Saturday, December 25, 2010

Dear Family and Friends, 2009-2010

We missed sending out a letter last year so we have a bunch to update! We hope you are all healthy and happy this holiday season! Here it goes for the Allens…

Dusty joined the Idaho National Guard in March 2009 was at Fort Leonard Wood, MS for 14 weeks completing basic training and AIT for combat engineer. Since he has contracted with the ROTC program at BYU-Idaho and is busy completing a degree in Automotive/Military Science/Agriculture Technology. His unit is currently serving in Iraq but the ROTC program opted to keep him here to finish his schooling/training for which we’re grateful. He expects to graduate in April 2013. He also bought his dad’s 1977 Chevy Nova that he is excited to restore. He really enjoys driving it.

Melanie is keeping busy with 3 kids! I quit my teaching job and am now working part time for a residential habilitation agency working on home programs for adults with disabilities. I loves being able to work when I want to but still serve those with disabilities. It has been wonderful to be home with my kids. I started an at home pre-school with 3 other families this fall for Brian and that has been a lot of fun too. I served for 2 years as the Primary music leader at church and helped the children learn and perform a program each year. I really enjoyed it but it got pretty difficult with a baby so now Dusty and I are the Bear Cub Scout Den Leaders which has been a lot of fun.

Brian is now 4 and has finally discovered letters and numbers. He LOVES to point out all the Bs and will count just about anything! He always asks before going to sleep at night what we’re doing the next day. On the days we don’t have anything planned, he keeps asking until I come up with something to satisfy him. He’s having a hard time with the early winter and not being able to play outside as much but he’s learned how to put on all his snow gear by himself- snowpants first, then boots, then gloves, then coat-so he can stay toasty warm while playing. He has also discovered Legos and is getting really good at building ships and planes and guns. The other day he even built a Lego cow!

Samantha is 2 going on 7. She loves imaginative play and is always roping Brian into being her “dad” or “baby” or “doggie” etc. She is very stubborn but just as cute as can be! Much to daddy’s dismay she often shouts about the house, “I want my mommy!” but is actually quite independent when it comes down to it. She loves babies, the color purple, paper, stickers and sucking her thumb.

Nathan was born into our crazy family on July 12, 2010. He weighed in right between his siblings at 10 pounds 1 ounce and 21 ½ inches long. When I went to nurse him for the first time, the nurse jokingly said, “He doesn’t want milk, get that boy a Big Mac!” He was born with lots of long, golden hair. He’s already scooting all over the front room, mostly backwards but definitely covering some ground. He is now 5 months old and absolutely loves solid foods. He will lunge forward for the next bite.

Much love, The Allens

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

November Update

Whoop-c-daisies! November just FLEW by. We had a great month and a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wait back up.... yes, I did it again and sewed Halloween costumes for all of us. I kinda cheated though cause Brian wanted to be a knight again so I didn't make a new costume for Dusty. But he made himself a broad sword so I made a sheath for it. You can't see it very well but I made a Dragon costume for Nathan. I just didn't want to cover up all that hair with the hood. Also mid-September Dusty made me a deal that if I lost 12 pounds before Halloween, he would buy me a treadmill. I did it! (We decided to keep our eyes open for a really nice one on sale so we might wait till after the new year to get it) Okay... now to November.

I am loving preschool with Brian. He's really catching on to letters and sounds and he just lights up every time he sees a B. I got him some Leap Frog videos for Christmas. Love them!
I braved the crowds on black Friday and got most of my Christmas shopping done but the main reason I got up at 4:30am was for a new computer (the motherboard crashed on my other one-frown).
We took Nathan in for his 4-month check up and he weighed in at just under 19 pounds! He is LOVING solid foods. I wish I would have gotten a video of his 1st couple of feedings. He would literally lunge forward for the next bite.

