Monday, May 31, 2010


Sunday lunch at Canes & Walkers (K&W for those who aren't familiar with Shayne's nickname)

LOOK Mommy

Isaiah exclaimed- pointing behind me

at that boy

he's like us

      Yes, he is like you I replied

excitedly, he's tries to get out his thoughts...

he's br...; he's bl... he's Gray!

I laughed-

Isaiah got embarrassed and hid his face in my shoulder

I hug him and explain that I am not laughing at him- I try explain that what he said was cute (he's 4, remember)

I tell him it made my heart happy, so I laughed

Isaiah smiles...

Again, I notice the African American woman who had been glaring at us the entire time we were eating our lunch and couldn't help but think that maybe she needs some gray in her life.

Gray is good!

Saturday, May 29, 2010


is what we felt when hearing the sudden and unexpected news

we were expecting news of organizational changes at work, but not expecting the news that was delivered

my boss' position eliminated

Things are constantly changing in our corporate world; I get that. Most change is for the better- this one, not so much.

She is truly one of a kind..A wealth of knowledge.  Leads by example.  Respected.  I could go on and on; but in the midst of all of her responsibilities- she stayed kind, caring, funny and focused on what was truly important (the whole life/work balance issue- she encouraged the right things)

She will be fine since the qualities and experiences that make her a treasure to us, will be invaluable wherever she goes.  It won't be the same walking into that building. 

I have nothing but respect and appreciation for her; our relationship was more than just professional- she is a friend. She is a blessing.  I will miss her.  I am sad.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Truth & Trusting

As is the norm for our family and probably yours, this week has been full of ups and downs.  It started Sunday with an awesome discussion with my man. It was one of those married people talks. Intimate conversation. It exhausted me mentally so much so that I haven't "felt" like blogging because my emotions are spent, and lets just say menopause is rampant in the Allen house this week. But, it was one of those conversations that I haven't been able to forget about.

John 8:32  "And you will know the TRUTH, and the truth will set you free" 

Why is it that we tend to avoid that which sets us free.  It is difficult to look truth in the eye and so we avoid it, even when it is under our noses.  No, Rex and I didn't have any secrets to reveal, wasn't talking about that kind of truth;  but just tired of playing games and living religion based on rules and not a relationship.  Nothing new- just seeing it with fresh eyes, if you will.  Not because we were avoiding it, but just seemed to miss it.  That's where the freedom comes into play- when you find it, WOW!

God is showing Rex truth, and as he is seeing it, he is showing me.  That's what a husband is supposed to do, right?  That's what I've prayed for all these years.  So, why is it hard to trust him in this?  Because sometimes truth seems ugly, requires action and change and so we avoid it.  I am thankful that Rex is not avoiding it, he is finding freedom and I'm tagging along.  I'm not sure I completely understand it all- it is scary to let go of  tradition, and rules and religion when that has been your security.  But because Jesus is the Truth- he is the source of truth and the perfect standard.  That's why truth is sometimes ugly; when we look at things- our circumstances, choices, failures, wants, desires, etc. compared to Jesus, it reaks of ugly.  Thankfully, He sets us free, not to do whatever we want to do; but freedom to be a follower of God.  Freedom to enjoy Him.  You can keep all the rules (you'll never be able to keep them either) just give me Jesus.  I want the relationship.

I know it may surprise some of  you to learn I am a bit of a control freak, so it is a learning process to trust  my husband as he leads me in truth.  Don't judge me, I doubt it is a piece of cake for you either.   I am so blessed that in Rex's search for truth, he is finding it and sharing freedom;  and our relationship with the Lord is becoming more real and precious.  
Wow, is that chains I hear falling to the ground?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Simple Saturday

Today, was good!

First, we got to sleep until 8:24 am (ok, so we woke up about 4 times before this, but we did get to keep dozing without little people at our door until 8:24)

Then, I did some laundry (turns out about 5 loads today)

Elijah helped his daddy mow....

in the rain.

My little dinosaur watched Ernie Haus and Signature Sound while I cleaned the kitchen - and he rode the couch.

Shayne, my little pyromaniac started a fire in the firepit, and he and Rex relaxed while it rained some more.

They pouted.

Rested up after their naps, a shoot-out in the soggy back yard.  Christopher their new friend watched. 

The dinosaur returns- "must play in mud"

Family Movie Night and Make your own pizza...

Even the teens got into it- creations included "K" and cheese-filled crusts

Lots of toppings to choose from- yummy!

This is goood pizza!

We watched The Spy Next Door, Elijah & Isaiah learned some new moves and then to bed for them.  Shayne, Phillip & Jacob are still going strong. My honey is sleeping sound next to me.  It's a little after 11pm, and after a dose of NyQuil, this mom is calling it a day.

A good day!  A Simple Saturday.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


They say there is nothing like a good cry.  Must be true, because there sure is a lot of it in the Allen household.
There is crying over:

who gets to turn the TV off

          who gets to rock first

the latest and greatest romantic comedy

DIRTY green basketball shorts   

the frustration over failure

         cutting onions

dropping scrambled eggs on the floor

over laughing too hard

and of course, crying over spilt milk.

There is crying over having to share, and not being shared with.  Crying over bee stings and skinned knees.  Crying over the last juice box, and not getting the first hug. Crying over 1 cookie and not two, and soda in a cup instead of soda in a can.  Crying because it isn't church day, and then crying because it's church day and not school day.  Sometimes, we cry because we are just so happy about something.  You name it, and it has been cried over. 

