Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mom's Silly Favorite Photo of the Day




My hubby, Tony!

I love him so much for his lighthearted sometimes goofy sense of humor...

keep smiling folks!

Smiles from Josh

Safe in mommy's arms...




Josh's favorite place to be...
I love my little cherub!

Just Josh

"Readers Are Leaders" Awards Go To?


Spencer and Charles
WAY TO GO GUYS!
Mom & Dad are so proud of you
and your reading success!

These awards were presented to children who read over 1000 minutes during the summer last school year - and yes, they really did this!
The Upper Merion Library sponsors this event with the school each year.
(the GOLD medals were just given out this year 09).

Some of their favorite books included:
"Diary of a Whimpy Kid"
"A light in the Attic"
"Everything Baseball"
"The Sneetches and other stories"
"Dinosaurs" short stories
"Star Wars"
"Highlights" Magazines
"The Tale of Despereaux"
"Day by Day Kids Devotions"
"Sharks"
among many others...

WE LOVE YOU BOTH VERY MUCH!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Some New LOOKS?


Fellow bloggers and followers, I'm trying out some NEW LOOKS for fun!

Enjoy... feel free to browse around.


Storytime with Josh!


Hi Everybody!
Josh and I are reading some great children's books that we'd like to share with you. Please check them out sometime with your little ones. I'll try to post others in the near future on my blog, so keep an eye out for more!
These stories are a crowd pleaser!

Book Title: "Is Your Mama a Llama"?
Author: Deborah Guarino


Book Title: "Little Pea"
Author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal


"Shout Outs"


I'd like to give virtual "THANKS" to the following ladies from our church (GVF) who thoughtfully took the time to prepare meals AND personally deliver them to our family during our tiresome transition (April 2009) at home with the new baby! Everything was absolutely delicious!

Kim Lownes
Joleen Steel
Kathy DeMola
Tracey Ellerbeck
Kaylee Wagner
Anna Balfour
Linda Advena
Beth Curry
Amy Smith
Brianne Gates
Asbjorg Noonan
Katie Kallal

We appreciate YOU!

Remembering those who serve...



THANK YOU SOLDIERS FOR YOUR COURAGE!




Friday, May 22, 2009

7 Pointers to Lift a Bad Mood

Very interesting... I should try these sometime! Enjoy this read, apparently, it's important!

No one can live a long and healthy life without the will to go on; sometimes mood swings can make us feel that life is too much for us. A bad mood not only gives you a gloomy outlook, it also lowers your immune function, leading the way to illness. Here are some suggestions to lift your mood, your spirit, and your health.
Ask Dr. Mao

1. A Laughing Matter
"Laugh Therapy," pioneered by Norman Cousins, has turned out to have real substance. Research has discovered that laughter and joy boost immune functions, especially the production of the natural killer cells that help defend the body from illness and cancer.

Laughter also increases the release of endorphins - compounds that give you a sense of well-being - in your brain. Without a doubt, joyful people liver longer and healthier lives. So read your favorite comics, watch your favorite comedies, and laugh it up!

2. Amino Acid for Restored Mindset
When an imbalance or deficiency is creating a bad mood, the Europeans use supplements of a natural compound found in human cells to regulate mood and restore a healthy mindset. SAMe (S-adenosyl-L-methionine) is produced from methionine, an amino acid that plays a role in the production of uplifting neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.

One study indicated that SAMe worked on patients who had unsuccessful results with conventional antidepressants. To get a boost from SAMe, take a supplement combining it with vitamins B6 and B12.

3. Hands-On Healing
Human touch increases the production of endorphins, growth hormone, and DHEA, all of which lengthen your life span and lower the negative impact of stress. Studies have found that patients who are regularly touched recover faster than those who are not touched (WOW). So give someone a hug and feel both of your moods improve.
(Hubby's and wives need to do this one more often, then we won't be so grumpy!)

