Happy Thanksgiving.

Okay....it's happening.  I'm scared of my blog.  So much has happened (of course), so I'm not going to make promises I won't keep about writing about it all.  Suffice it to say that we are all alive!  And happy.

My brother had us take pictures in front of a white wall for purposes unknown....hence these mug shot photos.

Ryan's done with his Army residency program and now works unsupervised on post.  I know he is really glad that he did the residency, but he's also really really glad to be more on his own.  We'll be stationed here in Oklahoma for 2.5 more years.  When Ryan's not at work, he's working on our house here at home.  Right now he's finishing up the master bathroom.  He's tiled just about every surface there is.  He's been doing so much around the house!

I've been busy trying to keep up with cleaning our new house!  Life is good and busy.  We had friends over for Thanksgiving, and luckily I didn't ruin the turkey.  And it was honestly a close call.  


Josh is doing really well in school.  He is such a good little boy.  He told me that he told his friends that we're all brothers and sisters, and he was surprised that they didn't believe him.  :) I can definitely tell he's learning little sayings at school, but so far he hasn't come home with anything naughty coming out of his mouth, so I'm grateful for that!

 Carter is so sweet.  He has become more timid the older he's become.  He loves to laugh and play with kids, but he doesn't like being the focus of any adult's attention.  He tries to avoid conversation and eye contact if he knows people are watching.  I'm one of the lucky few that gets to know the whole Carter!!

Landon is still a firecracker!  He goes to time out in nursery quite often for wrestling the other children...ha.  I guess that's what happens when you're the third boy!  Landon would much rather be naked than dressed.  He's happiest running around in a shirt and diaper...only because I make him wear a shirt.  :) He's really starting to talk, and it's so much fun to hear more of what goes on in his little head.

Here's the girls from Thanksgiving, minus Marianne.  There's Jasmin, Catlin, Katie, Aleisha, Tiffany, and Michelle.  We had a lot of fun!

 And a bit late, but here's our Halloween picture.  Josh was a ghost, Landon a construction worker (he wouldn't wear his race car costume!), and Carter a prince.  The fact that Carter wanted to be a prince melted my heart.

 This is just a cute picture I had to squeeze in.

We tried to get family pictures with our friends' help...but this is the best we got.  And by best, I mean, this is the best by far!  Maybe we'll make one more try before accepting defeat.

Mother's Day Pictures

I have really fallen behind on keeping good family records, so thus I'm posting pictures from Mother's Day after Father's day.  Go figure.

Happy Birthday Dear Carter

Carter is an official three year old now! And what a three year old he is! We celebrated with a pirate birthday party-with about 15 kids in total. I find it hard to knowwho to invite and when to stop. So we tried to invite school and babysitting co-op friends, but then we couldn't forget our good friends who are moving away soon, and then we couldn't leave out one of our best friends, and so the list got rather long. It was a lot of fun though, and I didn't have to do a lot of planning, because just feeding the kids and opening the presents took up a lot of the time. Carter did a really good job of thanking and hugging all of the kids--he gets rather bashful when he's the center of attention.

It was pretty cute when we sang happy birthday to him. He was a bit apprehensive when we told him to blow out the candles, but once we told everyone to blow them out with him, he got a huge smile on his face and blew out the candles with his friends.

For Carter's birthday dinner, he wanted to go to the pirate restaurant. It was actually called The Three Amigos...hah. I loved it; probably because I ordered the best dish. At the end, the waiters/waitresses came out and put a sombrero on Carter and sang to him. He hid behind it the whole time--it was pretty funny. He must get that bashfulness from Ryan or something, because being sung to was what I liked best as a kid--being the center of attention for a whole minute while all the other kids looked on jealously.

Carter has such a sweet personality. He is the best 3 year old sharer I know of. At least when it comes to food. He loves to laugh with friends, to be entertained by them. He absolutely loves getting dirty in any way. He is a good sport about trying new things, whether it be some kind of play, new food, or new whatever. He loves to hide from people and jump out to "surprise" them. He loves to dance and color. He absolutely loves little figurines, especially Legos right now. He's into anything that has to do with pretend and loves to dress up. He loves Spiderman and transformers, not that he's seen any shows with any Superheroes in them...:) He loves to wrestle and go on dates with his dad, but I think he's still a mama's boy. I just love him and his sweet smile. I don't know of anything cuter than seeing that on my sweet boy's face.

Army Ball and....

Ryan and I after the army ball. We forgot to bring a camera, whoops! The ball was a dinner with a lot of talking, traditions, power point presentations, and a little bit of dancing at the end. There were a lot of laughs, a lot of me getting in some good people-watching, and good company, but I was definitely ready to end the dinner part and start the dancing part. We had a sitter that was expecting us home at 10:30pm, and I wanted to get a few real not-dance-by-yourself-in-your-house dances in. But I loved going to something fancy and formal with Ryan. I still get that shy/excited feeling when we go out, when he opens my door and guides me with his hand on my back....That's either a good sign, or a sign that we don't go out enough!

I'm trying to get more pictures taken of me, because I'm usually the one breaking out the camera. I feel a wee bit stupid for saying, "Hey, take a picture of me!" but I figure it's better to have documentation of me with my boys than to worry about maintaining any sense of pride.

Landon really enjoyed his cupcake for the first half, then decided it wasn't as great as he first thought. That's how I usually feel after my second-or third-handful of skittles.

Landon all clean and sweet as can be after his bath.

