Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy!

So we've had a pretty busy time since Thanksgiving with birthdays and parties and a baptism...so I haven't had the chance to update the blog yet. So really quick, Emmy had her princess party on Dec. 5th. She had several little girls over and they all were dressed up as princesses. We had a "banquet" with plastic champagne glasses and puch. We played games, made crowns, made bracelets and just had lots of fun! Normally I make some really cute cake, but Emmy and I decided to do cupcakes this time and let them decorate them on their own. They had a lot of fun! Luckily my friend Danna came over and helped me out with all the wild little girls. THANKS DANNA!!!!!!!

The next week on the 12th we had Sterling's birthday party. He had 4 friends over and we had a detective party. They identified fingerprints, matched hair/fiber samples, bootprints, smells and sounds. Then they had to use the info they gathered to decide which suspect committed the crime. Afterward, we brought the cake out, but it had gone missing and the boys had to do a scavenger hunt all over the house to find it. They seemed to have lots of fun also. in fact one little boy told it was the best party he'd ever been to. Sterling's cake was easy this year too, I did a magnifying glass. Fun, Fun, Fun!!

On Saturday the 13th Sterling got baptized!! We are so proud of him for making the decision to be baptized. He has been trying really hard to do what is right and we are just so lucky to have him as our son. Conratulations Sterling! We lvoe you soooo much!

Finally the last big event happened last night...Sterling lost his first tooth! Yea!! Finally! The tooth fairy even made a visit leaving a whole dollar for him! It took a little work to get that stubborn tooth out. We spent all evening wiggling and pulling it. Finally at bedtime he agreed to let me tie a string around it and try to pull it out that way. It took 5-6 tried but finally it popped out. It apparently hurt cause he cried quite a bit and then when he saw the blood he got even more upset. I guess we should have prepared him for that. After he calmed down he said he was glad it was out so he could eat regular food and not soft food anymore.

Overall it's been busy, but fun! And just think, Christmas is only 9 days away!!!! And of course before that Rob and I will celebrate our 10 year anniversary. Can you believe it! It's been the best 10 years of our lives! RIGHT ROB!!!!!!!????? That's what I thought. ;-)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mom Songs

Oh yeah! This is sooooooo my life!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My gross eye...update

So I went to the dr. today so they could check my blood pressure and make sure that the ruptured vessel wasn't caused by high blood pressure. Luckily my pressure was perfect so I just have to live with looking like a freak for a while. I've told Rob that next time he wants to beat me to do it in places where my clothes will naturally hide the bruises. The eye is just too obvious a place. Just kidding Hon! Enjoy the photo! I would hate for anyone to miss out on seeing my eye like this.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cute Costumes, Scary Mommy!

First, the cute: Meet Harry, Snow, Darth and Buzz, our new kids! So Halloween is come and gone and all that is left are memories and lots of candy. We decided to to take the kiddos Trunk-or-Treating at the Church. We had Dimple donuts (try not to be jealous John!)and cider and the kids ran around the gym until it was time to begin. There was costume parade and then the Trunk-or-Treating began outside. We had nice weather. probably around mid 60's so the kids were comfortable in their costumes without jackets. They got lots of candy and had lots of fun with their friends. After that was over we drove to Manhattan to see the Grandparents. We stopped at Nana's (Rob's mom) first then headed over to Grandma's house. We didn't do anymore Trick-or-Treating since it was after 9:00pm but over all it was a fun and productive Halloween. We should be good on candy until at least Christmas.

Now, to the scary part of Halloween: my eye. Wednesday one of the carpool mom's pointed out that I had a ruptured blood vessel in my left eye. I had not noticed since it was in the left corner and could only be seen when I looked to the side. Well, it has continued to spread and can now be seen quite easily. This completely grosses Rob out. And I have had numerous questions as to what I did to my eye, so to answer, I don't know. But it doesn't hurt or affect my vision. Online it said it could be caused by coughing or sneezing too hard or by undiagnosed high blood pressure. I figure I'll call the dr. Monday and see what they say though I'm not terribly worried about it. My eye was probably the scariest part of Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Presents and Pumpkins

So, we've had a pretty cool day today. Rob attended a conference at work today and at the end day there was drawing for door prizes. Rob never wins at these things so imagine my surprise when I get a call from Rob telling me he has a surprise for me when he gets home. When I got home my surprise was...a new camera!! His ticket was the first one drawn and he got his choice of prizes. He choose a red Kodak EasyShare. I've been wanting a new camera for a loooong time and have been checking out ads and online to see how much cameras cost. I'm so excited!! Right now it's charging on our mantel and I can't wait to use it!! Thanks Rob!!!

