26 May 2007

THE OBX (outerbanks that is)

WOW we had the best time! A great big beach house walking distance from the beach, mom and dad, joni and jess and kids and our great friends the Bowmans! A big shabang before we leave our beloved East Coast! Just thought you'd enjoy a few pictures--the weather couldn't have been more perfect! YEAH!

Loves to you all!

23 May 2007


Greetings from the beautiful city of Vienna!! Tyler has had work meetings in Vienna this week, so we thought we'd all tag along. Monday afternoon (just after the electrition finished installing all of our light fixtures--i think 25 or 26 of them to be exact), we ran to the S-Baun (train) station to catch a train to Munich. We then got onto an international train that took us to Vienna. The ride was about 4 hours...and so enjoyable!! The seats were comfortable...we had plenty of space. We sat in 4 seats that faced each other, so we were even able to stretch our out legs...it was so great! The ride was non-eventful (luckily) but so enjoyable! I can't believe how beautiful the German/Austrian country sides are!! I felt a little silly, I kept catching myself saying "it's just so beautiful!" I know it sounds a bit trite...but it was exceedingly beautiful! For those of you that have been here, you know what I mean! It is just what you see in books and postcards..but it's real! Just lovely...I felt so blessed....the Lord does love us....what a beatuiful world!!

So, the kids and I have been having a great time...really relaxing and taking it easy. They are really enjoying the little treats that we've had--a wafer type cookie with haselnut-like nutella-inside...and then they are layered about 6 wafers high...they've been inhaling them! I'm wondering if that is what has led to our "digestinal unrest". I discovered the need to stay near a toilet for their sakes today...hmmmmm...they are enjoying a second bath today...could it be the new treats? I'm just wondering!

Yesterday we ventured out and walked down the Danube river, it was wonderful and beautiful...and we saw some very european scenes. For example, just enjoying the beautiful scenery around the river, people just jump off their bike, take off their clothes and lay out by the water's edge...some with speedo's on...some w/o!! I tried to shield my kids eyes as we walked past what I'm sure will be the first of many "topless" women sunbathing...

We're enjoing ourselves...and have taken a few fun photos. I'm not sure I have the cord to sinc the photos to the computer..sorry!!

I'll be back...love you all!!!

20 May 2007

Back from Mexico


Just thought I would drop a quick note to let you all know that Jodi and I had a great cruise this last week, celebrating our 10 year anniversary. For a first time cruise, it wasn't too bad, and we think we could've spent several days on Catalina Island. I must say though....whoever told me cruise food was good, must be on crack though.....the first day, we walked into one of the eating areas, and it smelled like tiny asian men cooking their own sweat....no kidding. From then on, every meal was tainted for us, and we lost collectively around 30 pounds by never eating.

First day was in L.A...enough said...let me say that everything we see on 24, you can believe it will happne in L.A...the town deserves it.

We spend the next day in San Diego-which was fun, walking around and seeing everything downtown....and we had some good chocolate at Ghiradelli's.

Next day was spent on Catalina Island--which was awesome....I could go there anytime.

Last day was spent in Ensenada, Mexico, where I received a lobster type sun tan, and afraid to touch any food. We spent the day being harrassed by the locals, and observing how dirty everything is....granted...I don't think I will go back there...AGAIN. I will stick to Cancun and other "Resort Mexico" locations.

Hope all is well with everyone.

19 May 2007


This morning I received a phone call from my friend, Frederik, regarding a "friends and family" pass to the pre-opening of Utah's new Disneyland, IKEA. Officially, the doors crack open on 23 May, but you can feel tent-pitching anxiety in the air. Do other cities have as many slumber-partying, tent-pitching crowds as Utah? For those of you that live outside of this Wasatch, what'cha think?

There was lots. And lots. Lots of lamps. Lots of beds. And lots of looking. I could have been purchasing, and in the ideal world, today would have been the day to do it — before the onslaught of public-purchasing comes next wk. I exercised a bit of self-constraint and refrained from the enticing, Swedish dishes and rockers (I did, however, purchase the Swedish meat-balls at the restaurant).

And if people ACTUALLY begin decorating their homes after-the-manner-of-I, I'm okay with that. I'm okay with it because it's smart, stylized, and non-spendy. It doesn't have the stuffed wild mountain goats like Cabella's, but what it lacks in camouflage, it certainly makes up in china and rugs.

I give it 4 stars, especially when you consider the fact that you are handed a MAP as soon as you enter the store and a friendly smile advising to "stay on the grey-painted road." Thanks, Dorothy. We are not in Kansas anymore.

17 May 2007

Thoughts and Prayers

Hello family,
I am soliciting your prayers in behalf of my good friend Julie Cluff. She lives in Houston. She was driving to North Carolina over the weekend with 3 of her kids and dozed at the wheel. She lost her two youngest ones. They were 8 and 10. She is really struggling. She feels guilty. They were sleeping on a bed and not in seat belts. Please buckle up all the time and if you are sleepy, stop and sleep. She is so devasted. She really needs to accept the atonement and try to cope. I ache for her but know that the power of prayer is real. I love you all . Hug each other and express your love all the time.


