Sunday, August 31, 2008

Go Devils!!!

So it's officially football time!!! Our family waits all year for the season to begin--we are so excited! ASU played NAU for our home opener--and won 30-13! Go devils! Todd's Dad started out with just 6 seats in our section, and we used to just hope and pray he would call us to go to the game. Todd and I have been lucky, as we were really the only ones who stayed in town during our college years, so we got to go to plenty of games. Over the years, Bob tried to pick up more and more tickets as married couples were able to start buying their own tickets. They were hard to come by at first, but we would just buy one or two as they came available. Then our families started to grow, and those of us with tickets started to bring babies and toddlers to the games. This resulted in a few more tickets becoming available, as people didn't want to sit in a section with so many kids. In the last few years, we have been able to get 32 tickets in that section, and if we can only drive 10 or 12 more people out of the section--hopefully in a few years section 135 will be Allen's ONLY! We were out in full force last night--with all 32 seats, plus 6 or 7 extra kids and babies on laps! We were totally missing Grandma and Grandpa this year though! Don't worry guys, we made an extra big mess, and cheered extra loud for you! GOOOO DEVILS! This is our BIG group!
Jack didn't make it through his first game! Sleepy guy to sleep through all this noise!View from our section:Look how trashy we are! AWESOME!College football season is the most awesome time of year. Saturdays at our house are football all day and all night--and we LOVE it! The only problem is nothing will get done around the house for the next 3 months--not on a Saturday anyway--oh well, we all have to make sacrifices! So if it's Saturday--you know where to find us! If we aren't at the game, we're firmly planted in front of our TV, junk food in hand, glued to some college football game. LIFE IS GOOD!BTW, look who we saw in the section next to us!!! Can you tell--it's John Elway!!! Todd was trying to take this pic on the sly, and had our kids all lined up to take a picture but aimed over their heads to get this pic. Not the best, but isn't that cool?? He was one of my favorite quarterbacks growing up--but I bet on him twice in a row against my dad to win the Superbowl, and both times they got KILLED, so being the fair weather fan that I am, I moved on. I'm not sure if he'll sit there every game, (probably not, after we were all gawking at him and snapping photos--but c'mon, he's a legend) but his son Jack Elway is the up and coming quarterback for ASU, so we will probably see a lot of him this season! Awesome!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mr. Mom--My Fab Hubby...

As you can tell, we made it home okay on Sunday. I never get homesick when I'm on a vacation--except for the day we come home. Then it always seems like it takes like FOREVER to get home. It was a long day of flying with some delays, but we made it home around midnight, unlike my sister Wendy who got stuck staying overnight in Atlanta because of the weather. BTW, did you know that when the airline gives you a "voucher" for a hotel room, it just means that it booked a room for you, not that they pay for it??? I always thought that meant they were paying for your room. Go figure. Poor girl was stuck in a strange city, by herself, overnight, without her suitcase! But the airline did give her a little bag with the "essentials" in it--toothbrush, soap, etc... Ya, that makes up for it! NOT! Sorry sis!
Now, just to say a few words about my AWESOME husband... This was the first time that he actually had off work for a few days to stay home and take care of my kids. I even left him the baby as you know, who is only 5 mos. old, and very much a mommy's boy--he is nursing you know. Not only did he do a great job...he did an exceptional job! He took all 6 kids to an ASU scrimmage game on Thursday, stayed out late and let them go down on the field and meet players. I wish we had pictures--but he took them with his phone, cause I had the camera-darn! They swam and played, and had so much fun with their dad! Then he took them all to church on Sunday--and even told me what the Gospel Doctrine lesson was about--when he was in there with Jack! I don't know how he sat & listened--maybe he was sleeping, but I usually don't even attempt the entire meeting when Todd is out of town! Then, not only that, but my ENTIRE house was spotless, and ALL the laundry was done, so this week I was able to kind of relax and let it go, and it has been SO nice!
So thank you, thank you, thank you, Todd! You are the best husband and father that anyone could ever ask for or want! I am so grateful to have a husband who supports me, even in my feeble efforts, and even though we both know you could do my job better than I can, you still try to be positive, and help me be the best I can be! Most of all, I am grateful that you didn't make me feel guilty for leaving, and you were always positive and encouraging while I was away. You are amazing--and I love you sooo much!
(Now when he is away hunting, I need to read this post a few times before I complain huh??)
Love you babe!

My Water Baby...

This baby just LOVES the water! I don't know if it's because we got the boat right after he was born, and we've spent so much time at the lake or because we've taken him swimming so much, but his very favorite place to be is in the water! When you swim with him, if you just hold him under his arms, he just kicks and kicks, like a little frog. I swear if you let go of him he could just do the breast stroke! Now that he's getting a little older, he loves to splash, and he doesn't even mind the water being on his face. His favorite time of day is bath time. He loves to play and splash, and now he can sit up, and he is lovin life because bath time is a little bit longer! We are having so much fun with baby Jack! We love you so much buddy! You have brought so much joy to our home, I don't even remember what it was like without you here!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Day Three--Kirtland, Ohio

