Find-a-Friend Friday: Meet Allison (and me)

Find-a-Friend Friday is fast becoming one of my favorite things about blogging.  I am so impressed with these women who see themselves as totally ordinary, but don’t they just shine in their interviews?  Today we are going to meet Allison, who emailed me back and asked me if I would answer all the questions too.  So I did, and she has posted *my* interview over at her blog today.  So stick around here to get to know Allison, and then hop over there to learn a little bit more about me.

It didn’t take me very many visits over at her blog to decide that Allison was a quality mother and woman.  She is the real deal.  She takes beautiful photos, and her posts are simple, yet like her blog title claims, inspirational.  Here’s a link to one of my favorites of her recent posts.  I think once you read a little bit more about her, you’ll see she really didn’t need much of an introduction from me.  Blog world, meet Allison.

One thing I love about Stephanie is that she can say the things I am feeling in my heart.  She can put to words what ends up as babbling when I try to express the same thing. Thanks Stephanie, I’m honored to be a friend.  [I just have to say that all these participants so far have said the nicest things about me, which is so sweet, but I swear that it is not a condition of being a Friday friend.  Please don’t think one of the question items is:  “Now talk about how cool I am.”  Thanks though, Allison.  You and the others have been beyond kind to me.]

My name is Allison Kimball and my introduction is much like my life: scattered, bouncing to and fro.  I’m a 37-year-old mother to 9 children and wife to one amazing and patient man (John).  I have 5 daughters and 4 sons.  My 4 oldest (daughters) are biological and my 5 youngest (4 sons and 1 daughter) are adopted.  I did not name my daughter Fred, my children all have lovely names but have chosen to have pseudonyms online {which you can see here: (the boys and the girls).}

I am left-handed as are all of my boys.  John is right-handed as are all the girls (well almost we don’t know about Loafie yet.)  I have yet to decide what I want to be when I grow up, so I have not graduated from a university yet.  I think I might have the most hours for a senior ever.  Before children 7, 8, and 9 I worked as a freelance artist in the scrapbooking industry both with manufacturers and magazines.  I am currently exploring and designing digitally.

I am the oldest of 5 children and according to my siblings I’m still bossy. I can’t wait to serve a mission again, this time with my darling John.  In fact I have asked every bishop we’ve ever had if he will accept our family as missionaries.  We have been rejected every time.  I love God more than I love my family, which is saying a great deal. I’ve told my children that if they are ever in a situation where they are commanded to deny God to save my life they better choose God.

1. What’s your favorite part of motherhood?

Hugs, kisses, “I love you”, reading together, snuggling, more kisses, working together, smiles and thank you’s, hugs from children who don’t like to give hugs, kisses on each cheek, talking and late nights, singing in the car (50’s songs are our favorites… we sing a mean “Wild Thing”), more hugs, more kisses, watching my children play and hearing their laughter.

2. What part of motherhood would you subcontract out if you could?

All the cleaning.

3. Name 2 or 3 items on your “bucket list.”  (Some things you’d like to do before you die.)

1. Seeing all my children remain faithful in their testimonies of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
2. I would love to travel.  Meet new people and see the beauty of the world.

4. Brag for a minute.  Do it.  What are a few things that you’re pretty good at?

I’m very good at procrastination.  I’m great at avoidance (check out my laundry room for proof). I’m amazing at self-deprecation (who needs enemies) and I excel in the art of guilt.

I’ve also been blessed with artistic talents, which I thoroughly enjoy and to quote Mrs. Elton (Emma), “I don’t say so, my friends say I certainly know how to make a sandwich.”

5. What are you loving lately?

1. wacom tablet
2. black and gray clothing
3. sushi (learning to make my own)
4. hearing my children practice the piano
5. my mop (lovely lime green microfiber beauty)
6. lists
7. cars with brakes that work
8. fresh chicken eggs (they are pretty)
9. black and white photography
10. fabric

6. Do you have a favorite scripture or quote?  Why?

Favorites are hard to choose because, depending on my life, a new verse will have meaning. That being said I’m very certain D&C section 6 was written for me. It’s my go to section and far to wonderful to quote, but I often hear verse 23 in my mind:

“Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter?  What greater witness can you have than from God?”  D&C 6:23

7. What do you gravitate toward during your unscheduled time?

Reading, quilting, cooking, photography, more quilting, learning something new.

