Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Speaking of having a baby

Speaking of having a baby Dad, I went to the Doctor today. After Alicia wrote and said that she heard her babies heartbeat, and she is due at least a month after me, I decided it was time for me to go see a Doctor. So Jacob and I dropped the boys off at school this morning and then went. He is a wonderful man, and I am confident now that having my baby in Germany is going to be just fine. Although there are going to be some differences.
K, if you don't want to hear the details this is where you stop. :)

So, at the Doctors office, after the initial exam, he said he was going to give me an ultrasound. I guess he would rather see the baby then just hear it. So he asks me to walk from one room to another with only my shirt on. It wasn't past where anyone else could see me, but it was still a little strange for me to be walking around like that with the Dr. and the nurse in the room. OK, so then I lay on the bed for the ultrasound, and of course I pull my shirt up past my stomach so he could start. Well, I guess at least on early ultrasounds the camera goes inside of you rather than on your stomach. Wow! That was a surprise. After the initial shock, I got to look at the screen and see the baby and it was so cool. I could see the head and the body and the arms moving. He said the baby is big so either it is going to be a big baby (9 lbs is big and that was the size of all my boys) or I am a week off on my due date. I think the former is probably more correct.

So, all in all it was a good experience that left Jacob a little confused, but me a little excited. The Dr. will be great, and I am now totally convinced that there is a baby inside of me, even if all my usual signs of pregnancy have not reared their ugly head yet. Who knows, maybe my attitude will never become mean and nasty during this pregnancy. Steve certainly would be thrilled. :)

Sunday, January 28, 2007


K, so I just have to share my joy! I did a blog on Zuma a while back, and I have been faithfully trying to beat the game everyday since that blog. Jen Olsen beat the game about a month ago, which just made my desire to win even stronger. I was getting so, so, so close, but I just couldn't do it, UNTIL TONIGHT! What a great feeling to be triumphant. :)

Just thought I would share.

PS- Steve is still work diligently on beating the game. He hates that I beat it first, but HEY he won both games of Settlers that we played tonight, so oh well. :)

Thursday, January 25, 2007


So, I don't know what has happened to me, but I have turned in to a traveler I guess. We had been home for about a week from a long vacation to California and Steve and I were just getting the urge to go on a trip. So, of course we did. :) We have stayed in this same hotel in Triberg at least 4 times since we have been here, and we love going to this area for some reason. So last Thursday we left for a two day vacation, and took some friends of ours with us.

The first day we went to see the waterfall which was something we have done with both mine and Steve's parents. It was lightly raining all day that day, but it has been so warm here in Germany, that is wasn't too cold to be out getting wet.

The water was pretty dirty

In the evening we played a couple of games of Settlers which as you know is one of our favorite things to do, and the next morning we had a wonderful German breakfast of rolls, cold cuts, and cheese. That is one of my favorite things about this hotel, I just have good memories of their breakfast. :)

Then we checked out of the hotel, but we wanted to see one more thing before we headed home. Well, they had a brochure in their visitor info building that listed many different things to do in the area. There was one that talked about climbing on rocks and that it would be heaven for children. So... of course that is the one we decided to find. Little did I know that something that was advertised in a brochure would be SOOO hard to find. We asked 3 different people for directions, and had to turn around a couple of different times to find this place. I couldn't believe how hard it was to find. BUT, boy are we glad we did. We got out of the car and started on this little trail in the mountains, and it was absolutely gorgeous. The boys were thrilled because we were walking through the "black forest" which is what this whole area of Germany is called. We eventually did find some rocks, but they were right at the edge of a cliff, and I can't imagine anyone that would let their kids climb on them. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen though. So, it all worked out just wonderfully. And now a week later, I am ready to go see something else.

This was a clearing at the beginning of the hike. Steve couldn't resist, and broke into song with "The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music."

This is the rock at the end of the hike, it was at the top of the mountain and had quite a view as you can imagine.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Thank you Nana and Papa!

So, we did have a near perfect Christmas, but it was not complete without seeing the Hughes side of the family. The Hughes live in Virginia while my parents live in California, so you can see the dilemma here. We were with the Hughes last year for Christmas which was wonderful, but we missed them this year.

But of course that didn't mean we were excluded from their generous gifts. They sent us some wonderful presents that we are so grateful for.