Tonight we also decided to carve pumpkins for Halloween. Sterling and Emmy had huge pumpkins and Joe and Cori's were smaller. I helped Sterling and Emmy and Rob helped Joe and Cori. It was a lot of fun and really messy, but the kids were very proud of their work. Aren't they scary/cute?!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cat Goes for Ride

Cori had his birthday on Saturday and is now 3 years old! Yea!!! One of his presents was a sit and spin. He just loves it and being the kind, considerate child that he is, he wanted to share that enjoyment with his beloved cat, Spike. Doesn't she look thrilled with the arrangement? Always concerned with customer service there was a short satisfaction survey following the ride:
Cori: Was that fun?
Cat(who oddly enough sounds a lot like Cori): Yes
Well, there you have it. Straight from the cat's mouth!
As a side note to this story, you will notice that Cori is wearing underpants in these pictures. That's right, he's potty training and doing an awesome job. The first day we had 6-7 accidents but the last 2 days he has been dry! Yea!!! Hopefully, it will stay that way from now on. Finally, no more diapers (except at nap and bed time!)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Paranoia and Pregnancy

I am not usually a paranoid person, in fact I consider myself pretty rational and level headed, but this pregnancy has totally messed that up! I attribute it to our recent bad luck in the pregnancy department. As you can see in the pregnancy updates, we had a sono recently. This was not a scheduled sono (that's not until Oct. 21) but because I am paranoid and I can turn anything into a possible problem we had this done. I won't go into details, but needless to say that everything was fine and it was probably all in my head, plus I was at the same point in my pregnancy that we lost Robert Allen. It was amazing though to see our little baby moving and the little heart beating. We saw legs and hands and feet and head. We also saw the stomach and kidney and bladder. Baby is swallowing fluid just like it should. Way to be normal baby!! The measurements showed the baby to be right on schedule with no visible problems. We will still have another sono on the 21st since they couldn't clearly see everything they wanted to on the ultrasound (like the 4 chambers of the heart). And in case you're wondering, no we don't know what we're having. And if we find out at the next one we won't tell anyway. Chances are that we will do what we did last time, Rob will find out and I won't. We also have names picked out, but as in the past, we will keep them secret until the baby is born.

I've been Tagged...again!

Ok so I have to share 7 random things about myself. Here goes.......

1. I like the smell of coffee, even though I would never drink it.

2. I love to read all kinds of books and will often ignore my kids to read.

3. I still take naps during the day with my two little kids and although I can use pregnancy as an excuse now, I've been taking them since Sterling was born and have never stopped.

4. I love songs, movies and books that make me cry, but there aren't many that do. And I hate to cry in front of others.

5. I am very opinionated and will debate and discuss any issue I care about with anyone at anytime. And I'll always think that I'm right no matter what the other person says. After all, I am a Balsmeier and have been granted the incredible power of knowing everything!

6. I can never understand that there are people who don't believe the Church is true. After all, it all fits together so perfectly and makes sense and is supported in the scriptures. I wonder how others can't see that. At least Rob had the good sense to know it was true! It must have been my incredible example that convinced him of it. Right hon?! Err...ummm...maybe not.

7. I actually like labor (as in childbirth, not as in work!). I like to know that I can get through it without any medication although I have no opinions that everyone should or can or should even want to do that! I like feeling everything during labor and the subsequent adrenaline rush when it's all over and you have a perfect little baby to show for it.

I'll spare anyone from being tagged, but if you want to do this be my guest!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Today is JoJo's 4th birthday. He's gotten to be such a big boy. We had his party last night at my mom's house. My mom, Scott, Jordan, Blake (Jordan's Boyfriend), Taylor, Pat and Bruce (Rob's parents), Rebecca and Jason (Rob's sister and her husband), and a friend from Mom's ward were there. We had a BBQ with lots of good food and conversation. Jo got lots of presents that he loved. Guns, cowboy hat, Darth Vader cape, Indiana Jones satchel, construction set, a book, a movie, TMNT weapon and mask set, and an Indiana Jones whip. He was so excited to open each of his gifts, of course Cori was mad that he didn't get any. It's hard to explain to an almost three year old that he'll get some at his birthday next month. For Jo's cake I made a dragon that I found the directions for online. It turned out pretty cute, I think. Overall, we had lots of fun and Jo was spoiled rotten! Thanks to Pat for the pictures! We didn't think to bring our camera.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Memory Tag

I saw this on my friends blog and thought it'd be fun to do.

