February 28, 2009

Three Clues

1. Do you remember this Sesame Street classic?
2. Now, watch this one (or just buy the funniest documentary you will EVER see).
3. Finally, have you ever read this?

What do these three things all have in common??




We bought chickens!!!
Eric has been talking about getting a pet since the day we got married. As working students, it was never reasonable for us to do (admittedly, plus, the fact that I don't really like animals too much). We had a list of more important things to get first--a bed, a house, kids, a trampoline, and then maybe, someday, but, in my opinion, hopefully not, a pet. We finished reading "Chickens in the Headlights" together and I think Eric was re-inspired to push the whole "Let's get an animal" idea. If we had a dollar for every hour Eric spent researching on the Internet and reading up on chickens, we'd have a lot of dollars! Nearly every time I saw him on the computer, he was finding great chicken coop ideas or figuring out the best chickens to raise on great websites like Backyardchickens.com. After some discussion, we decided that maybe getting a couple of chickens wouldn't be so bad. We would get lots of eggs and then have a chicken fry at the end of the summer! Plus, the boys would be so into it (which they really are).
So Eric drew up plans for a coop and even made a model of it.
We anticipated the day the chicks would arrive at IFA Country Store.
On Wednesday, we went down and bought four little chicks!

Two Rhode Island Reds and two Buff Orpingtons.
We're still working on names--both of the boys want to name theirs "Eric" because that's "what they used to call daddy". Stay tuned for updates on the growth and times of our 4

Note: Do not let Eric convince you it's OK to to let the chicks come in the house instead of the garage for a day. Chickens do not leave the best odor around. Thank goodness for melon scented candles!

February 23, 2009

Our Adoption Profile!

We have now updated our profile, to include Ky and Kacin, to adopt through LDS Family Services! Plus, the LDSFS website has been updated so it is so much better to search and view profiles. To check it out go to beta.itsaboutlove.org! Then you can "View Adopting Family Profiles" and search by couples first names or any other criteria. Check it out and spread the word!

One of our pictures showed up all blurry so that should be changing soon . . .

February 22, 2009

Farm Country

I got back from an overnight YW's retreat to Midway Saturday morning and my "To-do" list for the day went out the window. Staying up until 2 am Friday night sitting in the natural springs hot tub (with feet of snow all around us!) and playing games was probably the culprit. Saturday was an awesome day of relaxing and hanging out. We were glad when Pattie invited us to go to Farm Country at Thanksgiving Point with her and her kids so we could get out in the nice weather. Pattie describes the day perfectly in her blog. I wish I could just copy and paste! But here's a few shots from the day.

We rode the horses . . . Kyler was pretty disappointed that he forgot to wear all of his cowboy clothes. He only had his boots on.

Pattie and Owen . . .

Ella and Kacin looking at the ducks . . .

All 4 kids hanging out . . . and running back and forth, up and down the ramp . . .

It was kind of embarrassing that our kids were all scrounging around for corn to feed the animals. We were lame--no one had quarters. They picked handfuls off the sidewalk and grass near every corn machine.

In the almost 2 hours we were there, the kids did sit for a few minutes . . . just long enough to munch on a snack . . .

We joined Pattie, Ella, and Owen at Cafe Rio for dinner. You gotta love the salads.

We went to Target later to get a few things and found these barns and farm animals in the $1 section. It was the perfect ending to our day at the farm. And hopefully now Kacin will learn that a pig is not a cow (Yes, I just found out that he doesn't know all of his animals quite yet . . . he'll get it soon though . . .)

February 17, 2009


Most who know me know that I am NOT a fan of the TV. I will go as far as saying I am strongly against TV watching. It is rarely on at our house (why we pay for cable then is beyond me, but I guess when we do watch it's nice to have some quality shows and channels). However, it is a given that Saved by the Bell, the news or ESPN will be on at 5:30am while Eric works out in the basement. And it is a given that the volume will be blaring when Eric gets in the shower and uses the bathroom down there.

