Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Cheer

This has been a unique Christmas Season. I am lucky to have all my siblings and their kids here in town...all in Farmington. It is mass chaos when all 35 of us are together in one home, but it would not be right any other way. The unique part of it though has not been my favorite. Starting Tuesday the stomach flu hit our home and as of tonight (Saturday) the last person of all seven of us threw up. Poor Isaac did not understand what was happening to him. We all have had it is varying degrees, but this is a nasty one. I am feeling very lucky that we are on the tail end of it though. By Christmas day we should all have passed through the gammet of sickness and be able to enjoy the day and each other. This has been a memorable Christmas! It has had a unique spirit about it for me as I have thought about particularly Mary and her role in bringing the Savior to the world. My feelings for her are on a completely different level and I hope to take the time to explore them more. It has provided me with a very personal spiritual that I need. It will be a very Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A peculiar people

The people of our church are at times called a peculiar people. Our kids are peculiar, not just because of their religious beliefs...but because they are simply not normal. Three things come to mind. 1. They love to watch Michael Buble concerts. I know that does not sound that weird, who doesn't like to watch him. But, they are 8,6,5,3, and 1 1/2, and they like it just as much as any cartoon. They have been watching his concerts for about 4 years. They would pick that over movies sometimes. Not typical. 2. Asher had a school party this week. There was a table full of goodies. There were donuts, big cupcakes, little cupcakes, chocolate cookies, white chocolate popcorn, etc. I asked Mique what she wanted and with all of the sugar laid out before her she picked pretzels and olives. What kid prefers that? 3. The other day I was at hobby lobby and the lady helping me asked Asher what he wanted Santa to bring him. He did not hesitate before saying hand sanitizer. She looked at me and half whispered, "Did he say sanitizer?" I kinda chuckled as I told her, "Yep, he sure did." All I want for Christmas are clean hands!!! We breed them a bit peculiar!

Friday, December 2, 2011

We did it again!

We did it again. We read the book of Mormon as a family again. This time the kids were super excited! They have come to love to read it. We have used our Family Book of Mormon so much it fell apart....literally. It was in about 3 pieces. I took it to a printing place and had them cut the old binding and put a new binding on it. They were nice enough to copy the cover and put it on nice cardstock for me. It is not as pretty as the original, but every time I pick it up I love it even more. This worn and patched together Book of Mormon has been read, used, loved and is now treasured. It is a symbol of family time together and accomplishment. It is a huge accomplishment for the kids, I am so proud of them!

(As a side not...When I walked into the printing place I saw a guy that used to be in our old ward. He owns the printing shop, which I did not know previous to walking in the store. He is no longer active, but remembered me and was very helpful. When I went to pick it up and pay he would not let me. He told me he was donating the work and had done it himself. I am sure it was really easy for him to do and not terribly time consuming, but it meant a lot to me. It felt like a simple little blessing for our efforts as a family.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Down Under

A week ago today Grant and I got back from a WONDERFUL trip to Sydney, Australia. It was amazing. Anyone that knows me knows I love to travel, and love it I did! After a 3 hour drive to ABQ, a 2 hour wait at the airport, 2 hour flight to L.A,. a four hour layover and then 15 and a half hour flight to Sydney we were half way across the world. Grant and I could not get enough of this view. It was unreal that we were seeing it in person.This Opera house is unreal. It was so fun to go inside and look at it up close and personal.
We honestly did not take that many pictures, and this might very well be the only one with both of us in it. I think we were enjoying too much and did not even really think about pulling the camera out.
This Cathedral was across from our hotel. Grant had never been in a big cathedral like this before and was in awe at the size and the beauty. It never escapes me when I go into these amazing works of art how different it feels than our small simple chapels and relatively simple temples. The spirit is discernibly different.
We walked A LOT. Really we walked anywhere we could. One day we were able to account for at least 6 miles of walking. One day we found this fun fountain in the middle of the wharf, stopped, took off our shoes, and just enjoyed!
One of the things that surprised me about Sydney in particular was the mix of historical and modern. This picture shows that blend right in the middle of downtown. It was that way every where.
This was our view from our hotel room. We seriously always get the last room in a very long hall no matter where we stay. We were laughing about it as we were walking to our room. But then we opened the curtains, and not complaint was ever again uttered!
Things we did:
  • Did a city tour by bus
  • Hung out at the Rocks Market (a fun local Market on the weekends)
  • Explored downtown
  • Watched our first Opera in the amazing Opera House
  • Took a ferry to Manly beach to scuba dive for the day
  • Went to the Famous Bondi Beach and body boarded for half a day
  • Went to Local art Museums and Churches
  • Walked in several of their parks (beautiful, huge, and full of very active adults working out not matter what day or time of the day...seriously does no one work?)
  • Explored two different harbors
  • Ate amazing food (very fresh sea food)
  • Gained some weight
  • Took a few naps
  • Read a couple of books
I do have to say that the best thing about the trip was being with Grant 24-7, uninterrupted! We have so much fun together and love the same things. It was a most wonderful time!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Different Experience