Here's how it works:

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together, or one of the first memories you have of me. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kids keep your ego in check

So, JoJo gets off the bus today and I ask for a hug. He runs over gives me a big hug then, knowing that my ego was probably inflated too much and wanting to ensure that I wasn't too full of myself, he says, "Mommy, I didn't miss you very much." Awwww! How sweet ;-) Of course I can't help but laugh. At least he's honest and apparently well adjusted despite my best efforts to the contrary. I'd say that at least Cori still loves me...except that he kicks me out of his room every night, but lets Rob hang out as long as he wants. I guess I'm no ones favorite anymore :*( Ok, well, secretly I'm thrilled that they all like daddy better (it means they cry for him at night) but I have to pretend that I'm devastated so that Rob doesn't catch on!!! And yes, Clara, having only one child home in the mornings 4 days a week is wonderful, awesome, incredible, etc. My house is soooooo much quieter (Cori has no one to fight with) and much cleaner. Going to the store is a breeze and I can do it and smile and laugh the whole time. I never find myself on the verge of tying up Cori and hiding him in the racks of clothes until I can get away. Just remember, for those with multiple little ones at home, I've been there and done that and survived (and so did the kids). Plus, I get to do it again come Feb...so my reprieve is but a short one. Try not to be too jealous.

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Day of Preschool

JoJo's first day of preschool was on August 20. He was so excited, especially about riding the bus. When the bus pulled up he jumped off his toy and ran over to get his back pack. He had the biggest, goofiest, JoJo grin on his face! Poor Cori was devastated that he did not get to ride on the bus and cried in the driveway for about 15 minutes saying, "My turn ride de bus!" He and Jo constantly argue over who goes to preschool and rides the bus. (Cori insists that he does) This can be frustrating to Jo who knows that's not true. The next day Cori was accepting of the fact that he doesn't get to ride the bus...yet! JoJo also decided that he didn't need me to help him to the bus. When I tried to hold his hand and walk him down the driveway he pulled it away and said, "I can do it!". Pretty soon he'll be embarassed to even kiss me in public! I've noticed that with only Cori home in the morning it's much quieter and the house stays a lot cleaner, but I do miss the kiddos when they're at school. I am so glad that school has started though!!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

First Day of School!!

Today is Emmy's and Sterling's first day of school. Emmy is in kindergarten and Sterling is in 2nd grade. I'm excited for them and for me!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tag, I'm it!

Well, my sister-in-law Megan tagged me to do a post about Rob. She did one on her husband (my little brother Larry) so I guess it's my turn...here goes!

Hubby Tag!!

1. What is his name? Robert Earle

2.Who eats more? Definitely me! Of course, now I have the excuse that I'm eating for two so that makes me feel better.

3.Who said I love you first? He did, although I lead him to it. We were at a park on the merry go round at night. We both had taken some French so I asked him to say something romantic and he said "Je t'aime". I said that I loved him too. We'd been dating about three months at that point.

4. Who is taller? Rob, but not by much!

5. Who is smarter? Tough call. We are both fairly intelligent people so I'd say it's even. But in reality it's probably me ;-) It's in my genes!

6.Who is more sensitive? Ummm....me, me, me! Case in point, I'm sitting on the couch, looking at Robert Allen's scrapbook and crying. Rob walks in. observes the scene, and profoundly says, "Why are you crying?" You've got to love a man that sensitive! Seriously though, he's always there when I need him, even if he refuses to cry at sappy commercials about cell phones or laundry detergent.

7.Who does the laundry? Hands down that's Rob. He also has a system for folding that I'd hate to mess up, even though he swears he wouldn't mind. Sometimes I do fold my own clothes and even put them away!

8.Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Rob does, unless you mean the right side from standing at the foot of the bed, then I do. Or if you mean right side as in opposite of the wrong side, and I'm not sure if there's a wrong side to a bed, but if there is, Rob being the man, must therefore sleep on the wrong side, leaving me on the right side. :-)

9. Who pays the bills? Rob. I don't do math if I don't have to. I am however the one who creates most of the bills to be paid, so we have equal responsibility.

10. Who cooks more? Well, me, but only because I have to make breakfast and lunch for the kids and he's at work, but if we're talking about dinner...I don't know. Recently, with me being sick Rob has cooked more often than me.

11. What meals do you cook together? None really, it's usually one or the other of us. One of us has to keep the monsters we call our children under control!

12. Who is more stubborn? Me I think. I'm pretty sure Rob would agree with that assessment.

13. Who is the first to admit they are wrong? Ironically, usually me. Perhaps because I'm the one usually getting upset about stupid things. But I still maintain that I'm always right despite my record of having been wrong sometimes.

14.Who has more siblings? Easily me. Rob comes from a small, quiet family of 3 kids. He has 2 sisters. I come from a large, fun, loud family of 7 kids. I have 5 brothers and 1 sister.