And the biggest news of November is.... dun dun dun... Samantha is potty-trained!!! Yay Sam! I started the week of Thanksgiving thinking we would be home most of the time which was true. We kept improving until she had the perfect day and then the very next day she had 4 or 5 accidents! grr I was ready to pull out the diapers but I just kept washing out panties and it paid off. A few more accidents and now she's really got it. No luck with night time though... any ideas?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pixie Dust

I caught the flu or some other really yucky bug this week and was trying (and mostly failing) to get caught up on house work today. So I sent the kids outside for most of the day. After I had just finished mopping the floor, Brian tries to come in the house with all his pockets full of sand. "Mom, Look at my Pixie Dust!" Kinda hard to get mad about pixie dust in th house... maybe it has magical cleaning properties as well as helping people fly...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Goofy Gigglers

Dusty and I went to Jackson Friday night to celebrate our anniversary (6 years!!!) and got home late Saturday night. Thank you to our nanny Evelyn who stayed with all three of our kids so we could get away. So this morning (sunday) was a pretty late/lazy morning. After breakfast, the kids were being pretty clinging so I sat and cuddled with them on the couch. Well Samantha looked at me and just started giggling, so of course I started giggling and she just laughed more and so did I. Dusty was talking on the phone to his mom at the time and just kept shaking his head at us. Brian just never caught on to the giggling thing... it must just be a girl thing. Here's to many more giggle sessions with my girl!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I've had lyrics from a song on Princess Diaries running through my head:

I'm supergirl
And I'm here
To save the world
And I wanna know
Who's gonna save me?

Life with 3 kids is definatley overwhelming but worth ever minute! Nathan Ririe Allen came into our family on 7-12 weighing in at 10 lbs 1 oz. Now at 2 months he weighs 16 pounds! He's the most perfect baby! He started sleeping through the night a few weeks ago and his latest game is staring at you until you look at him and then giving you the biggest baby grin! He's also started to talk/giggle which is one of the greatest sounds on earth.
Samantha gets the biggest kick out of my kickname for him. Everytime I use is she repeats it with a questioning/humorous tone, "You call him bug-a-boo?" No clue where a came up with the nickname but it's sticking at least for now. Sam has also taken to carrying her doll around everywhere complete with bottle and blanket. Nathan's going to have to start fighting for his spot in the bouncer.
Brian is growing up so fast. He started pre-school today and just to prove to mama how big he is, he took his training wheels off (yes, Dusty handed Brian the wrench and let him have at it) and proceded to ride up and down the street! Yesterday, for family night, we went for a walk and Brian stops us and says, "I'm the leader. There. I said it." and keeps walking. Crazy kid!
Dusty is such a natural. You'd think he does better with 3 kids than just 2. Brian and Samantha are always just a step behind whenever he's out in the garage trying to work on stuff. Tonight he caught them eating an entire pack of gum hiding in the back of the van so at dinner he gave them tons of veggies and made them eat them all. I guess they'll think twice about eating that much gum again.
So aside from having to give myself new rules (1. Never take all 3 children to the grocery store. 2. Kids in pajamas all day is perfectly fine. 3. Dirty floors aren't that bad as long as I don't let the kids eat off them) to avoid the overwhelming/frazzled feelings, life jsut doesn't get any better than this.

Samantha's birthday cake back in June.

A week or two before I delivered.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wishin for sunshine

It's been rainy and really windy for the last few days and today especially, the kids and I were wishing for some sunshine. Now that the kids have had a taste of being able to play outside practically all day, the inside activities are completely boring to them. So today we went and bought little piggy banks and I had the kids doing random chores to earn coins for their banks. It went surprisingly well! Here are some pictures of a fun inside day we had in Jerome a while back. Here's to hoping for some sunshine!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Third Trimester

I'm getting comfortable in my thrid trimester. Today I realized that me, my pregnant belly, and the vacuum would not fit in the extended cab of our truck that I was trying to clean. I also started crying after I couldn't get the printer to work (who knew a printer could make you cry?). But on the upside, I'm feeling fabulous and I am still able to chase Brian and Sam around- at least somewhat successfully. We're getting excited to welcome our baby here in a few months. Brian asks about him a lot and Samantha is showing more and more interest in dolls-expecially dressing them (okay, I'm sure it's just developmentally appropriate for her age but just let me think she's itching to help out). Just out of fun... here are my just before delivery pictures with Brian and Sam. (I've been feeling HUGE already so this is to prove to myself I'm still not 9 months pregnant.) hehe.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sewing Craze!