I personally have enjoyed crying for decades.  It was the one true release for me, when I felt the world was crashing in.  So, I guess it's only fair that my family enjoys it too.  Yes sirreee, we don't believe in wasting or saving up tears.  If they don't fall today, they might not get a chance tomorrow, right? 

Some days, it seems as if my kids wake up crying, and go to bed crying. (and even sometimes they are still crying in the night.)  I call it my "symphony of tears"  Now, E. cries because he can't quit crying.  yes, you read that right. 

I heard once that God saves all our tears in a bottle.  I don't know if I believe that (I haven't actually seen it in scripture, so I'm open to it)  but if that is true, the 5ALLLENZ must have a pantry full of gallon jugs full of tears.  I can't just blame it on my kids,  I still enjoy a good cry myself. 

Some days, you just need one, right. So don't be shy- cry.  And the next time you hear somebody say, "Cry me a River"  tell them you know a family that just might have that covered:)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mothers Day Weekend 2010

Mothers  Day-

I hated it for years because I wanted to be a mom so badly.  Then, I finally got to celebrate my first Mother's Day as a foster mom to Orlando and Ro-Ro.  I remember trying to figure out what the big deal was- that year was hard; and then I wasn't a mom again. 

And then I gave birth to Shayne.  Mother's Day became precious and I now look forward to the celebration every year.  I no longer skip church but get to stand up when they recognize all the moms.  Although my heart is always heavy as I wonder how many women are sitting there in agony because they are longing to be a mother themselves. 

Since Shayne was born, Mother's Day morning is usually a crazy one just trying to get to church, and then rushing  through the day trying to balance two momma's to love on and spoil while trying to enjoy being a pampered mom.  

This year was different- I got to have it all and "all" was relaxing, calm, and plain fun. 

It started on Saturday with a Girls Day Out (Thanks again, baby!)  Anyway, me, Renee and  Mom headed to the Tea Tavern for brunch.  Hot Artichoke Chicken Salad in a bread bowl. Yum.  We chatted, reminisced, ate and sipped tea.  (just us girls, no testosterone to be found.) 

Terri couldn't join us for brunch but we headed to her house afterwards to make bracelets.  Can I just say we had a blast.  A few dropped beads- well, a lot of dropped beads but the result was more than just 3 great bracelets- it was memories to cherish for a long time.  Adult female conversation, laughter and coffee.  Definitely a good time.

Renee tagged along with me while I ran errands - well, paid bills.  We can even turn dreaded money separation into fun before calling it a day around 5:30 or so.  

I picked up Frank's pizza on my way home and had dinner with my boys.  We played outside for a little while before I got to open my presents.  I know it was a day early but they were really excited.  They got me a new dress (a very long dress) and a great plaque for the fireplace. 

I struggled with whether or not I should feel guilty for enjoying time away from my kids especially as a Mother's Day gift.  I think that we all struggle with that balance, don't we.  Anyway, I decided no guilt for this gal.  

Sunday, I took the boys to church with me and while there grabbed a quick traditional photo with my buddies before heading home for the Mother's Day cookout at our house Rex planned for the Allen moms.

Teri, me and Murray- Faithful Friends!

The Dad's did all the work- including Rex's homemade patio potatoe salad and bananna pudding.  He really did take care of everything so I got to enjoy another meal without cooking.  Beth and Brenda came by later in the afternoon- it was nice having them at our house- and the cousins love playing together. 

Me, Jill, Ona & Grandma Allen (Iris)

Rex took the kids to cubbies and I took Grandma home.  I'm still trying to accept the fact that she turned 88 on the 6th of May- so hard to believe.   I helped her put out her new hanging baskets and then cut some peonies for me to bring home (ants were included for free, ewww.)  and hugged.  I kept hugging her again, and again.  I had a hard time saying goodbye to her for some reason.  Probably because I know how precious time with her is- so I lingered a bit.

After tearing myself away- I came home and had just enough time to move a bookcase and shelf and sit down for a few minutes before the dudes got home. 

Quickly back to the routine- I rock and put my boys in bed and then crashed with some Nyquil. 

Pastor Mike referred to motherhood as a bit of Jeckyl & Hyde in his message.  I so agree.  It does bring out my best, and at times my worst.  A quote I keep on my desk is--- "I don't have to be a perfect mom, I just need to be a praying mom." 

As I look back over the years, I know that being a mom is a direct gift from God.  I am truly blessed that He has allowed me to be mom to the three best kids ever. 

What a great Mothers Day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Poofy Hair No More-

Isaiah loves to brush his hair.  He calls it poofy.  He has a lot of hair now, because we've been growing it out so we can have it braided.  The day arrived.  We started the morning with church- Isaiah got himself ready.

After church, we went through Hardee's drive through for hotdogs and then to the Mall.  We had an appointment at Hair Plus with Chanel.  She was great. 

She was surprised by how still Isaiah was. 

Mommy was surprised by how still Isaiah was.  

He got really sleepy.

 Chanel says his hair is still a little short, but in about another month his hair will be perfect and then she can do "plaits" which will stay for a month. 

Chanel & Isaiah

Right now, he is enjoying his new hair which we are hoping to last a week.  He especially likes wearing the "cap"  (really mom's panty hose tied in a knot) on his head to bed--- in his green basketball shorts, of course.
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