They really hit the jackpot with one they bought for Steven, that will be used with all the boys I am sure. It is the "Hooked on Phonics" learn to read program. Steven would be in 1st grade if we were in the states, so therefore, he should be learning to read. I have attempted teaching him, but he showed little interest and as you can imagine, I don't have many resources. For some reason after Christmas, he decided he wanted to learn to read from this present that his Nana and Papa gave him. So we have been working from the workbook, and reading a couple of books from it everyday. He is so excited about it, and he reminds me that we need to read everyday. I am loving it of course because I am not having to push him to do it, and it means he is on par with his classmates in the states.

So, thank you to Nana and Papa for all you do for us, but we especially thank you for helping Steven get excited about reading.

This is a chart he gets to put a sticker on for every book that he reads. It is a great incentive.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


The day after Christmas Mom and Dad favored us with a wonderful trip to the beach. It was only a couple of hours away, and they paid for us to stay at this wonderful "Cottage Inn" where each family had their own room. And the rooms were beautiful.

These fireplaces were controlled by the heat in each room. So when the thermostat came on, it lit up the fire to heat the room. It was so nice. The boys are getting ready for a bath after their game of wave tag which left them and their clothes sandy and wet.

We started out with a nice lunch together, and then walked along the pier,

This is my sister Alicia walking with Jacob. She bought him this cool shell from a little shop and he was thrilled.

Steve and I with my Grandma

This cool bird just sat there at the end of the pier for most of the time we were there.

Some ventured out in to the water for a nice game of wave tag.

That night we put the kids to bed and continued our tradition of a game of Settlers.

Then the next day, we wanted to go see some tide pools, but it was windy and the waves were huge. So instead we stopped by the water, and most of the family got out and braved the crazy wind to explore a little bit. I personally didn't. I don't know why I wasn't feeling adventurous, but I wasn't so I stayed in the car, and had plenty of company. It was really WINDY!! :)

These are pictures from the morning that we were leaving. We wanted to get one last look at the ocean from the "backyard" of the hotel

And that was the end of our fabulous Christmas vacation with the Allred side. I felt like we were there the perfect amount of time, and Christmas was just wonderful. We miss everyone already, and now I am entertaining the thought of wanting to go back to the states. I just have to work a little on Steve.

Monday, January 08, 2007

California- Christmas!

So, keeping up with our current life, we actually got up and I got the boys to school today. And we were only half an hour late! Not bad huh. That was after laying in bed for a while thinking, do they really HAVE to go to school today. But I finally decided we had used all of our allotted time to get back to a normal schedule, so we went. And the boys went to bed at regular time tonight.

Christmas in California was fabulous. There was only one brother out of 9 siblings that was not able to come to Mom's house for Christmas this year, and that is because he is serving a mission in Washington State. So we were all OK with his excuse. There are also 4 spouses and 8 kids that have joined us. And it was so nice to be all together. Plus we got to talk to Evan (the missionary)on Christmas day, which was very nice.

Santa set up the presents beautifully for the kids. I feel bad because since we have been traveling so far for Christmases my kids don't think of their Santa presents as the BIG presents that I remember getting from Santa. He has to stick with presents that can fit nicely in a suitcase. But I also think that being with family on Christmas is part of their big present, so I guess it is not too bad.

Christmas morning was also wonderful. We all got comfortable and opened presents one by one, which didn't seem as drawn out as I thought it was going to be. Maybe for 2 reasons, 1. we stopped for our annual Christmas breakfast of quiche half way through, and 2. opening presents has always taken forever. With 9 kids each opening one at a time, I don't think it ever took under 2 hours and this only took 3.

The boys loved their chocolate first thing in the morning.

One of the things I got Nathan was playdoh with playdoh toys, and the kids seemed to really enjoy that after the presents were done.

I must also say, I have some of the cutest nieces and nephews around, so here are some pictures of their cute little faces.

Krista and Blake Skinner

Bryce with Blake and Kea

Brielle Buchanan

Landon and Aiden

Davin, Kea, Nathan and Jacob on the bed watching a movie

Sunday, January 07, 2007

California 2

It has now been a week since we got back to Germany, and today was the first day we got up before 11 so that we could get to church on time. I did put the kids to bed at 9pm tonight though, so hopefully they will be ready to go back to Kindergarten tomorrow. WooHoo!

So, our next adventure in California was to go see some Christmas lights. They did a great job with them, and I am glad we got to go.

My sister Laura with 2 of her kids, and my kids.

