Tuesday, March 31, 2009

We are Nomads...

So, it is official--and what better way to get the word out, than to use this blog. We are moving...again. I know some of the people who read this will shake their heads and say we are crazy--(most of them are in my family) after all, everytime we have moved I have said that this is "definitely" my last house! I have decided that you never know what is going to happen--and I need to just shut my mouth. We put an offer on a short sale in Gilbert way back in September of last year. We put in a lowball offer, and really didn't even expect the bank to take us seriously. October, November, December, and January went by without even so much as a word from the bank. I'm not sure if all short sales are that way, but we pretty much thought the deal was dead. Finally, at the end of February, the bank accepted our offer. We were surprised, but thrilled--it is truly a smokin' deal on a great house. The only thing left was the appraisal, and we could have a done deal. To our surprise and delight--the appraisal came in lower than our already low offer. This meant it had to go back to the bank for another approval. Finally, 6 months after the initial offer, we were able to close the loan. We are going to finish out the school year, and move in the end of May.
For me, this move will be bittersweet--as I'm sure it will be for my kids. I am excited about the new home, my new larger pantry, a whole ROOM in the basement for my food storage (that was a HUGE selling point for me)--but at the same time, I have a real emotional time when I talk about leaving this house, and especially this neighborhood, and my ward. I cherish the friendships that I have with people in this ward, and with my neighbors, who I have come to depend on and love. We are excited to be nearer to our family, and for our kids to be around their cousins more--but feel like we are also leaving a family behind. New friendships take time, and effort. I am really dreading that--it really takes me a long time to feel like I fit in, and I will be right there with my kids while they go through the same thing. As for this house--we need a nice family, with awesome kids (who are better behaved than mine are), to move in here and take our place! The neighbors will sure welcome you--even if you're a little crazy like my family. We have grown on them...like a fungus.
The one good thing, for me is that blogging has been a way to make my world a little smaller. I have been able to find so many people from old wards, so many old friends that I am able to keep in touch with, and keep tabs on. I am so grateful for my bloggy friends--who will make it a little easier to keep in touch, even when I'm not going to be right across the street. I am grateful to have this new tool so that my old friends will only be a click away. Isn't technology awesome! Love it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Thought for a Monday...

This was from a talk by Emily Watts a few years ago at Women's Conference, and I stumbled upon it while I was reading my notes in my journal last night. I thought it was appropriate for a Monday...enjoy! (If you're sitting there with your child on your lap screaming--like me--sing it out loud!)

"I've had some requests to publish my "altered lyrics" to the beloved hymn "Today, While the Sun Shines." I thought hard about this, because I didn't want to seem irreverent in print, but since the original still stands without any statement, and since this is not a protest against that hymn but merely a blatant misappropriation of its rhyme scheme, I thought I'd go ahead. Here they are:"

Today While the Kids Scream
Today, while the kids scream, plaster on a smile!
Today, with the laundry stacking up in a pile.

Today, today, do the best you can.
Today, today, it's part of the plan,
Today, today, don't forget to pray
That heaven will show you the joys of today.

Today, with the deadlines breathing down your neck,
Bills to be paid, and body gone to heck . . .

Today, today, do the best you can.
Today, today, it's part of the plan,
Today, today, don't forget to pray
That heaven will show you the joys of today.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Family Scripture Study...

This is what Todd was doing last night...diligently teaching our children from the scriptures. What a model family right?
Ummm...yeah, this is what our children were doing last night as Todd was diligently teaching them from the scriptures. I couldn't help but grab my camera that was sitting on the couch and snap a few pictures of what scripture study can look like at our house...
Can you tell we're muddling through the Isaiah chapters of the Book of Mormon? You can tell it was capturing my full attention as well! There's always tomorrow--we'll try again!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Groundhog Day...


No, today is not Groundhog day--but did you ever feel like your life was just like this movie? I repeat the same things day after day, and never seem to get them right? Just wondering if any other mothers out there feel like they are just spinning their wheels day after day, and getting nowhere. Just venting...it's one of those days...just like yesterday, and the day before. You get my point.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Torture by Treadmill...