15. Who wears the pants in the relationship? I think I do. I'm the more forceful and aggressive of the two of us so I tend to be the boss (Rob will correct me here and say that being bossy is not the same thing as being the boss). But we always make important decisions together and we really have an equal partnership. That's the only way a marriage can work and be fulfilling for both people.

16.What do you like to do together? Well...{wink, wink, nudge, nudge} to paraphrase my favorite movie "Charly", "Robert and I like to make love!" ;-) We also like to watch TV and movies, read books, go on dates, and just be together. We also play in a little band together.

17. Who eats more sweets? Hmmm...Rob probably eats more than me overall. I tend to prefer salty snacks like popcorn. Although recently I've been craving Oreos!

18. Guilty pleasures? I don't know that Rob has any...sometimes he steals my Oreos or ice cream.

19. How did you meet? Well, I knew of Rob in high school (I was a Freshman and he was a Senior) from marching band, but we officially met in a gas station through my friend Rachel Koch. Rachel though it'd be fun to visit Rob at the gas station where he worked after we had gotten off work. She then set us up on a date and...well, here we are now.

20. Who asked out who first? Well, our first date was set up by my friend, like I said. But the Monday after our first date, I helped Rob to ask me out by asking him the dreaded, "So, what are we exactly?" To which he asked if I'd like to go out with him. I said yes, of course.

21. Who kissed who first? To protect my reputation, I'll say it was Rob. And on our first date too! He corrupted me! (Ok, so maybe that's not how Rob remembers it, but he is over 30 now and his memory isn't all that reliable. After all, I'm still in my twenties.)

22. Who proposed? Rob did. I had been bugging him for a long time about getting engaged. And although I was a mature 17 years old, I guess he thought we should at least wait until I was an adult. So on my 18th birthday he took me to Tuttle Creek Lake to watch the sunset. He told me to close my eyes and when I opened them he was kneeling in front of me with a ring and he asked me to marry him. I started to cry and he said "We'll?" I then said yes (duh!!). After that to make it even more special, he also told me at that point that he had decided the LDS church was true and that he wanted to be baptized!

23. His best feature? Physically, I like all of him, but I love his hands. I have a thing for hands I guess.

24. What is his greatest quality? Wow...that one is hard. He has so many amazing qualities that I can't pick one. He is everything a husband should be. He is patient and kind and considerate. He always puts me first in his life and our family is his priority. He is smart and he honors his priesthood. To me he personifies what a Priesthood holder should be. Sometimes I forget that he wasn't raised LDS because he lives it and believes it so completely. Plus he makes me laugh and if you can laugh you can get through anything. I love him!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

First Appointment

Our first doctor's appointment was on Monday. They did all the normal stuff like weight and blood pressure and then we got to the important part...finding baby's heartbeat. It took a minute to find where the little bugger was hiding, but sure enough there it was. It was fast and strong so I'm a little more relaxed. I hate the waiting between appointments though since it's too soon to feel the baby move, there's really no way to tell if something goes wrong at this point. Oh well, I'll try not to worry too much! Another positive is that my morning sickness has gotten a little better. But it's by no means gone. Hopefully soon though as I'm 10 weeks along now!
Aside from that, the only exciting event was school enrollment! Our kids start back to school on Aug 13, except JoJo who starts preschool on Aug 20. Emmy and Jo are thrilled while Sterling is not so much. I think he likes the freedom of summer. JoJo is really excited to get to ride the school bus! Cori is jealous and keeps telling us "I turn ride 'cool bus!" Of course with Cori, it always his turn for everything. For me, school can't start soon enough. I'm excited to have only 1 kid home in the mornings 4 days a week. Well, until Feb or Mar I guess. It'll be fun while it lasts I guess!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My two Roberts

As perhaps all of you know I have been blessed to have two Roberts in my life both of which are essentially the subject of this post as they have been on my mind a lot recently. You see, we had a sonogram last week and saw the little baby and the heartbeat which is good. The heart rate was about 140 which is excellent. Given those indications the likelihood of miscarriage is decreased, but I'm still nervous and worry about how this will all turn out. This is at least partially due to us approaching the 2 year anniversary of little Robert Allen's birth. 2 years ago yesterday (July 14) we found out that he wouldn't make it and tomorrow is his birthday. Those days were in many ways the beginning of a long and harrowing journey for us and perhaps more especially me. We have coped with the loss of a son and 2 subsequent miscarriage with all the accompanying mental and physical challenges. I still miss Robert Allen so much and wish he were with us. I wish I could say that after 2 years it doesn't hurt, but that's not the case. I don't dwell on it as much, but the pain can still be pretty raw at times but those times are not very often thankfully. Rob, though, has been just incredible this pregnancy (except for the time a couple weeks ago when he ate the last of my oreo cookies!). His burden must be pretty heavy with taking care of me, the kids and the house on top of his normal job, but he never complains. His only concern is that I get the rest that I need and that we do everything we can to ensure the arrival of a live and healthy baby. He is patient with my constant worrying (even though he doesn't quite understand why I worry about stuff that I have little or no control over, like the future). I am the luckiest woman in the world to have such a caring and supportive husband. It amazes me that after nearly 10 years of marriage my love for him only grows. I would think that at some point he or I would get tired of eachother, but not yet I guess. So to my two Roberts, I love you both.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