4. Boost Your "Youth Hormones"
You don't need pills to flood your body with a rejuvenating flood of growth hormones. Research has found that doing squats and leg presses will greatly increase your natural production of the "youth hormone". Increased growth hormone translates to an elevated mood, among other physical benefits. Keep it up with weight training, knee bends, push-ups, and rowing.

5. Take a Bracing Breath
Breathing correctly is important for dispelling the toxins and wastes from your body; in fact, it is estimated that we expel only about 30 percent of toxins in our bodies through the bowels and bladder-the rest is all respiratory. Breathing is also a great way to clear your mind, boost your energy, and improve your mood. Practice deep, slow, rhythmic, breathing daily with mind-body disciplines - (prayer and meditate on God's Word too!)

6. Smell the Joy
Research has shown that smell has a definite impact on our bodies and minds. When you stimulate the olfactory nerves inside your nose, you activate the limbic system of your brain, which is associated with moods and memory. This concept is instrumental to aromatherapy, a natural health tradition that makes use of the healing powers of plants with strong scents.

Aromatherapy recommends treating depression with jasmine, eucalyptus for exhilaration, and grapefruit to increase alertness and joy. Just put a dab of the essential oils from these plants on your temples, back of your neck, or acupressure points. Another option? Boil the herb in water and inhale the steam through your nose.

7. Feel Fine with Flowers
There is a reason that flowers are the traditional get-well gesture. Colorful flowers have a powerful influence on moods; they can uplift a patient's mood and even combat stress. One study found that during a five-minute typing assignment, people sitting next to a flowering bouquet were more relaxed than those who sat near foliage-only plants.

I hope these tips help the good feelings flow! I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.
(By God's grace and mercy will we commit to these things;)

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!
-Dr. Mao


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hold the phone...I'm Addicted!

I don't know exactly what I was thinking in this photo, but it looks "serious" enough for this particular thought provoking post:
Everybody, I've noticed I've gone a bit "clip art crazy" and now added a special feature of classical music to set the mood for my "mommy blog"... what is happening! Right before my very own eyes and finger tips, I've been caught up in the web and all that glitters with bells and whistles...believe me, I couldn't stop for a while today (while baby was sleeping of course) but I must have saved and searched for over 50 images to post on my personal blog, geez...am I thinking too highly of myself and my blog? I must admit there are some tough competitors out there...how wonderful they all are, everyone's family seems quite perfect, at least that's what pictures reveal sometimes, stories too! Or maybe subconsciously, I want to find favor with everyone who glances at it? or possibly I want more "followers" to feel important for a moment... Even more honestly, as I open my heart to you reader, I want you to be inspired and encouraged in your womanhood, motherhood and for you to meet Jesus like I have (a former beggar...who found the Bread of Life, Jesus!) and experience Him so you can know what true love feels and looks like! Imperfect but listening...I can still feel and be human and post thoughts like this, but the Lord fights my battles today and everyday as long as I come to Him...

Some other random thoughts today...could it be God needs ME to rest a while and remember the important things that matter most like "real life" people for starters, it's so easy to pour our hearts, testimonies and life stories with photos and everything onto the web where we don't necessarily have to face anyone directly for fear of discrimination or even constructive criticism?... Do we think God cares about it as much as we do? Do we think He'll love us more if we share through our blogs, sites etc.??? Let's let Him, the Holy One, speak to our hearts today... crickets chirping? "And the TRUTH shall set us free sisters we know it!
Maybe, I've been in my house too long, need to take that walk I promised myself the other day.

Mind you, I've been juggling my day dealing joyfully with baby needs, cuddling, feeding, phone calls, making the most ridiculous silly noises I never thought I had those talents, as Josh peers at me with a look of confusion?...lol. Oh, and every mom's favorite time of day - the non-stop diapering, then eagerly sang my heart out to my son as he was crying, I know what he was thinking: 'mommy stop it, stop all the noises and singing and just hold me still" and then I danced and bounced him around with the little bit of energy I mustered up! Ha! How silly I must truly look to him...however, I can see how addicting this blogging can become - I couldn't wait to fill my next page with more photos and ramblings for today! Oooops, forgot those dishes, oooops, forgot to get the mail, ooops, forgot to finish laundry...eh, that can wait, can't it?

Moral of today's ramblings...Let's take special care to see to it that our homes (this includes our own sanity) don't go without our TLC before the kids and hubby arrives with a whole new set of issues, chores, responsibilities awaken without the proper energy and mindset!

PRAY WOMAN PRAY! Help me Lord to control these "web attractions" its just too easy to do (WOW, where does the time go?) I want to maintain "Real Life" relationships not primarily with this convenient "imachine"! Praise God, I can come to Him anytime and He'll listen, because He actually loves me... unlike this mechanical box in the corner of my room can never give me that kind of attention anyway no matter how long I get caught up in the web! Hooray for God!!! Give Him a Shout Out!

... That's all for today, promise! I'm flattered you're checking out my blog, but truth be told, every one of our lives are important, interesting and wonderful in many ways and God wants it to be like that...but God is most important above all- Let's see to it that we talk about Him more often! ... Nichole Allen

KUDOS to my husband!











Often times, "random acts of service/kindness" toward others go unrecognized or worse intentionally ignored... Reminder to all the moms and wives out there - Let him know, tell him, show him with love! Earthly life is too short, Eternity is forever, make it count!!!
Well, I want to virtually recognize my husband for his awesomeness!
I want to BLESS my hubby today for his outstanding servant leadership during our family illness!
Tony's achievements included:
Improvisation through vomit clean up - multiple times in one day!
Bathroom clean up
Kitchen clean up
Juggling baby needs all day long - driving to Josh's 1month check up at pediatrics to get his first shot with another ill child!
Preparing meals, being understanding, proactive in sharing in mom's daily routine, even mowing the lawn and last but not least, without hesitation, took the day OFF from work, to be home and do all of this for me! WAY TO GO Tony... For all that you do, I love you and thank God for You!
He's becoming quite the chef these days too... maybe a restaurant entrepreneurial experience is not far behind?You'd be awesome and I look forward to serving along with you wherever we're together...

Don't Get Me Started!

Ugh... this past weekend, our boys were terribly sick with a stomach bug! Ick!

To top off the weekend...mom caught it!!!

No photos to share for obvious reasons. Check back later.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Aunt Krystal and Joshua



Aunt Krystal couldn't miss Josh's birthday... she's only a phone call away and ready to drop everything to grab a great deal on those baby clothes!

Thanks sis, we love ya!

Pop Pop & Joshua



Pop Pop holding Joshua for the first time at the hospital
"Gee Dad, ya lookin kinda frazzled?"
it's okay... you won't drop him!

We love ya!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bathtime Josh - 1 mo. old





This was a kodak moment for mom of course!
...capturing his adorable faces
in the mirror after bathtime!


Piano Man Josh?




I caught Josh playing on the piano
during NAP TIME!

Mommy is so proud of him... maybe I've discovered a hidden talent?

we'll see... check back in a couple years!

Josh's Close Up





Safe in Daddy's hands...

One of my favorite photos!


Precious Moments with Grandma




This is Grandma Spencer (my mom) visiting us during
Mother's Day weekend 2009.

Joshua loves his Grandma!

Can't wait to visit with you again soon
... Love & Hugs!

Another Favorite Funny Photo





Thought this "expression" was interestingly funny enough for mom's blog!

That's Charles...

Why so somber Spencer?



Just another rainy day in the neighborhood

This photo was taken by his brother, Charles... and I found it and LOVED IT - just look at that face!

I think we may have a little photographer on our hands too!




Saturday, May 16, 2009

Uncle Rich and Olivia Visit!





It was so great to visit with my brother Rich and my niece Olivia! Josh was so pleasant and glad to meet them for the first time at home.

I love these moments with family...


