Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Patch 2011

It's not fall without a trip to the pumpkin patch...er, pumpkin field :)

Must find the best pumpkin in the patch.
Alright so we didn't really buy a $30 pumpkin, but it was fun for Bergen to pick out a"huuuuge" one and put it in the wagon.
It's a big place, even Bergen's need a ride sometimes.
But that only lasted about 4 rows before he climbed out and was off running again.
Traditional family picture!
Don't forget Bergen cam!
Usually people would want to run away from jail, but not this time.

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But the merry-go-round was by far the winner for fun!
And as much fun as it was to ride, it was that much more fun to push. I loved seeing Bergen's little legs run just as fast as they would possible go, before Travis, and once a man standing by, would snatch him up before he lost his balance due to his blistering speed!
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There was lots of characters. Hugging "Maner" was his own idea.
Taking a break to think with dad.
Driving mommy...ah crazy? No, must have been driving mommy home :)
My silly, funny, happy little boy. Love him!
Once the pumpkins were loaded, we were good to go!
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Another fun day hanging out together, making memories :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Autumn Visit With The Olivers

The end of September Bergen and I made a trip to visit the Olivers in Virginia. We of course love to just visit the Olivers just for fun, but what got us out there this time was to run with Helen and Brant in the DC Ragnar relay race. I am very happy to report that despite getting to the airport just in the nick of time (and by that I mean 3 minutes later than we technically were allowed, but had a kind ticket agent help us and overrode the system so we could check our baggage and get on our planned flight) we had a very pleasant experience. Bergen was so good for me and made it even kind of fun.
Naps on the plane are awesome!
We wasted no time and got right to playing baseball. We all had fun, despite the boys inablility to focus. Call it a controlled chaos game. It was pretty funny at times.
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We got to go to Sprouts with Joshua and Nathan. The boys had fun running along the mall on the way to the Botanic Gardens.
What?! We actually got a picture of the three of them! Shocker I know :)
Sprouts was about butterflies, their proboscis, and collecting pollen. This is Bergen collecting pollen.
After Sprouts we stopped at this park for lunch. We were their to watch planes land, but the boys were having more fun throwing rocking into the water.
During the Ragnar race (that's a whole other post), Bergen got to stay overnight at the Ramon's house. Bonnie is my friend Shea's mom. They lived near us in Texas and we spent many a Sunday dinners at their house before they moved to Maryland. After the race Bergen and I stayed with them for a couple of days before going back to the Olivers.
Bergen worked very hard on her dishes.
There's always good food at their house and it was the least he could do to help out.
Bonnie took Bergen and I around Maryland to do some sightseeing. We stopped at this memorial near Point Lookout on the Chesapeake Bay.
We also looked for shark teeth along the Patuxent River.
We met back up with the Olivers at National Harbor. The boys really liked...you guessed it, running around! They also enjoyed jumping off stairs.
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This statue is down near the water. They kind of thought it was fun to climb on, hence Nathan's happy face. I think they preferred throwing rocks into the water though.
This hand was pretty cool!
We ate lunch here and played till we were all exhausted. Helen and I think these outings will be fun and good for the boys. You know, really wear them out for a good nap. While they are fun, they seem to be a little crazy at times, and a lot of work, and totally wear Helen and I out more than the boys! Oh well, makes for some good pictures and silly memories.
Week 2 of Sprouts was about trees and owls. We got to make an owl out of cardstock, cork, a piece of an egg carton, and goggly eyes.
Pretty cute!
This is another one of those activities we think will be fun. The little boys attention span is still pretty short and Bergen would rather be, well, running! Thankfully we can buy a little time with snacks, but even that only lasts for so long.
Bergen filling up the watering can in the children's garden. He may or may not have ended up soaked :)
No cousin trip is complete without playing in the tub!
Spreading peanut better on graham crackers together. I love their concentration.
We also got to go to a Home Depot workshop and make helicopters.
When you live far away and finally get together, you want to make the most of your time together. That can make for some long days of trying to all get along. It was fun to see their happy, playing together nicely moments!
Getting to sleep is also something that can make for some challenging times. Especially when mommys are even more tired than the boys. One night I was so fed up with getting Bergen to stay quiet and laying down, I left him on the top bunk bed, took the ladder off, said stay there and goodnight, and closed the door, knowing he would be stuck up there and maybe that would force him to sleep. He cried for a minute then went quiet. I thought, finally! But I was wrong. Bergen opened up the door and came running out oh so proud of himself. How in the world?! I'm still not sure how we quietly climbed down off the top bunk in the dark, but after that funny trick how could I still be mad?