8. Tell us some of your best mom-tricks  (things you’ve figured out that work well for you).

I have none.  Really, just when I think I’ve figured something out with one child it suddenly stops working and it rarely works for another child.  Wait, I just remembered something. If we don’t have scripture study as a family we fall apart.  I’m not joking about this, especially if I make significant time in my personal study everything goes so smoothly.  I think that the children were learning subconsciously because most are not awake during scripture study, but it still makes a difference.

“Our reading the scriptures, even one verse at a time, does penetrate into their hearts the words of our Heavenly Father. The faith it takes as a parent to simply do it will invite the Spirit of the Holy Ghost to permeate their hearts and our homes. Reading the scriptures with children is like learning a foreign language. In time the natural rhythm of the words and the interpretation become clear. Alma compared the word unto a seed. Even among children the word “beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me” (Alma 32:28).”  General Primary Presidency

9. What’s something you don’t usually want people to know about you, but that they need to know if they’re going to be your friend?

I don’t think there is anything. I’m an open book. I will open the front door and invite you in even if I’m still in my pajamas.

10. If you were in charge of a girls’ night out, what kind of activity would you love to plan?

Girls night includes my four favorite girls: Munch, Arnold, Gus, and Fred (Loafie can start coming when she gets bigger).  We love to get sushi (some of us more than others) or great Italian (never Mexican, we know authentic and it’s hard to duplicate).  We often go to a movie or play.  When I asked Arnold what we do (because I couldn’t remember) she said, “We mostly talk. That’s the most important part.”

11. Friends are great for venting.  What’s been frustrating you lately?

Anything that comes out of the body that doesn’t land where it should (ie. vomit). Toilets, don’t like cleaning toilets.  I also have a thing about emptying the dishwasher, not sure why.

12. What parts of your testimony are you the most sure of?

God lives. Jesus is the Christ. Faith, not fear. I am nothing with out a merciful Father in Heaven.

Tell us about your blog:

I blog at allisonkimball.com, (“simple inspirations”). I blog:
*to remember the silly moments in our lives.
*so my children will have a visual record of who they are and what we believe no matter where they are in the world.
*to express myself artistically.
*to share the talents the Lord has given.
*for our birth mothers
*for parents who faithfully serve missions.
*because it challenges me to be a better writer (still working on this one).
*to have another excuse to take more photographs
*to stay connected to friends and family.
*to remember how much I love my children on the difficult days.
*because I love hearing my children talk about what I have posted.
*to help me see the Lord’s hand in our lives.

I love it.  Thank you, Allison.

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13 thoughts on “Find-a-Friend Friday: Meet Allison (and me)

  1. i LOVE you Allison…You are my kind of woman! I want to grow up to be just like you…in about 4 years..hee hee!! Great pick, Steph!

  2. Allison has a spark of energy in her writing. She must have that spark with children. I was listening to Elder Nelson’s talk from October 2010 and he was talking about being a missionary and how the light would radiate from loving the gospel. Her writing expresses that light and she is a missionary now like it says in the Primary song “I Want To Be A Missionary Now.” Keep up the good work!

  3. I have read both interviews. Both of them are inspiring. I agree, this might be my new favorite feature. I am loving getting to “know” these women that I so admire here on blogland.

    Thank you for being the host and the “idea momma” of this amazing series. I love it.

  4. Allison is every bit as real and wonderful as this interview! You have my word on it! She is my, dare I say it?, oldest cousin which translates into wisest cousin for me. I remember one summer when I was about 9 getting to sleep over at her house. She braided my hair all fancy, took time to talk to me, etc even though she was older (a teenager!) and had friends of her own who were asking for her attention. I have never forgotten that.

    Love you, Al!

  5. I’m back to say how much I enjoyed reading your interview.

    When I moved back to Utah from CA, it took me a bit to make friends and find my grounds. I know how you feel and I hope you feel comfortable here soon.

    Good luck to your husband on the exam.

    Thanks for sharing all you do on your blog. I learn so many good things when I come here.

    Have a great Friday!

  6. Hi Allison! As soon as I saw your picture, I recognized you and your family from your scrapbook layouts in CK. I’ve been a fan of your work for a long time. It’s great to “meet” you on here! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  7. Hi Allison! It will be nice to have your blog on hand…I used to work in the scrapbook industry a bit, too, and your work was always some of my favorite. And I’m not just saying that, either. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself!

  8. Hey, this is a cool feature! Of course, reading about Allison’s awesomeness – as I’m sitting here in my workout clothes while my son is playing video games – makes me feel like just a touch more ordinary. She definitely sounds like someone I would want to be friends with.

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