Sunday, April 26, 2009

family bike ride

i got a new bike for my birthday (loren got one, too--i am generous on my birthday, i guess).  yesterday we went on our first official family bike ride.  it was so much fun!  pace loved his seat on the bike, and the other kids did great.  gretchen moved to the next bike-size up, and was able to ride the whole way with no complaining (now that her little legs weren't having to work twice as hard as the rest of ours).  i was so excited about having a new bike that i even had several dreams about it.  i was sort of like a little kid.  last night i was trying to get loren to let me go out and ride it again for just a minute.  he said no.  it was 11:30 at night, so i guess it's good he was being responsible.  
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

just another update on general living in the allen home

i should be encouraged that he is acting like a boy even though he's surrounded by women, right?

sorry for the graphic nature of this picture.  this is his new favorite trick.  he sticks his finger in and waits with a very straight face for us to notice.
this is how madeline and gretchen showed up for family scripture reading last night
gretchen's orange-lady creation
liesel running the hurdles' event on field day
gwyneth showing off her dribbling skills
me turning 33!  aaugh!  am i supposed to feel old yet?
they are not drowning--they are snorkeling in our pool
this one looks even more like they are all drowning
looking lovely in snorkel gear

loren's handstand abilities--he will be mad that i put this in, but it's my blog, right?

if i had things my way....

doesn't this look way more fun than a day at school?

so, if i was the one in charge of the school schedule, i would give the children days off at random times, not on holidays, and in the middle of the week--often, like 3 times a month.  maybe 4.  maybe 5, if it was a 5-week month.  i kept the kids home from school today (it was take-your-child to work day, and only like 5 kids were going to be at school).  loren couldn't actually take the kids to work with him, so we met him for lunch at a beach by his work, and then spent a few hours there after he had to go back to work (yes, i felt slightly guilty that i was playing and he was working--every once in a while being a mom has great perks).  i cannot even tell you how fun it was to have a day off of everything!  and it wasn't a saturday, so i didn't feel like i had to get "projects" done, and it wasn't a holiday, so not everybody was at the beach.  it's days like this that made me homeschool the kids a couple of years ago.  i will not get on my soapbox and go on and on about how kids spend way too much time at school, when they could learn the same amount in less time.................................
i will just say "hooray for days off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (and for friends who let their kids stay home from school, too--the extra girls you saw in the pictures are our friends that came with us).

Friday, April 17, 2009

today's quotes

madeline to gretchen:  do you know what's really bugging me right now?  your attitude.  do you know what an attitude is?  well, it means you're being rude!

liesel:  well, eating animals is way worse than eating humans, 'cause think of everything that animals do for us!
madeline:  yeah, like cows making milk.
(there are so many ironic things about this conversation, i didn't even know where to start to set things straight)

gretchen:  mom, does Jesus live in zarahemla right now?  
me:  no, he is in heaven.
gretchen:  oh, like where Heavenly Father works.  do they sleep there?

what would i do without my children to entertain me?

easter egg hunt

here are some pictures of our easter egg hunt.  we have a great backyard for hiding the eggs and it was fun to see the kids take forever to find some of the more skillfully hidden ones.  pace was the funniest--he was very suspicious of the plastic eggs (he'd already loaded his basket up with trucks and cars before the hunt started and didn't want them to have to share the space with eggs) until i opened one and showed him there was chocolate in it.  then he still didn't want to put them in his basket--he just ate the stuff as he found it.  he was so sad today when he asked for an "egg" and i had to tell him they were all gone (the kids have been rationing out their goods so they could have some each day).  and yes, vegans can find good treats, too.  they are just 5 times as expensive and the normal stuff.  good thing easter only comes once a year!  

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

friday: spring break continued

joanne's family left friday morning. we spent the rest of the day basically lounging around and recovering from having so much much all week long! it was funny how good a day of doing nothing felt. the kids (and i) caught up on our neglected reading time. these are some candid pictures of the kids during the day. and yes, that is a picture of me reading a nancy drew book. hey, it was before our trip to the library and i was desperate. the photos of the canvases are to show joanne's christmas (late) present to me. she wanted to wait to paint them until she was at my house so we could talk about colors and stuff. we painted them (i did help a little bit, which was fun) on the night that the dads and the kids were at the baseball game.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: spring break: friday

