January 31, 2009


So my husband just gets more wonderful each day. With only a few blatant hints, he thought he should try to do something extra nice this week. So all week, I heard him randomly, out of nowhere, say "Surprise!", like that word was supposed to be the most romantic thing ever. It got to be just a huge joke between us. . . But then the real surprise came . . . Friday night he actually came home right at 5pm. As I was getting dinner ready, I heard a knock at the door. Who could it be? Ashley--our babysitter! Eric had secretly arranged for a babysitter to come so we could go out on a date! I don't think I've ever been more excited or happier to see Ashley. It gets better. He actually had a date planned! We went to Texas Roadhouse and ate some yummy food. I just LOVE the rolls there! Then we walked around the mall and got to talk to each other! Does it get better than that? Thank you, Eric! I really loved the surprise date!
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January 29, 2009

Eric's Twin

Just for laughs, I have this picture hanging on our fridge. It's something I ripped out of a magazine years ago because I thought it was so random and entertaining. I was standing next to the fridge holding Kacin in my arms, when he asks, completely serious mind you, "What is daddy riding? Why is he riding mommy's bike?"

Does it look anything like Eric?! The last time I checked, Eric didn't exactly have facial hair quite like that . . . though I think he wishes he could grow it like that . . .

January 25, 2009


I was recently called to work with the Young Women at church (with the Mia-Maids). I am so excited for this experience! I think after 5 years in the primary, I was just ready for a change. I have such great memories of being in Young Women's so I am extremely happy about being there again, but of course this time as a "leader". I have to say that I don't feel much like a leader--we have some strong, awesome girls in the ward and I think I've already learned more from them than they have from me! We had a stake fireside for the youth last week where they introduced the new YW/YM theme for the year-- "Be Thou An Example of the Believers" (1 Timothy 4:12). Today I was watching the videos from the new youth website of the A Brand New Year youth celebration. It is so powerful to know that youth from all over the world will be focusing on this theme together. It is so inspired and I know that it is exactly what we need to focus on. I'm so grateful for the young women's program! And that I get to regularly have some type of adult, female conversation again. :)

January 23, 2009

Lucky Leak

It's raining here . . . and we found a leak in our roof. However, I can't think of a better place for a leak--right over the sink! Aren't we lucky?

January 22, 2009

Ode to Eric

I think it's a well known fact that Eric is the smartest, most attractive man ever, but here's a few more reasons why E is absolutely amazing. First of all, he is a basketball star. As I am writing this, he is off playing in his 5th game in a week and a half. Not to mention, he's been the ref in 2 other games. Between playing with some friends in a city league thing (I'm so basketball tech-y) and church ball he has been non-stop and committed. We even watched him score a few points on Saturday. . . Man, can he jump or what? Go, Eric!

Here's another reason why Eric is everyone's hero (well, at least he's mine because it was my money and car he saved). Well, my car (Fondly known as The Green Beast) died on Mon. while I was on the way to the library. I was pulling up to a stop sign a few blocks and away and the engine just died. Eric left work early (what sacrifice!) and helped me get the car home (He really would be a super hero if he had succeeded in pushing it home the whole way, but he only got a few yards before using his smarts and getting the tow rope out. Don't worry, I don't think any less of him for it). So then Eric came up with this fantastic plan. And so maybe I was a bit doubtful about it (I like to call it cautious). But I will proudly declare that The Green Beast was brought back to life at 11:00pm on Wednesday! Single-handedly, Eric, (with some advice from his pretty cool father-in-law), discovered the cause of death and revived The Green Beast by replacing the fuel pump. I was impressed when he woke me up at 11:30pm to tell me it worked. I was especially impressed when I found out he saved us over $300!

Just a few of the reasons why Eric is so wonderful!

January 18, 2009

A Different Kacin

I thought Kacin was a pretty unique name. And then we met 2 different Kacin's this week . . .