Soccer is a complete different experience with and for Asher. He is not at all aggressive, and quite honestly not all that invested. But it is all his, his practice and his team, and that is important for him!He typically follows the game around at a distance if he chooses to follow. (He is the one in red all the way to the left.)
Other things often are more appealing than the game, even when he is in the game. (Like last game when he was much more focused on licking the oranges off of his hand than kicking the ball.)
But he has a huge grin on his face when he is on the field and says he loves it!
I do think he loves the snacks after the game more than anything else.
But as long as he loves it and it is all about him, we will root and cheer and watch this little guy play (or lick his hands!)


Intense....that is one word to describe Caleb. He is intense in about all he does, and soccer is no exception! He is all about business and the game!He is such a hustler. Very few kids can beat him in a foot race. (There is one kid on his team that can beat him, but he is two years older and at least a foot taller, so his stride dwarfs him. I would venture to say that 8 year old Caleb would smoke 8 year old Max, but that is just me.)
This year they started throw ins. Caleb loves it, he always wants to be the one throwing the ball in. He takes that pretty serious too!
It is unreal to me the positions in which he can contort his body to get more energy for kicking the ball. (He also does this thing with his tongue but you cannot see it in any of these pictures.) Grant says the weird body contortions are good...I will take his word for it.
I love this picture, this is him scoring a goal. Just look at the angle of the boys and the drive. It is really fun to watch this kid play! The best part about it is how much he loves it!
So I think we are going to be a soccer family for awhile, and I am way okay with it (but also ready for the season to be over and life a smidgen less crazy.) Go Arsenal!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Secret Handshake-Hug

James and Bub have one recess at the same time. When I realized that I asked them if they ever saw each other. They said sometimes. I told them I thought they should find each other every day say hi and then go back to playing with their friends. Together we all decided they should make up either a secret handshake or a hug, find each other, do that then go back to business as usual. So, all on their own they made up a secret handshake-hug. They find each other every day and do it. I think it is about the coolest thing ever. (Note: the purpose of this picture was for them to both show off their front toothless grins, how often do siblings experience that together.)
Asher and Mique were not about to be outdone. They too made up their own secret handshake hug to do when they are in school together. I am not sure they still remember it, but they were all about it for a couple of days. What cuties huh!
I do not expect the kids to be best friends. But, I do hope they are always friends and ALWAYS stick up for each other. Such good kids!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Introducing King Henry II. So Jamison got a new fish and she is just as enamored with him as she was with Henry. She wanted to name him Henry too, so I suggested King Henry II, cause quite frankly I am sure we will have a King Henry III, IV, V, VI....and so on. She just calls him Henry though. Jamison sobbed when I told her, almost to the point of not being able to breathe. I just hugged her. I asked her if she wanted to flush him or bury him. She wanted a burial. We took pictures and she put him in the flower garden so when the flowers bloom she can think of him. I asked her if she wanted to go pick a new fish, she told me no. I had her call Grant to console her and after she came to me saying Dad told her she could go pick a new fish (did I not offer the same....then again I killed the first!) On Monday Grant took her out all by herself and they found King Henry. Grant walked back in house after and said she is officially a girl. To which I asked, "well why????" He said he took her to petco where there was a WHOLE wall of beta fish and the one she immediately picked was the most expensive in the store. There was no dissuading her, and Henry has now taken up residence in the Allred family bowl. (He should be safe in there, it is just when in the cup mingled with dirty dished that he should fear.) All peace and happiness has been restored. A few tears were shed in this process, but many more laughs were shared (including my own.) Oh the life of the Allreds!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Beware...killer on board