Friday, May 15, 2009

Running to Win (Part One)


May 15 - by Dennis and Barbara Rainey

1 Corinthians 9:24

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run,

but only one receives the prize?

Run in such a way that you may win.

I had lunch once with a serious runner, an ultra-marathoner. Max Hooper has a unique will to win. After surgery on both knees, Max was told he would never run again. Three months later he ran a 2:47 marathon and qualified for the Boston Marathon.

But Max's ultimate race was completed years earlier in some of the most hostile environments our planet could offer a runner. The start: Badwater, California, in the oven of Death Valley, 282 feet below sea level, the lowest point in the United States. The finish: the refrigerated summit of Mount Whitney at 14,494 feet, the highest altitude in the contiguous United States. Total distance: 146 miles.

Max and a marine buddy completed the task in 63 hours, 12 minutes. Max wore out three pairs of running shoes and his feet swelled two sizes by the time he reached the summit.

You and I run in a similar race. It's a race that God has set before each of us, and it takes place on a course of extremes. Life is a race for every Christian. It is a race you and I must finish...and win.

In the Christian life, there are at least five kinds of runners:

The Casual Runner. He runs when he feels like it. For this Christian, the sacrifice demanded by the race is just too high.

The Cautious Runner. He thinks a lot about the race, but he plays it safe and seldom leaves the starting blocks.

The Compromised Runner. Unwilling to lay aside present pleasures, he has given into temptations to run outside his prescribed lane. He has few convictions and takes no costly stands in life.

The Callous Runner. This veteran runner is a cynic and is critical of people. Preoccupied with his injuries, his heart contains layers of thick, tough tissue made of bitterness, envy or apathy.

The Committed Runner. This person is determined to win and knows where the finish line is. "In training" at all times, he knows victory is never achieved by the fainthearted.

Ask God for the strength to finish the race that is set before you,
and that as you run you will "feel His pleasure."

Discuss: What kind of runner best describes you? Why?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Daddy "Entertainment" the whole family will enjoy!

video

Boys will be boys!

video

We're Just ...All Smiles





This photo was taken the day before Mother's Day 2009.
Thanks mom for capturing my love for my guys!

Mom's Funny Favorite Photos



A face only a mother could love...


How did I rely on God today?
I chose to SMILE through the "crying fits" that sometimes
overwhelm motherhood!

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13, emphasis added)

Today's Daily Devotion - Failing FORWARD!

Failing Forward... by

Author:Renee Swope

"The steps of a [woman] are established by the Lord, and He delights in [woman] way. When [woman] falls, [woman] will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds [woman] hand." Psalm 37:23-24 (NASB)

Devotion:

I admire, maybe even envy, people who aren't afraid to fail. You know, those people who see personal setbacks as another goal to conquer. People who don't even consider defeat when they blow it.
I wish I were that kind of person. But honestly, I am not always so courageous in the face of failure.
Failure is painful. It's embarrassing. And sometimes it makes me want to give up, mainly on myself.
God is teaching me a lot about failing. In fact, He is giving me a little push these days, to fail forward.
This week He's been challenging me to determine in my heart and mind that I am a work in progress and move forward even when I have a setback. He is reminding me that I am a woman who is becoming all He created her to be.

A woman who is growing.
A woman who is getting better and better each day.
A woman who is not perfect - but who tries to surrender to God's perfect love and perfect power at work in her.

Failing forward...after I shoot harsh words across the room to "shoosh" my child when he announces that the yogurt in our near empty refrigerator has expired and there is nothing to eat! That is, after I'd just opened the large container of perfectly good yogurt, eaten some myself and served it to his brother for a snack.

Failing forward...after I criticize my husband and realize I failed to honor my man, again. Instead I've added to an already stressful day for the husband and father who just brought home groceries.

Failing forward...after I let myself be "too busy" to take the time to encourage, sit with, talk to, and listen to my always-giving-and-forgiving-mom who stopped by unexpectedly this afternoon.