Summer Colds are a pain

Hey guys! We only have one more day of school! Yippee. Early morning seminary is done and the kids are finishing up. We can't wait. The only bummer right now is that 6 out of 9 of us have a nasty summer cold. What is with that?! I hate them. But it is not too much to bear. I won't complain. Happy Summer Time!


It came!! It came!!!

Yesterday (may 16, "happy birthday dear estee") our sea shipment arrived!! I could not believe the big container that came on the semi to our house! The streets are so tiny that we didn't think the driver would be able to get close enough to the house to unload...for sure they'd have to take it back to the warehouse and unload it onto a smaller truck or trucks, so we waited...and waited...and then about 30 miutes of walking around our neighborhood, the driver started in!! It took him a long while to "make the turn" into the neighborhood...but he was a great driver and made it to our house!! The movers arrived and started heafting boxes into the house they sure were strong! Some of those boxes are so heavy! So while they started unloading this giant container, the men from IKEA showed up to deliver and assemble our wardrobes! Yippy skippy!! So now I have a place to hang clothes! It's a strange thing not to have one single closet in our house-not one!!

So, I spent the day opening boxes, opening boxes, and opening boxes!! We didn't have any cleaning supplies/towels/rags, so the kitchen waited to be started...I actually started in my stamp room!!:) Tyler went and bought a vaccume, washer/dryer (I really miss U.S. washers/dryers...and I've only been here for a little over 2 weeks!), microwave...etc. We had to come home-or back to our appartment to sleep, seeing as though we don't have any lights in our house yet! When you move into a home here, you put in the kitchen and lights of any kind! Isn't that crazy!? So we worked hard and as it was getting time for bed, we left and came and slept in our appartment, it's about 25 minutes away from our house.

So, after a long day of working as hard as I could, Myles and Lucy played as hard as they could. It was like Christmas for them to get their old familiar toys...they really played hard. They both just got a cold...so their little noses were just running a marathon!! Lucy didn't sleep well, was feverish....etc.,(and if you can imagine her in my bed sleeping in the middle of tyler and i...she is a lateral kicker...it's so funny...but she is a CRAZY sleeper!!) so here's to hoping we all feel better today!!

Our internet connection is not going to happen for at least another week, so my phone ability is limited to when we come back to the appartment, which we'll do for a few more days...we arer going to Vienna on Monday with Tyler for a business trip! Fun huh?! We leave Monday afternoon and take the train to Vienna, then we'll be home Friday night. I'm not sure if the lights will be able to be in or not...so I don't know if we'll come home to the appartment or our house!! But, hopefully while we're in Vienna, I'll be able to use Tyler's computer and the internet...so we'll see!!

I love you all!! I'm doing better...getting more brave and more brave!! Know we love you!! We'll try to get photos of the house online soon!!! xoxooxoxox

13 May 2007

Happy Mother's Day Sisters and Mother!!

Okay, I'm going to give this a try. Please be patient with me because I am new at this blogger thing. I wanted to send a general Mother's Day greeting to my wonderful mother-in-law and my wonderful sister-in-laws. Happy, happy mother's day!! I love you all soooo much!! You are all wonderful examples to me in so many different ways and I thank you for the influence you've had on my life and will continue to have. Thinking of you all and missing you too!! Love Gina

11 May 2007

Together At Last - Together Forever

Hi all - it is Tyler posting here. Soooooo nice to be back together with Jen and the kids. This is a picture of us in front of our apartment right after we got home from the aiport last week. Jen and the kids have survived their first week in Germany. Not too much happened in week 1: Jen & kids got drenched in a rainstorm walking home from the market; we set fire to the microwave; we...ok, I lost Lucy's precious white blanket; I blew the motherboard out on one of our computers - oops, wrong plug = lots of smoke; high priority terror alert for Americans in Germany; power went out today, not good when your waterheater is electric; and we spent lots of euros at Ikea - but who really cares how much you spend when you are playing with Monopoly money (or so it seems). I posted some pictures of our apartment and surrounding area on our family blog: http://allenworld.spaces.live.com/ TTFN!

