Monday, December 28, 2009

News

I forgot to mention that in addition to everything else that happened last week, we found out we are having a girl! We are so thrilled, especially Kirsten. Poor Jeremy will be out numbered. He is such a great father though, and is definitely cut out for fathering our little girls. I was officially taken off of High Risk status this week. We have been so blessed. Now if only I could get over this all-day sickness I have been having...

Christmas

So in the midst of all the weddings, we did actually manage to have a Christmas around here.
Kirsten in her Christmas Dress.



We spent New Year's Eve at my dad and Patty's along with my mom and step-dad and John and Silver. We had dinner and decorated gingerbread houses.


Leaving Cookies for Santa

Kirsten's favorite present - a desk and chair. She also got a new bike from Santa.

We opened presents at our house on Christmas Eve so we could head to the Alleman's first thing on Christmas morning. I guess I should mention that we had a snow storm on the 24th and actually got several inches of snow. It was mine, Jeremy's, and Kirsten's first white Christmas.

We had fun opening presents with all of Jeremy's family. There were 20 people there and it took until after noon to finish. A highlight of the day was acting out the Christmas Story in full costume with her cousins and uncles.
Mary and Joseph

Mary and the Shepherd

Cousin Time!

Kacey's Wedding

Jeremy's sister, Kacey, was married on Wednesday. She married Tyler Andersen, from Blackfoot, Idaho. They left today to move to Idaho. We will sure miss Kacey, especially Kirsten. It was a beautiful wedding. The best part was having all of Jeremy's siblings here at one time. It seems like someone is always missing. It was sure an eventful day. The wedding at noon, pictures until 2, dinner at 3, and the reception at 7. We are sure happy for Kacey and Tyler and wish them the best.

The seven Alleman siblings

Kirsten had fun playing under the hoop skirt of Kacey's dress.

The flower girls

The whole Alleman crew together, finally!

The happy couple

John's Wedding

My little brother John surprised us this past week by marrying his fiance, Silver, over Christmas break. He is in the Marines and she is in the Air Force and had to get permission from both branches of the military. We knew it would be quick once they got everything squared away. I found out on Monday about the Tuesday wedding. I could not be happier for them and I have loved getting to know Silver better this week. She is truly a gem, and we are so thrilled to have her in the family. Kirsten has actually decided that we should name our baby Silver.

The happy couple

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Various December Happenings

Time has been flying by lately and I have not had much time to post. Kirsten finished her first semester of ice skating lessons this week. We are still trying to decide if we will do them again January because she also wants to do T-ball again this spring. She is definitely a natural though. Here is a video of her third class. I forgot the camera the last few times, but it is amazing how much she learned in such a short amount of time.

Kirsten is being mommy's super helper, like always. Yesterday, I was in the kitchen when the washing machine finished. I came into the hallway to find her unloading the washing machine!

Today was her preschool Christmas Party. Here she is waiting for the ornament exchange to start.

They put on a totally adorable Christmas Play today at her preschool. Kirsten was an angel (surprise!) and loved singing for us. Jeremy took the morning off of work to go and video taped the whole thing. Jeremy's mom and Kacey's fiance, Tyler, also were able to come. She sure had a crowd cheering for her! Isn't she the cutest angel ever (in the cutest costume I threw together at 11 pm last night, I might add)

Kirsten insisted on writing a letter to Santa this year. She loves to write and read all of the time now. She had a Christmas Party for her dance studio last night - sorry, no pictures - but she looked adorable in her red sparkly party dress. She put the letter in an envelope and took it to Santa at the party. (This was, by the way the third time she has seen him this year, and her wish list has not varied in the slightest over the past month. Thank goodness she is consistent!)