Rhonda let Kacin and Kyler each choose a stuffed animal this week. Kacin was ready to choose a Dora doll, but then he saw this puppy (OK, it's actually a polar bear, but Kacin denies it and calls it his puppy. Who am I to argue?) We asked him what it's name was. He said, "A different Kacin". So now Kacin the dog/polar bear comes with us everywhere. Kacin is adamant about not leaving him home alone. So this week he's spent many days sitting in my car instead.
Right now, my favorite place ever is Thanksgiving Point. It's too cold for the gardens, so we headed to the dinosaur museum on Saturday. It so happened that Pattie and her kids were there too! So fun! Anyways, we looked around and then headed down to the big sand table. Kacin was happily playing next to a little boy when he heard someone behind him say "Pull up your sleeves, Kacin". He quickly turned around to her, held up his arms to show the short-sleeved shirt, and yelled "Look! They already are!". Our confused little boy turned back around to play. How could this lady know his name and not know the difference between short- and long-sleeved shirts?! Oh wait, she was talking to her own little boy, also named Kacin, splashing water and sand all over his long-sleeved shirt. I wish we had a picture of our Kacin's face. It was classic . . .

January 16, 2009

Too Scared to Spit

I volunteered to be part of an endometriosis study. They are looking for a gene that contributes to endo. I don't have to do much--answer a few questions, allow them to see some medical records, and . . . SPIT. They needed a DNA sample so they sent a container to spit into,which at first seems pretty little. No problem, right? WRONG. Spit is the most disgusting thing ever. I'd almost rather give blood (I said almost). I put it off for a week because I was so nervous about doing it. I never knew I had such a problem with it until I faced that stupid container that I had to fill up. Even with Eric's encouragement (laughter) the whole time, it took me forever. However, for the good of all endo sufferers everywhere, I endured the nastiness of it. I can proudly say that my spittle is now on it's way to be researched.

January 13, 2009

The Second Trip

It was crazy, but we went down to AZ for the second time on Jan. 2- Jan. 6. I think we are done traveling for a long time! (hopefully)

After these highlights from this trip I am done with long blogs for awhile!
*Hiking Camelback Mountain
We were so impressed Kyler, Kacin, and Jacqui made it the whole way (with only minimal complaining and carrying of Kacin and Jacqui :) )! Ky was so impressive. Camelback is tough because you are climbing up and over rocks almost the entire way. We conquered the mountain!
*Grandma's boy
Kyler was so attached to his Grandma Barb! He absolutely loves her. The first time we left AZ he explained that he missed Grandma Barb already. He was even talking about moving to AZ! He loved baking and playing with her.
*Grandpa's boy
My dad is an early riser. He's always up way before the sun comes up. Well, Kacin figured this out and started waking up at 5 or 5:30 so he "could play with Grandpa Brent". He loved climbing trees with Grandpa and helping him get his work done. Grandpa Brent got followed around a lot. This is the best picture I have of my dad (at least it's really him wearing the Brent mask).

*A Horse Named Josh
Enough said.

*Birthday Present
Better 6 months late than never, eh? :) Thanks for the cute apron you made, Stefanie!
*Doug's Funeral
The Graveside service was at the Thatcher Cemetery. Kyler, Kacin, and all of the grand-nieces sang "Love At Home". Then we had a Mexican food luncheon at the church.

January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

It's 2009!
I can't believe how quickly 2008 went by. Thinking back, 2008 was absolutely filled with changes. Let's see . . . both of my mom's parents died (Grandma and Grandpa Neff) . . . Stefanie and Jacqui both got married . . . we adopted 2 little boys . . . we put up a fence around our house and Eric cut down most of the huge tree in our front yard . . . I switched schools to be in Alpine School District and to teach part-time . . . I was just released from primary (it had been 5 years) and now will work with the Young Women . . . I finally put pictures up on our walls and began to organize our house better . . . and I'm sure there is more. It really has been an adventurous, busy year. We are all excited for everything that 2009 will bring!
Welcome 2009!

Trip to AZ Continued

Other highlights from our trip to AZ for Christmas . . .