Okay, so I'm terrible at Geography--and I had NO idea that Kirtland was only 3 hrs. from New York. Luckily, someone was smart enough to figure that out and we were able to drive there on Saturday morning! We got there around noon, and headed over to the LDS visitor's center and the Newell K. Whitney store and property which the church owns. They had a great movie about the Kirtland era, and the growth of the church in the area. It was so neat to see the part where Joseph Smith walks into Newell K. Whitney's store and says to him, basically, you prayed me here, now what would you have of me? Can you imagine the Prophet coming to your house, or your work and saying that to you? Wow. It was also neat to see how much the early saints sacrificed and struggled to build the 1st temple of this dispensation, and the story of that first temple being dedicated. What an amazing story! The spirit was so strong as it told of Jesus Christ appearing to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in that temple, and telling them that He accepted the offering. It was such a great experience. We went from there to tour the Newell K. Whitney store, and the upper room, which was the School of Prophets. Much of the Doctrine and Covenants was revealed here, including the Word of Wisdom. It was so awesome to be in these places, and to feel of the spirit there. From there, we went over to the Kirtland Temple. The temple is owned by the Community of Christ Church, formerly the RLDS church. It was a splinter group that broke off when the saints moved West. It was interesting to see the visitors center they had set up, it looked exactly like an LDS visitor's center, but just not the same feeling. I don't know--it was just wierd. They showed a movie, the same as at the other place, but it was just a different feeling there, I don't know what it was, I can't really explain it, and I'm not trying to be mean, but I just didn't feel the same spirit. Anyway, when the movie was over, they opened these giant curtains to reveal the Kirtland Temple across a few hundred feet. It is just beautiful, and huge. When you look at the homes these people built, and how small they were, it's just amazing to think of the magnitude of this undertaking. Especially considering how poor many of the people were after selling their homes in New York to travel to Kirtland. We were able to go inside and tour the temple and it was so beautiful. They have really done a good job preserving it, and making it nice. It was amazing to be in a place where we know that Christ Himself appeared. I loved it!We got done touring the temple just in time for dinner--and I was starving--having skipped lunch because we didn't want to miss any of the tours! We saw a brochure for a little place called Mary Yoder's Amish Kitchen so we stopped at this little place in Middleton, Ohio, about 20 minutes from Kirtland. This was a little Amish town, and it was so awesome to see the little horse & buggys traveling down the road. Okay, so I know you aren't supposed to gawk at people, and I think they don't like you to take their picture--but for crying out loud, I'm an Arizona native--and I HAD to do some gawking! I thought this was SO flippin cool to see these people driving down the road. There was even a parking spot for horse and buggys at the restaurant. Look at the driver in one of the pictures, she's like 10 yrs. old! I thought that was funny, apparently you don't need a license to drive a horse & buggy! The restaurant was AWESOME--just home cooked good food. The best part, though, was dessert. I had just stuffed myself, when the waitress told us it was all you could eat dessert. HELLO, are you KIDDING ME??? There were like 15 different homemade pies, brownies, cakes, etc. If I had known this before the meal, I may have just skipped the meal altogether! I ordered the brownie sundae, and check this thing out!! It was SO YUMMY, homemade with frosting and nuts, and ice cream (I'm salivating just remembering this right now)! Unfortunately, that was all I could eat--or I truly would have thrown up I was so full. This place was definitely worth a visit--if only for the dessert alone--and so you can get a glimpse of the Amish. I do think it's cool the way they live--I just don't think I could do it! I mean no electricity--that's crazy! But they do cook good food! Oh, and check out the stop sign going out of the parking lot, is that funny or what?? We also saw some great signs on churches--these ones cracked me up--especially the Moses one! We made it back to our hotel around 10:30--and tried to get some rest--even though we were sad that our trip was almost over.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Day Two--Niagra Falls!

Today we went over the border into Canada to see Niagra Falls. We were supposedly only 30 minutes from there, but the line to get across the border into Canada seemed like it took FOREVER! We made it in about an hour and a half. Needless to say, it is just amazing, and beautiful. The falls are just huge, and so dang powerful. We started by going on what's called the journey under the falls, which was just a tunnel dug underneath the falls, and you can see how hard the water is falling down. You also walk out to the side of the falls about halfway down, and see how huge they are. You get these cute little rain slickers everywhere you go--quite the fashion statement huh?The next thing we did was the boat ride on the Maid of the Mist, which is a big huge boat that takes you right up to the base of the falls. In fact, you get so close to them, that you can hardly see in front of you because the mist is so thick, and you can't hear someone talking because the falls are so loud. In the brochure it says that you will get "heavily misted"--which I didn't know was another word for "drenched"! I cinched my little garbage bag up and held on for dear life. Luckily, it was see through so I could still see a little, and thankfully, I didn't suffocate myself--you know they tell you NOT to put plastic bags over your head! This was really a blast, and such a thrill to get so close.
We got something to eat, and some great souveniers at the Hard Rock Cafe, and did some shopping at some cute little stores--my favorite was the Hershey Store, where I bought some chocolate dipped strawberries--AWESOME! We watched a fireworks show over the falls, that was great, but only lasted about 10 minutes. Then about midnight, we started to head home. The only problem was--we didn't really know where we were going. It seemed easy enough, we thought we'd just follow the signs that said "Bridge to USA". But then the signs ran out (which is one of my pet peeves--when the signs stop before you actually get to the destination). So my sister stopped and we asked someone how to get back to Buffalo. Unknown to us, there are two ways to cross the border into Canada, and this person was sending us to a completely different border than the one we had come to in the morning. So we drove for about an hour--not recognizing anything, and we started to get very nervous driving around Canada at 1:30 a.m.. Finally, we saw a gas station and asked if we were on the wrong road. Sure enough, the border was 5 minutes away--and we made it home safely. A little plug for the Garmin if you're 5 women by yourselves in a strange country!!! All in all, it was a very fun day, and we made it back safe and sound! Let's hear it for Girl Power!

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