September 29, 2012


I survived one whole week with four kids
with Eric on a business trip
from a Sunday to a Friday.

However, I only survived because
I prayed like crazy
and so many people were kind enough
to bring me meals,
text and call to check in on me,
take an older child of mine for two of the afternoons,
let me borrow strollers,
drop off a baby gate,
bring me flowers,
drive my son from soccer to pack meeting,
bring me homemade bread
and even load my dishwasher and clean my sink.

I can not even begin to express how very, very grateful I am
for all the support
in so many different ways.
It means so very much to me and to our whole family.

Eric is home now.
Most days are still considered successful
if we are all alive at the end of the day.
But we are figuring out routines
and all getting used to each other
so life is getting easier.
And I am glad of that.

I do think I've gained at least 5 pounds though.
My baby weight always seems to come
After the kids get here.
But that is because one of my necessities
to survive
these crazy days is mint Oreos.
That can do it to you.

Other things to note on week 3. . .
We are all in love with baby L.
She has the cutest smile.
She doesn't scream quite as much anymore
when Eric picks her up.
We are proud of the fact that she
has learned to wave, clap, high five, and sign "eat"
since she's been with us.
She's also getting much closer to walking.

D is a cutie.
How can you not adore his laugh?
He is a little tease and loves to play and tickle.
He loves music--
the piano, primary songs, and banging on everything like its a drum.
He sings and babbles happily to himself most of the day.
He will now mostly stay with me
and come upstairs, downstairs, or outside
when I need him to.
He is becoming quite successful at using a spoon
to feed himself applesauce.

Kyler and Kacin are both amazing big brothers.
They are extremely helpful.
Kacin loves helping with bath time.
Kyler loves to play with them.
And they both help to make sure the kiddos don't get into trouble.

Eric and I still wonder if we are crazy to be doing this.
I think we are.
But I do not doubt that this is what we are supposed to be doing.
And when you are asked to do something hard,
even at an already busy time of your life,
there's always a way to do it.
We are loving all these kids with all of our hearts
and trying to enjoy these moments
as best as we can.

September 21, 2012

Fort Washakie, WY

Forgive me while I jump back and forth
between real time
and days past.

It's just a reflection on my scattered life.
I start all too many things before a finish any one of them.

But there we were at my parents current abode . . .
Fort Washakie, WY

eating at the local restuarant . . .

and seeing the sights.
We looked at some shops, explored Sinks Canyon,
and kayaked on the lake.

And then we said goodbye
to Jacs, Josh, Macie, and Jen
to make their long drive home
back to AZ.

The next day,
we were down at the Lander pioneer musuem.

And then we said goodbye
to the Texas family.

Our first
"Allen Family Reunion"
and we will call it a

September 19, 2012

Outings With Four

I took out all four kids by myself for the first time one week ago.
Kyler had soccer practice.
I wrestled two kids into car seats
remembered Ky's water bottle
snacks and diapers.
When we arrived on time,
I was feeling very proud of myself.
I got the double stroller out of the trunk
and loaded everyone in.
We played at the park while Kyler practiced with his team.
I was the mom handing Ky his water bottle
watching Kacin on the monkey bars
feeding snacks to L
and the one everyone was staring at while D
tantrumed on the ground.
As we walked back to the car after practice,
I noticed someone left their trunk open.
And that someone was me.
Almost flawless.

On the days I don't teach preschool,
D, L, and I walk with the boys to the bus.
Well, the little ones don't walk.
They ride in the stroller.
One time, I had L in the Ergo carrier
and tried to hold D's hand and walk to meet the boys at the bus stop.
Bad idea.
I tried to corral D in the direction he needed to go.
He was not having that.
Instead, he was throwing himself on the ground
and screaming,
and trying to go the other way,
AKA into the street
and the complete opposite direction of the bus stop,
and then screaming and flailing some more.
A persistent little guy he is.
We never made it to the bus stop that day.
Eventually Ky and Kacin made it to us
and assisted me in persuading and carrying the little guy home.
Strollers are now a must for us.

There was a very pleasant outing on Saturday.
Our family of six
last minute
decided to go to the zoo.
The zoo was good to us.
Nice weather, no crowds, walking, playing,
and with two pairs of adult hands
all went well.

September 13, 2012

Four New Legs

Someday I will finish catching up on our summer vacation.

In the mean time,
know that I am busy with a 1 year old girl and 2 year old boy,
and, as always, the best 7 and 8 year old boys of my life.
56 hours as parents of four
(yes, I'm counting. That's two successful nights and here's to a third!)
has left us tired and busy,
I can't even entirely explain the
overwhelming sense of peace and strength.
When the Lord asks you to do hard things
and you are willing to do them
he provides a way for you to do it
and helps you along.
This may just be for a few months.
We don't know yet.
But I'm already glad that these sweet kids
have come into our lives.

And I'm laughing because they really did end up coming
on the first day of my preschool
just like we joked about.
Life's timing never seems quite right. :)

September 9, 2012

a branch, a ranch and pictures

On Sunday morning, we said goodbye to the Lodge,
and drove the hour to Fort Washakie.
We attended, and basically ran, my parents' branch meeting.
Jacqui was nursery teacher, Stef and I helped with primary,
and the son-in-laws gave the talks in sacrament meeting.
It's true, we nearly doubled the attendance.
But we met some good people there.
The church is true no matter where you are at
or how many are with you.

That afternoon, Jacqui organized us for family pictures.
I love having a photographer in the family!
And she is GOOD.
(FYI She'll be in the Seattle area in January if anyone is interested
in the best photo shoot you'll ever have . . .)
Check out her website

Our photo location was my mom's friend's ranch.
It was perfect.

 Jacqui did not take this picture. Jenny used my camera.

 Hanging around as each family had their turn . . .

 Happy days for the kids! There was a swing.

 Time for the kid pictures. Good luck.

September 8, 2012


The happy day arrived
when we pulled out the clippers
and went to town on Eric's face.
Of course, this needed to be done
in stages.
Which is your favorite look?