I have not changed my opinion on the TV in general. However, tonight, thanks to Kyler, I decided that a few good things do come from TV.

We came home from the Dinosaur Museum this morning and I had 15 minutes to eat lunch and be out the door for work. The boys eat lunch at preschool and I was not in the mood for Kacin to be staring at me eating and drooling over my food and to avoid a mess that we wouldn't have time to clean up, I asked if they wanted to watch TV. Kyler asked, "Can we watch Caillou?" "What's Caillou?" Kacin wondered out loud. Kyler replied, "A show that teaches us how to work things out and be good." Deep. I didn't know my son was recognizing the morals and deeper meaning of a TV show. Impressive.

Occasionally, we will all sit down as a family and watch John and Kate +8. Kacin and Kyler will laugh when they see the kids throwing tantrums (for some reason they don't think it is quite so funny watching their own tantrums though. . .). Eric and I just feel better about the way our lives have changed since having children. Plus, Kyler informed me that "Sometimes watching TV gets the grumpies out" (I'm pretty sure he was talking about me . . .)!

Eric and I often watch The Biggest Loser. It usually goes something like this.
"Wow. I'm so inspired and amazed that these people are changing their lives. How great is that!"
"Will you pass the cheez-its over?"
"Can you get me a Reeses PB cup, too?"

February 14, 2009

We Love Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! This is my most favorite holiday ever! I mean, you've got your pink, your glitter, your hearts, your treats (especially if you're a teacher!), your flowers, and LOVE. You get to make cheezy cards, attempt poetry, and try to be thoughtful. It's just the greatest. And today topped the charts.

Eric got me flowers. :) The single, dying rose is because Eric drove to my school yesterday at lunch and left it in my car! How romantic!
We woke up (early, mind you. The boys were so excited they couldn't sleep anymore.) and made a yummy breakfast of HEART-shaped biscuits, strawberry jam, turkey bacon, eggs, pineapple juice, and strawberries. We let the boys go at it today--I am still in shock of how much Kacin crammed into his mouth and tummy. He had 4 biscuits + everything else in abundance! And we still LOVE him even though he's going to eat us out of house and home. It was a LOVEly breakfast.

The LOVE of my life then had Church basketball. That's all I can say because I don't want E to be sad that they lost.

Eric was so much more LOVEable after he showered, so that's when the festivities began! The boys had to hide in Kyler's room while I set up the HEART trail through the house. First, the HEARTs led us to mine and Eric's room where the camera was ready to take a picture of us on our 1st Valentine's together (and all wearing red and pink, thank you). We followed the HEART trail through the bathroom and down the stairs for station #2. A bag of cinnamon candies and 4 buckets were waiting for us. We filled up each other's buckets by saying nice things about each other and dropping a handful of cinnamon candies. We learned that our family is very cute, funny, and smart--basically the best ever. Can you feel the LOVE?

The HEART trail continued to the kitchen table. We bit off the ends of Red Vines and used them as straws to blow HEART-cupcake holders across the table.

We hurried to the next room and found the coolest IPOD candy Valentine's. But before we could eat them we had to dance to a LOVE song. We chose "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash.

The HEART trail led us to the basement, our final destination, in which we found the LOVE basket filled with the Allen family traditional candy bar cookies. YUMMY.

Then we ate junk until lunch. But we can do that because it's Valentine's day.

The rest of the day consisted of driving up to Layton to visit with our wonderful friends, Kiri and Aaron (and cute Adalyn and sweet Jacob). It was great seeing their new house, talking and feeling glad that we don't have near as much snow in AF as they do in Layton! The boys played in the snow, made cars out of cardboard boxes and had a fabulous time while Eric and I went to the Bountiful Temple and to Jason's Deli to eat (we had a fabulous time, too). Thank you, Kiri and Aaron!!!
Happy Valentine's Day!

February 7, 2009

We Dream of a World . . .