So Sorry Larry and Megan

We were saddened to learn last week that Larry and Megan had miscarried. We were so sorry to hear that and hope that they will be comforted. I was so excited to share this pregnancy with Megan, but I hope that she will recover quickly and soon experience the joy of motherhood.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

We wanna be like the Balsmeiers...

Ok, so some people try to keep up with the Joneses, we try to keep up with the Balsmeierseseses. Our goal in life is to be as much like John and Clara and also Larry and Megan as possible. They are such cool people that we aspire to their level of awesomeness.

For those who know John and Clara, you may know that they recently got a new minivan. A Honda Odyssey, in fact. (I know, we're all jealous.) Well, that got us to thinkin that we perhaps needed to consider getting a newer vehicle, after all our Dodge minivan has over 135,000 miles on it, plus our big Ford van is just...well too big. So we've been lookin around and hit on a great deal. A 2007 Chrysler Town and Country with 24,896 miles. The price was amazing! About $10,000 less than retail. Now you may be wondering what was wrong with it and it would be a valid question. It is in fact a hail vehicle, but we're not talkin' little dents. Oh no! We're talking softball sized hail dents as well as three broken windows. But other than that, it runs perfect...well as far as we could tell without driving it (safety issues with the broken windshield and rear window you see). We decided to go for it though. For the price they wanted plus the cost of three new windows it was a steal! We will still pay several thousand under retail. There will still be dents, but hey that just adds character. Besides I negotiated for a free bottle of touch up paint, a new plastic piece to replace one that was damaged by hail and hats! Yep, the hats sealed the deal! Hopefully we will be getting it next week (they have to put in the new windows). So, although we're not as high class as John and Clara, we're kind of like their white trash counterparts! By the way, the van has stow-in-go seating...aww yeah baby! places to hide the kids...I mean stuff.

Our next aspiration is to be like Larry and Megan by having a baby. We were excited to learn that they also are expecting. Though, this is their first and our 6th. They are also due around Feb 24. Granted we told them we were pregnant before they knew they were, but I'm sure that subconsciously we were trying to be like them. I do a lot of things subconsciously...like sleep, dream, quantum physics, that kind of stuff. We found out early Father's Day morning and they found out late Father's Day evening. If only Clara would get pregnant! But she insists that 3 is enough for now...especially since the youngest is only, like, 4 months old. Interestingly, Clara's baby Isaac was also born in February...I guess she was just a year early. Way to jump the gun Clara! ;-) So to our Balsmeier Family counterparts: Way to be good role models for us, your white trash relations!

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Stick for Father's Day

That's right. For father's day I gave Rob a urine soaked stick! I can't say that he was thrilled with the gift, perhaps because I woke him up at 4:30am to give it to him. (Hey! I had to pee! I couldn't wait for a more appropriate hour!) I then informed him that he had again managed to knock a girl up! Lucky for him, that girl was me. We are thrilled of course, but I tend to worry a lot. I hate not knowing the outcome ahead of time! Especially given the outcome of the last three pregnancies. Rob just tells me not to worry and I just laugh at him. Yeah right! Hopefully all will go well and we will welcome a new little Bidwell into our crew around February 24, 2009! Keep us in your prayers!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Shocking Revelation

