This is...

This is...

Sunday, August 30, 2009


The kids started school... did I forget to take a first day of school picture? YES! :(

We celebrated the start of school by heading to the ranch for an end of summer celebration. Jeff and family met us there. I think it was pretty hot!! The kids (of course) had a great time. They got dirty and sweaty. They usually get to wait the entire 3.5 hour car ride home before they get a bath. I justify that because we have to clean the ranch bathrooms and "check-out" of the ranch house. I could very-well bathe them... but by the time I clean up the bathroom and wash the towels after them, they would be dirty again. So, we just dump them in the bath when we get home... Looking at these pictures, it looks rather disgusting though.

The kids (of course) get so tired and cranky when its time to finally get in the car and leave... but they typically fall asleep before we even get on the freeway. Seriously, I love my kids! I love being able to go to the ranch and let them run around all day outside. I love that they get to grow up driving 4 wheelers and smelling cows and petting horses. I love that the kids run away from and/or play with those dirty ranch dogs. I love all the time they get to spend with their cousins. They are so lucky! I love just going and sitting at the kitchen table and watching my kids just be kids. I love that Jessie has them all in Kids Club. the list goes on...

ps: how does Nate sleep with his eyes open? Is that odd? He was seriously OUT! Kids are amazing.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

10 years ago...

10 years ago, Joe proposed. He picked me up on his little crotch-rocket (Honda CBR) motorcycle and took me for a ride up around Sundance... I had a feeling he was planning something - why else would he come home from work already having a helmet for me? He wasn't the type to think ahead. Usually if we went on motorcycle rides in our spontaneous nature, we would just ride back to his house to grab a helmet for me to wear. Tip off #1 - he was a bit nervous and acting a little funny. #2 - Why would he come for a casual lunch date already prepared with a helmet for me? #3 - he already had a plan - he didn't just turn and say "now, where do you want to go?"

Anyways, we drove up the canyon. He parked on a little bridge and we got out to walk around. He started throwing rocks into the stream. I noticed a ring of dirt around a large rock - like it had been recently unearthed and placed back... I picked that one up and found a ring laying on some rose petals in the ground. I started to giggle. I couldn't believe THIS was the moment. I was actually a grown up now... I was actually getting proposed to RIGHT NOW. I was not ready to get married. I was not at all expecting a proposal from him (yet)... well, I knew we were going to get married, but not for several months (or so I believed). We hadn't been dating that long... But both in my heart and in my head I just KNEW I had to say YES. He got on his knee and of course, the rest is history. A dozen roses and some sparkling cider was waiting nearby for us to celebrate. He definately surprised me.

Whats funny, is as I was driving the other night, right next to me at a stop light was a flashback to the past... The guy was so similar to Joe back in 1999. This was how I remember the man I fell in love with. A little geeky - not the skater/football dude I was used to dating. He wore mission shoes and white socks. His pants were not baggy - they were even a bit tighter around the ankle (fashion circa 1992). He wore a belt and had nice legs making the pants have to stretch around his quads. He rode a motorcycle. He was not at all what I thought I would marry. Had this man been on a yellow Honda CBR, it would have been an exact re-incarnation of my husband 10 years ago.

Shortly before we were married, he sold his bike. I was happy. It was dangerous...
Here, we were driving 100mph+ on our way to Vegas...

Hoping he doesnt want another bike anytime soon...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Owen's Wedding!

So, the real reason we went to Arizona was to go to Owen and Alyssa's wedding.
It was so fun!
Alyssa was so cute and made so many things! Everything was simply beautiful! They had a candy table - all in their peacock colors. Alyssa made everyone flowers for our hair, and even some bracelets for us to wear too! She didn't stop there either! She made all the table cloths, and even aprons for the girls who were serving food. I should have taken more pictures of the decorations...
The little girls were the flower girls - look at Charity's face. She loved every second of it! The little girls felt like princesses. Alyssa was beautiful. It was such a nice wedding! I wish all the best to this new cute couple!

We, of course, came home exhausted. It was a great day! To be honest, I was stressing about a wedding in Arizona in AUGUST! I was thinking they were NUTSO for wanting the reception to be outside. However, it all worked out. It was a pleasant evening. Nobody melted. ;)
Charity, Nate and I headed home back to Texas the next day - homesick for the boys back home... and ready to start school!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Charity's Tooth!