This picture of us is kind of blury, but I still think it is cute.

Jacob is all bundled up and ready to go. Even though it was in the 40's. haha

Then on the 23rd we had a Proctor family Christmas party which I just love that I have been able to be at for the past 2 years. This is my Mom's side of the family who we were very close to when we were growing up, and Mom and all her sisters have stayed in California, so they try to get as many people together as they can at Christmas time.

It was a beautiful day, and so the guys where out teaching Davin and Steven how to play baseball.

Then on the 24th we had our wonderful Allred family tradition of a Christmas program. This is always one of the highlights of Christmas to me. My Uncle Russ and Aunt Nancy and their kids come over and we have dinner and then we tell the story of the birth of Christ and sing Christmas Hymns that go with the story. When we were young we got to dress up as the people in the story, and now we get to dress our kids up. It is wonderful. Also the Russ Allred family has a wonderful music ability and every year one or more of them sing "Oh Holy Night" which has now become one of my favorite Christmas songs, because they do such a beautiful job of singing it. I just love our Christmas Eve tradition.

Steven as Joseph, Kea as Mary, and Davin as a Wise Man. Nathan was suppose to be a wise man too, but he pulled an attitude on us and refused. Surprise, surprise!

Jacob got the privilege of being the star that the wise men followed. He did a smashing job. :)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

California 1

JET-LAG is killing us here. We have been going to bed at 3am and sleeping until 3pm, until yesterday when I finally woke everyone up early and have been putting the kids to bed at midnight. I have only got 3 more days to get us over it before real life starts again. :) At least for the boys and I, Steve has already gone back to work.

OK, so now we can go backwards a couple of weeks, just so I can display my pictures. :)
Here is Steve at the airport, making good use of the cart.

The day after we got to California, our wonderful friends the Kirkhams came down from Monterey, where he is going to school, to visit. It was great to see them, even though it had only been 4 months. The kids had a great time together and us adults got to go out to eat while my Mom and Dad took care of all the crazy kids. It was so nice.

Then we did a lot of shopping and visiting and of course playing SETTLER'S. And I didn't get a single picture of us playing games even though that is what we did every evening, including Christmas Eve.

We also took our time getting over jet-lag. Just so you know the significance of these pictures, my boys NEVER fall asleep anywhere but in there beds. So this was very different for me.

Mom and Dad also got a huge Christmas tree this year, and it wasn't totally decorated when we got there. Which allowed us to finish the decorations. I went shopping with my sister while they decorated and left Steve with the camera. When I looked at the pictures he took, 90% of them where of my niece Kea who is adorable. I guess Steve is ready for a little girl huh?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year!!

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So, here I am back to the blogging world. YEAH! We had a wonderful 2 week Christmas vacation in California that I will tell you all about, but first things first.

I had planned on putting this blog up on the actual New Years Day, but Steve has been tinkering with the computers and put them out of commission our first couple of days back at home.

We had a wonderful New Years and it was very nice to be back in Germany. They really know how to light up the sky to bring in the Neue Jahr! We flew home from California on the 30th of Dec for a total of only 11 hours on the plane. Not bad considering it takes 14 to go there. Everything went smoothly and it is getting to be an easy trip, it just makes for a long day. :)

So we got home at 11am and going against the advice we give to visitors, we came home and slept for 6 hours. (you are only suppose to take a 3 hour nap to get over jet lag quicker) So, at 5pm we got up and cleaned up the house a little so we could have a New Years Party. We had a family from church, and a family from Steve's work come over at about 7. They both brought lots of goodies to snack on, and we had a nice fire going and as soon as we got the kids situated we started a game of SETTLER'S. We started the game about 9pm and since there were 3 people learning, the game took us a good 2.5 hours until Steve finally won. But that put us right up to party time so it worked out great.

We headed outside at about 11:50pm. The weather here is beautiful and we did not expect to be shooting fireworks off with temps in the mid 40's. It was very nice. We had tons of fireworks and when you add that to all the neighbors fireworks for miles around it was quite a show. We love New Years here.

And we are especially excited about this New Year, because we will be adding another Hughes to our family. I am only about 2 months pregnant, but we thought now would be a good time to announce it. The baby is due around August 13th and we are very excited to have another baby!

We hope all of you have a wonderful and prosperous New Year. It was so nice to see so many friends and family this past couple of weeks. Our lives our richly blessed from knowing you all.