Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I updated some pics on my picasa site. There are pictures from
our family going to a Twins game at the new stadium,
me in Colorado Springs with my sister's family,
us helping Bryan's brother and family with their new house,
Mother's Day and the awesome orchestra concert attended,
and my sister-in-law, Chrystine's, graduation with her masters in social work!

Enjoy! We are off to Washington DC today for a week. We will have lots of pictures to share so I am glad to be all caught up on updating the family.

Monday, May 24, 2010

smiling because of my boys

I love it when my boys bring a smile to my face.

I thought they were outgrowing the goodbye waves out the school window this morning. I kissed and hugged both boys goodbye after I dropped them off and helped them switch to their inside shoes. Clay took off and didn't even think about going to the window to say goodbye. Jaden just happened to be talking with a friend at the window. I walked outside. Turned around and Jaden didn't even glance my way. I blew a kiss anyway. So sad but I realize they are constantly getting bigger and older.

Then tonight I left the house to do a little shopping for my friend's wedding this Saturday. As I left both boys ran to the garage door and yelled goodbye! They both blew me multiple kisses. Just melts my heart! I sure love those guys.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

work and war

I am learning all kinds of new words at work lately:
defilade-using an obstacle to conceal or shield
fratricide-killing of a brother; friendly fire

I read the word Warfighter countless times today. This is the first project that I have been constantly reminded that I am helping soldiers. I actually believe this weapon will help soldiers fight wars so that their lives may be spared.

I do not like war and wish we never had to fight wars. That is not the reality we live in. I still wish I was not apart of war by designing weapons.

My job does make me think of soldiers more and how hard their lives must be, especially when at war. I do not keep going back to work because of the soldiers that may be helped. I do not keep going back to work because I think weapons are cool. I do not keep coming back to work because of the day to day tasks that I do.

I keep going back to work because of the people that I am surrounded by. I want to get to know them, invest in them, befriend them, love them and help them move toward God on their spiritual journey.

I just wish, hope and pray that someday soon, I will get to go to work for that reason AND because I love the work that I do. Here's hoping that I get a call for a NASA interview soon.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

we have a great babysitter

Tabitha is our awesome babysitter. The boys love her. She is at our house every Wednesday night for Meal Group and comes sporadically for date nights. She has fun with our kids and takes good care of them. She rarely has anything negative to say about them, which I question, but she says the boys are so good.

Sometimes the boys get to watch movies with Tabitha. She is great about playing board games with the boys. They love to play games! Therefore, they love Tabitha.

Tabitha always makes macaroni and cheese and hot dogs for the boys. They love the routine of it and they love that meal. Again this makes them love her more. I feel a little bad for Tabitha but I try to provide her with other options for her to eat if she is interested.

Last night when she came, she brought 2 packages of sugar cookie dough, frosting and sprinkles. What a great babysitter! I knew the kids would enjoy that.

The boys enjoyed a cookie last night and a couple cookies today. I keep finding sprinkles all over the kitchen but it is worth it. Tabitha is so great, she even does our dishes. I will clean up a few sprinkles any day for someone who loves my boys and does my dishes! Thanks Tabitha.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I love free concerts and being a mom

I had a great Mother's Day on Sunday with my boys and husband. Bryan's schedule was off because he had been working overnights so I planned to make breakfast with the boys. My favorite breakfasts always involved some yummy, homemade bread/grain treat and fruit and don't forget the chocolate milk. The boys and I decided to make banana pancakes. I love it when they help me in the kitchen. I would love to raise boys who like to cook.

We had banana pancakes 3 times in Honduras and I fell in love with them. So yummy! We made the recipe that we got from some friends in staff housing there. I wasn't sure how they would turn out but they were as good as I remember. We had banana pancakes with syrup, strawberries and chocolate milk.

While we were eating, Jaden asked, "Why do we get chocolate milk?"
I replied, "Because it is a special day for me and I like to share it."
He seemed ok with that answer and any answer would have been just fine.
He was just thinking, "How do I make this happen everyday?"

After our mid-morning breakfast, Bryan planned for us to go to a free orchestra concert at the Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul. The St. Paul Symphony does a free concert there every Mother's Day. We went two years ago and it was my best Mother's Day memory yet. The building is just beautiful and has a huge glass ceiling and atrium. Such a beautiful setting for a concert. The concert was about an hour long and the boys did pretty well with snacks and toys in the balcony. Their favorite part was the guest percussionist that did the last song (26 minutes long). He was amazing and so fun to watch.

