Easter, T-Ball, Grass, Triathlon

Easter is pretty low key around here. We had a simple Easter egg hunt at the park down the road and died Easter eggs. Then on Easter Sunday we had our Allen cousins over for Easter dinner. I love traditions and I love simple traditions. I guess it’s easier to stay simple when your kids are young.

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Showing off their Easter PJ pants that I made

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Funny boys

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McKay is playing t-ball this year and so far he really enjoys it. I think for now it’s his speed. He says he likes it better than soccer because he always gets a turn and he doesn’t have to run all the time. Don’t worry, I’m still working on changing his perspective.  Charlie is also having fun being one of the assistant coaches. It’s fun to see father and son playing together.

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Easter weekend we finally put in our grass. In a later post I will show all pics from the beginning of our backyard until now (for those who care to see it). Now that it’s been a couple of weeks we are now “allowed” to play on it. We play on it every day. We (or I) are so in love with our grass. It’s still the soft rye winter grass and so fun to play in. Yesterday we were camping and roasting marshmallows over a campfire (pictured below), and today we were cheetahs, lions, and wildebeests from Africa. My boys seriously have quite the imaginations.April 2013 064 April 2013 065 April 2013 066 April 2013 067

Last but not least, last Saturday I competed in my first triathlon. It was really so much fun. Yes, the distances were extreme, but I loved the variety of the sports. I’ve also really enjoyed training for it. Out of all the races I’ve competed in, including many 5k’s, and a half marathon, this was by far the most fun. I would definitely like to do another one some day. It started with a 300 yd swim, then a 8.4 mi bike, and ended with a 2 mi run. I did it in 1 hr 6 minutes. Mandi and Chris and our friend Aubrey from our ward, also did it with me. Charlie also sacrificed by watching the boys many hours as I exercised and by getting up early and bringing the boys over to watch me bike and run. It was fun to hear them cheer for me.

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Family Fun

In February Cam and Sarah came down to see us over President’s Day weekend. It was so fun to have them come play with us. We also took advantage of their youthful bodies and put them to work helping us level our backyard and shovel about 7 tons of dirt. We loved their short visit. It was also a good distraction for us because our dear friends, the Chattertons, moved to Oregon that week and we were all a bit blue. Tommy was one of the boys’ best friends and we met up almost every week to go to the park for about 3 years. Crystal and I would chat while the boys played. They were our family here in AZ. We really miss them!

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Sam, McKay, Tommy – 3 Amigos

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In March we made the long drive across 3 states to visit our cousins in Texas. The drive was long but the boys were champs! It was so fun to be with Grandpa and Grandma Clark, the McArthurs, and the Clarks from Ohio. Here are a bunch of pics from Texas.

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Luke & McKay

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Sam & McKay

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Alligator park

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Daring Spencer @ Alligator park

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Alligators up close

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Allen clan

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Say “Cheese”

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Baby blue eyes

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Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory

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Uncle Matt entertaining the boys while we wait

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Blue Bell Factory

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Happy Birthday Sammy!

This week Sam turned the big 3! Although he really wants to be 4 (because McKay’s 4 and I told him he could sit in a booster seat in the car when he’s 4), I think he’s proud of being 3. Sam is the easiest kid to buy gifts for because any gift he opens he excitedly says, “It’s just what I wanted!”

I am so thankful that Sam is a part of our family. He’s such a happy kid and keeps us laughing. He’s got a great imagination and loves to play/wrestle with his brother McKay. He tries to be a good brother to Nathan and lets me know when Nathan is crying or needs me. However, sometimes he forgets Nathan is a baby and sits on him and says, “Giddy-up horsey.”

Sam is full of energy and loves to ride his bike, play at the park, run around the house, dress-up, pretend, watch movies, do puzzles, play with play-dough, and read books. Sam also LOVES to help me cook/bake, because he loves to taste everything. His favorite “tastes” are cake batter, pizza dough, bread dough, pancake batter, and cookie dough. It’s super hard to make cookies with him around because I turn my head and he’ll snatch a ball of dough and run away. Then he’ll sneak up behind the island and grab another.

Another thing I love about Sam is his puppy dog sigh “Ahhh” when he’s sad, in trouble, or not getting what he wants. It’s pretty funny.

Happy Birthday Sammy! Life would be dull without you in our lives.



