What We've Been Up To...

Lots of football!  We have been loving the fact that we can go watch Clark every week play for Mountain View.  He is doing so awesome!  And now that the weather has been cooling off in the evenings, it is actually pleasant to be outside.  Go #31!

Brett was leaving for work when his car would not start.  He couldn't even put it into neutral so that we could back it out and use my car.  Thank goodness for closeby parents who let us borrow their car for the day so I could drop Brett off at work and then I could go to work.  And thanks to my dad who came and was able to jump it and move it so we had access to my car!

Brett's mom came into town so we spent the evening watching our neice perform in Gilbert's color guard (she does some amazing tumbling!).  And then went out to dinner with the rest of our adorable neices and nephews who live up here in the valley.  Have I mentioned that I love being an aunt?!  Look at those cuties!  And of course the rest of the night consisted of lots of giggling, Brett wrestling and tickle torturing the nephews, and youtube videos that gave us the giggles. 

Ice skating with the Pitneys!  They invited us to go with them, and we are so glad!  We had a great time, and love that we have friends closeby to get together with often.

with Blaine and Amy

the "awkward" shot :)

Working on more projects!  Thankfully Brett doesn't mind me trying to beautify our home if I am thrifty about it.  This is the chicken wire frame I made a while ago that is in our bedroom. 

Sorry for the crummy picture quality--the lighting in our bedroom is terrible!

Grandpa Owen's Screen Door: A Real Family Antique

Well first off, I should introduce you to Aunt Kaye.  I grew up in the same family ward ever since I was 6.  And as far as I know, Aunt Kaye was always in that ward too.  But...she wasn't always my aunt.  She's Brett's aunt!  But how excited I was to have Aunt Kaye as my aunt when I married him.  She was the first person we called after we got engaged (after calling our parents), and she screamed on the phone with excitement.  And then we woke up to an "engagment" gift on our doorstep the next morning.  Oh boy do we love her, and she takes such good care of us! 

Well one day, Aunt Kaye called me and asked if I wanted a turn having Grandpa Owen's screen door.  Grandpa Owen's is Brett's grandpa.  He lived with Brett and his family during his elderly years (I never did get the chance to meet him), but his true home was Panguitch, Utah.  Sound familiar?  It's the really small town you pass through on your way to Provo.  That's also the hometown to my mother-in-law Susan and my Aunt Kaye.

So one evening Brett and I went to visit Aunt Kaye and to look at the screen door.  I was in love!  Brett, being the wonderful husband he is, helped load it in the car and he even sawed off the very bottom (because it was rotting).  That is all we did to it--nothing else!  Now it sits in a corner of our kitchen.  I collected and made a few things to add to it.  Ideally I'd love to have them on a small bench--a little higher, so you can see them better.  But for now, having the decor on the ground is alright, I still love it. 

I have a few ideas for the walls surrounding the door, but I need to collect a few more little odds and ends.  I'm thinking a few more gardening components, a small collection of mismatched teacups and plates, and incorporating a little red to tie it in with the rest of my kitchen.  And I need time to work up the courage to ask Brett to drill a hole in the walls (the home is so old that those walls are made of SOLID cement--requiring lots of patience and making it nearly impossible to hang things).

Just a quick summary of the decor I added to the screen door (in case anyone cares, haha):

- Split-pea wreath (homemade--around $5 to make).  Tutorial here

- Grapevine Bird Cage (D.I. $3--I just pulled out the ugly little birds that were glued in it)

- Flower centerpieces (D.I. 50 cents each--there are 2 of them and I pulled out a few ugly flowers and added a few of my own I had on hand from the Dollar Tree)

- Gardening gloves (Wal-Mart--I actually use those)

- Gardening can (D.I. 75 cents, I spray painted it and still might distress it a little bit)

- Old books (Local thrift store, $1 each)

I love this screen door and the fact that it has some sentimental meaning and family history to it.  It's a great conversation piece as well.  I already know that if Brett and I are lucky enough to still have it when we move into a bigger home, that it would be fun to use it in our bedroom as a jewelry holder (use the mesh screen to hang earrings).  But then I might miss it in my kitchen...so who knows!