Ok, so I have a revelation that will shock and amaze you all!
ER visits, though expensive, do not make good dates. Now, I'm sure that many of you are probably passing out from shock so I'll give you a few moments to recover...Better now? Good. This recent discovery occurred Saturday night. Emmy had been diagnosed with yet another UTI (urinary tract infection for those who don't know) on Monday, May 2 at a routine check up at Children's Mercy's Enuresis clinic. We started her on antibiotics a couple days later. Suddenly on Saturday evening she had a fever of 102.4 F and she complained that her back hurt. Now those two signs together can indicate that the infection had spread to her kidneys. And yes, that would be bad. So I called the Dr and the nurse said she needed to be seen. SO around 9pm Robert and I trekked on over to the ER. Well, when we arrived there was a nice little sign informing us that the demand had momentarily exceeded the ER's resources or something, so the wait could be 4-8 hours. Yes that's right, 4-8 hours! That's a full time workday! But what else could we do but wait. So we waited....and waited...and waited. You would think with all that quality time, err rather quantity time, that Rob and I would have a wonderful time talking to each other. Not so. We probably only said 20 things to each other the whole time. All I could think was "They can't be serious!" Well, I guess we hit the tail end of the rush cause we only had to wait 4 hours to see a Dr. After she was seen they decided that she needed IV fluids and antibiotics. So we had to wait another 2 hours for the IV to finish. Apparently conversation at 3:00am is near impossible without getting annoyed at each other so we just shut up. We were lucky in that our curtain area had a TV in it so we were able to watch some TV. Surprisingly there's not much on at that time that's worth watching. Finally, they let us go home around 3:45am. So...the point of my story is that although it was a weekend and Rob and I were together and spent a lot of money, we did not have a good time. Therefore, ER visits make bad dates! Next time one of our kids needs to go to the ER I think we'll save the money and patch 'em up at home. Then we'll go to a really nice restaurant and maybe a hotel room after! We'd get a better value for our money...and probably a better relationship too!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Black Holes

We have been home a total of two days now and yesterday after Rob got home from work he commented on how incredibly quickly our house has become messy. Keep in mind that despite my best efforts to avoid this upleasant (and might I add futile) task, I managed to clean the whole house before we left. You would not know it by looking at it now (or even just yesterday!) Within one day it looks like we never left, well except for all the Disney contraband... err.. I mean, souvenirs. So I was thinking why is this so? What causes our house to attract so many messes.
Well, I've figured it out! Our house is a black hole!!! According to redorbit.com a black hole is "A region of space that has so much mass concentrated in it that there is no way for a nearby object to escape its gravitational pull." Now, I don't know about the whole mass thing, but we sure have a lot of stuff and stuff has mass therefor our house must have lots of mass. Now with all this mass apparently other "stuff" is unavoidably drawn to our home. This explains why our house is so messy despite me having cleaned it completely just before leaving on vacation. So you see, it's not that I'm a bad housekeeper...though that may be the case (I'm not admitting it mind you, just hypothetically speaking). It's simply that the laws of the universe dictate that stuff must always be pulled towards our house and, due to gravity, right onto the floor. It would be so much more convenient if gravity could attract things into containers or onto shelves, but apparently whoever created it (you know who you are!!) didn't think of that! So because "there is no way for a nearby object to escape its gravitational pull" we end up with lots of stuff! I just knew it couldn't be my fault.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Our Disney Vacation!!!!

Wohoo!! We are back from our magical vacation and it was fun! Aside from the fighting and crying, the tantrums and whining and the impatient children and parents it was great! We took over 600 pictures and videos, so you'll have to be patient while we sort through them and slowly get some posted.
The kids seemed to have a really good time. The days were long and involved a lot of walking and some waiting, but they handled it pretty well. They got several souvenirs and tons of memories.
Perhaps their favorite memory can be seen in the following video. This is the long anticipated "Trash Talkin" video. So enjoy and watch for the sequel "Trash Talkin 2" coming soon!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Ok, so I'm a slacker and haven't kept the blog updated. I can only blame my incredible ability to procrastinate. Well, here it is, the long awaited video of us telling the kids that we will be going to Disney World on May 20th instead of in December as they have thought all along. It has everything a good movie should: tears, suspense, unexpected twists and turns and finally pure joy as the forces of evil are defeated and truth triumphs...or something along those lines anyway.
It was a lot of fun telling them, but the packing and stuff is not so much. Luckily I have my handy packing list and even though it's only Saturday night I have most of the packing finished. Some might think that a result of my innate sense of organization, but alas, they would be WRONG! I am not organized neither do I really have a desire to be so...too much effort you see. Rather, it's because I would rather pack than clean the house. I simply chose the lesser of two evils. Do not pity me, we must all make tough choices each day...perhaps not as important as whether to pack or do dishes, but not everyone can be as stalwart as I...or maybe lazy is a better word...Hmmm, I dunno. Anyway, at the moment all we are waiting for is Rob to get his clothing packed. Yes, I let Rob choose his own clothes and dress himself as anyone who's seen Rob can testify. (Sorry Hon! Orange pants still don't go with a gray suit coat.)
A lot of other things have been going on in our home, but there's not time to write about them tonight...however, were any of you aware that although both are paper, construction paper does not flush down the toilet like toilet paper does? Even if you pee on it first! Go figure! I would like to thank JoJo for that discovery. What would we do without toddlers to teach us all the mysteries of the universe! Well, farewell for now! I will hopefully have some stories and pics when we return from the Wonderful World of Disney!!!! By the way, anyone interested in making contributions to us to offset the cost of this tremendously expensive vacation, feel free to do so. We have no problem accepting charity or pity as long as it is in the form of CASH!! ;-)