09 May 2007


Hey you all. . . .Thought I would be reminding you of the big days this month. Of course, right of the bat and already past was Carolyn's birthday on May 2. Now today is a big anniversary of Tyler and Jeni, tomorrow the 10 is 10 years for Jodi and Doug! Happy Aniversary to both of your wonderful couples! Then tomorrow also is Craig's birthday followed by Estee on th 16th and Tyler on the 19th! WOW! We had a bunch in April - - Amy, Angie, Stan, Scarlett, Sasha, Madelyn and Jesse. I think I will take on the opportunity to remind you all of birthdays, etc. The Blog is a great way to send a birthday wish, isn't it? Also I want to tell you all that the UCA concert on Monday was really a treat. Stan, Estee, Lee, Brad, Abby all came and we sat near each other. It meant a lot to Dallas to have some of you there. It was a delightful evening and the music was amazing - difficult, close, and gorgeous harmonies, which were all memorized. That was a real accomplishment! Go Dallas, Go! The good news is that they are going to make a CD of this wonderful music of Bernell Hales. You will all love to have it in your music library, for sure! Thanks to you guys who came. Tyler and Jeni would love a phone call from all of you! There home phone is a Seattle based number so you can call it just like they lived in Seattle. No big price. Here it is 1-206-331-3953. Just be aware of the time difference. They are 8 hours ahead of us here in Utah. Give them a call. Love to all of you! Sure am glad I am your Mom!!! xxoxox Mama

Art Market

so this weekend i am a "vendor" in my first art market! it is in slc and dallas is setting it all up for me. just thought i would show you my product. i made 50 of them for this art market. i have been making these for awhile--some as gifts, some to sell, etc.

so here you go...mommy clutches...baby wipe containers by Joni Hayes...

Art Market

click to all styles

virginia is for lovers...

here is some photos of our growing fam! oh we love them. little nels is growing way too fast.
excited to see you all soon!

One of the last from Virginia...

04 May 2007

Look at Lilly
This is a test.

Movie Rec: Ponette

Saw a movie the other night that is a must. For those of you that are up for the challenge of a foreign film (after kids are too bed and if you're not too tired from the everydayness of life), try plugging this movie in. I'm not sure where you get it b/c I got mine from a friend. Maybe Hollywood ... maybe Netflix. Anyways, it'll rip your heart out. Buy some Kleenex. A movie that puts everything "into perspective". Beautiful. Stunning. And I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to recommend it to you. Click on this link to see the trailer: Ponette Trailer
For those of you who aren't aware, Brad and I are going through some major changes regarding work. Brad is going to leave the company he has been with for 17 years and start his own accounting business. We just signed the lease today for some tiny office space and are trying to build a clientele by word of mouth hoping the Nelson's don't find out about it prematurely (we are counting on a "bonus" to help us through this tight time and we don't think they'll pay up if they heard the news) We are scared to death and still aren't sure how we're going to pay the bills. We plan on using our food storage, we've cancelled clogging, piano, the gym, swimming, etc., and hopefully we'll have a productive garden to get us through. It got to the point where Brad and I couldn't stand the over-worked and under-paid position AND not appreciated for his hard work! He hasn't had a pay increase for years and we're having a difficult time keeping our heads above water if you know what I mean. Don't get me wrong we are grateful for the job he has had, but it's time to go and we feel good about it. Wish me luck making creative ABC Soup Mix!

On Monday morning when I was showering I was thinking, because of our financial situation, how great it would be if we won the car that our local grocery store was giving away for a contest. Next thing I knew, the phone rang and they had just pulled out my name to be one of the 26 people that get to try to start the car on Saturday morning! Pretty funny huh! I was the last picked and they probably picked my name out the same time I had that thought in the shower. CRAZY! It would be totally cool, but I'm not going to hold my breath. Fun to think about! We'll let you know what happens.

03 May 2007

Oh to be Grateful!

Oh aren't we grateful! I was feeling a little down in the mouth a few days ago and felt the whispering of the spirit remind me to "think about things you are grateful for" I wont' bore you with those but wow how i was quickly uplifted and very humbled! I am so grateful for so much---we are so excited for our next step---moving to TEXAS---can you believe Scott is our Bishop? I can't think of anything more cool!

Oh but how do i leave my Virginia home of 11 years----even writting about it makes me get a lump in my throat! I just have to have Faith and say, " we'll go where you want us to go dear Lord"---it'll be hard but it will be good! Please know our door is forever open--and dang-it we better get some visitors! Dallas---you so have to do our montage--i will be ordering a bunch rather soon!

Loves to you all,

02 May 2007

we made it!!

hey all, just wanted to tell you that we made it!! the kids and i flew into munich airport tuesday morning here, which was the middle of the night in the states...tyler was just outside the gate when we walked off the plane..it was so great to see him! my kids just flipped out to see him!! we're really hoping that everyone sleeps through the night tonight....i didn't give them any "pink drink" tonight!

our home phone is 206-331-3953. it will just be like you are calling seattle, not germany. remember to the time difference though....and i only have one phone, and it's not very loud...if i miss you call, leave a message!!

i had an eye opening experience at the store today...i bought pickles i really wanted to be dill...but i'm not sure they really are dill...taste a bit different than i wanted....and it was so hard to figure out what i was buying!! i tried to find some spot stuff for the laundry...i think what i got is...it is in a spray bottle!:) the fun, the fun....

i love you all and hope you are doing well!! i'm off to bed....xoxoxoxoxo