Friday, December 12, 2014

Happy 14th Birthday Sterling!



So we survived our first year of having a teenager in our home and truthfully it hasn't been all that bad. All things considered, Sterling is an incredible kid young man. He is such a big help at the house especially with his youngest siblings. Eddie just adores and looks up to his biggest brother. And I think one of the sights that just melts my heart everyday is watching Sterling and Emmy walk into the middle school together, laughing and joking. They seem to truly love and enjoy each other's company. It amazes me to watch them sit and talk in her room or run around chasing each other all over the house. I hope that they are able to maintain that closeness.

I love that this boy young man of mine still likes to hug me (even in public) and talk to me. He even begs to have his nights to stay up later and chat with me. Although he can be a bit mouthy at times...and his room is a MESS, he is overall an amazing kid youth.

Of course, it really seems to have hit me this year that I'm really nearing the end of "raising" him. He's 14!! He begins driving, can attend church dances, will start high school next fall, become a teacher in the priesthood. And in 4 years he'll be an adult, preparing to serve a mission and attending college when he returns. Only 4 more years!! I don't think I'm ready for this. For my first baby to become a man and leave home. Yeah, I know, I have a few more years, but it's approaching at the speed of light. And before I know it, he'll be dating, driving ALONE (ARRRRGHHH!!), and eventually leaving home. But for now, I'm going to pretend he's still a little boy and that it will be a looooooong time before he decides to grow up.

And now for the ever fun birthday interview:

All About Me!
1. Who is your favorite person in the whole world?  Dad and Mom
2 What is your favorite color?  Blue
3. What is your favorite show? Cutthroat Kitchen
4. What is your favorite thing to wear? Shorts
5. What is your favorite thing to listen to? Anything by John Bytheway
6. What's your favorite breakfast? Homemade Coffee Cake
7. Who's your best friend? Mom, Reagan, Vendor, Noah, Corbin, Ethan
8. What do you want to be when you grow up? Chef
9. What's your favorite book? Anything by Rick Riordan
10. What are you really good at? Being funny...and sports 
11. Where do you want to go on vacation? I would want to go to Italy.
12. What would you buy if you had $1000? My trip to the Alamo bowl next year.
13. What is you best memory? Getting the priesthood.
14. What vegetable do you hate the most? Spinach
15. What would you wish for? To meet my baby brother, Robert Allen and my Grandpa Balsmeier
16. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Vanilla Bean
17. Who is your biggest hero? Dad
18. What do you like to do with your friends? Joke around
19. What is your favorite sport? Track
20. What would you like to do before your next birthday? Pass my drivers test.

And now his perceptions of us:
All about my Mom
1. How old is your Mom? 34
2. What is your Mom's favorite color? Green
3. What is your Mom's favorite food? Everything!
4. How tall is your Mom?  5ft 9 in
5. What shoe size does she wear? 10
6. What is her favorite TV show? Sherlock or Blacklist
7. What time does your Mom wake up in the morning? Earlier than me!
8. What does you Mom do while you're at school? Babysit Corbin.
9. What is your Mom's first name? Jennifer
10. What do you like best about your mom?  Her demented sense of humor.

All about my Dad
1. How old is your Dad? 38
2. How much does Dad weigh? Super skinny.
3. What is Dad's favorite food? Donuts
4. How strong is your Dad? Stronger than Uncle John! 
5. What's Dad's job? A Civil Engineer
6. What does Dad do at work? He helps design roads.
7. What is your favorite thing to do with Dad? Spend time with him.
8. How tall is your Dad? 5ft. 9in. 
9. What do you like best about your Dad? His sense of style.
10. What is your Dad's first name? Robert

HAPPY 14th BIRTHDAY STERLING!!

WE ARE SO PROUD OF THE YOUNG MAN YOU ARE BECOMING!!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Happy 12th Birthday Emmy!

Our sweet Emmy is a young woman! I know I say this for each kid, but I can't believe that she's 12 years old! Where has the time gone?! She has grown up from such a sweet baby to a beautiful young lady.

She is extremely talented and excels in so much. She likes to draw, write stories and poems, run, play soccer, sing, play piano and trombone and do...math? Yeah, she loves math. I suspect she gets that, as well as the trombone skills, from her father 'cause heaven knows I don't like math!

This year she has been busy homeschooling through an online public school. She is LOVING it! This girl thrives in that environment that allows her to work at her own pace and at her own level. She is taking 6th grade science and history classes and trying to finish them in one semester so she can take 7th grade science and history next semester. Her math course is a 7th grade pre-algebra course and her English class is also 7th grade. So if all goes according to plan, although she is technically a 6th grader this year, she will enroll in all 8th grade courses next year. Now we just have to figure out if we'll keep her as a 7th grader (with 8 grade courses) or move her up to 8th grade. There are pros and cons to each but we do have a while until we decide what to do. 