Translation
Dear Santa
I want a bike,
8 movies
2 dolls, a desk
love Kirsten Lee Alleman

She is too cute. We are so excited for Christmas this next week and to see all the family coming into to town for Kacey's wedding. We are also excited that my Marine brother is coming home for Christmas too. It is sure to be a great holiday!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Ready for Christmas

I think that we are almost ready for Christmas around here. The tree is up, all the shopping is done, Kirsten's dress is made, Christmas cards are finished, and we visited Santa. We still need to put lights up outside, mail the Christmas cards, and make the pajamas. I decided that the niece and nephew presents will not get finished, so they will have to be for birthdays this year.
We had to put the Tree in front of the fireplace this year because our normal spot is now taken up by the bigger TV and entertainment center we aquired this year. So the stockings are on the counter and no fires this year, but oh well.



Yesterday our neighborhood had a breakfast with Santa at the clubhouse. It is always so beautifully decorated with such good food. Kirsten loved seeing Santa this year. She woke up at 6 am begging to go. It was great to have time to visit with so many friends while enjoying a great breakfast. I feel blessed to live in such a great neighborhood. So here are this year's Santa pictures (I didn't splurge for the professional ones this year-we are trying to cut back).


Just a few more weeks until Kacey's wedding and then Christmas!!!

On a side note, my oldest niece, Sarah, is 14 today! Where has time gone?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

WHAT IS THAT?!

I woke up this morning to Kirsten saying "mommy, I wanna go play in the snow, I wanna play in the snow, please, please, please!"
I did not think much of it because she has been asking to play in the snow since last December when we went to Denver. So I rolled out of bed, looked out the window, and decided to let her go play in the snow!



I cannot believe that it actually snowed here. I am one that HATES the COLD! If I can't go swimming, it is too cold. I am of the belief though, that if it has to be cold, we might as well have something to show for it. The snow melted pretty quickly because as it warmed up, it turned to rain. We are supposed to get more on Friday though. I am not thrilled, but Kirsten sure is!

Last week, when it was 80 degrees, we went to the zoo. Kirsten and her friend Michael held hands for 4 hours while we walked around the zoo. I am going to have to keep my eye on him....


Here are Kirsten, Kiley, and Michael in the dinosaur egg.

And Kirsten's all-time favorite animal, the giraffe!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The infinite patience of Jeremy

Jeremy had jury duty on Wednesday. Luckily they did not choose him and he was home by lunch time. So naturally, I put him to work. We are going to be tiling our bathroom over Thanksgiving break (I will never understand why it was carpeted in the first place) so I had him start on the prep work. So in the true nature of his infinite patience, Jeremy let Kirsten remove the base boards. Seriously, he held the crow bar and she hit it. It took 3 hours, and would have probably taken him only 30 minutes or so. I am so blessed to have married the single most patient man on the planet!


Other than that, we have been staying busy around here. Kirsten started ice skating lessons on Monday. She really loves it. She did not fall down once, and was skating backwards, turning around while moving, and even did a ballet turn - all in one lesson!!! I could hardly believe it.

Yesterday her preschool had a Family Thanksgiving Lunch. I could not make it with my work schedule, so my wonderful mother-in-law went. Kirsten was so thrilled to have her Grandma Alleman at school with her. Thank you so much, mom.

I did not manage the midnight show of New Moon last night, I am just not willing to sacrafice a minute of my sleep right now. I am dying to see it though, and will have to find time soon. I would just go with some friends, but Jeremy wants to see it with me. I am not sure why I am married to the only man wanting to go, but I love it!

I am looking forward to a week off of work next week and am hoping to get a big chunk of my Christmas to-do list out of the way, as well as Kirsten's dress made for Kacey's wedding. I am almost done making Christmas cards - I picked a simpler design this year in the interest of time - so hopefully those will be out soon. I got a lot of presents made last week at Super Saturday at Church, so only a few more to make. We hope that everyone has a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ice Skating

There is a new Dallas Stars Ice Skating Center in our neighborhood that opened about 3 weeks ago. I went with my friend Haley today to take the kiddos ice skating. We set up a tour through our mom's group, and so they took us all around the facilities first. Kirsten even got to sit on the Zamboni. As you can see from the look on her face, she was a little frightened by it.

