April 30, 2017

smashed eggs

We had four dozen hard boiled eggs we dyed for Easter. I use the "hard boiled" descriptor loosely though because in my rush of getting everything ready apparently some of them didn't cook long enough.

This made it a little more exciting when the boys began some egg tossing. You never knew if it would smash and be hard boiled into your hand or be oooey-goooey.

Then Kacin and Layla decided they needed more space for egg tossing than our backyard could offer. So they packed it up and took the eggs across the street to the grassy common area. Kacin literally packed his pockets full of eggs to carry them over. They were his church pants. Remember that not all the eggs were cooked very well? Well Kacin remembered when some eggs went squish in his pockets.

After he changed clothes, the egg smashing festivities really began. The baseball bat came out. Egg pieces went flying. Some neighbors joined us with their hard boiled eggs. I wish now I had a picture of that field covered in eggs before we cleaned it up. I think we found a new Easter tradition.

April 29, 2017

Because He Lives

We woke up Easter morning to some kids quite excited to see if the Easter Bunny came and filled their baskets. Lucky us, he did. He made sure to leave a few new books in everyone's basket.


After breakfast, we went outside in search of the eggs that the easter bunny hid around our backyard.

As we got ready for church, I was getting myself psyched to speak in church that day. I have to tell myself over and over how much fun speaking is, how much I enjoy it, and how much it doesn't really matter how I do in order to try to keep the nerves at bay. If I didn't take such measures to calm down, I'm certain I would pass out or throw up on my way to the pulpit.

But my message was one I wanted to share--I needed to share. Because of Him, because of my Savior, Jesus Christ, there are so many things that are possible in my life.

Because of Him, I can feel peace and joy no matter my circumstances.

Because of Him, I can do hard things. I can do all things.

Because of He Lives, I have a perfect example to follow and someone I can always trust.

Because of Him, I can repent and change.

Because of Him, we live in an absolutely beautiful world.

Because He lives, my life has purpose and a plan.

Because He lives, I can be with my family forever.

Because of Him, I have hope!

And so much more. All because of Him. He lives!

At the end of the day, we tried to gather our family together for a picture in the backyard. Perry was not happy about that idea. I was just glad that at least he threw himself down in a spot still in view of the camera. I am so lucky, Because of Him, I get these people in my life!



April 28, 2017

Easter eggs

It is family tradition! We sat down the Saturday before Easter to dye eggs. Layla could've dyed hundreds of those things without tiring. Perry reached his limit after just a few. Kyler and Kacin worked hard to carry on the tradition of making a special egg for each person in the family. Layla made a few special ones, too.


Made by Layla and hidden Easter morning...to mom. Love!

Perry could not believe that daddy said they could crack an idea egg open right there and eat it. Eric got him to try it too, but you can tell from his face he won't be doing that again anytime soon.


This face when I asked him to smile!

He couldn't keep it up for long though...


April 27, 2017

at least she spelled her name right

Under the blanket she left on the couch...

 Who could've done that?

Kacin found it first. When he showed me, he said "At least she spelled her name right."

Later when Eric saw it, the first thing he said was also "Well, at least she spelled her name right." But then he followed it up with a litany of consequences like any dad would.

April 26, 2017

Easter Saturday

The Easter bunny was planning on giving each of the kids a gift perfect for the pool. But Eric and I beat the Easter bunny to it when we gave them pool toys on Saturday so we could actually use them that same day!

But we did not just hand our kids those pool toys. We made them work for them.

They came downstairs to this.

They were each told their yarn color and they had to follow their string and roll it back up in order to get to their gift. Kacin questioned our sanity and begged us not to do this again (so it looks like it's a family trafition now!). It was a bit of a work out for Eric and I to set it all up (by the 4th yarn ball we were going over and under and trapping ourselves into all sorts of tight spots), but I think it was worth it. 

We put those pool toys to good use when we went swimming after an Allen family Easter egg hunt.


April 25, 2017

the Easter pageant

Just before Easter, on Good Friday actually, we took our family to the Easter Pageant at the Mesa temple. I have the fondest memories of this pageant growing up. Since we lived so close to the temple we could often here the pageant late at night, even weeks before the pageant began. We would say the angels were singing us to sleep when we would lie in bed and hear it. Well I still have a dream to be in this pageant some day, but until that happens I'm content bringing our family each year (now that we live here!).

Since the kids had the day off of school, we made an adventure out of going to the pageant. The two older boys and I drove out to the pageant right after lunch. We got there by 1pm and spread out our blankets to save these seats.

Did we need to be there by 1pm? No way. But I tell you I like adventures. So we played games, ate ice cream from Dairy Queen (except for Ky who showed self control to stay good on the no sugar thing), read books, and walked through the visitors center to pass the time.

When the sun started to go down, about four and a half hours after we arrived, Eric brought Layla, Perry, and our dinner.


We spent more time playing games and hanging out on our blankets with our friends.
I took Layla and Perry to do a little exploring, too.

After seven hours on the temple grounds, the pageant began and we spent an hour watching the story of Christ's life unfold on the stage. And my heart swelled up with love for my Savior and for that family of mine all snuggled up together on the blankets in the grass under that perfect Arizona night sky. A perfect way to start the Easter weekend.

*please note: 12 and 13 year old boys love spending eight hours outside with their mom. They are begging to do it again next year. But they hope next year we can make it 10 hours.


In spite of some vocal complaints and grumblings, I know deep down we made some good memories together that day.

April 24, 2017

a fairy tale kindergarten performance

Perry participated in his school's Kindergarten fairy tale performance!

These cute 5 and 6 year olds came onto the stage and sang song after song about nursery rhymes and fairy tales. Perry was most excited about the big bad wolf song and hickory dickory dock.

He was an absolute cutie up there front and center dressed up as a knight/king Peter. Just don't look too closely at that ragamuffin costume! 

Perry was excited and happy and that's all that matters. I just wish he hadn't changed his mind  5 min before we left so we could've had him a little more put together. You see, he had agreed to be Peter Pan. We have a really nice Peter Pan costume and it would've worked perfectly for the performance. But right when it was time to leave, he refused to put Peter Pan on. So we began a frantic frenzy trying to convince him to wear a costume! In the end, Kyler's old King Peter (from Narnia) costume won so he could be a knight. Like Eric said, this wasn't a very good costume to begin with and now 7 years later it was not holding up very well! Oh well. He was pleased and I was proud of him for doing so well at the performance.

April 23, 2017

Meet Reddy Firebolt

I caved. Not to the extent that they were hoping when they began begging and pleading for a dog. But still. They got more than I would like. 

They have all wanted a dog forever, but Kacin and Layla got a little more intense about it and began conspiring together to convince me to let them get a pet. They once spent a good 20 minutes while we waited for an eye dr reasoning and pleading and promising everything under the sun in return for a dog. No joke, they even went as far as to say not only would they pay for the dog and everything it needs and take care of the dog, but they would also stay home from every family vacation to care for it. 

We have had the dog discussion time and time again. But today when it started Eric threw out  a "let's go get a fish." And since I didn't protest too loudly Kacin, Layla, and Eric jumped in the car before I could change my mind. They came home later with a beta fish and a win of a Goodwill find fish tank.

That's how we got Reddy Firebolt. But some members of the family will only be referring to him as Firebolt.


So there you have it. The first Allred family indoor house pet.