Some of my favorite pictures of my two younger brothers are of them in their church clothes when they were little, so I thought I'd take Josh out to do a quick photo shoot of him in his shirt and tie. He didn't disappoint. And if any of you know Ryan's family, I think you'll agree that Josh is an Allen through and through. Sometimes he looks like Ryan, sometimes he looks like uncle Scott, and sometimes he looks like uncle Matt. Luckily for Josh, all of them are good looking, so he shouldn't have too many worries about his future prognosis as a stud muffin.

This is why moms are so attached to their boys! I just think he looks so sweet and innocent in this picture. Don't grow up, Josh! Don't do it!

Eh, he did it. He's no longer a little boy. He's a pre-teen.

Carter has a determined (code for stubborn) side to him, but he also has this near-angelic side to him that makes me want to just eat him up. He and Josh have to sit right next to Ryan at dinner time, so Ryan's always squished while Landon and I have the rest 3/4 of the table to ourselves. Works out quite nicely!
Look at that love! That is one happy and lucky boy.

Dinnertime. Lucky Ryan, isn't he?

And one last picture just for kicks. Carter is all ready for his hair cut.

Life in Lawton

Kissable little Landon.

So life is going well for us here in Oklahoma. We were able to close on the house that we wanted so we are really excited! We got an amazing deal and feel extremely lucky to have gotten it. With it being a foreclosure that needs work done, we'll close on the house mid April and then move into it the first of June. That is if everything goes according to plan...

We just finished a fun run of pink eye in our house hold. Luckily I don't think we passed it on, but we had all the boys taking medicine just in case. Landon was the main sufferer of the group though. Let me tell you, putting eye ointment in your 4 year old's eyes and almost 3 year old's eyes is no joke. Putting it in four times a day along with eye drops every three hours for your baby is simply hilarious. I am so glad to be done with that!
This Friday is the army ball for dentac, and I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty excited! It's nice to have a reason to get dressed up, and it's really nice that it's something that Ryan basically has to go to. We're going dancing and I'm not forcing it on him...basically because it's the army forcing him to go instead. Hah.

It seems like the kids are growing up so fast. Life really has a way of sneaking past you when you're not looking! I'm loving this stage of life. Landon's starting to talk and get this little toddler personality, Carter's acting more and more like he's four, not almost three :), and Josh is ready to start kindergarten...or junior high, one of the two. And just now, I took a break to chew out the kids for being nosy while they're supposed to be asleep. So much for that touchy-feely moment I was having! Someday I will be that perfect mom...maybe that's what a grandma is.

The boys went to play outside during our one big(ish) snow storm. The snow was melting pretty fast, so the boys ended up playing in lots of mud.

Ryan's doing really well with the residency. I'm quite proud of him. He puts a lot of effort into his work, and he's just naturally good at it. It's fun to see his professional side, and when I do, it often makes me think I don't have a clue as to how great a guy I got married to. Do you ever do that? You ever see your spouse in a different light and think, "Huh. I'm pretty lucky to be attached to this one"? I do. It's nice to have those moments.

Bowling night with the kids. I almost beat Ryan! (Or maybe I got a 41...)

A few pics

Here is a picture of the home Ryan and I really really want to get. It's a foreclosure, so we have these grand ideas of buying it cheap(er) and fixing it up. We'll see about that.
I'm so happy we started a babysitting co-op group! Now I can force Ryan into taking me out!

I told Josh and Carter to show they love each other. I think they did a pretty good job, don't you?
Then Josh wanted to have a picture showing love for the pillow pet, but Carter wasn't done showing "brotherly" love....hah, he still wanted to hug Josh.

I jog on our treadmill every Saturday morning while Ryan watches the kids. Well...Ryan let Landon out of his high chair, went to wipe it off, and in that smidgen of an amount of time, Landon ran over to the treadmill and face planted it. It was pretty sad! He is so tough though. No joke. I think it's probably because he's always getting injured from running and falling, walking into things, etc, etc.

Here's a picture of his sad little face a day or two after. I knew it would look messy!

I love Landon's laugh and smile. He's such a tease and loves to be teased.

Landon and his birthday cake, or what's left of it. He went to town on it! I think he enjoyed squishing it and destroying it -with out getting in trouble- more than anything else.

My dad took some pictures for Landon's birthday, and right before the pictures, he fell on his face on the concrete. :/ If he survives to age 5 we'll be lucky!!

I love this picture. Would it be bad to cut out sweet, little, not-paying-attention Carter?

While the Cat's Away...

We've had a bit of a busy time here in Lawton.  My mom came to visit first, then my dad and sisters Erika and Nicole. 

My brothers came to visit on Christmas and stayed keep me company while my family is in Utah.  We had a good time going to visit his mission in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.  Here are some things we did:

BYU beating Tulsa at the Armed Forces Bowl:

A Museum in Ft. Worth (a few van Gogh's, Michelangelo's first painting, Matisse, etc):

We also visited the areas Scott lived in.  An average home in Southlake, TX...

My cousin Becky and her family were nice enough to let us stay at their place, which was a lot of fun.

After my brothers went home, I got a nice phone call from my buddy Charles from NYC.  It seems he was dying to see Lawton and its numerous attractions.  So he came and stayed the weekend.  Always stylish, Charles drove up in his dream car:

Beautiful car Charles, beautiful...

We have had a lot of fun, and to be honest, I've been surprised at how many visitors we have had lately.  Ashley, now it is your turn.

However, now I'm all alone.  I don't remember the last time the house was this quiet... or this clean... :)