Our Ballroom Babe

Madeleine joined the school’s ballroom team this year. She loved every minute of it! With her mix of choreography memorization skills and theatric pizzazz, she wowed Rob and I every time she got on the dance floor.

She went to practice twice a week before school and practiced in our family room every afternoon. She loved going to competitions and really enjoyed being part of a team.

Her team did really well and went to state (which is where Rob and I had our first encounter with a real dance mom…Scary and yet so hard to look away!).

We are so impressed with her instructors and are grateful that they work so hard to give these kids an amazing experience.

Madeleine had quite the birthday this year. She decided months earlier that she wanted to use her present and party budget (and saved her own money) and stay overnight in a hotel with her cousin. We had a lot of fun! Since the hotel was mostly paid for with points, she was able to choose some fun activities to do including going to Classic Fun Center, a movie, and Build-a-Bear.

When we arrived back at home, she found her sister had made a surprise for her…rice krispie treat hedgehogs!


Although her celebration had already been a blast, Rob and I decided to throw her a surprise party anyway…at SWIG! It was a swinging success!

While we are on the subject of Madeleine, I have a funny story:

Madeleine and I had a dentist appointment this week. She has a cavity and I have one from a couple of years ago that needs to be redone. She really wasn’t looking forward to it. The day came and I was still congested and getting over a cold. I decided to reschedule and when I called they asked if I wanted to reschedule Madeleine’s as well. “Why yes, let’s do that,” I said.

Madeleine came home from school and immediately started crying because she was so nervous. I broke the good news to her and said we were going to sneak away to go shopping together instead. Well now that cheered her right up, of course! So off we went to the Outlets.

She requested mini pretzels and we sat down on a bench in the lovely sun eating them together. I remarked, “This is nice!” She responded,

“Yep! I would be sitting in a chair with a weird man hovering over me,

but instead I’m sitting on a bench…eating pretzels…

like a BOSS!”

I laughed pretty hard and told her I love how funny she is. She says “I know. It’s one of my great qualities.”

Sure is!

When in Doubt, Do Disney

When in doubt, do Disney.

If you’re really ready to rock it, bring on BSB and the beach.

I’ve already posted about this Springtime trip, but now it can be enjoyed by my family via video.

So go ahead. Enjoy it. Enjoy it, I said!


BSB, Disney, Beach

Where do I even start? Ahh, yes. The beginning.

Last fall my mom bought tickets to the Backstreet Boys concert in Las Vegas for my little sister’s March birthday. My sister was screamin’ thrilled! Originally, it was going to be an girls trip but a few weeks before leaving I convinced most of us to turn it into a Disneyland trip as well. After all, we were already going to be halfway there so why not just keep on driving a measly few more hours to Mickey? Sounded reasonable to me!

We stopped for red rock playing in St. George before getting to our hotel in Vegas.


The men stayed with the kids while the women fancied up for our big night out. At least, we thought we were fancy until we saw all the other 7,000 girls really dressed up! I wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy the concert since I hadn’t even thought of listening to BSB since I was maybe 17…but as soon as the music started, so many fun memories of my teenage years flooded back and the ambiance and enthusiasm was so fun and infectious! We sang and danced our hearts out the entire time.





The next morning we played at the park and had a big brunch before the rest of us headed west, making it to Anaheim right at bed time.

Here is Rob and Jake doing a Duo This Not That!

Jake was playing a game with the kids where he had to catch them and put them in jail.


Disneyland was, well…the happiest place on earth, of course! As long as you plan well and “just keep swimming” then it’s all good. We rode and rode and rode and had so much fun doing it. California Adventure the next day brought more good times.

These next two pictures make me giggle. 

Then it was time for some beach!

That night we all headed to the hotel pool to celebrate the birthdays of my sister and my mom (which both took place during the trip). I grabbed some pies from the bakery next door and we had a POOL PIE PARTY!! Or was it a PIE POOL PARTY!! Either way it was a genius idea and one of those memories that will always be treasured.


Rob and I decided to try our hand at driving straight home the next day rather than stopping in Vegas or St. George as usual. We were a little apprehensive about how the kids would handle it but I have to say that it wasn’t bad at all. In fact, I’m sure we will be doing that a lot more often from now on.

THANK YOU, mom, for making this trip possible! It was so great to go with her and my sister’s family. We’ll have to do it all again someday!

Monthly Spotlight: October

Here we are the week before Christmas. Do you know what that means? It’s time to post about October!

First up, Caroline’s 6th birthday!

