Monday, December 3, 2007
Six things people don't know about me.
1. Lonnie and I usually tell people that we were set up on a blind date. That is really only part of the truth. We actually met through an online dating service called LDS Promise. On this site, you fill out a really long survey designed by a couple BYU professors. They then match you with people they think will be compatible on several different levels.
We are both still kind of embarrassed that we met on the internet and when we do tell the whole truth we like to emphasis that we met on the internet, but we actually got to know each other and fell in love in person and rarely sent each other emails after our first date.
2. When I was six, after some serious thought, I told my mom that I had thought she was the Tooth Fairy but after examining her closet and not finding the required Tooth-Fairy-Outfit, I decided that she was really not the real Tooth Fairy.
3. I speak fluent Spanish. I love to speak in Spanish and sometimes can't find words in English that I know how to say in Spanish. Being in Spanish speaking countries and around Spanish speaking people makes me very happy. But it was not always so......I learned to speak Spanish at the same time I learned English (as a child in Colombia). But I lost it all once we moved back to the United States. As a matter of fact, I got a C in High School Spanish and never really learned to say anything other than "Camarero, dos Coca-colas, por favor", which phrase I have never used in any Latin American county. My father claims that the only reason I even passed my High School Spanish class was because I had the same High School Spanish teacher that he had when he attended High School, and the teacher loved my father.
4. When I was in High School, I was a drama geek and I was Vice President of the Speech Team, although I was never really good at either. I mostly just liked the excitement of the theater and thought the Speech people were smart. Only once did I have a staring role in a play. I was Alice, in a musical version of Alice in Wonderland at a local community theater during my senior year in High School.
5. I rode my bike to Haiti when I was on my mission in the Dominican Republic. The guard at the obscure boarder crossing asked us if we were angles. I also walked to Slovenia from Italy one Sunday afternoon with a friend while our hosts were taking a nap. I went back again later that night with our host and my sister so she too could have a Slovenia stamp in her passport.
6. I was born on Staten, Island, NY but I lived in Bogotá, Colombia from the time I was about 5 months old until I was 5 years old. We moved to San Pedro, CA (where my dad grew up and most of his family lived) two weeks before Christmas and I was extremely worried that Santa Claus wouldn't know where I had moved, so I wrote him several letters explaining that we would be at my grandparents house' on Christmas morning and if he saw it fit to reward me for good behavior that year he should make sure to not deliver the gifts to our home in Bogotá.
So I get to tag people, is that how this works? So I tag Willa, Tom, Dobbs Fam, Lester Bunch, and Persian Babies.
I, of course, have much more juicy things that people don't know about me. But I am not going to reveal them on the internet where everyone in the world will know my deep dark secrets. If you want to know the real juicy stuff, you will have to call or visit. :)
Friday, November 16, 2007
Me: Hi Sam. Hey guess what I am going to have a baby!
Sam: Really how many are you going to have?
Me: Well actually I am going to have two. Twins.
Sam: I already knowed that you can have more than one baby at a time.
Me: Oh really you already knew that women can have more than one baby at a time.
Sam: Yeah, I already knowed that. It is a good thing that you aren't going to get orphans.
(Sam has a recent facination with
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
I help coordinate an after-school program that invites community professionals to volunteer and teach apprenticeships. The kids are learning about solar car engineering, cooking, photography, debate, banking and community organizing, etc.
The photography volunteer and I took a small group of the students on a photography field trip to the Buddhist Temple across the street from the school.
testing the water
If anyone is looking for a great volunteer oppourtunity where you can share your skills with inter-city middle school age kids look into Citizen Schools. They are in various cities throughout CA, MA, NJ, NM, NC and TX.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Last weekend, Lonnie and I went to California for my grandfather's 90th birthday party. My grandparents have 5 children, 15 grandchildren, and a growing number of great grandchildren. I have always loved my paternal grandparents. They are kind and loving to each other and everyone around them.
My family gathered photos of my grandparents' life, and I put them together into a slide show. It was great to see photos of them as children, then as young couple very much in love, through the years raising their children, going on a mission, exploring the Holy Land, and loving their grandchildren.
