Friday, December 28, 2012


I do not think it is any secret that I LOVE CHRISTMAS!! There is so much about it that I love, but one of the things is the wonder and excitement of the kids.  I love that they are all believers. (not sure how long that will last-or how long I should let it last) but to be honest I am in no hurry.  Their excitement about Santa is exhilirating!

I am grateful this year I was able to capture all of them with the big man.  Cannot believe it has already come and gone.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dare I say....

Dare I say that this little boy is potty trained....Oh I dare!!!!!
I anticipate there are still plenty of accidents ahead of us, but this boy is potty trained!!!  He has not worn a diaper all week (not even to bed) and has figured out how to tell me when he needs to go potty (all versions thereof.)  It is so liberating!!!!

The other day Grant and I decided to do the rough math on what we have spent in diapers (mind you this is a rough and pretty low estimate in my opinion.)  Since May 13, 2003 we have had non-stop 1-2 kids in diapers.  (my sil did 3 in diapers all different sizes at one point and I bow down to her for her patience and amazing outlook on it.) So over 9 1/2 years straight we have had someone in diapers..we have purchased diaper, we have changed diapers, and we have thrown away MANY diapers.

So nearly 10 years later our rough guess (and this does not include wipes, pull ups, or swim diapers) we figured we have spent well over $4000!

I am elated for the financial freedom, the freedom from changing messes, and finding myself in the next stage of life.  I am doing a happy dance on my end!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I know it may be hard to believe (especially if you happened to walk into my house right now) but I do have a streak of perfectionism in me!  I have missed out on a lot as a result (drawing, playing pain/violin-anything of the artistic nature) so I try to let go of it to save my sanity.

When I was in college (probably high school too) I would take all my notes in class in pencil.  But that did not look nice enough, so I would always redo them in pen.  It had to look nice, neat and PERFECT.  If I messed up on the third word on the last line, you better believe that I threw that whole paper away and started from the beginning.  I rationalized that I was learning the material as I wrote and rewrote it.  I have to say, anyone that borrowed my notes did not have a problem reading them. (wow computers would have saved me a lot of time..I should have gone to college now and days.)

So how do I transition from expecting perfection from my own notes and handwriting to letting go of my daughters messy and erratic handwriting IT DRIVES ME CRAZY!!!!!! I try really hard to not harp on her and give gentle reminder occasionally...but really I am wondering from where this child came?  Certainly her handwriting did not come from me (or her father for that matter), I just hope that some day she will care enough to write nicely, and if not I will still love her massive amounts!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Stairs and Sleeping bags

Remember when you were a kid and almost anything could be made into a toy and a good time?  Well when the screen time is off and kids find their sleeping bags in conjunction with the stairs...the fun begins!

I have so many pictures with awesome expressions I had to narrow it down to just a few.  I love when the kids 1. play together, 2. laugh together, 3. use their imaginations, 4. be kids!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


We love sports in our little family, all kinds of sports.  My sport is obviously running.  This began long long ago.  When we were little kids my parents would take us down to the church and let us run.  They would have us race around the building. I do not recall ever winning. I do recall being made fun of because I was pigeon toed.  Even at a young age that frustrated me.  Well, either through wisdom or dumb luck my dad told me that some of the best runners in the world were pigeon toed.  So, I got it in my head I was going to be a runner.  I started out playing basketball.  I played three year in elementary.  I was really small and very timid, so the ball did not make it to me very often.  When I got to junior high I tried the cheerleading thing.  Once again I was small so they loved having me to throw around, but it just was not me.  In seventh grade I ran track.  They had me running the 800 (so not my race.)  I always felt like I lived in my older sister's shadow.  She was fun, smart, friendly, outgoing, talented and she rocked at sprints in track.  While she was beating everyone (including boys) I was bringing up the rear.  I remember after one of my last races feeling frustrated and dejected.  Running was supposed to be my thing and I sucked!! We had one meet left and they did not have enough people to run the mile so they were asking for volunteers.  I felt it in me that this was my time to break free and my hand immediately went in the air.  If I recall correctly I ran my first mile in a race and placed fourth.  I never got that close in the 800.  A light went on in my coach's head, and everyone realized I was meant for longer distances.  From then on out I found my place.  I was a long distance runner and I actually excelled (in Farmington anyhow). I will never forget the shock on my parents face after my first cross country meet when I hung with people no one thought possible and I finished in the top third.   I would never be popular, outgoing, or funny like Chanel, but I found me and that was great!  

One of the things I love about running (and there are so many things to love) is that it has been a sport I can do forever.  It did not end at high school or college.  The next thing is that as of late it has given me an opportunity to get together with my siblings outside of holidays. Every couple of years we plan a race and get together to do it.  This summer I ran one of my favorite races yet.  It is an awesome course and I PR-ed.  But what made it fun was doing it with my brothers.  I ran almost the entire race with one, the other, or both of them.  It was so amazing!  I love that I can bond with them in this manner.  
 I love this time together.  We checked on each other's training. We talked about our goals.  We worked together.  The only thing that could have made it better was if Grant was along with us!  (Next year post surgery, he will be there.)

I love this sport and I love what it does for my mental health and my friendships.  Ragnar has to be all family team looks to be the ticket!!!

Friday, August 24, 2012


I have never worn Spanx before (I am not a big fan of tight things), but I know people that have.  I once read a hilarious story about a woman trying to remove her spanx in an airplane bathroom.  So I was looking at an add for Spanx today and the model they were on was a perfectly slim and skinny girl, who had no need to wear spanx and probably never would.  Why do they not put it on a model that really would wear spanx so that the average woman can see what it would do for her....common sense right?  Maybe it is just good advertising for people who look at that model and think...yeah I want to look like that. Beats me, just struck me kinda funny.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I have so many things I should post, but days like today have prevented:

6:30- get up with dog to let her out and play for a few
6:55- wake all the kids up, make them breakfast and lunches and get all ready for school
7:40 pray and tell all kids to get in the car
7:41- Isaac tries to pour his own milk for his cereal (I get mad) because it goes all over the counter and floor
7:45- leave the house to take 3 olders to school
8:00- return home and get the 4th ready for her first day of school (pictures and all)
8:54- leave the house to drop said child off at school
9:05- begin the errand of returns to lowes, purchases at lowes, returns to payless, purchase of soccer uniform.
10:30- return home, let the dog out, shower quickly and pick up a few things
11:25- out the door to pick up preschooler
11:33- with preschooler in hand off to the pool for a few minutes to eat and celebrate a good first day of school
2:00- return home, change clothes, do the breakfast dishes, clean the stove, straighten the upstairs, drink some water (all while the two youngers slept in the car
2:32-leave the house to pick the kids up from school
2:42-pick up Asher from his class
2:47-pick up James and Caleb
2:54- get other kids from the car and head back to the school for 3rd grade open house
3:01-3:53-start in the cafeteria then visit 5 teachers, five classrooms with five kids
3:54-load back up in the car head home let the dog out
4:10-people meet at our house to buy and take away our oven/stove-help them load it
4:20- help kids start their homework, play with dog
4:49-load back up in the car to take two olders to piano lessons
5:04-arrive back home, write this post, help asher and mique get shoes on to run around the block (their idea)
And what is ahead-
5:30-make pancake mixture, pancakes for dinner since we no longer have an oven or a stove and let dog out
5:52- load back up in the car to pick up kids from piano
6:01- head to the school for 2nd grade open house
6:10- visit teacher and classroom
6:25- head home and start dinner, help Jamison with more homework
6:35-let dog out, eat dinner then clean up
6:52-send Grant off to church
7:20-read scriptures, brush teeth, say prayer, kiss 5 little heads goodnight and send them to their rooms to read
7:30- change into running clothes and run
8:00 tell kids to turn out lights and go to bed, let dog out and play
8:11- yell at kids to be quiet and go to sleep
8:23-yell at kids to be quiet and go to sleep
8:34-yell at kids to be quiet and go to sleep
8:41-yell at kids to be quiet and go to sleep
8:49-yell at kids to be quiet and go to sleep
8:56-yell at kids to be quiet and go to sleep
9:00-shower, sit down in front of the tv and be brainless for a moment
9:03-yell at kids to be quiet and go to sleep
and there you have it.....someday I will post the way I would like.

BTW-any person that says a stay at home mom does not really work or contribute to society...I dare you to try out my life for a bit and see if you still feel the same!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


1 Mom 5 Kids,
6 states in 10 days,
51 hours traveling,
Over 2900 miles,
Almost $100 in fish,
Not nearly enough sleep........
Being able to do this (and more) with Gramps and SuSu,

 (Shooting Marshmallow guns)
 (Fishing at the hatchery-James caught the first fish, Caleb the biggest, Asher 5, Mique lost count and Isaac the least-he was not a fan)
 (Helping to host the annual Allred Fourth of July breakfast)
 (A trip to the jelly belly factory)
 (not really that fun for kids FYI)
 (New found love of Hula Hooping)
 (Miles and miles of the crooked mile at fairytale town)
(Not pictures: hours in the hot tub, a delicious dinner at Morimoto, and so much more)

Saturday, June 23, 2012


I think I have about the two easiest last names on the planet.  Webb, my last name for nearly 23 years...simple, yes very simple.  It did get spelled wrong occasionally (Web) which actually happens more often now with the World Wide slightly understandable.  Now for the last 12 years I have had the last name Allred...simple enough right.  It is a compound word All+Red...we all know those words right?  So why is it that no one can seem to figure it out.  When people ask for my last name I say Allred nice and slow and very clear.  Inevitably I get asked how to spell it. I think most of the time when I spell it out for people they feel really stupid (I would if I were them).  But I get asked that favor every week.  I have actually gotten to the point that I say it and then immediately begin to spell it, it just saves time.  But the spelling is not the only issue.  When people have it written in front of them they never manage to say it right.  I  get called Alfred and Allerd more than I do Allred.  Maybe if it was always typed Allred people would get it.  I am just curious why our school system and reading programs have failed so many people.  But I have the proof that it is true.  But it does not end there.  When people know how to say our last name they still manage to spell it wrong.  Yep, Allread is the new Allred.  So maybe I should stop thinking Allred is so easy and come to the realization that for most people (for reasons COMPLETELY unknown to me) it is not.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Scuba Adventure

 Before we even set foot in the Bahamas, we scheduled a day of Scuba Diving.  We found Stuart Cove, the best Scuba Place I have ever encountered.  They came to the Hotel and picked us up.  It was on the other side of the island, so it was cool to drive through the non-tourist parts.
Our First Dive was a shipwreck dive.  There were three separate ship wrecks, all of varying sizes.  We went down almost 100 feet under the water.  We came around the bow of one ship and there was a nurse shark just hanging out.  It was slightly unnerving, but too cool to be bothersome.  We got to explore all around the boats, but stayed on the outside of them. Our second dive was the James Bond dive.  Two James bond movies used a sunken airplane and ship.  These ended up being really cool dives because we got to see a lot of beautiful coral and sea life.  We also got to spend about 30 minutes exploring the ocean all by ourselves.  After that we went back to the shop to eat lunch.  In the mean time we heard about the shark feed dive and decided we had to do that.

So, on the shark feed dive they take you down to what they call the Arena.  They have you all sit in a circle anchored down by a rock.  The dive master is wearing chain-male (sp) and feeds the sharks right in the middle of our circle.  These are Caribbean Reef Sharks.  The females are bigger and of the ones we saw they got up to about 8 feet long.  At first they would swim by us and occasionally brush up against our bodies.  It was thrilling!!

Then when the feed got near us they were full on bumping into us almost knocking us over.  You have to keep you hands tucked in close because right before they bite their food they "close there eyes" and eat by sensation.  They will bite where they feel the movement, so if your hand is might as well be counted as gone.  These sharks got up close and personal!

These are pictures Grant took with our camera as the sharks were swimming around us.  It kind of gives you an idea of how close they are.

 It was an absolutely incredible adventure.  After the feeding we were given a little time to look for a sharks tooth that had fallen out.  Grant was the only person in our group that found one.

 Scuba diving is a blast, but put sharks into the mix and it is virtually unmatched!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Grant won a trip last year from Toyota and your choice vacation spot was the Bahamas.  Any vacation that involves a beach is ideal for me and this did not dissappoint! We stayed at the Atlantis resort which was UNREAL!!! I want to go back, and it was so easy to get there I am sure we will try and make it happen some day.  The resort had it's own private beaches, so it was never crowded.
 This was my view one day as Grant and I hung out and read our books.  You can see my little tootsies at the bottom of the screen, yep that was literally my view.
 This was the view from our room.  The beach was  right out the door.
 There were also amazing pools all around the resort (which was on 112 acres of land for the record.)

The resort also had aquariums and a pretty fun water park.  We spent a couple afternoons just playing at the water park.  It had a mile long "lazy river" that actually had some pretty serious waves and rapids.  You could go on some rides off of the river without ever leaving your tube.  There was one ride that involved a 70 nearly vertical drop off that takes you under a tank of theses sharks:

 This is the top part of the drop off, the picture does not do it justice, but the water you see is filled with sharks and the tube goes under and through that tank.  Pretty intense!
We spent time just walking up and down this beach searching for sea shells (and found some pretty cool ones).  When we were not walking the beach we were in the water playing around and snorkeling.