All good things must come to an end. They boys were sitting on the curb so nicely while we unloaded the car at the airport, until we tried to take a picture. Figures :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pie, Peas, & Playtime

Autumn time brings lots of green apples to the store's produce section. I fell prey to their pretty little display of apples and bought some to make a pie. As I spent my Sunday afternoon baking (instead of napping) I realized I'm pretty sure this is the first completely from scratch apple pie. So I had to take a picture of it! It was so yummy I just might give up another Sunday nap to make another...well maybe, those Sunday naps are pretty important.
Does this scene look at all familiar? Cause it should! Not quite 2 years ago Bergen did the same thing. Got the peas out of the freezer, poured himself some, and ate most of them off the floor. I guess some things don't change much.
At least this time he could help clean up. He sings "keen up, keen up, ev-body" as he works.

This is mostly Bergen being silly. Notice his shirt-less-ness? That is not uncommon! He frequently doesn't want to wear a shirt. And if he has a day shirt on, it can sometimes be tricky to convince him to change into the jammy shirt, and if he has a jammy shirt on, it can be tricky to convince him to change into the day shirt. The best tactic I've found is to show him it's dirty. If he can visibly see dirt on it, then he will change, otherwise good luck. He also even more frequently doesn't want to wear a shirt to bed. He says, "no shirt mommy" and shakes his hand at me. At first I tried really hard to get him to wear it, but soon discovered it wasn't that important. I could just wait until he was asleep and sneak it on him. That was great in theory except that he can take them off in his sleep. And if I put it back on again, he takes it off AGAIN. So I guess "no shirt mommy" really mean no shirt :) He must have inherited this trait from his Uncle Andrew.
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

August Trip to Utah

The first part of August Andrew was entering the provo MTC. So we decided to take our summer trip to Utah to overlap that, and catch Helen for a couple of days while they were out there too.

It was a nightmare for Bergen and I to get to Utah. The day after arriving in Utah I had this to say about it:

Yesterday's travel experience for Bergen and I included 3 shuttle bus rides, 2 times thru airport security, 6 skylink rides, 3 different terminals, 6 gates, 4 missed flights, 2 delayed planes, one exhausted momma, one exhausted toddler, and almost 18 hours. Halle-stinkin-lujah we finally made it! Crawling into bed at grandma and grandpa's house at 3am never felt so good! I'm still not so sure I've completely recovered, would it be crazy to say I think it might have been a little traumatic? :) At one point Bergen kept running away from me around and around on the moving sidewalks. He could squeeze thru people where I couldn't with all of our bags, and by the time I could get off he was already running down the other side. It took 2 1/2 loops to get a hold of him. So then I was trying to hold him in one arm and pull our bags with the other. He kept trying to wiggle down, was hitting me, and even boxed my ears (kind of funny now). I was trying to tell him I had to hold him because he was running away. Of course he was crying and I just couldn't keep it together any longer. I started crying and for just a moment we were in our own little world. I said I was sorry it was such a hard day, it was hard for mommy too. And he says with the saddest little voice ever, "yeah, hard day." What a sweetheart. So after we both shed a few tears (can't imagine what people thought as we stood in the middle of the airport a complete emotional mess), we put ourselves back together and pushed through the last 2 1/2 hours before we got to board the plane.

There were times that I so wanted to give up, but our suitcase was already in Utah, and I really didn't want to have to start the whole experience over the next day. I can't believe we survived a day like that, but I guess it's days like that that make me stronger. At least that's what I keep telling myself :)

The following evening Bergen and I met the Olivers at a neighbor's "farm in the city" for a few hours. The boys liked the chicken coop. I'm afraid they also liked throwing things from the floor out the window. Pretty sure some of it was probably poop. Boys!
I love this little conversation Bergen is having with the chicken. Perhaps he's telling her two of his favorite foods are chicken and eggs (no joke). Hmmm, I hope that didn't make her nervous.
There was a great backyard space to play ball and ride bikes. This is another great conversation that we caught on film. Again, if only I knew what they were saying :)
In the morning Bergen and I joined the Olivers on a hike up Ensign Peak. I really was worried I'd be carrying Bergen up the mountain and just didn't know if I could handle that so quickly after our traumatic travel day, and almost didn't go. In the end I'm SO glad I did! Bergen did awesome and had a great time. He walked/ran the whole way. What a good little trooper!
This kid just goes and goes...even up hills.
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We made it! The monument at the top.
And the beautiful view of the Salt Lake valley.