They are wonderful amazing people. Through the course of our lives, Lonnie and I hope to contribute to our family in much the same way as my Grandpa and Grandma Allred have.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I started to say that Lonnie is not a romantic man. He doesn't bring me flowers, he doesn't make plan romantic plans for our anniversary, without much insistence, etc... Then I just started blubbering and crying which I believe by most was interpreted as meaning that I was sad that I wasn't married to a Don Juan. Or that I was sad that Lonnie didn't have another honeymoon trip planned for our anniversary. I kept talking but I can't really even remember what I was saying, blah, blah, blah.....
What I wanted to say is that more important and more essential to our marriage, Lonnie is my strength when I am weak. He is my shield from pain and my defender from my own self deprecation. When it really counts Lonnie is always the perfect husband.
If I want flowers, I can buy them myself. But after two years of being married to Lonnie I am a kinder, more considerate, more confidant person.
Two years ago Lonnie and I were married in Manti, Utah. It was a breezy and beautiful day. People often say that their wedding day was the best day of their life. I can't really say that, not that the day wasn't amazing. We were surrounded by family and friends and everything went as planned. To be honest I was in a daze most of the day. I was so happy and giddy to be married to Lonnie that I floated through the whole day. But it wasn't the happiest day of my life. The happiest days of my life have been every day since then.
I can't imagine being happier, more fulfilled, better appreciated, more respected or more loved than I am with Lonnie. As a 30-year-old getting married I had expected more of an adjustment to marriage. But some days I can't remember life without Lonnie at my side, building my confidence, filling my spirit and strengthening my heart.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
When I was growing up, my family would make at least one trip to Lake Powell every year, but recently we hadn't been on a family trip to Lake Powell for several years. So when my parents and siblings purchased a timeshare on a houseboat, we all got excited for a trip back to Lake Powell. We filled up the houseboat and enjoyed a wonderful time together. And Alisa experienced her first trip to Lake Powell.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
We also learned something special about Texas, after singing the typical 7th inning "Take me out to the Ball Game", everyone continued standing and sung with even more energy "Deep in the Heart of Texas". I didn't record the event because I was in such awe I couldn't get my phone out. So I have posted someone else's record of the regular event. But next time I will be prepared.
We felt like we were in Peewes Big Adventure.
Yes, we really are in Texas.
We didn't bring the real camera (only the camera photo) so the photos are pretty bad. But posts with photos are so much better. :)
The view from our seats!
At the end of the game.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
I love this incredibly expressive kid.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
I've gone back several times since; working for the national literacy organization, working to start a fair trade buiness and just to visit friends.
This slide show is of some photos taken during various visits to Guatemala over the past 7 years.
We have some friends coming over tonight for dinner who lived in Guatemala about 30 years ago. I wanted to show them some of the people and places that I love in Guatemala.
(to turn off the rustedsun blog background music scroll down to the very bottom of the page and click the pause button on the sonific player)
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Mom, me, and Dad inside the courtyard surrounding the Alamo.
Lonnie and me in front of the Alamo.
San Antonio's Riverwalk is a beautiful area right in the middle of the city. The Riverwalk is lined with restaurants, pretty gardens, and interesting architecture.
Sparkly pinatas in the Mi Tierra restaurant.
Mexican culture is more openly displayed in San Antonio than in Houston. Part of the difference is because there are so many cultural backgrounds in Houston that the Mexican culture is part of a panorama of many cultures rather than the focus, as in San Antonio.
The Mision San Jose is the biggest and most beautiful of all the San Antonio missions. They call it the Queen of the missions.
Although many of the buildings are in ruins, the chapel is still used today.
My favorite guy and me in front of the chapel.
Me and my mom in her Southern Bell sun hat.
My parents were in town for about a week. It always feels so quiet when they leave. My parents never stop going. Because none of their kids live near them, they are constantly traveling to be around their kids. We have only lived here in Texas for five months, and they have already come to visit twice. My parents have always shown a great example to me of how important family is.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
What do you do when it is so hot in Houston that you can't even breath??? You go to the movies!!
Mom, Dad, Mike and I decided we wanted to have a quite day after spending the previous day at the Houston Space Center and NASA. So we decided to go to a movie. We went and saw Harry Potter in 3D on a huge Imax screen.