Remember my Torture by swimsuit post a few weeks back (see my post earlier today for more on that adventure)--well while we were in Mexico, I found something even WORSE! Todd and I went to work out in the gym at the resort a few days last week, trying to burn off at least part of the 20 homemade tortillas we were downing on a daily basis. I mean it has to help a little, right? Well, we found a treadmill and started working out, and my treadmill was going all wacky on me--I tried to put it on manual, but it kept going faster and faster on me, and I couldn't get it to stop, and I really couldn't keep up. I tried resetting it, but it wouldn't work, so I had to switch treadmills. I ended up on the only one that worked, across the room from Todd. The minute I stepped on it, I thought, "What the crap??" The treadmill was in front of a full length mirror. Not only that, but there was a full length mirror on the side of me, and full length mirrors on the wall in the back as well. Can you imagine anything worse than watching yourself workout, from every possible angle? Maybe someone who has a super lean, fabulous body would love to watch their muscles working as they run on the treadmill. Maybe there are super vain people out there who can't get enough of admiring themselves as they run effortlessly. Maybe if I looked like the woman in the picture, I would feel comfortable working out in front of a mirror. Uuugh...not this housewife and mother of six! I kept thinking, "Just don't look at yourself, just look away, look at anything else...anything..." , but it was like watching a train wreck, I couldn't look away. My cheeks bounced--and not just the ones on my face. My face was red, and sweaty, it felt like it was 1,000 degrees in there. My feet looked awkward as I tried to keep up with the pace I had set. My head bobs in a weird way when I run, which I totally knew from watching tapes of myself running track meets back in the day, but I remembered why I hated to watch myself run--because I look like a total doofus. The time seemed to crawl along in slow motion--like a slow, painful torture. Yes, if you ever need the motivation to get your fat butt off the couch, and into the gym--just try working out on a treadmill in front of a mirror. Then again, after that experience, I went back to the room and ate a few Oreos--just to make myself feel better. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Swimsuit update...

Speaking of Torture by swimsuit--and treadmill. I wanted to update on what I found in the way of swimsuits for the trip. I finally ended up at Lands End, where they have every color and style of swimsuit you could imagine--and bought myself a few suits. They are super modest, and fit a woman's body (I'm not talking about you super fit and trim ladies--I'm talking about women who have fat, and rolls, and look like we have a few children, and we need to work out on a treadmill). I paid top dollar for them, and had them rushed to me for the trip. I justified it, because I figured it saved me the time, embarrassment, and humiliation of trying on multiple swimsuits in the dressing room. Turns out, I was 1 for 2 on the suits I picked out. I got a cute green suit to go with my super awesome Hurley board shorts that I got on altrec.com for $10. Everyone liked that one. Then I saw this one, and thought it was cute--so I bought it as well:
When I came out in it--Emie says, "Mom, you look like someone threw up on you." Ouch. So I ask Todd, "Do you like my new swimsuit?" He says, "Yeah, you look like a nice...Easter egg." Just what you want your husband to think when you come out in a new swimsuit--he swears my body shape is not like an Easter egg, that's really not what he meant (yeah, right)--but an egg shape is exactly what I am. I know--I worked out in front of the mirror on a treadmill the other day! What do you think? Super cute? Or super SCARY? (Keep in mind that I don't look as cute in it as this model does...I am eggshell white, and a little plumper--okay, a lot plumper--think "egg shape").

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Family Prayer...


When our children were small, they would always, without fail, fight over who got to say the prayers. Not only mealtime prayers, but who got to say the family prayer at night as well. We stopped the tears by just letting all of them pray, whenever they wanted. Sometimes this meant 3 prayers before we got to eat, but it was worth it to stop a meltdown at dinnertime or bedtime. As our family grew and grew, this little tradition has grown along with it. They don't all fight at dinnertime anymore, just the little ones say an extra blessing on the food once in awhile, but we have continued having all of them pray before we go to bed. You would think the older ones would be tired of praying out loud every night, but they are surprisingly willing. We have 6 prayers--all of the children who can talk, and me and Todd rotate. I love this tradition because I love hearing my children each pray for each other, and for our family. It helps them to know that we are all in this thing together. I love listening to them pour out their hearts to Heavenly Father, and how their prayers change as they get older, and their testimonies grow. I am so grateful for such beautiful, valiant children, and I know that prayer is the way to keep them strong in the faith, and get them through rough spots that surely lie ahead of them.

Tonight, Todd happened to call on them in order, from youngest to oldest, (most of the time it's random), and I loved hearing them all pray in their different ways. I wanted to write it down so I would remember. As the children leave the house, we will have fewer and fewer prayers each night, but I hope this tradition will help them to always remember to pray, no matter where they happen to be.

Ashlie is so sweet, and tries to remember to bless all of her siblings. In her efforts to mention them all, she usually says each persons name at least 4 or 5 times. Also, she can say like a 5 minute prayer, which I think is so super cute for a barely 4 year old. She gets the gift of gab from her mother I'm afraid.

Joshua usually tries to rush through his prayers, that is when he makes it through scripture study without falling asleep. He plays so hard during the day that once we sit down for scripture study at bedtime, he is usually OUT! He is so sweet, and always blesses that we can be good, be safe and most importantly that we will have fun. This boy is all about having fun right now--not a care in the world.

Abby is so conscientious, and always thinking of others. She always blesses her siblings, and her mom and dad. She, and the other children bless us that we won't think bad thoughts or say bad words, which are great things--I don't know where they picked that up, but I'm glad they did. A cute story about Abby, a few years ago she used to bless us in her prayer that "no harm or ax would come upon us". It took us awhile to figure out that she was really thinking an ax would harm her, and we had to explain that we were saying "accidents" in our prayer. So cute.