I remember Grandma Linton getting these wiggle cars years ago, long before Bergen was around. This time was the first time he's been old enough to really do anything on them. Once he figured it out, we couldn't get him off. The very first day he scrapped up both feet riding it. So the next day Grandpa got him a pair of tennis shoes to protect his feet (since mommy wasn't expecting such activities and hadn't packed appropriately), and before our vacation was over he nearly wore holes clear through the shoes!
Needless to say it was by far his favorite thing to do. Any time we went in or out of the house he was trying to ride. One time the only way I could get him off the bike and into the car was to put the bike in the trunk so it could come with us. Another time Travis and I went out to a movie while Bergen stayed with Grandma and Grandpa. When Travis and I got home around 9:30pm, there was Grandma standing in the driveway watching Bergen ride the bike.

This video was at the beginning of the trip. By the end he could go super fast, whip around corners, and almost keep up with the neighbor girls riding their bikes around the cul-de-sac.
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We missed getting to go to Oregon for Andrew's mission talk (flights were no good! :( ). Instead we took the last chance to see him by picking him up at the Salt Lake Airport, and dropping him off at the Provo MTC. We had a little time to spare before he was to report so we stopped by to see Grandma Bjarnson for a bit. We then had just enough time to eat so we meet a friend of Andrew's from his Trek experience, and the Tuellers for lunch.
Then it was off to the MTC. We pulled into the parking lot of the MTC with about a million other cars. We rolled down the window and a gentleman asked where the missionary was going. Andrew said Brazil, and he replied with a, "You're supposed to go straight there." Andrew got to tell him his visa hadn't come yet, and he directed us to the drop off line.

Missionaries and missionaries lined the sidewalk waiting to escort the new missionaries. There was so much excitement in the air and emotions were high (ok maybe just my emotions), as we watched young men in suits stepping out of cars, hugging family members, and walking off with more luggage than one person could carry, knowing they were beginning a 2 year journey of service with many moments of the saddest sorrow and the greatest joy as they teach of our Savior and pray that the brothers and sisters of our Heavenly Father whom they will come in contact with will accept the gospel. For me it was an overwhelming feeling of truth that what these missionaries were doing was right. I'm so proud of Andrew for choosing to make this sacrifice that will only bring blessings to him in the end.

Andrew's escort opened the door for him and said, "Welcome Elder!" We got the bags out of the car and took one last picture. Then it was time for the last hugs. What do you say in these kind of situations? I just don't know...so I started to cry a little (tears of happiness really, but maybe a few of sadness because well, let's face it, 2 years can be a long time looking forward). Andrew started to get a little choked up and said, "What are you, my mom?" Well someone had to play that part here and I guess it got to be me :) Travis and Bergen gave their hugs too. The elder helped Andrew...I mean Elder Bjarnson carry his luggage and they were off. I could hear him ask where he was going and Elder Bjarnson excitedly told him Brazil, Brasilla. Travis and I got back in the car to drive away when we noticed Andrew left an envelope in the car. Travis grabbed it, ran up the sidewalk to catch up to them, then ran back to the car. So that was it. We slowly drove thru the rest of the parking lot and back out onto the street. There went our missionary, off to serve the Lord for 2 years.
How did time go so quickly? Is my little brother really on a mission now? Well, yes he is, and as I write this he is sleeping his last night in the United States before flying to Brazil in the morning. It's something our family has talked about for so long, and now it's here, he's out there among the Lord's servants, and it still feels a little surreal to me. I'm so proud of him and what he's doing. He's already inspired me to do something on several occasions. Just by writing us, asking us to help the missionaries, has suddenly made me want to do more than I probably would have normally. I know my brother is out there doing his best to serve and I want to help him, the same way I'm sure the missionaries in my area also have families who feel the same way I do about their missionary. It's hard for me to explain, but somehow I see a little of my brother in all the missionaries now and want to help them.



Grandpa cut windows and a door in this big box for Bergen. Bergen had fun showing grandpa where to cut more "winows" and when it was finished it was a perfect spot to eat lunch. One afternoon Bergen and I were playing in the backyard together. We were playing hide and chase with the box and the deck pillars. It was a fun day with lots of laughter!
The Church History Museum in Salt Lake has a children's section we got to go to. It had fishing off Nephi's boat.
You could put shapes together on a magnetic wall to make humanitarian quilts.
Do some painting.
Make dinner for the missionaries.
Grow a garden.
And build a temple.
The weather was beautiful and the temple is a beautiful backdrop for my beautiful family.
Bergen of course loved the reflective pool!
As always, it's great to spend time with family and we wish we all lived closer!