Monday, July 20, 2009

Oklahoma...where the wind comes sweeping down the plain.

In June I took the kiddos down to Texas and Oklahoma to spend a few days with my family. We added a new stop this year -- this spring my sister and her family moved to Borger, TX. Where you ask?!? It is in the panhandle of TX about 45 minutes NE of Amarillo. We took this opportunity to stay a couple of nights with them, see their beautiful new home, and let the cousins play their hearts out.

From Borger it is just a short 3 and a half hour drive to my parents home in Oklahoma. Somehow it had been over a year since I had been there and it was wonderful to visit with them and see their beautifully remodeled kitchen in person. We kept the visit pretty low key. Morgan loves getting golf lessons from Grandpa. Too bad it was so steaming hot when he took them to the driving range, they were pooped after about 20 minutes. We did some errands and of course ate lunch at Braum's.

Codi's family came in to help celebrate Father's Day (after their van breaking down -- ugh!). It was so nice being together, even if it was a little crazy. It made us really miss Clint and Cyle. With the cousins, we checked out some of the new parks on Ft. Sill. There was this awesome water park that the kids totally loved -- so cool! It was especially nice to go to church together. It seemed like a rather short weekend when Codi's family had to leave (via OKC to get a rental car for the way home.)

On Monday, I finally got the opportunity to hang out with my amazing friend Veronica and meet her 3 adopted kiddos. We enjoyed a picnic at Medicine Park and of course, all the kiddos headed straight for the river getting themselves soaked. We decided to try somewhere a little drier and headed to her house so the kids could play while she and I got caught up. She is one of those truly gifted people and I always feel inspired being around her. So great to be with her, even if it was only for a few hours.

Tuesday, I have to say, was the best. My parents' very nice neighbors let us come over and swim in their pool during the day. It was absolute heaven! We were in the pool about 4 or 5 hours. Trevor and Morgan are total fishes and Peyton, after about 15 minutes of holding onto me, figured out how to balance and kick all over the pool with the help of her life jacket and a pool noodle. This allowed me to relax on a raft and watch and splash the kids. My mom even got in on the relaxing action with us. Absolutely fantastic day.

It's a boy!

We went for our ultrasound at the clinic (sadly, there were no good pictures that I can post). I had the idea that this little baby was a boy and my suspicions were confirmed. Most importantly, everything looked great and was developing normally. I was glad to see that he looks healthy and growing well.

When we told the kiddos, Trevor was thrilled! He was very excited that "the teams were going to be even." Truth be told, that was what I was hoping for too. That is what I grew up with, and was so convenient when we played family games.

Now all we need to do is figure out a name...

Bolder Boulder - Happy Memorial Day!

Myself, I would never pay to run in a race. No thanks. But my wonderful husband enjoys running the Bolder Boulder 10K. Must be the rush of running it with 50,000 other people, or the bands along the route, or hearing the crowd cheer as you run into the stadium. This year, Ken asked his sister Holly to run it with him. We also had our friend Atsuko visiting from Japan that wanted the American experience of running the Bolder Boulder -- it is one of the largest races in the US.

Ken hadn't had the time to train like he would have liked, but I think he still had a good time running it with Atsuko, and even though Holly was not able to run in the same heat with them, she was able to finish within a few minutes of the other two.

I was so glad that Atsuko took her camera. She got some really fun pictures...

After the race, "the cousin's" came over for a BBQ. We always have a good time with the Wenhams! I loved watching some of the ceremonies on TV. Of course I spent a lot of time thinking about my brothers, Clint and Cyle and their service for our country. I am so grateful for this blessed land that we live in and for those that have fought to defend freedom around the world.

School Wrap-up

Granted, it is July, but I do want to update my blog/journal with Morgan and Trevor's end of school happenings. It felt like a bit of a whirlwind. Morgan had field day and a end of school picnic and Trevor had his preschool graduation.

The kids seem to look forward to field day all year, especially when the fire department comes and sprays off the whole student body. Atsuko, took Trevor over to watch Morgan compete in the games (okay, I was crashed out on the couch) and Trevor even got to do some of the games. I was so glad Atsuko got some fun pictures of the kids.

The next night, we attended Trevor's preschool graduation at Robyn's nest. He had a great year learning with Ms. Robyn. At graduation he got to present on Jupiter and . Even though we had worked on what he would say, apparently we did not work enough on the presentation aspect. He thought it would be good to hit himself while he talked. Huh?!? In any case it was a nice night and we loved getting to support Trevor on his special night.

On the last day at Prairie Ridge they hold a school picnic with the class and teacher. It was great to visit with Ms. McEvers and see Morgan play with her friends and take some pictures. Ken and I were happy to see how well she was doing in school. She had an awesome report card! We were proud of all of her hard work. Great job Morgan!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bad Mom?

I have been feeling rather guilty lately. Peyton has been watching a lot of TV while I snooze on the couch. In fact, she says to me every day, "Mom, you sleep on the couch and I will watch my shows." I must be the worst mom using the TV as a babysitter as frequently as I am, but with how I am feeling with this pregnancy, it is kind of a necessity.

My guilt was eased somewhat last week, however. We were in the van on the way home from Holly and Brian's and it was late so Morgan and Trevor were asleep in the back. Peyton, who had slept on the way there, was wide awake and talking up a storm. The next thing Ken and I realize, Peyton was counting things and then she started counting in Spanish (in the cutest little accent, mind you). I was amazed when she got almost to ten. Ken and I were floored.

Maybe all the TV she has been watching isn't such a bad thing? :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Excuses, excuses

I know I have been a pretty lousy blogger as of late, but I do have a good excuse. I am expecting our 4th child in September and this pregnancy is really taking its toll. Even though I am well into my second trimester, I am still feeling awful. The nausea is almost unbearable. I am also super tired and having to nap almost every day.

Ken is really going above and beyond! He has been doing in incredible job being Mr. Mom since I am so sick. (The couch and I have become great friends.) He is taking great care of all of us! My love and appreciation for him has really increased the last few months.

The kids are really looking forward to a new little brother or sister. Trevor is especially interested in how big the baby is now. They thought it was pretty cool when they got to hear the heartbeat at a recent doctors appointment.

Hopefully, I will feel better soon and be able to resume my usual blogging activity. I'm sure you have all been missing my witty insights into the world around me. :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I heart NYC

I think I am addicted. Ever since going to New York City with Ken about 18 months ago, I keep wanting to go back over and over. I totally love that city. I am sure the biggest part of that is the wonderful friends that I am able to visit while I am there. I just got back on Sunday and I am missing the city already.

My dear friend Celia is a fabulous musician and singer. During the month of March she has a Thursday night at Arturo's Italian Restaurant and she asked if I would like to come out and sing with her. I had an airlines voucher that I had to use anyway, so I booked my flight. It was a thrill to sing with Celia and Dave, the bassist that plays with her. (It was a little tricky because for some reason, my ear was stuffed up and I couldn't hear very well and when I spoke or sang, it sounded like I was underwater. Ugh! It was the wrong weekend for that to happen!) In any case, we had a great time with the tunes that we performed together and I loved listening to them jam the rest of the time.

On Friday, Celia and I mostly hung around her apartment. It was so much fun helping her to get organized and do projects around the place. We talked and talked and even had fun together running errands. That evening, we went to Carlos' goodbye party at Uncle Charlie's. They had a section of the bar that was a piano room part and everyone had a blast singing. I especially loved getting to see some old friends from high school that have all ended up there in the city together. After singing for a couple of hours, Celia, Miriam, and I headed out for a late dinner on Times Square. It was such a beautiful evening and there were people everywhere!

Miriam, Celia, and I in Grand Central Station

In Times Square

RBHS Alumni singin' at Uncle Charlie's

Saturday we did the tourist thing and spent just about the whole day on Liberty Island and Ellis Island. It was fascinating learning more about the history behind the Statue of Liberty and all the immigration that happened at Ellis Island. We walked and walked -- boy were our feet sore! We got back up to midtown just in time to meet Brittany for dinner and then catch the Broadway show, Shrek. (I thought the show was cute and had some amazing talent in it. I love Sutton Foster!) Of course, we had to get some cheesecake on the way home to complete the NYC experience.

After our tours of Liberty Island and Ellis Island (can you see them in the background?)

Sunday we kept it rather relaxed. Celia wanted me to teach her a voice lesson and then we jammed a bit before heading out to walk around a have a delicious brunch. I was so sad when I had to head to the airport. I had missed my family, but it was certainly nice to get away for a few days.

Thanks so much to Ken for holding down the fort while I was gone. I am also grateful to my dear friends Brandie and Wendy for watching Trevor and Peyton so Ken could work during the day. And most of all, to Celia for inviting me out to visit her. I love making music with you -- you are amazing and I appreciate you sharing your talent with me! long before I can go back again? :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Ken treated me to a wonderful Valentine's Day this year. During the day he watched the kids so I could take a nap. Then he surprised me with gorgeous, red roses, chocolate truffles, my favorite candy (red Swedish fish), and thin mint cookies. We took the kids to the babysitter and then we went out to dinner. It was so nice to have some time alone together to talk and enjoy each others company. At dinner Ken gave me one more gift.

About a year and a half ago we were moving our TV to paint and it smashed my fingers. Later that night, I noticed that my opal ring that I have worn everyday for the past 15 years was totally bent and smashed onto my finger. Ken was able to sneak it to a jeweler and had it reshaped and put a new opal in since the old one was chipped. The result is beautiful and I love having it (new and improved) back on my finger.

Most of all, I am so grateful for Ken being my Valentine for the last 14 years. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to get to spend my life with him. He is my perfect match and I know that he makes me so much better than I could ever be on my own. I can't imagine life without him. He does a great job on Valentine's day, but really he spoils me everyday. I love you Ken!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I can relate...