Ward Campout

Well this was several weeks ago, but I am just now getting around to blogging about it.  We decided to attend our ward campout because Brett had that Saturday off, and we knew it would be a good opportunity to get to know our ward members better!  We decided to carpool with another fun, young couple in our ward--The Whitings! 

Since Brett had work on Friday, we got a bit of a later start (and we decided we should stop at In-N-Out on our way...ya know...because it's a requirement to incorporate In-N-Out into roadtrips!).  We drove up in Brett's Corolla, and we were packed into the car.  The trunk was full, and the things that wouldn't fit were squeezed into every nook and cranny in the car, including on our laps.  I wish I had gotten a picture!

But the drive wasn't too long, although unfortunately, the ward handed out the WRONG maps to the location they would be at, so after we almost got stuck in the muddy road and when the gas light turned on and we were still looking around with no success, we just pulled off to the side and camped at some random campsite by ourselves.  Aubrey and Thomas couldn't even fit their tent in the car it was so full, so we even shared a tent.  But it worked out, because we were less scared of those weird noises we heard outside with us all in close quarters.  We just kind of laughed at our luck and the fact that we were in the middle of nowhere all by ourselves. 

We really liked these retro pumps

The next morning we woke up, and we headed to the nearest town to get gas.  On our way, we saw an exit off of the main road, not far from where we camped, that sounded familiar.  So after getting gas, we ventured down that road, and sure enough, there was our ward!  So we were able to still get a yummy breakfast and lots of visiting time with our fellow ward members.  And we found out that almost everyone got lost on their way, so we didn't feel so dumb. 

Aubrey & Thomas
We are so glad that we went!  The weather was fabulous and the company was even better!

Our Bishop met his wife at BYU Hawaii (his wife is Hawaiian)
and he played the ukulele for us

Brett and Thomas playing in the air soft gun war

And on a side-note: Brett and I now both have callings.  Brett is a ward missionary and I am CTR 4 primary teacher (wish me luck--the primary program is this Sunday and I have 6 VERY wiggly kiddos to managae up on the stand!).

Boo Treats

This is one of my "staple" Halloween treats, that I thought I should share.  They are super easy and extremely delicious!  My aunt taught me how to make these years ago and I've made them every year since. 

They are edible little ghosties 


Nutter Butter cookies
almond bark or white chocolate (I prefer almond bark--cheaper and easier to work with)
mini chocolate chips

Melt almond bark/white chocolate according to the package directions.  Using a slotted spoon, dip a Nutter Butter in the white chocolate until entirely covered, and then place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper/parchment paper.  Before almond bark/white chocolate has set up, place three mini chocolate chips on one end--creating two eyes and a mouth.  Let them set up and then dig in, package up pretty, and share! 

Obviously the downer to this is if anyone has any peanut allergies.  I am not sure of anything else that looks just like ghosts, but there is probably something out there.  Get creative!  Hopefully you have time to make a few of these this year!

Our Exciting Family News!

I married into a wonderful family.  Since the moment I met them, they have been so welcoming, supportive, and loving.  I feel so blessed to be a part of the marvelous Allred Family.  Brett's parents are fabulous examples, I love all of his siblings and their spouses, and I adore all of my nieces and nephews!

Just after Father's Day, Brett's dad was extended a call to serve as the MTC President in Chile, and his mom to be the Relief Society President there.  So we have known for quite a while, but we are now allowed to tell everyone.  It is a two year call and they leave the beginning of January. 

When I first heard the news, I was so happy for them, but selfishly--a little bummed.  I just got in the family!  I want them to be close!  But my sister-in-law Kami reminded me that they left to serve their first mission (in Texas) just a few days after she married into the family.  And by the time they will return home from Chile, Calvin and Susan will have been serving missions 5 of her 7 years of marriage.  So, I guess I shouldn't complain :)

We are excited for them and look forward to hearing about all of their great experiences!  Who knows...maybe we'll have to pay them a visit while they are there!