I was really surprised when after the tour, they helped Kirsten put on her skates, taught her how to walk in them, and stand up from a sitting postion. Then we headed to the ice and both instructors came with us. Since only Haley and I had come, we each got one of the instructors, so Kirsten basically has a 45 minute private skating lesson. She was a natural!

They even taught me how to skate - I never even fell down. We had so much fun!

Here is a video of Kirsten being taken around the ice super fast with her teacher.

We had such a good time that Jeremy is going to take her again on Saturday while I am at Super Saturday at Church. We now have a new Saturday family activity to add to our arsenal.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Last t-ball Game and other various things

This week was Kirsten's last two t-ball games. We are excited to finally be finished. Our last game was supposed to be Oct 14th, but we had 5 games rained out and re-scheduled. I will miss the seeing the other moms every week, but will enjoy having our evenings and weekends back. I guess that it is a bitter sweet.

Here she is her last time up to bat. I know I posted a few months ago her first time up to bat. Hopefully there is a difference.



Her last time playing pitcher.

Up to bat!

We had a party on Saturday at Peter Piper Pizza with her team to celebrate. We ordered a cake and balloons and ate tons of pizza. It was fun, but crowded. I was seriously cured of ever being tempted to have a birthday party there. We were able to hand out the trophies to the kids and I even made little cards to go on each of them. Here is Kirsten proudly showing off her first trophy - which now has a place of prominence in our living room!


Kirsten has been a busy little girl this week. On Wednesday she told me that she had a surprise for me. She took me into her room and pulled back her curtains to reveal that she had written the entire alphabet, in order, on the WALL!!! It was one of those "I am proud of you for being able to do it, but I am going to kill you for doing it" moments. After time-out and a long talk, she volunteered to clean it up by herself. Then we had her do it again on pink paper and tape it to her wall in the same place and let her surprise me again - and this time I got to be excited.

Every week at her preschool they memorize a bible verse that starts with the letter of the week. Typically they are short, but this week for "F" they memorized John 3:16 - and she did it. I cannot believe that she could memorize that entire verse. She was thrilled to get 2 treasures out of the box because she did such a good job.

Right now she and Jeremy are in the living room learning "sight words" from a set of flashcards our neighbor gave us. They have been sounding out words for an hour and a half now. Every time Jeremy decides they are done she protests and wants to do more. She spent all of sacrament meeting today writing the alphabet and then copying words I wrote for her. She is loving learning to read and write. I am so proud of her.

Jeremy and I are doing well- more of the same for us. My students had all-region tryouts this weekend and I am excited to find out tomorrow how they did. My brother, John, got engaged last weekend. I figure since he put it on Facebook, I can put it here. We are anxiously awaiting details. Her name is Silver and she is from Decatur (I think) and is in the Air Force learning Russian at the same linguist school as John. She is actually the one that got him looking into the linguist program last year. We are really excited for them.

That is about it here. This week will be a busy one, but that is how we like it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween

It seems like when you have children that Halloween is not a single day event. Around here it lasts an entire week (or longer)! Unfortunately we missed our neighborhood trunk-or-treat while we were at my sister's, but we more than made up for it this week.

On Monday, she got to wear her costume to dance class for a party. Her teacher dressed up as Snow White, which thrilled all of the girls. Here is the first look at the Alice in Wonderland masterpiece I created.



Here is her entire dance class.


On Thursday her school hosted "ARKTOBERFEST" (get it, Noah's ark, plus oktoberfest!) Cute. They asked that all the kids come dressed up as animals. Sorry, I already made a costume and you are going to wear it. This caused a monumental break down Wednesday night. When she calmed down Kirsten told me that she wanted to be a butterfly. Great, I thought, it is 8 pm and there in NO WAY I have time to put that together. Then she added, "I can wear my purple leotard and wings from my dress up box and you can make me antennas." The result...


The cutest purple butterfly EVER - and totally the creation of my genius four year old!

They had a bounce house and carnival games and I was able to help for an hour before heading to work. They also had a Fire Truck, which was of course the highlight of the day. Here is most of her class with the firetruck.