Friday, April 25, 2008

To Utah and Back

We made it home! After a week of travel we finally arrived home yesterday at 7:00am. It was a wonderful vacation and Allen's and Megan's wedding was beautiful! The kiddos did pretty good on the loooong drive out and back, with no major catastrophes to speak of. They all loved playing with their cousins, Abbi and Jake as well as their newly discovered Simpson cousins. The hotel we stayed at was very nice and even had a pool! We however forgot swimsuits, but a quick trip to Deseret Industries (a church owned thrift store) rectified that problem. We managed to swim twice and had lots of fun splashing and playing. Emmy liked the hot tub best of all! The breakfast was good too. There were waffles, bagels, cereal, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, and best of all, you could make your own egg McMuffins! There were a couple of days that they didn't have sausage patties, but we survived somehow! JoJo and Cori opted for waffles everyday as well as cereal if they were still hungry. Emmy mostly had cereal and Sterling had a waffle and an egg sandwich. He was very independent and made his own breakfast each morning. We also would take food upstairs each day for later since we had a little fridge. It was definitely a busy week with a lot of running around. But it was all worth it!
Megan and Allen looked so happy together and so in love! I loved to watch them together. John was as generous as ever, taking care of all the little things that people forgot, like tablecloths or meals. I am so impressed with my family. They are incredible people. I am so grateful that I have been blessed to be born into such and incredible family. It's so wonderful to see my Aunts and Uncles and cousins. Even though we don't see each other often, we still love each other and when we get together it's like no time has passed, except you don't recognize anyone cause they're all grown up ;-)
Everyone did whatever they could to help us get the reception and wedding accomplished. From borrowing cake stuff from Chantelle to Camille babysitting all day so I could bake! Bob and Kathy hosted sunday dinner with all 20 billion of us crammed in their house (no broken windows!!!) Susie and Mark hosted the wedding shower at their home and Matt and Amy got us a really good deal on our hotel rooms! Jenni managed to save Cori from a horrible fate by carrying him upstairs when he was abandoned in the basement at Bob and Kathy's. As long as I live I will never forget the image of Jenni in her dress and apron and Cori cuddled up to her as she brought him upstairs. Awwww! So Sweet!
Thanks so much to everyone! You made our week easier and better just by being there. I am so thankful for my family and I love them all dearly. We may not be organized or efficient, but we sure know how to have a good time!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Congratulations Sterling!

Sterling receives Award for Book

Last night our family attended the KTWU Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest award ceremony. Also in attendance were Grandma, Nana and Sterling's teacher, Mrs. Keller. As I explained earlier this contest was for K-3rd grades and each entrant wrote and illustrated their own story. It was then judged by a panel who awarded 1st-3rd place in each grade level. There were also awards for Best Story and Best Illustrations. We are pleased to announce that Sterling was awarded a medal for...Best Story!! He was so cute up there, although he didn't crack a smile once! Fame is a serious responsibility after all. All entrants were given a blue ribbon and a book as part of the ceremony. They also had the opportunity to meet and get their picture taken with Curious George! As soon as George walked on stage Cori started yelling "wanna see George!" Jo and Cori were so excited to meet Curious George. An informal reception was held at our home following the ceremony to celebrate the up and coming author/illustrator. Cake and ice cream was served and the kiddos had fun showing off for Mrs. Keller. We are very proud of our little boy! He did a good job!!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Romance is in the air

Well, I'm not sure we're ready for it, but we may need to plan a couple of weddings soon. Sterling and Emmy are both in love. Some might say that 7 and 5 are too young to know what love is, but we can't convince them otherwise...and besides, they are mature for their ages.

Sterling's love is none other than a girl in his class named Quinn. They've known each other for almost 2 years now. They met in kindergarten and their love has blossomed. The amazing thing, Sterling's friend Jack doesn't like Quinn and doesn't want to sit by her at lunch, yet Sterling persists despite Jack's displeasure! Now that's true love!