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

red reef park: spring break continued

this was probably my favorite day of all.  we went to red reef park in boca raton.  it was seriously the best beach for kids i have ever been to (sorry, california!  i still love ca's waves, but this was just too perfect for the kids).  it was shallow water for quite a ways out, and clear (nice for quick shark checks).  in addition to perfect swimming conditions, it had tide pools, crabs, fish, a reef for snorkeling around, and the water was 77 degrees.  all the kids who could swim could make it out to the reef and see the tropical fish.  joanne and i took a little turn ourselves while the dads had the kids.  i must confess that we were a little like giddy school girls because it was just so cool to see all the fish and be snorkeling around.  i have only been in clear water like that in hawaii, and i decided it makes my beach swimming much better--i have a slight phobia of not being able to see what's lurking down by my feet--i usually overcome this fear because i love the water so much, but it was really nice to be able to see what was coming my way.  (and hopefully not coming!)  
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: the beach

Monday, April 13, 2009

get ready for some alligator photos!

i know you've all been waiting to see some pictures of real, live alligators.  on wednesday we went to shark valley (no sharks--lots of alligators).  we opted for the 2-hour tram ride tour of the everglades, rather than the bike-it-yourself option.  i'm all for seeing alligators, but i wanted a little more than a bike between me and them!  here are some pictures of the good times!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: alligators

Saturday, April 11, 2009

spring break: part 2 (miami)

tuesday we made a trip into miami (my first).  we walked along the beach, but only peeked over the dunes at the water because it was the infamous "south beach" and we didn't want any unexpected encounters with un-attired bathers.  we enjoyed looking at the fun buildings and we found a great park that the kids loved, as well as some fabulous climbing trees.  
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: miami

Friday, April 10, 2009

spring break: part 1 (playing at the house)

get prepared for many updates on our spring break.  my sister joanne and her family drove over from texas  and spent the week with us.  we had way too much fun taking pictures (i just downloaded almost 300).  i will try not to post them all, but we'll see if i can bear to leave any out!  
the first day they came it was perfect swimming weather, so we jumped in the pool (my second time in since we've moved here--i really hold out for the hot days).  the cousins had such a good time playing with each other.  this first post is dedicated to the joys of cousins just hanging out!  the later posts will be about all the fun places we went (think lots of alligators....)
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: cousin fun

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

i love almost-2-year-olds. really, i do.

my baby is almost two.  this is how i can tell.  twice this week, he's refused to fall asleep for his nap.  actually, i take that back--today he did fall asleep after 2 hours in his bed (he was happy the whole time, and alternated between singing "twinkle twinkle" and "i am a child of god", and reciting the names of people in our family (mommy, daddy, neeko, adline, getchy, pace) (neeko=liesel and gwyneth both) and counting (3, 4 jump!  3, 4 jump!).  just when i was going to go in and get him up from his "quiet time nap", he fell asleep for 2 hours, so spent a total of 4 hours in bed, and then wasn't ready for bedtime tonight.  he thought it was so great to say goodnight to all the girls while he was still up and running around.  sigh.  also today, he got ahold of a purple marker and colored on many, many surfaces in my house.  (the couches--luckily just the leather ones, coffee tables, vases, walls, stairs--luckily tile, doors, himself).  he proudly showed me them all, and then walked around saying "no, no pace".  guess i waited too long to hide the coloring things.  actually, they were hidden, just not well enough, apparently.  he's also on an eating strike, and won't eat anything i put in front of him unless it's a cookie.  i think all my kids have gone through this.  and now they all drink spinach smoothies, so i'm trying not to worry.  in fact, that's the benefit of having 5 kids.  by the 5th one, you don't stress about the stages.  unfortunately, my oldest 2 still get stressed about, because they're the first ones in each stage.  sorry, girls!  but, hey, i was the oldest, and i survived, right?  
speaking of liesel, (in a round-about way), here is a quote from this morning:  "i so wish i didn't have to go to school today.  i've got such better things to do with my time."
i agree, baby (sometimes, at least)--good thing next week is spring break!
but i digress:  back to pace being 2:  he does that limp-body tantrum thing, he insists on walking everywhere, etc., etc., etc.
on the other hand, he says the funniest things.  today he saw 2 helicopters in a row (his favorite next to motorcycles and tractors), and said "oh my goodness.  'copters.  oh my goodness." and then got so excited that he lost all ability to form real words and just babbled for about 2 minutes.  
and in all honesty, the 2-year-old stage is one of my favorites--now, 3........that's a hard one.