So, I feel terrible. I killed Jamison's beloved fish Henry. Apparently when I get overloaded I do not pay attention well enough and others suffer. I have had Perry and Christi's kids for a week, and we leave out of town tonight. I am trying to get the laudry done and folded, all people packed, the Webb's repacked and all theiristuff gathered, wrap Asher's presents, pick up the house, do the dishes, feed the kids and clean it up, clean the fish bowl and feed it, and have all the stuff loaded in the car in two and a half hours. I was on a roll, got the fish bowl cleaned out and was waiting for the water purifyer to finish it's think before I put the fish back in the bowl and feed him. While I waited I figured I would do the dishes...and totally threw Henry down the drain. Caleb looked at me when the dishes were done and asked where Henry was. My heart sank. Thank goodness I did not do the disposal, and after digging around found him in tact...but dead. I killed him with hot water. James is going to be devastated. I feel so bad. When she gets home from dance we will do a flushing ceremony. Caleb promised to help console her. I killed my daughter's pet....I hope she is only mad at me for a bit!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Soccer Days

So, I am officially a mom of two soccer players. Caleb is doing fantastic and loves it (More bragging on him to come!) Asher....well Asher is having a blast. He does not really know what he is doing, but he tries to be engaged. He is happy as a kid could be out on the field. He has the biggest grin on his face, and it never leaves. He runs with a little skip every few steps. He does not care who scores a goal, as long as it is his team he does a fist pump. He is mostly excited for his team party at the end of the season. He had a game today, and as he was walking back with Grant he said, "You know dad, everything I did today was pretty much awesome." I am seriously laughing as I type this. Yes Asher, YOU ARE AWESOME!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

There is a reason

There is a reason this girl came to us so cute. The other week Isaac needed a diaper change. I told Isaac to go get me a diaper (he is so good to help me a little). He disappeared in the other room and then I hear one of the kids say Isaac's diaper is off. This is not good since it was one of the very smelly nature and I was not involved with the removal. I went to inspect and found that Mique was so kind to take it off. I know she was trying to help but seriously, the carpet suffered...BADLY! I was not sure if I was even going to be able to get it out. It involved a lot of scrubbing and carpet cleaning solution, but I finally got it out. But, then the next day I told her to go clean her room. I went down to inspect and found that this 2 almost 3 year had made her bed all by herself. It is a queen bed with lot of pillows, and though it was not smooth and perfect she pulled all the covers up and all the pillows were in their right spot. It made the previous day melt away. And that is why she is so cute. When she is a holy terror I just stop for a minute when she is smiling at me and talking with her cute little lisp and we are good again.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lead Guitar

Jamison is doing Dance again this year. She has been very excited and I am thrilled she is doing something active. Miquelyn kept talking about how she does ballet (which I did not sign her up and was not ready to take that on with her quite yet.) On Friday Jamison asked me when her dance started. I told her Thursday. Miquelyn then looked at me and asked when her dance started. I told her she did not do dance. She then crumpled to the floor and began to sob. I caved and signed her up that day. She was THRILLED! I went to the store to get them both leotards, and this is what they picked: It is funny how what they picked is so......THEM! The best part is Mique calls it her now Grant calls it her Lead Guitar. She wears it every day. Today was her first day and she got to wear it to class. And this adventure begins!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Love Hate Relationship