1. Kacin's 4th birthday!
Everyone gathered at Fitch park to celebrate Kacin turning the big 4. Kacin had a blast riding the longboard with Tyson and the bike with Josh. We thought we were in AZ, but apparently nobody told the weather that, and we were freezing cold! Poor Kacin's teeth were chattering so by the end of the party he was wearing Grandpa Brent's jacket, Stefanie's socks (on his hands), and Stefanie's beanie. He looked like a little hobo! We ate pizza and birthday cake (it was a demolition derby with yellow stars that Kyler decorated) then played at the playground.

2. Seeing high-school friends
It was our second gathering at Fitch park. We met Danielle and Matt & their foster kids, Brittany & her family, and Megan and James & Tommie (and Pooka). We ate some yummy enchiladas and caught up with each other. It was so great seeing old friends! Eric was especially excited about the chocolate covered treats we got from Danielle. :)
3. Hanging out with Grandma Mary
I'm so glad she's Eric's grandma! She is such a funny, friendly person. It was the second time the boys got to see her and her husband Dal. We were all so excited to see them both.
4. Christmas with the Allred's
On the 28th we went over to Natalie's house to celebrate Christmas with the Allred side of the family. We enjoyed some breakfast burritos and opened up presents. The boys received soft, brown blankets with their names on them, cowboy boot slippers, a hopper bouncy ball, and other things. I got a cricut! I still need to learn how to use it, but I'm excited.
5. Eric's 27th birthday!
Ok, so I had tried to throw Eric a couple of different surprise get-togethers to celebrate his 27th birthday . . . plans kept changing though . . . we ended up having Pumpkin pie (E's favorite) with the Allred side after our "Christmas". After church, my family gathered for a Brazilian feast (of sorts) and more pumpkin pie. Happy Birthday, Eric!

6. Going to church in my old ward Good old Fraser ward! It was fun to visit the ward I grew up in, but it makes me feel so old to see all of the kids who were so little when I was there being out on missions and such. I'm so glad Linnelle is still in the ward! That makes it feel more like home. The boys were excited to go because it was the first time they got to wear their new suits!

Attack of the Green Bunny

Jenny is the culprit. She wrapped up the thing and gave it to my dad on Christmas. What a frightening gift--a large bunny, dressed in a green clown-like outfit. Though, it became the object of many pranks and much laughter. However, after the untalent show it only became even more frightening. We placed one of the Brent (my dad) masks on it.

You see, my Grandma Neff was a trickster. Even up until a few weeks before she died, she was in the nursing home making prank phone calls to some of Jacqui's friends. We have to carry on her tradition and spirit of fun. :)

Our first victim: Jacqui and Josh. After positioning the bunny with a plastic fork and knife in hand, Jenny, Eric, and I walked down the street to their house. We placed it in front of the door, rang the doorbell, and ran. When Josh answered the door, he said "That's creepy. Jacqui, it's for you."

Victim number two: ok, so it was Jacqui and Josh again. However, this time the bunny wasn't quite so involved, just a source of inspiration. Since Jacqui and Josh live in Grandpa and Grandma Neff's old house, we have a key to their place. We knew they were gone to the movies with some friends so we snuck in (Aaron joined forces with us). A quick explanation: when Grandma and Grandpa moved into the house there were 2 statues in the backyard--Mary and some other saint. Grandpa never moved them so they were still sitting back there. Ok, so maybe what we ended up doing was a little disrespectful to other religions, but you have to admit if you walked home to it you would be very surprised. We turned the TV on to ch. 21 (the religious channel) and positioned the saint on the floor to be watching the TV with candles all around. Mary went into their master bathtub. Seran wrap went around their toilet. Some of Grandma's stuffed frogs climbed into the bed. Finally, Dr. McDreamy the barbie doll went into the blender. Mission accomplished.
Victim number three: Stefanie. She was home alone since Tyson was working. Eric placed the green bunny (similar to victim #1's experience). Knock and run. No answer. We knew she was home. We called from the cell phone. She came out. She saw. She was frightened. She invited us in, which led us to our final victim . . . Number Four: Tyson. He came home from work to this feasting at his table.

Will Brent the Bunny strike again?? Be aware!