Since she is such a candy lover we did an All Candy All the Time party for her. We played candy-themed music in the background, played candy games, and decorated cupcakes with the candy that we won. The highlight was when I dressed Rob up as a “Human Piñata” and let the kids loose to chase him around the yard. It was hilarious and well worth the hour it took to hot glue 200 pieces of candy on his shirt. Unfortunately I lost the video 😦

We sent all the kids home on a serious sugar high! You’re welcome, parents.

My sister asked me what gift she could get Cara and I said bath toys… which I guess meant bath paint and crayons. I was seriously startled when I turned around one evening to find this! Geez! I guess we will call it even for when I got her daughter a big container of beads. Haha!

This is one of our favorite playgrounds and it’s even more fun when you’re there with cousins. It’s in Saratoga Springs if you’re interested in climbing the super tall pyramid or swinging on the best swings ever.

I love this picture of Madeleine in her braids.
Next up, Halloween! 

Madeleine received bins and bins of sewing fabric and notions from her grandma and has been very busy with her creations. She designed and sewed her own genie costume for her school Halloween parade! I’m in awe of her creativity!

Cara and I were at the store one day and she had a lot of fun dressing up as different food items!

I don’t have a picture of Nate in his costume. He decided to be a basketball player and just wear a jersey he already had from a couple of years ago. When I asked him why he decided on that he said, “Because I wanted a new basketball but I didn’t want to earn money to buy one myself. I knew if it was part of my costume you’d just buy it for me.” Sly kid…

When the girls were gifted some beautiful hand-me-down dresses from their aunt’s growing up years, they fell in LOVE immediately! They just don’t make dresses like this anymore, you know? So pretty and twirly! They started calling themselves “Old-Fashioned Girls” and two months later they are still wearing the dresses to church almost every Sunday.

Here they decided they wanted to look like “Creepy Dolls” slowly rocking in their chairs. Haha!

Rob bought a Sirius Black magic wand at Comic Con and really likes dressing up for occasions. As usual, he was too busy to put together a costume so Madeleine and I took it upon ourselves to help a wizard out.

I bought a long, black “Diva Wig” and cut it to the right length. Then Madeleine and I sewed some fabric together for prison garb. It was pretty easy since it was supposed to look all raggedy. Perfection not needed! Rob had time to spray paint the stripes. Looks pretty convincing, I’d say and he even won best costume at work (a spooky skull candlestick)!

Except someone did mistake him for Jesus…

The most hilarious moment of the evening was when our bro-in-law walked in dressed up as Rob himself!! He painted his hair and beard dark (he is normally blonde), put on glasses, found his best Rob Clothes, and brought some “Dirt Blueprints” to carry around. I’d say he really hit the mark!

Here’s Cara’s super creepy picture!

And finally?
Just waitin’ at the doc’s office… Your kid does this too, right?

That’s it for October! It was a great month!

Positively Pumpkinlicious

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Well it’s the weekend after Thanksgiving which is traditionally when we post Halloween pictures. Not on purpose, that’s just the way it works around here. We didn’t get any pics of our kids in their costumes, only video. Nate was Steve from Minecraft. He and Rob made the costume out of boxes. Madeleine was a black panther (NOT a black cat!). And Caroline was Ariel at one party, a rodeo cowgirl at another, and just in a dress on actual Halloween.

We, with my mom and dad, brother and sister-in-law, sister, and all their kids went to a farm in South Jordan for their fall festival. They had all sorts of free activities which we enjoyed.

Corn Maze

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Pumpkin Patch

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug


Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug


Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

and a live band and free food. It was a fun morning!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

More Family Pics

Baby Rylee

My sister had her baby while we were in Delta. A couple of days later we went to visit and snap a few pictures. She is so sweet and beautiful and from what I gather, a really good baby. Yay!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

 Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug 

Apparently she makes this scornful face a lot 🙂

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug


Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug



Holding her mama’s finger.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug



Aww. So cuuuuute.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Prego Xs 2

Nope. No twins here. No singles, either. But two of my four sisters are pregnant so we did some quick pics of them in our parent’s front yard during a birthday party.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug



They are both wearing pink and both happen to be having girls!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug


Pretty Ladies! I couldn’t decide if I liked Karen’s better in color or b&w so you get both.


Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug


Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug


Congratulations and love to the both of them.

Grandmother Allred’s Party

My Grandma Allred moved back to the area after living away for too many years. We are happy she is close again and we get to visit with her at all the family get-togethers. Madeleine seems to be particularly happy about this.

For her birthday, my mom wanted each family to get a picture with her.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug


Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug


Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug





Here are some other candid shots from the evening.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug



Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug


Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug


Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug


We love grandma!!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug