Sunday, July 27, 2008


So all you blog readers that read for entertainment....I invite you to skip my journal! :) You are more than welcome to read it. It is a little on the touchy/feely side. So with this family challenge has come many blessings. Who cares about the money (although I do plan on winning and getting it)! It has become a lot more than that. I have realized how caught up I was in the routines of my not so spiritual life. I was constantly feeling a little abandoned by the spirit. I did not want to think or believe that my mind and life was so full of nonsense and meaningless things. I was making no room for the Spirit or growth, and in actuality, I was the traitor, the "abandoner" of the Spirit- no longer a useful tool. But of course, I didn't see it as that. I LOVED this quote from the August issue of the Ensign from Spencer W. Kimball. It captures exactly what I am trying clumsily to say. It says, "I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures the distance narrows and the spirituality returns." I am So grateful that the Spirit is not as merciless as me. It doesn't give up on me. It doesn't say to me, when I finally come around, "You had your chance- too late!". I am so grateful that if i only immerse myself in the scriptures and forget myself for a small period of time a day, I can regain that relationship with the divine. And a divine ear will listen and a divine voice will speak. And it does. And life is so much better when I am immersing myself in the scriptures. Folks, I have found the key to happiness- the gospel. I momentarily forgot about its impact. When I am immersed in the gospel things fall into place, our Heavenly Father provides in every way, and there is peace and hope in the gospel. Sometimes it takes the strangest things or the most serendipitous events to help us remember to turn once again to gospel. In my case, this family challenge that initially motivated me because of money and competition has helped me grow and return to the foundation. It almost sounds as if I was inactive. No, I have just had a spiritual awakening that's all. I was in a bit of a fog before. I feel alert and I see clearly.
These pictures were taken after Ella returned from Sophia and Lillian's (her cousin) birthday party. Dagmar did the face painting- amazing I know! Ella was so excited about the party when she got home she was posing and smiling from ear to ear. I couldn't resist not posting ALL the pics!

Tea Party

Last weekend, Jason's sister Bessy cane home from her mission .Jason had been prepping the kids for days prior so by the time she got here, they were primed for Bessy time. Ella and Lincoln saw her the night she came in (Sunday). First thing the next day, Ella asked if Bessy could come and play at her house. Bess is VERY tiny and cute and so I think Ella thinks she's her friend. Anyway, so finally -after four days of begging- Bessy came over. She was the perfect playmate. She let Ella do her favorite thing; boss her around! Ella told Bethany what to wear and then what to eat at their tea party. So this pic is of Ella and Bessy having a tea party. Thanks for being such a good sport Bessy!!! You look hot in the fluorescent orange!
And now I just have to take a moment to brag on my husband. Jason is really good with is hands. He can try something for the first time and it will turn out beautifully. Case in point; he carved a duck and it was perfect. He landscaped our backyard (I have yet to blog about it) and built a stone wall- perfect. He's very talented with his hands. He'll be a great dentist. He definitely gets this talent from his dad. Anyway, so I bought this desk that you see in the pic at a garage sale. It did not look so hot. I wish I had a before pic. It looked dilapidated and very old and with a tacky 70's finish. So Jason sanded the entire thing down and then refinished it. We just bought the chair at IKEA (the easiest part of the plan for sure). Then he built and designed these shelves to go around it. WOW! My husband is amazing. I am so grateful for this money saving talent of his. There's a very long list of things he has built or fixed that I didn't even know he was capable of.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Black booty

That's Ella's attemp to say "Black Beauty". It just makes me laugh. She calls any black or dark horse "Black Booty". So tonight for FHE the kids enjoyed a ride on the riding lawn mower (I know, we're country). Then we drove a couple miles to where there is a field of horses. Ella and Lincoln LOVE to feed and pet the horseys. We came home and bathed them then had a nice little lesson on President Monson.
Since this blog is serving as my journal for a family challenge I am participating in........I will share some my feelings on the article we talked about at FHE, "Heeding the Voice of the Prophets". I loved reading this article. It was a great source of comfort, strength and direction for me. We live in such a time of fear and worry. It consumes me at a times. I sometimes fall into the popular and growing feelings of panic and fear for the economy or other worldy worries. Then I am reminded that I have guidance. More than most people, thanks to the scriptures and the voices of the prophets and apostles. There's a great quote that says, "how many of us permit our fears to take control of our lives in this time of international tension, economic and political uncertainties, and personal challenge?". Are our fears taking control? Mine do sometimes. I often worry and fear about bringing more children into the world amongst these tumultuos times. Isn't that all the more reason to bring them here? To be set as a beacon. The article says, " There is no need to fear. We can have peace in our hearts and in our homes. We can each be an influence for good in this world." I feel so privileged to hear that voice of the prophet and to have a monthly publication that guides me and aids me as a mother and on my eternal path as a daughter of God. I love the prophet! And I love his guidance, counsel, and example!

Painting in the Nude

It's what all the real artists do- paint in the the nude! Aunt Bethany (Jason's sister) came home from her SLC mission on Sunday. Ella wanted to help make signs for the airport. I told her she couldn't paint in her clothes. She took it literally. I would have at least let her keep her underwear on! GEEZ! Too cute to pass up taking a pic. And little Link was just excited to be expressing himself. He's learning his colors so it was fun for him to communicate and ask for certain colors. Welcome home Bessy, we missed you adn are so proud of you!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ladies' Day Out

A few of us had a Ladies' Day out today. We went to our favorite discount warehouse- Wilson's Warehouse. Then we went and got our fingernails/toenails done. Ella was in heaven! She got pink with white polka-dots. The first thing she wanted to do when she was done was "show her brother". While we were waiting for our nail appt. we went next door to a clothing store where Ella chose these red boots to try on. No, it was not encouraged by me. She kept on saying, "mommy, when I get bigger, can I use these". Of course i said she could but needless to say, I did not purchase the Dorothy-reminiscent shoes.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cousin Lovin' in FL

This past week we trekked, yet again, down to Florida. Thanks to Mom and Dad. They are always so generous with their properties and club membership!!!!! It allows us to have fancy little vacations. Anyway, we left on Tuesday morning. The first first pic is of the kiddos (Cooper, Lincoln, and Ella) kissing the hygenic Wendy's door. At this exit there was not one restaurant with a playplace. So we pulled off at the Wendy's and it had a fenced in sitting area. We let the kiddos run wild out there while we ate and people stared at us for letting them do that. I have no doubt in my mind it was the right thing to do. Any parent having experienced any significant car drive I am sure would agree.

Their first day at the beautiful Cinnamon beach. Ella looked for shells while Lincoln tried to sabotage her efforts by throwing sand her way.

It was such a fun week. We spent most of the time at the pool at the resort. There is a huge water park worthy slide there. Every time Lincoln would come down he would point and say "Lide", his word for slide. Thank goodness other people were there to take him b/c the stairs to the slide are deathly to the thighs. I figure he went about 10 times.
It was difficult to take pics b/c I didn't want to take my camera around. We were joined by Emily and her kids, Amanda and cute little Jonah, Jennefer and the Tasker crew, Dagmar and the girls, Jana and Kailey, and Mom. PHEW! That was a lot. So here's a little pic of the five kids in the tub.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Our weekend of the fourth started out with a Jewkes Family 10K. Yes, I was merely pretending to keep up with my bro-in-law Jim. He's a very accomplished runner. Far beyond my accomplishments as a runner of just a few races. He set the whole race up on our dear street. It was a very steep one mile course that we ran 6 times. Most of us ran with partners b/c there was no training involved, we found out about it the day before. Julie and I were partners, each running 3 miles. Jason and Jake were partners. I was so proud of Jason for running his 3 miles in the 95 degree humid weather, completely untrained. YEAH!! Lincoln was chasing Jason and I around as we went back and forth and was in need of a lot of hydration as you can see.

Then the rest of the day was at Grandma Allred's. We "enjoyed" the heat and humidity while Ella enjoyed Grandma's dress-ups. After putting on this gorgeous, fashion-forward outfit, she tells me that she is getting married, much to my chagrin. I cringe, as this is her first time even mentioning the subject at the young age of three. How do little girls know about this stuff??? She's too little to talk about getting married. Obviously I know it's not around the corner or anything, but it was funny to hear her say those words. Have you guys seen "Father of the Bride" where the daughter tells Steve Martin that she's getting married and in his mind, at that moment, she turns into a five year old girl. I kind of felt like that. Then that night she gets out her "Barbie: Beautiful Brides" book and shows me this picture. She says, "Mommy, this is me. I am big. I have a big bum and a big tummy"(pointing to the respective parts on the picture). Where does she get this stuff from? I guess getting older and married requires having a big bum and tummy. Maybe this is TMI but she's always telling me that i have a big bum, but if she thinks Barbie has a padunkadunk I guess it's not quite so insulting. All bums are big compared to her little 6 month old size bum. Just a little humor.

On Saturday, after a day of four wheeling and swimming at the Allred compound, we went to a Braves game. That night, Billy (Jason's Brother), drove home. We were all distracted, watching a movie in the car. All of the sudden we see blue lights behind us. The cops pull us over and ask Billy to step out of the vehicle. Next thing we know they are giving him a Breathalyzer and doing the "follow my finger" test. We were all hysterically laughing. You have to know the guy I guess. Anyway, the cop asks us if he's been drinking and then continues to tell us they have received several calls on us for reckless driving. Poor Billy. Next thing we know, there are four police vehicles ready to take the poor guy in. Billy admits he had dental work done that morning by Bob and has been taking Tylenol 3 or Hydrocodon (not sure). The cop says he really could take him in for a DUI, but he let him go. All the while Billy looked completely guilty because he had a fat lip accompanied by a slur. Result of being punched by Jason earlier that day while wrestling. Additionally, he had blood-shot eyes because he accidentally put hydrogen peroxide in his eyes instead of contact solution. Yes, the stars were aligned and Billy looked completely guilty, but was all the while innocent.