. . . in which Eric is Vice-President.
At least, Cheryl dreams of it! My dear friend, Cheryl, called me this morning and had to share with me a dream she had last night. Since it wasn't my dream, I can't recall all of the details (so forgive me, Cheryl) , but the gist of it was that Eric became VP working with Pres. Obama. Everyone was excited because he was young and new. However, Pres. Obama didn't want to live in the White House (he wanted to live in some fancy mansion somewhere else). So Cheryl and the elders quorum were helping to move our little family in to live in the White House! At the inauguration, I was wearing a white, gauze dress and had braids in my hair. I believe somewhere between this point and seeing pictures of Elinor Roosevelt she woke up. Her dream made us all laugh a lot--but maybe it was just a vision of what is to come . . .
Vote Eric Allred--Vice President!

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February 6, 2009

2 Days, No Pay, but We Got to Play

My title rhymes. I think it's clever. Eric thinks I'm a nerd.

This week Eric's company mandated 2 days of vacation without pay (2 more coming in a few weeks). It could've been worse . . . at least he still has a job, and we are so grateful for that! In reality, it was actually really fun to have him home. The boys were so excited to have daddy around to take them to school, feed them lunch, and play with them.

And I know that Eric was excited to be home with us and share some adventures. For example, he got to clean up Kacin when he had an accident at school. He learned how to speak preschooler so he could figure out the meaning of eating "crumbly chicken" for lunch. (Any ideas? . . . It's sloppy joes). He rediscovered the joys of big boxes and all of their uses as cars, work offices, bedrooms, Dr. offices, sleds down the stairs, and, for Kacin, a place to take a comfy and relaxing nap.

Good times!

February 5, 2009

Look What I Did

So I copied this from a friend . . . maybe more so for me than for anyone else . . . I think it's interesting to see all the things I have done . . . and have yet to do in my life . . . and it's cool to see what everyone else has experienced, too. All you do is copy it and bold the things you have done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain (really just hiked, but that's close enough)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a Solo (when I was 8, and sometimes in the shower)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (the art of driving Eric crazy)
15. Adopted a child (2 of them--and they're the cutest boys ever)
16. Had food poisoning (well, water poisoning at girls camp)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables (my lettuce is currently on its way)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort (I'm not a fan of the snow, at all)
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon (no thank you)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (only in T-ball when I was like 5!)
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (Man, I have everything I need and more)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing (in a building, not a real rock . . . I discovered I'm afraid of heights)
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke (only at my mom's house)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been on television
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (we were extras in a couple of movies when we were little, all rated R so I've never seen them--my part wasn't rated R)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (Linnelle and I had a really successful lemonade stand)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen (thanks to Young Women’s)
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching (well, I saw a whale in Mexico, but it was by accident)
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (tried, fainted, failed)
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (the 1st time I payed rent when I moved out of my parents house--honest mistake though)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (I save just about everything)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (suspended, not fired--stupid Big Surf)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person (how about hiked the GC twice)
80. Published a book ("Growing Up Allen", with help from my sisters, given to my mom)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car (the green beast--2003)
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House (I absolutely love DC!)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (fish)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury (I've always wanted to, but when I had jury duty it kept getting canceled)
91. Met someone famous (Richard Simmons counts, right?)
92. Joined a book club (organized it and love it)
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone (who doesn't these days?)
99. Been stung by a bee (actually I think it was a wasp)
100. Totally copied a post from someone's blog to your own (Pretty sure I just did :)

February 2, 2009

I Can Do Hard Things

Kacin: Can you tell us a bedtime story?
Mommy: Ok, hmm . . .

"Once upon a time there was a little boy playing at the park. He saw a huge slide and he thought it might be fun to go down it. So he started to climb up the ladder. He climbed and climbed. When he reached the top, he froze. He was so high! He got really scared to go down. He didn't think he could do it! And then he remembered that even when things are scary and hard, he can do it. So he went down the slide and when he reached the bottom he gave a great big smile. The end."

Kyler: Mommy, what was the boy's name?
Mommy: Hmm. I don't know his name.
Kyler: I think his name is Kyler because I can do hard things!