These were on my friend Paige's blog. I seriously laughed out loud! Enjoy!


I love that my children, despite looking quite similar, are so very different. It is especially fun to watch the differences between my girls, Morgan and Peyton. Morgan is such an interesting mix. She has always gotten along really well with both boys and girls, but she doesn't really like to do the girly activities. No dolls, barbies, princesses, or pink for her. I remember the time when she didn't want to go to a "Princess Party" and would only go if she did NOT have to dress up like a princess.

Peyton is totally different. Pink is her absolute favorite color. Seriously, it borders on an obsession. She is a great mommy to all her dolls. She was thrilled to get her first pink Barbie doll at Christmas. She loves dressing up with her friends and has even been known to put on a princess dress a time or two.

So I guess I should not have been surprised at the difference when Peyton got a hold of a red marker the other night. I immediately thought of Morgan and the war-paint look she created for herself a couple of years ago.

Peyton had a different approach. In fact, I found out she had the red marker because she was asking for my help. She had "painted" her left hand fingernails and now needed help on her right hand to complete the task. Of course I helped her finish the job before taking away the marker. I have laughed and laughed about this experience and it made me love both of my beautiful daughters even more.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Wondrous Gift is Giv'n

I was so blessed to conduct our stake choir to perform at the Second Annual Interfaith concert held by our stake. It was so much fun to select the music. I love the fact that I get to do the music stuff without having to worry about decorations, advertising, refreshments, etc. The night was a wonderful success and I was glad for the opportunity to work with Sandi from the Community of Christ Church and Maggie from St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

The event even got a couple of write-ups in the local paper. You can go here and here to read the articles.

I think our choir did really well and I was so proud of their hard work and effort. It didn't hurt that we had Liz Nelson accompanying us. She totally rocked, especially on the organ stuff that was really difficult. We were only able to have 3 rehearsals and I had selected some tricky pieces, but everyone pulled together really well and we had about 60 or so in our choir. Of course there are things that I would still like to have tweaked with the sound, but overall I was really pleased. It was a wonderful experience and I am already looking forward to next year.

Sean McKell (our stake technology person) was able to record the concert using the podium microphone. The quality isn't that great and it was hard to control the levels with our bigger choir so the recording has distortion, but it was fun to hear what we sounded (mostly) like. You can download the mp3 recordings here. Sean divided up the program by choir and you can also hear the two group numbers at the end. Thanks so much Sean!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

December wrap-up...

Ha ha! Get it? Wrap up! All the presents you have to wrap in December... okay, nevermind!

I know I have been rather negligent of my blogging duties the past month or so. With the holidays, rehearsals, performances and spending time with wonderful family and friends, the month seemed to evaporate. So here are some of the most memorable things from the end of 2008.

1. I was really busy with Triple Trio and had many performances of our Christmas program. I especially enjoyed visiting some of the nursing homes where they really look forward to our visit. It is kind of cool having "fans". :) We also did some community events and even had our picture taken for the local paper. I totally love the women in the group and what we create together!

2. I am grateful for the holidays and for the opportunity to reach out to friends and family and let them know we love them. I actually got our Christmas cards and Christmas treats before Christmas! I was feeling pretty on the ball, until...

3. ...Trevor accidentally knocked over the Christmas tree. He felt so bad, but I was glad I wasn't home at the time so that he lived to tell the tale. At the time I didn't want to deal with the mess and so I spent about a day rereading a favorite book. Finally 2 days later I spent a couple of hours and redecorated the tree. I don't think any of us, especially Trevor, will be forgetting that anytime soon.

4. We spent Christmas down at Holly and Brian's home in Highlands Ranch. It was great being all together! Holly made some delicious meals and we were able to attend a beautiful mass at their church. As usual, the cousins LOVED playing together, especially with the new treasures they had received for Christmas.

5. Our Stake hosted the 2nd annual Interfaith Choir Concert. I got to lead the choir again. It was a fantastic experience with beautiful music and the spirit. Check out my next post for newspaper links and a link to the mp3 of the concert.

6. The Allreds braved the snow and came to visit us from Utah. I can't describe how fabulous it was to have them here! We did fun things with the kids (WOW museum and Jumpin') and the guys got to go out and the girls got to go have lunch together. The kids played, played, and played some more. They also loved having "sleepovers".

7. The last night the Allreds were here we went out on a triple date with Holly and Brian. We had gotten tickets for Jersey Boys down in Denver. We met for a delicious dinner at Cheesecake Factory and then walked over to the performance. The show was fantastic (although they weren't kidding about the "authentic New Jersey style language") and we were singing songs by Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons for days!

We were so blessed this Christmas season. We were able to spend time with friends and family, but most of all, we were able to focus on the real meaning of the season, the birth of Our Savior, Jesus Christ.