While there we took a Catamaran cruise to the middle of the Ocean and went snorkeling.  Grant went Deep Sea fishing (which unfortunately ended up being kind of a bust).  We had a couples massage (Grant first massage ever).  We got to swim with the dolphins.
Grant ended up getting bit by one of the dolphins two times.  The first time it just nipped at his hand.  The second time it bit his foot and tried to drag him down in the water.  It left a little mark, but did not break the skin.  He ended up having to fill out an incident report and felt like the biggest nerd.  That was our first morning there, but did not ruin our fun at all.  I actually got many a good laughs from it.  We also went and explored the local market and town a bit.  We spent a whole day scuba diving (but that deserves a post all it self.)  It was virtually the prefect vacation.  We were able to play plenty and relax enough too. A full week alone with my man 24 hours a day...HEAVEN!!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cleaning the house

You know what makes cleaning the house more fun (at least for me)...Turning on XM Radio, possibly turning it up a little loud and dancing along as I scrub toilets, dust and mop.  I have to say cleaning was kind of enjoyable yesterday as a shook it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Art Award

Our school is amazing for so many reasons.  One of those is that they make sure we have the arts for all kids to enjoy.  We are only able to have a part time art teacher, but every classroom has a mom volunteer to do art an the weeks that Mr Parsons is not at our school.  At the end of the year a school wide art show and contest is held.  This year Miss Jamison was selected for second place of all second graders.
 She did her piece "The Fancy Kingdom" all by herself.  She loves drawing and doing crafts so much, it was so exciting for her to win an award.  She also got a goodie bag of art supplies she carries around with her almost always.
This girl has really broken out of her shell this year and we are so proud of who she is becoming.  Awesome job my little Fancy artist!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

MS Run

Our Elementary school does a fun run every year.  They call it the MS run (One of the teachers had a husband diagnosed with MS years ago and they have been doing a run for years to raise awareness and funds for a search for the cure. That man died this last summer.) So this run is a two mile run and it is a big deal.  First and second graders have to have an adult run with them if they want to leave their classes.  This year Mammy ran with Jamison and I ran with Caleb.  
Caleb was so excited for the run.  We talked strategy, and our goal was for him to run the whole time and not have to walk.  We were so excited (I think he was a little nervous, his heart was pounding right before we started.)  I had to pull him back a little sometimes so that he did not run too fast too soon.  We slowed it down on the uphills and sped up a little when it was downhill.  When we neared the end he was getting side cramps, but when we were almost there he kicked and I had to sprint to try and keep up with him.  He ran the whole thing in 17 minutes and 7 seconds. To get a feel for how amazing this is let me give some added info.  So all first graders through fifth graders do this.  Grant and I figured this was over 400 kids.  Caleb (Our little first grader) got 21st place out of the whole school.  he was just seconds behind his friend Payton (also a first grader) but no other first or second graders were even close.  I was so proud of him, and he had a blast.  It will be fun to see what he can do as the years go on!

Monday, April 30, 2012

What are they teaching in Sunbeams these days?

On Sunday as we are we are eating dinner we go around the table and have the kids tell us what they learned at church that day.  Last Sunday Mique was so excited about what she learned she did not wait until dinner.  She came up to me and said, "Mom today at church we learned about the birds and the bees....and uffer stuff."  It took about all I had to not totally crack up.  I am pretty sure her teacher would want her to remember the butterflies and worms and insects too.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Mique, oh are, something! Life is never dull with you around. You are full of personality, that is for sure!!!! This weekend your aunt Amy kept saying how cute you were and how colorful life is because of you. You can be quite a challenge for me (always saying you are hungry, even though you just ate or just refused to eat, your constant whining and crying, your torments to your siblings, your demands without a please or thank you, your telling me "NO" way too often, your insistence that you cannot do something even though you did it swimmingly the day before, your need to always have someone with you even to sit next to you to eat breakfast....yes you try my patience! Sometimes you make me want want to use colorful language.

But it is true, life without you would not be complete. Your many faces make me laugh. Your giggle, well it is unmatched. your determination will serve you well some day. You are beautiful, and those eyes.....oh those eyes! You are my little Miquey moo and I love you to pieces, colorful pieces!!!!