My Mom, Dad and Homer
On a side note....
I tend to have very vivid dreams. They are almost always in color and usually involve people I have been spending time with or thinking about recently. A couple of times after watching the Simpsons my dreams will be as if I too lived in Springville and was a Simpsons character. It happened again the other night. Am I crazy? Has anyone else ever dreamed in Simpson???
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Mike is 10 years younger than I am. When he was born, I was convinced that he was my own personal doll, brought home for me to love and adore. I used to fall asleep on the floor of his room so I could be the one to take care of him in the middle of the night when he woke up. I would even ask him to call me mom.
He has always been the peacemaker in our family. I remember several times as a child, after getting in an argument with one of my family members, that little Mike would come into my room, rub my back and tell me that he loved me. He is not so little anymore, but he still is a great person to have around when things are tough.
Mike joined the Navy about a year ago. He wanted to do something meaningful and service oriented. Although we worry about him, we are proud of the service he is willing to offer.
My sisters and me kissing our cute sailor.
Me, Laura (sister), Mike, Aimee (sister) and Abby (my sister-in-law, wife of my other brother Andrew)
We took these photos over Christmas when we were all in California.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Even though it was past 6:00pm it was still very warm outside. Fortunately, this was the one day all week that it didn't rain. We had sprayed ourselves down with bug spray and managed to avoid getting eaten by mosquitos.
While we were at the concert we met up with my friend Michelle, who was in town visiting her sister. I taught Michelle in the MTC welfare program several years ago, before she served a mission in Venezuela. We had a very nice visit, and it was so great to get caught up.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
So I spent my days this week making meals that were mostly left on the kitchen floor, cleaning the house and then cleaning the house again, answering the same questions over and over again, stopping fights and tantrums, putting kids to sleep for naps and then trying to get them to stay in bed at night, changing stinky diapers and then changing diapers again, helping with sidewalk chalk art while applying bug spray, taking the kids to the pool (a major ordeal involving trying to remember to bring swim suits, towels, sunscreen, bug spray, treats, water, swim diapers and another diaper for after swimming) and then trying to convince the kids that it was time to leave the pool because my pale skin was turning into boiled tomato.
It was wonderful to see their simling faces and hear them laugh but by the end of each day, I was tired and worn out and yet still most of the things I had on my to-do list were not done. Going to the grocery store was in itself a major task. When I talked to my dad on the phone yesterday, I said that I had decided that, instead of wanting to be mother so badly, I have now decided that I want to skip directly to the grandparent part. We could just adopt adult children who are already self-sufficient, post-pubescent, and potty trained. They would have cute kids that we could visit but not be directly responsible for all of their actions.
But the best part of the day was when Lonnie would come home from work. The kids screamed and jump up and down, yelling his name. Lonnie chased them around the house as they yelped with delight. Their playing eventually wore them all out. Together, we gave the kids a bath and put them to bed. I sometimes joined in the pretend roughhousing fun but mainly I just sat and looked at my wonderful, patient, fun loving husband, regained my strength, and I felt like I wanted to be a parent.
I also realize that I can't do this alone. I'm not going to wake up one day with the skills of a supermom. Learning to be a great parent will be a process. But luckily I work on a team, and together I think Lonnie and I will be pretty good parents.
Sunday, July 8, 2007
My grandparents, Norma and Wally. This year my grandpa will be celebrating his 90th birthday, grandma will be celebrating her 85th birthday, and most importantly they will be celebrating their marriage of 65 years. They are still so in love. They hold hands when they walk and like to snuggle. They have so much fun together. They told me that they still have stories to share even after 65 years of marriage. My grandma told me they are so used to each other that not being in same room makes them feel uncomfortable. They like to dress in matching outfits so that "people know we go together". They have four children, fourteen grandchildren, and fifteen great-grandchildren so far.
I was able to spent some time with my grandparents last week. My dad and I took grandma and grandpa on a sightseeing tour off all the places they used to frequent when they were in love. We drove to the house where he grew up and areas of the University that he frequented, including his old fraternity house. We even went to the candy store where grandpa used to buy grandma chocolates that grandma claims "sealed the deal" when they were dating. Grandpa even bought me some chocolate.