Friday night was our ward's trunk-or-treat. We had to do the whole thing outside since our ward is so big. There were two bounce houses, chili, hot dogs, and hot chocolate- thank goodness. It was a chilly night. The wind caught Kirsten's plate and blew it into her spreading ketchup all up and down her apron only a few minutes after we arrived. I was able to wash most of it out before she started walking around. Her favorite part was handing out the candy by our car. By the way, Jeremy was loving that we now have an SUV and he was actually able to decorate the back of our car for the first time!

Does she look excited to get candy?

Here she is with her best friends, Madelyn and Macy.

On Saturday night we actually had the adult session of our Stake Conference. We felt like we needed to go, even though it was Halloween. I was sure glad we did. It was one of the most amazing meetings that I have ever attended. We learned so much and were uplifted and motivated to improve and change many things in our family.

So on our way out we took Kirsten to trick-or-treat Grandma and Grandpa Lowe. It turns out they were not planning on handing out candy, but Patty bought a bag just in case Kirsten came by!

We then took Kirsten to the Hope's house and Megan took her trick-or-treating for us. I think that she prefers her as a companion. Mommy gets bored after about 3 blocks. Apprarently they went out for almost two hours and they filled and dumped her pumpkin 4 times. I sure hope Jeremy's co-workers are enjoying all that candy!

So thank you, Megan, for making sure that Kirsten still had a great Halloween.

Halloween sure is a whole lot more fun with kids. Did I mention that Kirsten has already picked out her costume for next year....

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kentucky

After the Race for the Cure, I jumped in the car with Kirsten and drove to Kentucky to help Anne with her baby. We only made it to Memphis on Saturday and then drove the rest of the way on Sunday. It is only supposed to take 13 hours to get to Lexington from here, but it took us 18 there and 19 to get back. I guess that is just the joy of driving with a 4 year old. I swear she had to stop about every hour to hour and a half. Oh well, at least we made it.

Kirsten and I both had trouble with our allergies while we were there. I think it is because they actually have a fall in Kentucky. This is what the trees in front of my sister's house look like.

BEAUTIFUL!!!
Kirsten did point out that a few trees are starting to change here too, it is just not the same though.

Kirsten's favorite thing to do was hold Emily. She did it any chance she got, and was even able to give her several bottles on her own by the end of the week.


Of course, anytime that I held Emily, this is where Kirsten would put herself.


Here is a picture of all of us. We sure have a lot of girls in our family!


And finally, all four grandaughters. Still no grandsons in the Lowe family. Sorry.


We had a wonderful trip. It was crazy busy with all of the older kids and their homework and extra activities. I don't know how she does it all the time while working full time. I was sure happy to come home with just one! My sister seems to be falling back into motherhood fairly easily, her older girls are 12 and almost 14. Emily is a great baby, she eats nonstop, and she is beautful. She looks so much like Kirsten did as a baby that sometimes I actually thought she was mine and forgot that mine is 4 and sitting next to me. It was hard to leave, but great to come home. Kirsten and I missed Jeremy terribly, although he stayed super busy with work.

Jeremy's team at work actually won the Five Star Team Service Award this year for the entire company. Their team of about 10 were the first production team to ever win the award, it typically goes to development. He is doing such a good job and has really found his nitche. I am so proud of him, and thrilled that even the heads of the company recognize what a good job he is doing.

I will post soon what we have been up to since we got home. It has been quite a busy week.

Race for the Cure

Saturday, October 17th, I walked the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure 5K. I went with two good friends, Haley and Kim.



I walked for my Grandma Adams, my mother's mom, who is a breast cancer survivor.



I had delusions of being able to run the 5K, but this is the crowd that we were in the middle of. When you are in the midst of 30,000 people, it is hard to move, much less move quickly.





It was a truly powerful event. I spent most of the walk crying. It was amazing to share stories and laugh and cry with others. This will have to become an annual event for me from now on. Thank you Haley for motivating me to do it.