Sunday, July 31, 2011

Utah Part 1...Road Trip & 4th of July...

This year, we decided to schedule Emie and Erin for EFY in July so we could get out of the heat & spend some time with my sister & her family.  We headed up to Utah right after the family reunion ended on Sunday, and got to Richfield on Sunday night. We planned on going to breakfast & getting some treats at Ideal Dairy, (tradition) but with it being the 4th of July, everything in that small town was closed for the festivities.  We had to leave town without our raisin cookies :(  but we figured we could swing back by on our way home.  We got into Provo around noon, and stopped at a store to get Emie and Erin some lunch before we dropped them off at BYU.  When we went into the store, I saw something I could NOT resist--a HUGE jumbo glazed doughnut, just about as big as my head!  Better yet, when I went to buy it--the guy told me that since it was after noon, and it wasn't fresh, he would give it to me for 50 cents!  SCORE!  My kids thought they had died & gone to heaven!  We dropped Emie & Erin off and went out to eat with Todd's sister Katie & her family at Brick Oven--YUM!  My favorite!  You can't go to Provo without a trip to Brick Oven! For me, every trip is about the food!  :)

After lunch, we traveled up to Brigham City, where my sister Wendy lives, and where we stayed for the week.  My poor sister had to have her tonsils out the week before we got there, so she was still in a lot of pain.  She seriously had two HUGE holes in her throat.  Poor thing.  We went to the park, where they had saved a spot for the fireworks display.  My kids were so happy to go to a fireworks show, since the one in Heber had been cancelled.  The kids played for a few hours, and we enjoyed an amazing sunset before the fireworks started, and then there was an amazing fireworks display.  I even got some decent pics!  I LOVE fireworks displays.  There is just something so American about fireworks and the 4th of July.  You hear the patriotic music, and see the fireworks, and my heart just swells with pride for this country, and the freedoms that we enjoy, and the blessed life that we live.  America is just such a special place, and I am so grateful to have been born in this country, where I can dream, and reach for the stars. Where my children have just as much opportunity, or more than I do.  I love this country, and am so grateful for those who died to give me the freedom and opportunities that I have. I am so grateful for that.  Here are some pics...



Friday, July 29, 2011

Small Town 4th of July & Schuyler Family Reunion...

Our tradition since Todd's parents got their cabin is to go to Heber for the 4th of July.  It's such a great tradition, since it's just SO hot to stay in the valley for the 4th.  You realize just how many people are trying to get the heck out of here when you start the drive up the mountain and it seems like a slow crawl with all the traffic of people with their RV's, boats, trailers, and toys.  We decided to beat both the traffic, and the heat by driving up late Friday night, leaving after dinner.  Right outside of Forest Lakes, 15 minutes from Heber, we passed a lady who had pulled to the side of the road and had her hazard lights on.  She was waving at us to stop, so we flipped around, thinking maybe she had car trouble.  When we came back to the spot and turned around however, we realized that someone had veered off the road and flipped their car and it lay upside down about 500 feet from the road.  It had been so dark, that we didn't see it before.  A woman, and her sister and her 4 kids were traveling, and had been trying to avoid a deer.  She said she slammed on her brakes, and they locked up causing her to skid off the road and because it was a steep shoulder, it flipped a couple of times.  The lady was able to kick out a window of the car so they could get out.  Luckily, they were able to get all the kids out, and no one was hurt, except some cuts on their arms and legs from trying to get out of the car.  What a blessing seatbelts are!  They were all pretty shaken up, and the mom and sister were both trying to call loved ones to tell them what had happened, so Todd and I tried to help by finding the kids some shoes and blankets in the wreckage to keep them warm, and since the mom was trying to comfort her little 18 month old, I held her 3 year old to keep him calm until the ambulance got there.  All I could think about was how we were probably only 5 minutes behind this car, and how many little things kept us from leaving 5 minutes earlier.  Life is like that, minutes can sure make a difference between life and death.  When we got back to the car--we questioned all of our children on who had their seatbelts on--and sure enough, the 3 oldest had taken theirs off during the trip for one reason or another.  If that had been us, we could have gone from 6 crazy kids down to 3 in an instant.  What a sobering thought.  You can bet they got lectured on that fact for the next 30 minutes.  Powerful lesson.  Sometimes we learn so much more from seeing things than hearing them.  At least I hope they learned!