There was this commercial on television a couple of years ago. I believe it was a Nike commercial and it was all about the love hate relationship people have with running. At the time Britney and I were running together in the mornings and both totally identified with that commercial. I have a love hate relationship with running. I hate waking up early to run. I hate that feeling when I am tying the laces on my shoes and I am still talking myself into running. I hate how my body feels when I start. But.....I love how I feel when it is done (usually.) I love that I am being active. I love accomplishing a goal. I love how I feel when I am kicking my shoes off and know I did it. I love finishing a race, and love knowing I put in the hard work for it! In March I ran my 3rd Moab Half Marathon. Just weeks before my world crashed down on me and effected my body's ability to run. I ran my slowest time ever...and was frustrated! I kept telling myself I should be proud that I even ran (and I did run every last step with my body screaming at me and shutting down.) But, it was hard, I was upset and even shed a few tears. That race was not on the love list.

So, I decided to pick myself back up and prove to myself that I could overcome it and do better. I signed up for a race in American Fork in July. I trained and was really hoping (feeling like I needed a lot of hope) to beat my best time and pr. It was the most beautiful run ever! I felt great. I pushed myself, and I beat my best time by nine minutes. I DID IT! I admit I was very proud of myself. I was alone (probably a good thing because I was holding back a few tears-and anyone that knows me I am big on crying!) This is why I love running. It is something I do for myself. It gives me a goal, and most definitely a reward.

But now that I am starting up again after a two weeks respite, I am reevaluating this love hate thing we have going!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Our Unique Family Home Evening

Grant had the day off today (I love it when he does!) One the items on the schedule for days off is yard work, today was no exception. We had this out of control bush that needed to be removed, so we went to work. Grant decided that once it was done we should keep a little spot there for a pit to use our dutch oven for dessert. I thought it was a great idea. As we were cleaning the area we decided to use our left over retaining bricks and built a nice little fire pit into the ground in our back yard. When the kids realized what it was they insisted on foil dinners tonight. So after our fun day together we have dinner on the coals, survival bracelets being made for each of the kids (in colors that they picked for themselves) a dutch oven dessert on the menu and father's blessings to follow. A really good day!

p.s mind you we have a campfire in our backyard in 93 degree weather, I bet our neighbors are wondering what in the world!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Little Minds

I love to watch how the little minds of our kids work. The other day Isaac took a water bottle out of the case. I told him to put it back. He walked over to the case and tried to put it back. But, it was not fitting the way he was trying. He looked at it for a minute and then tried several different angles until he got it back in. It never ceases to amaze me (even with the fifth kid) how well they comprehend, can follow commands, and problem solve before they can say a word.

Grant and I were also witness to something pretty amazing in Asher's thinking (at least we thought.) He was playing a game with Jamison and Caleb. Caleb was on one side of a wall throwing a football over it to Asher and James. Whoever got to the ball first got to throw it back over. Asher was a tad slower than James and rarely got the ball. He was getting frustrated and a little upset. We just told him to try to get to the ball faster. After several times of James getting the ball first, he finally got it. Instead of throwing it over the wall he walked over to Jamison, extended the ball to her and asked, "Are you going to be nice to me now." She answered yes, took the ball, and threw it over. From then on out, no matter who got the ball first, they took turns alternating who got to throw it.

Seriously, what four year old thinks to himself, "You know what, I think I will give up an instant satisfaction for a greater return in the end. If I share with my sister after finally getting it, she just might share with me." The answer to that is our dear Asher. This kid's mind is AMAZING. My mom thinks the kids in these days need to be sharp for what they have ahead of them. I would agree, but there is just something about the way he is something else!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

So that Means...

After Mikael's reception we were heading out to the car to get the kids home. I lagged behind a bit and when I got in the car Grant told me a little story. He said that he was in the parking lot and looked all around to make sure the coast was clear. After he confirmed they were alone he relieved himself of the stomach pressure he was experiencing. Asher asked, "Who was that." Grant answered, "Ummmm, I think it was Isaac." To which Asher replied, "Ok, so that means it was you." Enough said.

Friday, July 15, 2011

This Boy of Ours...