Erin is very matter of fact in her prayers, always has been. She talks to Heavenly Father like he is a friend, her friend. I love that she doesn't try to use fancy words or phrases, she just prays. Prayer should be just that, a conversation with our Father. He knows us, knows what we need, we need only talk with him and ask. He doesn't need us to use fancy language to hear our prayers. I love to hear her pray, especially now that she is getting older. I know that she will be okay if she will stay close to Him through prayer.

Emie has always touched me with her prayers. She is always conscious of things that we need to pray for as a family, like if someone is sick, or has a test, or struggling, or if there are decisions that need to be made. When I was a teenager, I remember hating when my Dad would call on me to say prayers out loud, but Emie has always been willing to pray. She amazes me every day with her testimony, and her obedience. I know that Heavenly Father is so proud of the choices she is making, and the young woman she is becoming.

I can't wait for those first little prayers that little Jack will say. Those first prayers are always my favorite--so sweet and innocent. Sometimes I feel like the littlest children actually know who they are talking to better than we do. The faith of a little child is so amazing to me. Soon there will be 7 prayers before bedtime in the Allen house--and I can't wait!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring Break 2009!

We heard all of the news about violence south of the border, and almost decided not to go to Mexico this year, but then at the last minute the family across the street from us, and another family in our ward asked us if we were going. They wanted to go, so I called up my sister and said, what the heck, let's go too! Our family went with the Green family and the Brown family (really, that's their names) and my sister Kimbie's family to Mexico and had such a great time! I hope they keep warning the college students and others NOT to go down to Rocky Point, because this week was SO great! It was awesome to go into town and not have drunk, bikini clad college students with all of their loud music and foam parties! I know, I sound like such an old fart, but we love to be able to have our kids not have to see all of the craziness that is college life--not yet anyway! Crossing the border was great--with hardly any lines, even coming home! The resort was awesome, as usual, and not as crowded, which was really nice.
Sunday, we went to church, and missed the 9 a.m. gringo session (where they translate), because we thought it was at 10, so we went to the 1:00 spanish session instead. I realized how many words in Spanish that I DON'T know! Man is that boring to sit through, especially for my kids since they have trouble sitting through an English sacrament meeting! That was some kind of slow torture. I really need to take a spanish class sometime! (I'll put that on my list of things to do once the children are all gone). It is wonderful to know that the church is the same everywhere though, and great that the Rocky Point branch has grown from one meeting to two since we started going down there 5 years ago. They have some great people running the branch down there, and it is wonderful to see the gospel growing!
The kids had a great time swimming in the ocean and pools--except for Journey, and Erin, who got stung in the ocean by stingrays. Journey was first, and her Dad took her to the doctor who works for the resort. He gave her 4 shots, 3 in the hiney, and one in her foot to numb it. UGH--I hate shots! Little did they know when it was all said and done--the bill was $400! Holy crap--we thought doctors were cheaper in Mexico! Two days later, when Erin got stung, Todd, who is not as nice as my sister's husband, sat with Erin for an hour or so while she toughed out the pain with her foot in a bath full of ice water! We gave her some Mexican antibiotics and voila--she's okay now. Thank goodness it wasn't as serious of a sting. She kept telling us the rest of the trip that we owed her things since we didn't take her to the doctor--"I saved you $400, now buy me a pina colada!" Sad to say, we usually did! Guilt is a beautiful thing for a child to use against you! Next time we go, maybe the kids will use those ugly, hideous, disgusting water socks that I buy them every year and they NEVER wear! Then again, probably not!
We took some family pictures down at the beach--(Thanks Kimbie!) for my blog book that is going to be finished soon. I have my friend Tawni, (Todd's cousin's wife) making me a book of my blog and pictures for last year. They are so awesome! If you want one--check out her website at: http://tomorrowsmemoriestoday.blogspot.com/
I can't wait until it's finished! She does such a great job! The pictures turned out really cute, even though we took them a little too early in the day--I couldn't keep my family dressed up forever on Sunday! Check them out!

I wrote a little message for my hubby in the sand--and thought it was cute until Josh comes over and says, "Why does it only say Todd mom? Don't you love us too?" Ugh, man my heart broke! He proceeded to write his name before mine, and all of the other kids names after Todd's with little hearts between all of them. "There, now it's fixed mom!" It was so flippin' cute! Love that boy! Todd made a little volcano for the kids to crawl through--that was the bomb!

The kids had a great time with their cousins, and also with our friends. They swam, ate, and even found time for some bingo. This was Cole and Scout sitting at the table with all the old people playing bingo. Too funny!Lastly, check out Joshua who lost not one, but TWO front teeth in Mexico! How cute is my toothless little guy! The best thing about the toothless stage is that little lisp! Love it!Adios Amigos! Until next year!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fun with Cousins...

Yesterday we went to the park to celebrate Jack and his cousin Stacia's birthdays with all the little cousins who are home during the day. It was so much fun! My kids LOVE their cousins! I love that they have so many to play with, and that we all live so close--except you Kristy--we missed you! Happy birthday to little Wrigley too! These three babies were born within a week of each other--and we were all due the same DAY! Try planning that! Thanks for a great day girls!
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