Labor Day Weekend

We had a fabulous Labor Day weekend.  We made a quick get-away to Southern California.  We found a smoking deal on Travelzoo for the Crowne Plaza Resort, so a while back we booked a room and planned our vacaion. 

I picked Brett up from work on Friday evening and we headed straight there, making great time--5 hours!  

Saturday morning we woke up, enjoyed breakfast at the hotel restaurant (it was free because it came with the room deal--normally $13 a person!).  Things we indulged in included custom order omelets, red velvet pancakes, french toast, and an assortment of juices, cereals, and pastries.

Following breakfast we headed over to Disneyland and spent the whole day there.  We are talking 12 solid hours.  We had a blast!  We thought it would be packed due to the holiday, however our average wait was around 20 minutes a ride, and when the shows were getting ready to start we literally walked on Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain, and Space Mountain!  We were in heaven! 

One of the traditional Disneyland pictures

Gotta love my face on Space Mountain. 
The rides were scarier than I remember! 

Waiting in line for the Matterhorn

Big Thunder Mountain

The delicious corn dogs (recommended by McKenzie and Cory!)

Waiting in line for Splash mountain. 
This trip I embraced the natural curl--too humid

And the other traditional Disneyland picture
We probably picked the worst time of day, but it was necessary

Sunday morning we slept in, attended nearby church services, and then hung out the rest of the afternoon and evening. 

Monday we slept in again, packed up our things, enjoyed our last breakfast at the hotel, and then headed to Newport Beach!  It was slightly overcast (of course!), so it was a bit chilly at first, but it warmed up.  We had a great time there.  Brett even went exploring a bit and saw some dolphins!  He enjoyed getting some great shots of the beach while we were there.  I enjoyed indulging in my book "Jane Eyre".

Oh man he is handsome!

Brett building a sand castle...I am indulging in Dr. Pepper

A great shot of the water Brett took

A crab he found while out exploring

Reading "Jane Eyre"

My mom told me before the trip to make sure I took a lot of pictures.
She said, "like don't forget to write in the sand at the beach!"
So this one's for her :)

Labor Day

And we're still newlyweds...so we can still take these kinds of pictures!

After the beach, we stopped by Chipotle and grabbed lunch and started making our way home.  But not without stopping by the Outlets on our way back to AZ!  Brett is such a good sport to let me stop to shop for a bit.  However, they were kind of a disappointment to be honest. 

We had such a fabulous time!  We are so grateful we had the chance to get away for the long weekend and relax from school and work.

A Great Day...of the Simple Things

I just need to remember this day.  It was wonderful. 

Brett's half day at work was today, so I picked him up from work and we headed to Last Chance.  We got some great dress clothes for Brett (since that's all he wears now for work) and I found some boots for $15 that I love for the Fall.  After that, we headed to La Grande Orange for an early dinner.  It was sooo yummy!  We ordered a pizza (half Gladiator, half avocado) and got gelato afterwards.  This was replacing our "out-to-dinner" date night this weekend. 

After that, we headed home for a fast nap and then headed over to my little brother's football game.  They won by a lot, Clark scored a touchdown, and despite it being toasty outside--there was a decent breeze. 

After the game, Brett wasn't feeling super well, so we had a low key night.  We showered and got in our PJs, I whipped us up some crepes to munch on, I did a quick face mask, and we enjoyed the remainder of the evening together. 

Today was wonderful.  Part of me wishes everyday could be this carefree and happy, but then I know I wouldn't appreciate when these days came around if that were the case.  And nothing earth-shattering happened.  It really is the simple things.  And we are just loving this whole marriage thing.  There can be stressful and tense moments or misunderstandings--but the joy most definitely outweighs those rough patches.  I am so blessed! 

I just can't wait until the weather cools down, so we can have some more outdoor time.