Yesterday we were at the park, crazy I know withe 95ish degree weather, but we were there with family. I got to be time to go and I was getting all the kids loaded up. Caleb was the remaining body to enter the car. He was putting his shoes on, and I kept telling him to just put them on in the car. He finally looked at me and told me he was going to run home. I was not comfortable with that considering how hot it was and how long he had already been in the sun. I told him he could not, that I did not think it was safe since it was so hot. He melted, cried and sobbed. I tried to tell him I was so sorry he was so upset, but it was not a good day to run outside. We got home and he was still crying and upset. I finally asked him if he would feel better if I let him run on the treadmill, to which he quickly replied, "YES!"

So, he got his shoes on, changed his clothes and was as happy as a lark. I put him on the treadmill at about a 13:20 pace and he ran a mile...our 6 year old very happily ran a mile. He would have run longer and faster had I let him. This kids just screams ATHLETE! It is so much of who he is. He impresses me constantly!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

2 things that made me laugh yesterday

Asher and I were talking about Grant's birthday. He asked me if he was going to have a cake. I told him no, Dad does not really like cake. To which Asher said, "Then we better make sure he has presents."

Grant is doing the special olympics with Scott again. While Grant was getting the golf cart I was talking to Scott. He was doing his stretches while he told me he just got back from a family reniun with his cousins. I asked him if it was his mom's family that had the reunion. He stopped dead in his tracks, looked at me and said, "It's my family too Brittani."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Photo Contest

The Paper Mama

My SIL entered a photo contest of a picture she took, so I thought I might as well follow suit. I love this pic of James, someone even asked me if I would try and duplicate it when she gets married...I am so not thinking that far ahead. Let's just keep her at eight right now! This is the raw image, no editing...and I love it!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I love it when humanity surprises me....for the better that is.

Let me explain:
Our kids love to go to the driving range and hit golf balls. It is good for them to do this together and also to learn respect and etiquette of golf. The other week Grant went into work a little late, so that morning we took them to the driving range. Grant took the older four down while I went into the pro shop with the baby to buy the bucket of balls. As I walked down I saw the four sitting nicely and quietly on the bench. As I got close to the kids an older gentleman looked at us (our circus show as I call us, you know the act when clowns just keep coming and coming out of the car...that is how I feel). He asked if they were always this well behaved, to which I quickly replied NO....but for the most part they are good kids. He made a few other kind comments and then we were on our way. We took the kids all the way to the other end of the range in hopes to not bother any of the other golfers. It is an adventure keeping them contained, quiet and respectful, but we try. About half way through the bucket of balls, that same gentleman approached us with another large bucket of balls. He set them down and said, "You guys have five kids, the last thing you need to worry spending money on is a bucket of balls, here these are for you. Besides you can never have too many balls to hit."

Considering all the bad we see on the news and in the world, moments like this make me smile, happy and want to be a better person to all around me, even strangers. He made my day, and probably did not even really realize it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Back to the pool

It is that time of year again when swimming is what we do. Last year the weather did not cooperate until mid June, and even then it was not all that warm. This year is proving to be a little better, so we took advantage and headed to the pool. When Grant got home from work he was asking the kids how it went and what pool they were in. I gave him the low down, who went in the big pool, who went under water, who was scared of the floaty and who did not want floaties on her arms. Asher piped in saying, "Well I met two girls." I do not even have any words for this!!!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Do you ever

Do you ever have one of those days where you are just off and can never get your mood right...that is me today. Hopefully tomorrow will be brighter!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

First Birthdays

My favorite part of the first birthday is letting the kid go to town on their cake (or cupcake). It is fun to watch their reaction...first pick at it, get a bit of frosting on their finger, lick it and get a little taste. Try for a little more next time and quickly move to grabbing, then dig in and stuffing their mouth. Oh the mess, so fun! For this kiddo, this was my favorite picture! Gotta love it.