Friday, July 6, 2007
Our friends Kristy and James, along with their kids Issac and Levi are always part of the festivities. James invited some of his co-workers, living in Houston for the summer doing internships, to join us. They are from Thailand and offered to make us some great Thai food that included shrimp, squid, three types of soups and amazing spices. Another family, Aitran, Hugo, Phoebe and Andy, who just recently moved to the area, made some delicious spicy eggplant. Aitran is originally from China but also lived in Vietnam. Her husband Hugo is from Mexico and they have two great kids. Others at the gathering were; Lyle and Emily, along with baby Eva (Emily and Alisa volunteered together at a women's shelter and Lonnie and Lyle went to JR High together), Stephanie and Martin (Lonnie was the teaching assistant in a class Stephanie took in college), Sister Fisher and Sister Kendrick (the missionaries in our ward), Kelly (our neighbor) and Tim and Julia Nuttall (brother and sister-in-law to James and Kristy).
All together there were about 20 people here at the house and way to much food for us to finish. It was a great holiday.
James' coworkers from Thailand- Nee and Niran. They were amazing cooks and took the kitchen by storm. In the end we convinced them to only cook 6 of th 9 dishes they had planned.
The non-stop sampling that took place all day long. The missionaries, Aitran, Kristy and Stephanie .
Emily and Eva, Kelly, Alisa, Kristy and baby Levi.
Everyone took their time in the kitchen, but these four were the hardest working.
Monday, July 2, 2007
--President Spencer W. Kimball
The first time I remember hearing this quote was when I was a missionary, and in line with my missionary assignment, I immediately identified myself as a service giver. As a missionary, I would be a person that would help the Lord meet the needs of others. Even as my life circumstances and roles have changed, I think that more often than not I identify myself as a service giver, that I try to see the needs of those around me and serve them.
As those who know her can attest, Alisa is a wonderful example of service giving. I think that Alisa is inherently blessed with the magnified perspective of life that President Kimball described. She has an ability to see so many possibilities to serve others. I enjoy the privilege of watching her every day in the ways that she builds others, whether it's a listening ear to a friend or visiting someone in the hospital that she just met a week before or babysitting for a relative or friend.
But Alisa and I now find ourselves in a more unfamiliar role, that of a service receiver. Neither Alisa nor I would have expected to need the service of others to help us fulfill our desire of having children, but we now find ourselves in this position. We are receiving service from many who have expressed that they are praying for us. We are receiving service from people who work in or have passed through the adoption process and are providing us with information to best manage the process. A service that we may yet receive could be that one of you knows someone who is placing a child for adoption and helps us make contact with the birth parents. And, of course, an immensely valued service for us would be that of a birth mother who makes the heart-wrenching decision to place her child into our family.
"It is vital that we serve each other." Sometimes we give service, and sometimes we receive. Through it all, we progress together.
Friday, June 22, 2007
(photo taken around my birthday in 2004 on the doorstep of a shop in Paris, France)
Today is a good day.
Today is my birthday.
I feel asleep this afternoon with a baby in my arms.
This year, if I could ask for anything for my birthday, I wish that I could be influential in the life of a child. Of course, I would love to be a mother, but that is something over which I have little control. What I can control is myself, I can open my heart to serve others, especially children. I can make myself available to those who might need my help. I can open my heart and my home.
I got a call last night from Lyle, my friend Emily's husband. He told me that Emily is sick with strep throat and knocked out with medication. He asked if I could come over and help Emily take care of their 3 month old daughter Eva. I arrived at about 9:00 am and stayed most of the day until 5:00 pm. I was glad to be able to help Emily get needed rest while I cared for Eva.
So what greater gift could I start the year out with being able to take a nap on a recliner with a beautiful baby in my arms?
Today is a good day.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
10. Lonnie likes to play games and sports.
9. Lonnie is thoughtful and kind.
8. Lonnie is non-judgmental.
7. Lonnie makes other people feel good about themselves.
6. Lonnie can help with homework, especially math and science.
5. Lonnie loves his family.
4. Kids like Lonnie and gravitate to him.
3. Lonnie likes to laugh.
2. Lonnie is patient.
1. Lonnie loves me.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Sammy Celebrates his 5th birthday
Stella and Sam (Alisa's niece and nephew http://lambsandchubbits.blogspot.com/) both had birth days in the past weeks. They are great kids and we love to hang out with them.
