The School Year is Nearly Here

Two weeks until school starts for our two kids and Mom can hardly wait! While we love both of our children very much, it is a difficult task indeed to keep them busy while our adult responsibilities continue.

Branden starts his second year in high school and is participating in his second year of Cross Country Running with the Tigers. He will also play Winter Baseball with Murrieta Valley Pony League 15-19 year old kids. Branden will also try out for the JV Baseball Tigers. We are very happy he is keeping up with the sporting participation and are hopeful that his Academic goals are achieved as well this year. Freshman year was quite a challenge in that respect.

Bailey is moving on to Middle School and is very nervous about the change. He has grown quite comfortable with his Elementary School surroundings and doesn’t enjoy change much. We hope that Middle School will bring him more maturity and allow him to really grow as a person. He has had so many challenges in his life so far but it’s time for him to get to the growing up part emotionally.

Summer was short again, it never seems to hang around long though the same can’t be said for the HEAT!!! I do not want to see our electric bill this month. We still have 2 more hot months to go, yikes!

We did get to take some time off and spend 3 days in Avalon, staying in a cute little cottage about 100 yards from the beach. We splurged, spending some of my bonus money this year on a Land and Sea tour which took us via Rib Boat from Avalon, around the West End to Catalina Harbor. We had lunch at Two Harbors and then took a very bouncy ride in a modified Hummer (The original model) touring the Western route through the interior passing spots like Little Harbor, Shark Harbor and Ben Weston Beach. We got to see some Bison up close and personal and a couple of Catalina Island Foxes. And then back into Avalon. The Tour too most of the day, was pretty spendy, but well worth it!

We also went on a short road trip to San Fransisco and then up to Sonoma County for a visit with family. We toured AT&T Park where the Baseball Giants play (For anyone who doesn’t know that) and spent the rest of the day at Pier 39 touring the Aquarium, visiting the shops and enjoying a couple of meals. Friday we spent the day with Aric, my mom and her husband Sterling. Bailey tried his hand at playing a violin (what an awful screeching noise that was).

December 2011

It’s been nearly a year since I’ve updated this Site. Facebook has taken over where personal web sites have left off. It is a place to find and keep in touch with family and friends but friends thought long lost. Now with the rollout of “Timeline” Facebook has become a sort of diary to the world, or if you’ve got your privacy settings properly configured, just your friends and family.

Major Events included:

  • Bailey lost his new glasses, we think he threw them away with his lunch trash at school. He was sentenced to scraping the flaking paint off the backyard fence in preparation for painting in order to “work off” the cost of his replacement glasses.
  • Whiskers got some sort of infection in an injury to her face and neck. She wouldn’t stop scratching it bloody so I had to resort to putting a protective collar on her, we called it the cone of shame.
  • The re-landscaping of the back yard continued this year. We planted lovely flowers, four grape vines and a small vegetable garden with tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, squash, corn and strawberries. The corn didn’t fare so well but the tomatoes and onions were amazing. We got quite a few squash and had grilled squash with onions and peppers quite often, as well as fresh salsa.
  • I finally decided it was time to get some exercise and started walking nearly every day after work down at Dana Point Harbor.
  • Stacy and I were able to get away for a weekend to Palm Springs in April and had a lovely time.
  • For the first time in the 11 years we’ve lived in Lake Elsinore we took the kids hiking at the Santa Rosa Plateau Reserve on Mothers Day.
  • Branden and Bailey finished out their 8th grade and 4th grade school years and are half way through their 9th and 5th grade years. They have both found this new school year to be particularly difficult and are struggling somewhat with their grades.
  • We were able to attend an Angels Game and a couple of Lake Elsinore Storm games.
  • Stacy’s Dad and Stepmother were able to visit us for nearly a week. We had a great time and were able to take them to the Reagan Library.
  • Branden did well in his first year of Cross Country Running on the Elsinore High team and even participated in a “Mud Run”
  • Chinook passed from the living this year and was a painful reminder how life and time just keeps on moving on.
  • We took the kids to “The Aquarium of the Pacific” as a birthday gift.
  • Most recently, we went to see the Holiday Light parade at Dana Point Harbor.

Throughout the year there were many challenges to deal with, from bad grades to unfortunate lapses in judgement. Hopefully even those were learning experiences and surely better times will be enjoyed in 2012.

Christmas 2010 and New Year 2011

The Allen Family had a wonderful Holiday Season and we were very fortunate during 2010 to be able to both continue to work and enjoy our lives much the way we had in previous years. The kids saw the benefit in being able to continue playing in their Baseball league and were lucky enough to get some pretty nice gifts this year for Christmas. We also were pleased to be able to share the season with my brother Aric who was able to spend 5 days with us over the holiday.

Bailey got his wish of a new Nintendo DSi along with many other games and things, movies and even something clothing that may have been snuck into his gifts by Mommy.

Branden was surprised by the new electric guitar and amplifier (The amp he has to share with Dad). The family (Mostly Dad and sometimes used by Mom) got a new iPad to enjoy. I’m actually using the iPad to create this post proving that it functions beyond just looking at the internet and watching Netflix movies.

Today we’re watching the first of the football playoffs with the Saints losing, big upset in the making, much to Stacy’s chagrin.

Thank you to all our family and friends for making our year such a nice one.

Peace and happiness to all.

Keith

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