Charity was so concerned that she was the only one she knew who hadn't lost a tooth yet. EVERYONE else in her kindergarten class had lost a tooth... all of her cousins... etc... she was feeling pretty left out.
Needless to say, teeth eventually come out.
Hers just so happened to come out the day before Owen's wedding. She was a little nervous about the blood, but she was SO thrilled!

Grandpa Sanders was a dentist... and Ashlyn and Sarah both had loose teeth as well. Somehow, magically, Grandpa convinced them all to let him "just wiggle" their teeth... All three girls lost a tooth that day! It was fun! The toothfairy was VERY busy at that house that night!

Triple Party!

In true Allen fashion, we can't let a family gathering go to waste.

So, #1 priority for the wedding week was to have a family bridal shower for Alyssa. She is adorable, and it was fun to have a little "welcome to the family" night. We did make Owen join her to open one gift though... My mom, dad and I came up with the coolest gift for 2 skater lovebirds. Yay for vinyl lettering! The little OWA thing is something my grandpa used to use; I just grunge-d it up a bit. pretty cool huh?

After the bridal shower was over, we surprised little Steph with a baby shower. She was TOTALLY surprised! It was fun to prove to her that all tradition doesn't stop with her! I think the night got a bit emotional... but I blame her pregnancy. ;)

That wrapped up, and all of a sudden, the boys (uncles, grandpa etc) came home and we had a surprise graduation party! Nate and Steph had both just graduated, but left Utah and didn't do the whole commencement/walking thing up at BYU in Provo. So we just had our own family commencement in Arizona - complete with homestyle pomp and circumstance hummed during the processional. Steph gave a speech, and my dad (the professor) directed the commencement. Truly Allen style...

Our family is kindof quirky, but what else were we supposed to do? Getting the whole family together is so hard to do, and we couldn't waste the opportunity to celebrate all the special occasions/events! It was a great night! All special events got their 15 minutes of fame. Welcome to the family Alyssa! ;)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I was planning on driving, but Aaron had mandatory football practice, and Joe couldn't get out of work... so I left the big boys home while Charity, Nate and I flew to Arizona for Owen's wedding.
This being the 6th wedding in the family, we FINALLY figured out how to make it a fun trip for everyone. Rather than splitting up into different houses, or messing with a hotel (and different hotel rooms) we rented a big house with a pool! It was so nice to have common areas and a kitchen and then separate bedrooms when we needed them. It worked out perfectly for babysitting, and killing the down time between activities (it was dead of summer in ARIZONA). The pool was the perfect and essential touch.
p.s. This year, my baby Nate turned into a little fish. He absolutely LOVES swimming. At barely 3 he is swimming so well! He loves jumping off the edge and swimming the length of the pool. He holds his breath so long sometimes it gives me a heart attack... but I'm so thrilled to have all my kids independent swimmers now! HUGE relief!

Of course, we did the essential pre-wedding temple session with Owen and Alyssa. FYI: I LOVE my family!!!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

My little Nate

This little boy is so cute. I can hardly stand it. He is simply the best little kid EVER! When he is bored, he sits himself down on the computer and watches his Thomas the Train movies. There are so many times I come upstairs to find him having fallen asleep on this chair - neck kinked, Thomas engine in hand, andThomas video on screen. He is so independent. He is so content. I hope he stays this sweet forever! I mean, look at those eyes!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Friends Visit

Our friends, the Kings came from Idaho to visit! We had a lot of fun for a few days! The kids played well together. The adults played well together too! ;)

We went to the lake with Dan, Richelle and family. They drove the jetskis back from Lake Powell, and hadn't yet taken them down to Joe's dad... so we reaped the benefits! We all met and had a great time!

I was still suffering headaches and vertigo from a little too much craziness at Lake Powell, so my time on the jetskis lasted about 5 minutes. A little depressing because I don't want to get old. It feels so weird to transition from the one who has all the fun to the one who watches others have fun.

Anyways, it was a quick visit with the Cheryl, Koby, Preston and Addi King, but delightful!

Saturday, August 01, 2009


August was a great month! I am going to just pretend I wrote all the August posts actually in August. I basically remember what I was thinking when I took these pictures though...

I can't believe how much Aaron has grown! This is a Halloween costume I made for him a few years ago. He was totally obsessed with the Blue Angels and fighter pilots. He was very specific that he wanted a Blue Angels uniform (not the simple pilots uniform I could order online). He wanted it to be blue. He wanted the 2 yellow stripes. He wanted patches on it. Who would have thought years later he would still squeeze himself into that old costume! It doesn't look the least bit comfortable! I'm just glad my home-made costume has gotten so much mileage!