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Construction Cake

Construction Cake

Sam got a sandbox but he was too busy to ever look up for a picture

Sam got a sandbox but he was too busy to ever look up for a picture

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Head in the Game

Isn’t there a song from High School Musical called Get You Head in the Game? Maybe I’m thinking over another musical. Anyway, Samuel has his head in the game way to often. I seriously think about getting him a helmet just to wear around. The poor kid’s always hurting his head. One any given day he usually has one or two good size goose eggs on his head. Thankfully he’s pretty tough. Some have said that he needs to work on his coordination. However, he’s actually quite coordinated and athletic. I blame it on excessive energy and trying to do things he’s not quite big enough for yet. Anyway, today we got to visit Urgent Care again, this time for staples. While McKay was waiting for me to bring breakfast in bed (which I wasn’t going to do), I sent Sam in with a message to tell McKay I was not bringing in breakfast and that I was still in bed. Sam and McKay began wrestling on the bed and next thing I hear is a crack. I hear a lot of thuds, thumps, bumps, etc but this one I just knew it was going to be bleeding and would need stitches. Charlie hurried in to examine the injury (notice I did not jump out of bed). McKay ran into my room asking for me to forgive him because it was an accident (he does this often when he knows he’s in trouble). Charlie called for me to come and see. I slowly pulled myself out of bed and went to look, already knowing that we would be seeing a doctor soon. Yep! I was right. We headed to Urgent Care (because our family physician doesn’t do sutures -lame) after we ate breakfast, showered, and got read, and there they said that they typically use staples on kids heads. Sam was a true champ! He sat watching the cartoon and didn’t budge when they cleaned up the wound. I held onto him as they did the staples but he was so into the cartoon that he didn’t realize what was going on until they put in the first staple. Then he cried. . .for a small moment. They hurried and put in the second one and voila. Wound closed. Sam stopped crying and was more upset we had to go and he couldn’t finish the cartoon. Then they offered him 2 stickers which he took and said one was for McKay. Now that is true forgiveness. Giving a sticker to the one who caused such pain. Then they wanted to bandage it. That was hilarious. They wrapped his head like a “mummy.” We got some good stares leaving the office.  Sam is doing fine and I had to remind him throughout the day that we weren’t going to wrestle. . .at least for the rest of the day. Gotta love this boy!

*I told you we couldn’t get him away from the cartoons.

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Another head wound in December – no sutures necessary.  December 2012 003


Sam’s first trip to Urgent Care. We came away with a glued eyebrow.


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Christmas in Arizona

This year was the first year since we’ve been married that we have stayed home for Christmas. Although we both suffered a mild case of homesickness, we really did have a wonderful time. It was nice and relaxing and fun just to watch the boys be the center of the show. We have tried to set our own “Rachel & Charlie Allen” family traditions – some were a success and some have yet to develop. I have to admit though, it was still a little weird to be hanging out at the park in shorts the weekend before Christmas and then going to the park every day after (we love all the parks around here). We also took advantage of the nice weather to put in SPRINKLERS! We are quite proud of our work. :)

Tradition: Acting out Nativity (great costumes!)

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New Tradition: Christmas Eve walk to see the lights. We really do enjoy going on drives to see the lights. I think about every other night we went on some sort of drive to see the lights. We also enjoy seeing the lights at the temple (we forgot our camera).December 2012 057

Christmas morning! Sammy was so funny. Every gift he opened he would hug it and squeal, “It’s just what I wanted!”December 2012 059

Dress up box.December 2012 062 December 2012 063

Nathan’s 1st Christmas.December 2012 066

Yeah! Legos!December 2012 067

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Nathan sam and mcaky Sam fs tree Working on the sprinklers. Gets kind of tricky with lots of little helping hands. :) yard


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This is how we dress in Arizona during the winter. Flip flops, jackets, and pants. Ok, we do wear shoes and socks when it gets in the 40′s.


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A friend gave us this suit and McKay loves it because he looks like his dad & a missionary.




It got a little cooler (30′s-40′s) and McKay was cold so he’s trying to warm up in the sun. Arizona boy!

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Lately we have been finding Sam like this! He sits in the pantry, sometimes with his feet up on a stool, eating snacks. He could eat crackers all day! Funny boy!December 2012 085

Last week we also enjoyed a beautiful day at the zoo. Here the cougar was up close and starring at the kids. I think he was getting hungry. December 2012 087

We have been so blessed this year! It was a wonderful Christmas and we are excited for what the new year brings.