We attempted to go for a mid-afternoon lunch/dinner before church at the Cheesecake Factory. We didn't think it would be so busy at 3:30 but we guessed wrong. We ended up going to PF Chang's which was ok but they ran out of everything fun for the kids (no colors or papers or kids chopsticks or magna-doodles) which made the meal not so fun. We ended the night with church and the boys favorite outside game, bocce ball.

It was a great Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

broken garage door mama

Yesterday I joined the ranks of great women: my mom, my mother-in-law and at least one sister-in-law. I ran into the garage door! Thankfully our old door recovered well and my quick instincts made me stop instantaneously. That mother-like instinct of, "I just hit something or ran over something," made me stop right away. I quickly realized it was the garage door and hit the button to stop it. One wheel of the garage door came off the track, which my handy husband, Bryan, was able to fix. I just pushed the bent wooden door back in place.

I think that all of those great women were just distracted by their kids as I was yesterday. All great moms. Happy Mother's Day Mom, Vicki, Roxanne, Nicole, Chrystine and Laura and to all the grandmas!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

my smart boys

I hesitate to write this blog but hopefully it will help me keep things in perspective. Today Bryan and I met with the boys teacher at the Montessori school they attend 3 days a week. I always enjoy talking with Mr. Jason and today was no exception.

We first talked about Clay. We talked about that Clay still observes a lot of work and needs encouragement to perform his own work. He is interested in older materials that are usually not interesting to other 3 year old kids, such as math materials and reading. We were told today that Mr. Jason has observed Clay reading 2 words at different times. We have not been pushing this but he has been going along the journey of Jaden learning to read. Mr. Jason went on to say that in his 10 years of teaching that he has only had one other 3 year old that was so interested in reading at this young of an age. That is pretty cool that Clay is already at that stage. Much sooner than I thought he would be there.

Then we talked about Jaden. He is five and continues to practice reading and language materials. We talked about how he is doing addition in his head already. He has worked some with the math materials but not that much. It seems he has picked it up very easily. We didn't put any effort into teaching him addition (which is unusual because I seem to put effort into everything he learns). He is not only adding numbers up to 10 + 10 and larger, but he is adding them in his head, without paper or using fingers. Bryan thinks he might be a little math whiz.

I am thinking both of our boys are little geniuses. I am just happy knowing that this will make school more enjoyable for them. I hesitate in writing this because I have a problem comparing my boys to other kids. I see other kids and wonder why are my boys not doing that? It makes me feel bad that I am not teaching them more and devoting more time to it. I have way too high of expectations for myself and them. This is just a bad cycle of guilt and feeling like I am not doing enough. I am working on comparing my kids less and realizing that they are individuals and will do things at different times compared to other kids.

I am trying to celebrate my kids learning ability but I hope that this is not causing others to have comparison problems, like me. Through this, I am trying to realize that it is truly God that I have to thank for my boys learning ability. It is because of Him that they are so blessed. Thanks God.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Joshua, 4 months old

Gregory, 3 years old

I have 6 nephews (and 2 nieces) and I got to spend over 5 days with 2 of my nephews this week. It was so great to get to know Gregory and Joshua more over the last few days.

Gregory is going to be one of those amazing adults that is so encouraging and positive that you can't help but just want to be around him. He continually compliments people and says nice things. He is the most polite kid I have ever met. His parents are raising him well but I think God has just given him an incredible heart. He has such grown-up emotion about people. I love being around him and he is only three. He and I pulled a bunch of weeds this week and he just kept telling me nice things. "Quel, you doing nice job." "Quel, this looks good." "Quel, you good worker." He always says please and thank you and your welcome. So sweet.

Joshua is one of those kids that you work really hard to raise, especially during infancy, and it causes you to love him more, with quirks and all. He is not an easy-going baby but it feels so good to figure out something that makes him happy. When you make a baby like Joshua happy, it is so rewarding. His smiles in between screams and crying make me want to try harder to please him. He can be cuddly but he wants you to figure him out first. He needs a soft blanket in his hands to hold. He only likes being held in your left arm. Sometimes he just needs to suck on his pacifier in between gulps of the bottle. I love this little, finicky guy.