Heber was a lot of fun!  This year, we had a family reunion with Todd's mom's side of the family, the Schuyler family.  We were so happy to see them!  Most of their family lives in Utah or California, and we don't get to see them as much as the Allen family.  But most of Todd's memories growing up involve that side of the family, as they lived in Richfield, UT together, and had so much fun with their cousins.  It's amazing though, when you're family, you get together, and even if you haven't seen each other for 10 years, it takes 10 minutes to catch up, and you feel like you haven't missed a day. I love that.  Family is amazing!  We went to the parade, and had some fun programs and skit night, which is always a hit.  This year, we added water play in the afternoon, which was a lot of fun, and added some great pictures to the week!  We missed the fireworks, but with the forest fire this year that burned 500,000 acres of our forests in AZ (thanks to environmentalists for that), it was probably for the best.  It's just so dry this year, and they couldn't take a chance.  We missed it, but had a great time talking and catching up, and just being together.  We definitely need to get together more often!  Here are some great pictures...too many, as usual!












Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Abby girl!...

On June 27th, my Abby turned 11 years old!  Can you believe it?  I remember when this sweet girl was born, it seems like just yesterday.  Abby was born in less than 6 hours, my shortest, and happiest labor.  She was patient then, as now.  Poor thing was sitting there, crowning for over an hour waiting for the doctor to get there so I could deliver her.  3 pushes, and she was out!  Piece of cake.  Emie and Erin fell in love at first sight!  And so did I.  We named her Abby Michelle because her nurse, Michelle, was the best nurse ever--and I needed a good middle name.  What a beautiful day!  She always says I don't have any pictures of her--but I really do.  I just stopped scrapbooking, oh, about the time she was born.  These are in a box--just waiting for, well, SOMEDAY to come...when I have some extra time on my hands...SO--just for you Abby--so you KNOW how much I loved (LOVE) you--here comes PICTURE OVERLOAD!



 And what did I want to do, immediately?  EAT of course!  Pretty, eh?  Yes, I am a pig.
Meeting her sisters...

 Family of FIVE!  Can you believe I sent this out for our Christmas card that year?  Oh my.Hospital Gown, no bra, wow.

Poor Abby came home to a life of chaos, the 3rd girl.  She had two older sisters, and it seemed like I never had that 3rd hand that I needed to hold her and cuddle her as much as I would've liked.  Abby never minded.  From the day I brought her home, she was always my best baby.  Even as a toddler, my sweet Abby was such a go-with-the-flow girl.  I remember her so many times coming up to me to tell me she was tired, and she was gonna take a nap.  She would go to her room and go to sleep, just like that.  She was always a peacemaker, and has never been one to start fights or argue with me or her siblings.  Such a sweet middle child--sometimes I would even forget she was there!  There was one problem--sometimes, indeed she WASN'T there!  Abby was my child that LOVED to wander off and explore.  We lost her more than a few times, at the store, in hotels, at home, and a few times we were SO scared we weren't gonna be lucky enough to find her!  But Abby had a wonderful guardian angel that kept her safe!  Needless to say, I have thanked the Lord more than once for sending me such a sweet baby for my 3rd baby.  Many people say their 3rd was their hardest...but not me.  (Mine was my 5th--no doubt about it!).  Look how adorable she is!

 Abby's blessing day:
 The only time she cried--her sisters gave her too much love sometimes!


 Abby loved to fall asleep in random places--in random princess costumes!  So cute--wand and all!


 Always a princess...



Abby started the day with our new QT donut cake tradition.  YUM!  She got the beach cruiser she has been asking for, well, for a few years!  She was so excited!  Then for lunch, I took Abby and her friend Marley out to lunch at Joe's Farm Grill--Double YUM!  Her sweet friend and her mom made her a huge card, with balloons and treats and dropped them off. 






We made this super cute invite for her birthday party--since we were in town and so were a few of Abby's friends. It looked adorable when we put it on sparkly paper & had rock & roll stickers on them.  My girls were pretty impressed--Emie was like, "Mom, you're creative all the sudden?" Ya, I don't really get around to making stuff these days...time and season?--or something like that...(Umm...I think that's my excuse for just about everything! You caught me!) But back in the day, I used to whip out cute invites, and cakes, and partys & the whole bit.  Just not 6 kids later--simplify, you know.
We decided to go to Airworks since I bought a groupon for it a few months ago.  It's an indoor trampoline place, and a ton of fun.  The girls especially took a liking to the dodgeball corner.  They were pretty tough--taking out those boys!  They had a great time!  Abby's friend, Abby Wallace came down wrong during a dodgeball game and twisted her ankle.  Bummer!  We took good care of her though, and her friends, and Todd helped carry her around when we went to Cold Stone for dessert.  So glad Abby has such a sweet group of friends--I am so grateful for this area that we live in, and that her friends are all such sweet examples. Most of all, I am so grateful for my sweet Abby--for the best daughter anyone could ask for!  We love you SO much Abster!  Happy Birthday!









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