I went on a sewing craze the other day and tackled my mending pile. There was a maternity shirt that had been there since I was pregnant with Samantha (almost 2 year ago!!) - pathatic. I also made this cover for our storage/changing table in Sam's room. Her room is finally the way I want it (I think...).

6 shirts, 3 dresses, 3 pants and 4 pair of shorts mended and ready to wear!

Changing table before (ugly holiday storage)- After you'd never know what was under there...

Samatha's girly room. I guess the one thing I haven't done yet is window treatments... maybe this summer.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Storytime, Gym, and Boy!

The past two weeks I've been going to Rigby City Library story time. It has been wonderful! The kids love it and maybe it's just the teacher in me but I don't mind listening to fun stories and singing songs either. It's been such a fun way to get out of the house and get us into more reading.
Brian started Gymnastics last night and had an absolute blast. He's such a big kid-and by big I mean over 95%ile and STRONG! At one point, the instructor had the kids doing an obstacle course. The first obstacle was a huge stair thing and they were supposed to shimmy down the backside of it. Well Brian gets up on top and tries to jump off. Then when they get to the balance beam, Brian starts walking accross just like on the curb but they were only supposed to crawl accross. hehe. I didn't get to be there but Dusty did an excellent job describing it to me and I can't wait to watch him next week.
Samantha is getting SUPER opinionated. If it's not her idea, it doesn't happen! So, I've had to get a lot more creative about giving her choices and letting her help and do things on her own. Sure it gets a little frustrating to hear "NO!" literally all day but it's fun to see more of her personality and independence.
AND!!! We found out we're having a boy! My due date is still set for July 17th and the baby looks great. We took the whole family to the ultrasound. I was hoping it would help Brian understand more about "there's a baby in my tummy". He did great and really enjoyed looking at the screen. I was pretty sure Samantha would have no earthly clue what was going on but she looked at the screen and just started saying, "baby, baby". Wow! We're super excited to welcome a new brother to our family!

Monday, February 22, 2010

February Fun

In February, Dusty's dad called and asked if he wanted to come work for a week so we packed up and headed back to sunny AZ. It was a bit nicer than in Dec. (warmer and a few less people-we love family but everyone together gets a little hectic). Here are some fun pictures from our trip. Dusty actually really enjoyed working with his dad and I had a blast hanging out with mom and the kids. We were outside every day!

Brian and Lily playing "dogs" in the yard. I don't think Brian was actually eating anything.

Samantha and Macie exploring the jungle.

The kids making bubble beards.

The orange vehicle is actually a modified VW bug.

Dusty and dad went to California to buy it while we were there. The 14 hour trip turned into over 30 hours because they had car trouble-go figure.

But meanwhile, Mom and I read the third book in Robyn's series while they were gone. The perfect ending!

Christmas Joy

Here are a few pictures from Christmas. We had "Santa" come early to our house so we didn't have to take presents to AZ. Samantha LOVED her new doll and stroller.

We also celebrated early with my family. All of us kids went together and got mom a modern picture display (The frames hang from the knobs with ribbon). She previously had all our pictures in mismatch frames on her china hutch. With beautiful vaulted ceilings and really empty walls, we figured it was time for a change. She absolutely loved it!

It's a Fillmore family tradition to do the nativity story with felt puppets. We've done it as long as I can remember. So know the grandkids are the main stars. Dusty and Tyler were the Stage (held up a sheet). This is everyone taking a bow after the show.

We travelled down to AZ for Christmas will all the Allens. Even Dusty's two half sisters and their families got to come from Oregon. It was a blast. This is Smantha playing with Grandma Black's airplane (cousin Macie in the background).

Happy Holidays!

The holiday season was so busy for us that we never sent out a Christmas/New Year's Greeting. We did get a family picture taken but only because Dusty is clever with the timer on our camera. Not to bad for the front yard eh? (The kids are looking at a rock I threw to try to get them to look at the camera, it worked until the rock fell-darn gravity!)