Failing forward...after I tell God that a certain ministry assignment is too stinkin' hard so I can't do it because surely I don't have what it takes.

Every time I fail to be the woman God calls me to be, or the woman I expect myself to be, God reminds me of the progress we've made. Because, even though I may not be who I want to be, I am not who I used to be!

And I get that much closer to who I am meant to be every time I fail forward.

"I can relate to this story ladies and maybe you can too! Let us be reminded of our all loving, all forgiving God of Heaven awaiting us with open arms always to begin again..." Nichole

TODAY'S PRAYER:
Dear Lord, I am so thankful that with Your help, I can fail forward!! I don't have to see my setbacks as a step back. In fact they can lead me forward if I let them. Today, I will take Your hand and trust Your heart as You pull me back up again and use my failures to help me become the woman You created me to be.
In Jesus' Name, amen.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mom, Dad and Joshua during Worship Service


Our church family at GVF www.gvfonline.org (thanks Nick) took this photo of Tony and I as we introduced our newest little cherub to the congregation one week after his birth. We are truly overwhelmed by the love of God and His provision over our lives as we worship together side by side as husband and wife and now as new parents to our first son together, Joshua Gabriel.

We are joyfully committed to raising our children to know, love and serve the Lord at a young age so they can have a strong faithful foundation to live by.

Spencer and Joshua


Big brother, Spencer, holding Joshua for the first time at the hospital. Do you think he looks excited about being a BIG brother now? Yah!

Allen Family KID STATS:
Spencer Patrick Fisher (Nichole's first born son)
1st Grader
Birthday: 12/18/2000
Spencer enjoys playing XBox360, KidZui/computer games, eating all kinds of food, the beach, coloring, using his ever growing imagination, outdoor sports with Dad and big brother Charles, laughing, riding his scooter and reading with Mom & Josh.

We love you Spencer!!! Keep up the good work...

Charles and Joshua

Big brother Charles Anthony holding newest little brother (about a week old here) Joshua...

Allen Family - KID STATS:
Charles Anthony Orfe (Nichole's Step Son)
4th Grader
Birthday: 10/23/1998
Charles enjoys baseball with Dad as Coach, XBox 360, KidZui - computer games, playing football with his brother Spencer, riding his bike, reading, writing poetry and enjoys learning something new everyday!

We love you Charles!!! Keep up the good work in school...

A New Baby Boy to Love

Joshua Gabriel Allen, born, April 16th, 2009.
Our son's name meaning - "Jesus, my salvation, man of God" - is very dear to our hearts as Tony and I were brought together and by faith, we dedicated our lives to Christ and re-married 08/26/2006 and Joshua is now our first child together! Each of our children truly are a "Gift from the Lord", a "reward from Him"

Surprise! Another BOY... WHAT?

Boy O' Boy... Here I am celebrating (at the end of my pregnancy - March 2009) high blood pressure and all with family and friends at my baby shower! I love my family, they are just so funny... Can you see the enthusiasm on my face?
So, I thought I'd share with you some family photos and baby videos throughout this blog for some insight into the path that God is leading in my life right now, Ah.... the joys of motherhood, no longer "my hood" as mom is outnumbered (4 to 1 now) but I wouldn't trade it for the world!
As most of the moms out there already know, me time is no longer "me time" as Motherhood truly takes over in it's own form and place whether we want it or not!
I'll add a few photos and videos to keep you interested in following our family journey along the way! Enjoy the moments and share in the joys, struggles and champion along with me as we raise our children in the ways of the Lord and I mean champion, fight with FAITH and LOVE in your heart for the sake of a Godly home! :)

Mommy Inspiration!
Take time to smell those roses already, take a walk, hug your kids, hug your husband and encourage him with words of affirmation daily, bless God through your gifts and talents (He gave them to you to begin with), bless everyone you talk to, walk by faith, pray everyday, stand strong and put a smile on your face even if you don't feel like it, I dare you and see God open doors for you that you never thought possible!