Emmy's love life is a little more complicated. She is in love with two "men". One is Jake, a much older man of almost 10 years. The second is a younger man of 4 named Dominic. He is in her preschool, but Jake and Emmy have known each other since her birth. So, it's the new guy versus the old guy. Which will it be? Will long term friendship turned love trump new love? Who's to say. Emmy's wedding plans flip flop often (depending on who she was with last!). It's Jake and then it's Dominic. Back and forth. The latest version is that if Dominic won't have her she'll marry Jake. One other minor factor (and it could be deciding) Jake does not seem interested in marriage at this stage of life. In fact when asked by me and his mother if he would marry Emmy he promptly replies "No!" Can we say"Fear of committment"! We'll keep you posted on any further developments...although we're not sure where either Sterling or Emmy will get money for rings should it come to that.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Budding Author?

Ahh...another lovely day! Well, we received a phone call a couple days ago from a woman at KTWU (our local PBS station) with a cryptic message. You see, Sterling has written and illustrated a book for a contest that KTWU holds each year for K-3rd graders. The child writes and illustrates his/her own story and then submits it to KTWU for their contest. It has to be an original piece of work and the kids do all the work themselves. (Well, mostly. I did type it for Sterling, but he made it up and drew the pictures) Anyway, they award 1st-3rd place in each grade level and I believe there's an overall best book. Well, the woman asked if we planned on being at the ceremony on April 9. Rob said we were planning on it. She said that was good. That she was just calling to make sure we would be there because "we would be very disappointed if we weren't". We were also asked not to tell Sterling as other children in his school submitted work but would not be receiving a phone call. We can only conclude that Sterling has placed and will be receiving an award! This is the second year he has done this and last year he did not place. Although everyone gets a ribbon and certificate just for participating. We are so excited for him, but of course he does not know! We will keep you updated as to the results of the contest. And, please, don't say anything to Sterling!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

To Colorado and Back!

Well, we have had our first trip of the year and overall it was successful. I left Wednesday morning to drive to John and Clara's with just me and the kids. It was a long trip, but the kids were pretty well behaved. It's the first time I've driven that far by myself with the kids. I dreaded going figuring that they would fight the whole time or cry because they needed something and I couldn't get it for them. Neither happened. The kids think the highlight of the trip was stopping at McDonalds on the way to CO and back home to KS. Shows how often we go out to eat I guess. They loved seeing and playing with their cousins and cousin-in-law. We had a picnic on the mountain, a bike ride, an Easter egg hunt and playing at the park. One night we made a fire in the backyard and made smores. YUM! Also, Clara managed to find time to cut all my kids hair as well as color her and my and her moms hair. We all look really good! I figure that we'll have to go out to CO at least once a year to get haircuts. The way I see it the cost of the trip will be offset by the money we save by having Clara do our hair! Well, that's what I'll tell Rob anyway... It was great to see John and Clara and the kids as well as Allen and his fiancee, Megan. I got to help get wedding invitations ready to be mailed. And I'm even invited to the wedding!! Go figure. Yea!! It was such fun and the trip back home was pretty good too. It helped that Rob was there and could drive while I helped the kiddos. We finally got back home at about 12:15 am on Monday. Thanks for the good time John and Clara! And thanks for letting us take over the house for a few (loooooong) days! ;-)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The year in Overview!

Well, since my brother John got a blog, we decided that we would too. This way we can keep in touch easier and exchange pictures without having to email them.

February was a exciting month for us. We welcomed a new nephew into the family (Hello Isaac Balsmeier!!) and my younger brother Allen (or Larry if you prefer) got engaged to his girlfriend. They plan to get married in April if all goes according to plan. We are thrilled for them!

This year is shaping up to be one of a lot of travel for us. I was able to go to Colorado for a week to hang out with my brother and his wife and their family after Isaac was born. I "helped" Clara out with the kids (mostly I just played with them and held Isaac!). I had lots of fun, but was glad to come home to my little kiddos. It's amazing how much I missed the little monsters....err...ummm..sweeties. They are so excited to go to Colorado over spring break to visit their Uncle and Aunt and cousins. Plus, we get to stay in a hotel and swim! Wohoo!! And now it looks like there will be a trip to Utah also for Uncle Allen's wedding! Finally this December we are planning on going on a vacation to....Disney World!! That will probably be the highlight of the year (sorry, Colorado and Utah just don't compare in their minds!) We have been saving up and planning this trip for about a year now and the kids keep wondering when we'll be leaving.

Other exciting events this year: Emmy will be starting kindergarten next fall, JoJo will hopefully start preschool and Sterling will be getting baptized as he will be turning 8 this December.

Overall this year seems to be shaping up pretty good. We look forward to all of the exciting adventures we will have on top of the everyday adventures (like getting four kids dressed and ready every morning) that we will experience. Our kids are growing so fast and learning so much. We'll just hang on for the ride and hope we come out of it in one piece!

Robert Allen