Stella had a baby birthday party with all of her favorite things; swimming, eating strawberries, hanging out with fellow baby friends and not getting mauled by her big brother. Alisa found that great swim suit for her.
Sammy had a Luchador party. He and all his buddies ran around with our their shirts on, slid down the the slip-and-slide and practiced their wrestling moves.
These kids make great cousins. We love them like crazy!
Happy Birthday Sammy and Stellie!
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Malaika (3) and Thabo (19months) are Loretta (Alisa's cousin) and Teboho's beautiful kids. They live near by and we get to see them often. They are great kids.
The day these photos were taken they came to spend the day with us while their parents went to the temple. The kids had a great day playing in our yard and feeding the fish in the pond. We always have a good time with them.
They especially love to tickle Lonnie.
Some good things we learned about foster care to adoption:
- There are a lot of good kids that need homes.
- Foster to adopt will allow for quicker placement of a child in our home.
- There is a lot of support offered to families who adoption children in foster care.
- Parents of adopted foster care children are given continuing support even after the finalization of adoption.
- Kids have been in foster care will get free college tuition to Texas schools.
- We can learn more about an older child as to their abilities, interests, and personalities than we can with a baby.
- We can match (to a degree) our interests and personality with your child-to-be.
- Older children can interact and play with us. We can DO things right from the beginning with your child: take hikes, plant bulbs, bake cookies, roller blade.
- With an older child, we may be given a window into their past lives. They may have special memories of grandparents, or favorite foods. We can help them retain and synthesize their memories of their past lives.
There are, of course, disadvantages to older child adoption, just as there are disadvantages and advantages to adopting babies or having kids in general (sleepless nights, messy diapers, sassy teenagers) but the trials of being a parent are greatly out weighted by the benefits. We are encouraged by knowing that we can work together to love and support our family.
No matter how children come into our life, it's a bit like most of life - lots of wonderful moments mixed in with enough challenges to make sure we appreciate the good times!Has anyone had experiences with foster care? Please share our insight with us.
We are still considering several options. This month we have appointments with LDS Family Services (for infant adoption), a fertility specialist, and foster care. We want to keep our minds open to inspiration and suggestions.
-Lonnie and Alisa
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
El me envió aquí.
Me ha dado un hogar
Y padres buenos para mí.
Guíenme; enséñen-me la senda a seguir
Para que algún día yo con El pueda vivir.
Je suis un enfant de Dieu
et Il m'a mis ici.
Il m'a donne un bon foyer
et parents si gentils.
Conduit-moi et marche avec moi
sur le bon chemin
dites-moi tout ce qu'il faut faire
de te connaitre enfin.
Sou um filho de Deus
Por ele estou aqui
Mandou-me a terra
Deu-me um lar
E pais tao bons pra mim
As leis de Deus guardar
Para que um dia eu va
Com ele habitar
I am a child of God
and he has sent me hear.
Has given me an earthly home,
with parents kind and dear.
Lead me, Guide me,
Walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do,
To live with Him someday.
Last night Lonnie and I went to my cousin Loretta's house. Loretta and her husband Teboho and two kids, Malika and Tabo live close to us and we get together often.
Before putting the kids to bed, we all sat together, said prayers and sang "I am a Child of God" in as many languages as we could. Together with Loretta (who speaks; English, French, Malagasy and Swahili, Teboho (her husband from South Africa, who speaks more languages that I can count), Lonnie (who speaks Portuguese and Spanish) and myself (who speaks Spanish) we were able to sing the beautiful song in several different languages. Tabo and Malika sang some sort of a medley between them all.
We pray that we will one day be given the blessing of caring for and parenting a divine child of God in our earthly home.
Saturday, June 2, 2007
We have four beautiful magnolia trees at our house. It took a while but they finally bloomed into amazingly wonderful flowers.
Like a sweet magnolia tree
My love blossomed tenderly,
My life grew sweeter through the years
- Stevie Wonder