGRY we were and all the coupons we had for there-- turned out to be a delicious lunch! Oh, and I will say it was one of the first times that my burger actually looked like something from a commerical rather than something that fell out of a food court and was run over by a truck. I'll also mention the fact that there was excellent customer service and a very clean resturant! Nice!
When we were all stuffed from Jack in The Box we headed out to IKEA. This was probably the worst part of the day because it was MADNESS there! We kind of forgot it was mid afternoon on a Saturday AND Labor Day Weekend. We spent a good hour trying to work our way through the maze-like store, AND through the crazy crowds, AND making several trips to the obscure bathroom. It was horrible. By the time we got to the desk section-- which was the whole point of going-- I didn't even want to look. However, I will say that no matter how crazy IKEA might be, I LOVE just about everything in the entire store! And who couldn't love their prices?
Our last stop of the day was to a few more retail stores by IKEA. Tyler got some great slacks and dress shirts. I got two new tops, and the boys got a few new long sleeved shirts. All in all our Saturday was a success.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Elder Lindquist

(This is the family picture we took right after the sacrament meeting that Scott last spoke in. It's weird to think that we won't have another family picture with everyone in it for 4 years because Scott and Karter will overlap missions.)
It's hard to believe that my brother, Scott, has been in the MTC for almost 3 weeks now. This coming Tuesday he will be leaving the MTC and reporting to the mission field in Tempe, AZ.
Scott is serving in the Spanish speaking mission. Since he has been taking Spanish since he was in middle school he hasn't had too difficult of a time learning the language, or at least the gospel oriented parts of it. In his last email he told us that he's finally starting to THINK in Spanish, not English which has made teaching/ speaking a lot easier for him. Tyler and I talk about his mission often- especially now that Scotty's gone-- and that one of the most difficult aspects of learning a new language was to stop thinking from English to Portuguese. He told me by the end of his mission, though, he felt so comfortable with the language that it was more difficult to think from Portuguese to English!
(Some of Scott's friends from College -Central Washing University- came to visit him for his 'farewell' weekend. None of them are members.)
I'm sure Scotty will experience some of this too-- as I was reading his last email some of the order of his words were grammatically incorrect in English, but I could tell he was thinking in Spanish. We are constantly reassured that he is healthy, happy, and knows that he is in the RIGHT place!
(I know this picture is an old one, obviously because Braxton is like 2 weeks old, but unfortunately I didn't get one of Scotty and the boys before he left. They are going to be so big when he gets home!)
We love you Elder Lindquist! You are thought of often....

Friday, September 3, 2010

Blackberry season

Two Sunday's ago we decided to go blackberry picking after church. It seemed like a great family activity for an easy Sunday afternoon. Plus, everyday we drive past TONS of blackberry bushes. I can never help but notice how many berries are on them, ripe for the picking. Nobody seems to bother with them, probably because they are full of thorns... but blackberry cobbler and milkshakes sounded great to us. We picked a huge bowl full and didn't even make a dent in the berry bushes. Maybe we'll go another time.