(courtesy of my awesome new Nikon my husband bought me)

Saturday, May 7, 2011


These two have some similarities and A LOT of differences. One thing that is exactly the same is that they have the same mom and dad...hence they are 100 % brothers! They do not always get along, see eye to eye, and often drive each other nuts...but they will always have each other. What more could a mom ask for, two boys looking out each other and taking care of one another. These two boys, they have got to stick together!

(Today Asher bonked his noggin and the started to cry. Caleb when right over to him, wrapped his arms around him and patted his back while Asher cried on his shoulder. It was soooo sweet! And someday I will tell Caleb how Asher was watching out for his big brother and saved him!)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I know everyone thinks their own kids are adorable...but seriously I think we have done pretty good! They each have something that just melts me and makes them so dang cute! These kiddos are what it is all about for Grant and me!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Family Pics

Easter has always been our unofficial family picure time. I think we have only missed one year since we have had kids, so I was not about to miss this year. I have to tell you though, a family pic with 5 kids and a timer....not so easy. We took lots of pictures to try and get a "decent" one. This year Mique was cracking me up. It is hilarious (at least to me) to see the progression of her expressions. Always an adventure in our house!

It was a wonderful Easter and happiness (true happiness) in the Allred home!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

You better guard your cupcakes

You better guard your cupcakes or......

This little sneak will snatch them away and leave behind a path of destruction

Monday, April 4, 2011


If discipline is not one of the most difficult aspects of parenting, then I do not know what is. I am not sure if it is finding the right consequence to fit the action without letting emotion rage, or if it is the consistency and follow-thru, or the fact that due to the nature of being a stay at home mom I am the one that does most of the disciplining....but it all just wears on me. I swear the kids have tuned out the tone and pitch in which my voice resides (Grant says I do the same to the kids, which when other adults are around I do....I just want to hear and talk to someone other than them, so yes I am guilty.) Today Asher was royally pushing it with me, so I resorted to something I never do...I called Grant. I think I just needed a calm voice to make sure I did not raise mine. He talked to Asher, and Asher realized that dad would not save him and what mom says did not make Asher behave, but it sure made me behave and not lose it. I guess I need to call on my better half more often if nothing more than to back me up and let the kids know mom and dad are in this together.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Have you ever...

Have you ever been in the thick of the storms of life when things seem overwhelming, frustrating, endless, broken, impossible.........then you lock eyes with you sweetheart and in a whisper almost inaudible he says, "I Love you!" and just for a moment the noise ceases, the storm calms and your heart swells. Well I have, and I tell you what, it is as close to magic as possible!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Siblings are forever

Today the kids wanted to run home from aunt Christi's house. They all took off and Asher almost immediately took a dive. I was in the car and watched him go down and his face snap into the sidewalk. I threw the car in park and watched Jamison and Caleb instantly turn around and run back to their brother. He was crying of coarse, his teeth nicked his upper lip and was bleeding a bit. I asked him if he wanted to get in the car, and through tears he said, "No I am still going to run." He popped up after a minute and was off again. When we almost got home he was out of gas. The two older kids were basically to the driveway and Asher was back a ways at a stand still, upset. I watched as the two older kids stopped, turned around, ran to Asher and walked side by side with him until they were all home. This was such a good moment for mom. We tell the kids all the time that friends will come and go, but they will always have their brothers and sisters. They need to watch out for each other. We have had several experiences as of late where that has been manifest, whether they know it or not. Today I was able to witness the love of siblings in my own kids and it was a sweet sweet moment!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lunch at Dadda's work

Yesterday we took lunch to Grant at work and ate with him. Asher was eating chicken nuggets and the following transpired:

Me: Asher, be careful you are getting crumbs everywhere.

Asher: Well I am sorry, but that happens, it just comes with eating.

(Well there you go...........where on earth did we get this kid?)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I had no clue

When I put her in a basket for the first time, I had no clue what I was starting. She obviously loved it.

It became a place to color.

A place she felt safe.

And it is still a place for her to read.

I am not sure what the fascination is with the baskets, but the kids love them. They are their hiding places, their beds, their cars, their boats...a tool of their imagination. I love it!