Aside from her educational prowess, she is also a talented athlete and musician. She's a monster in soccer and on the trombone. In fact, she was allowed to move up to the 7th/8th grade band at the middle school even though she has only played for one year. She loves to play soccer and can run almost forever. It takes awhile to wear her out!

But I think one of the things that I most appreciate about her is her gentle, kind and loving personality. She is quick to give me a hug or kiss and she is always trying show her love to others. I love to watch the relationship between her and Sterling. It amazes me that they love each other so much and get along so well. It makes me wish that I'd had that kind of relationship with my big brother. She'll always have someone to watch over her and protect her.
Sterling genuinely enjoys her friendship and even includes her with his friends when they go to the middle school for band. I also love to see her mother her younger siblings and Kailyn in particular. She has a lot of patience for her little sister who loves to tag along and be with Emmy wherever she goes. Simply put, I am just amazed at the incredible child that she is. I only wish I could take credit for it, but it is simply who she is. We are so blessed to have her as a part of our family!

And now for the long anticipated interview of Emmy:

All About Me!
1. Who is your favorite person in the whole world?  Mom and Kailyn
2 What is your favorite color?  Blue
3. What is your favorite show? Sherlock (the BBC version)
4. What is your favorite thing to wear? Sweats
5. What song do you love best? "A Little More Like Thee" by Mindy Gledhill
6. What's your favorite breakfast? Homemade Coffee Cake
7. Who's your best friend? Anna, Ella, Layla, Rachel and Adison...and Kailyn ;-)
8. What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be an author
9. What's your favorite book? The Maze Runner Series
10. What are you really good at? Music, Sports and School 
11. Where do you want to go on vacation? I would want to go to the mountains
12. What would you buy if you had $1000? Books
13. What is you best memory? When we went to Disney World.
14. What vegetable do you hate the most? Peas
15. What would you wish for? To meet my baby brother, Robert Allen.
16. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Vanilla
17. Who is your biggest hero? Dad
18. What do you like to do with your friends? Watch movies
19. What is your favorite sport? Soccer
20. What would you like to do before your next birthday? Finish reading the Book of Mormon

And now her perceptions of us:
All about my Mom
1. How old is your Mom? 35
2. What is your Mom's favorite color? Blue
3. What is your Mom's favorite food? Chicken
4. How tall is your Mom? 5 ft 9 in
5. What shoe size does she wear? 10
6. What is her favorite TV show? Blacklist
7. What time does your Mom wake up in the morning? 7:30am
8. What does you Mom do while you're at school? Babysit Corbin.
9. What is your Mom's first name? Jennifer
10. What do you like best about your mom?  Her personality.

All about my Dad
1. How old is your Dad? 37
2. How much does Dad weigh? 150lbs
3. What is Dad's favorite food? Donuts
4. How strong is your Dad? Stronger than Uncle John! 
5. What's Dad's job? An Engineer.
6. What does Dad do at work? He design roads on the computer.
7. What is your favorite thing to do with Dad? Run or play trombone with him.
8. How tall is your Dad? 6 ft 
9. What do you like best about your Dad? He likes spending time with us.
10. What is your Dad's first name? Robert


HAPPY 12th BIRTHDAY EMMY!! 
WE LOVE YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK!!



Sunday, October 12, 2014

Happy 9th Birthday (Yesterday) Cori!

Apparently, despite mine and Rob's best efforts, our children insist upon growing up. Each year they decide to have a birthday and turn a year older! The nerve!

This little boy turned 9 years old yesterday and I can't believe the time has flown so swiftly! It's amazing to look back over the years and see the changes in him but more amazing in some ways are the ways he's the same. He has the same bright blue eyes, the same amazing smile that lights up his whole face and the same devilish grin when he KNOWS he's doing something he shouldn't...like teasing his siblings.

Sure, he's gotten taller and older and smarter but his personality is very much the same as it's ever been. He is still the most particular of my kids about keeping his room clean(er). He is still a collector of all things pointless and weird. Keys, screws, bits of rope and string. . . .just whatever he can find. He likes to tease and joke and probably has the most developed sense of sarcasm of any of my kids at this age. And I'm gonna blame his dad for that, 'cause it couldn't possibly come from me. . . well, maybe a little from me.

He excels in school and loves to read, play with his army toys, play wii or computer or just run around or ride bikes outside. He does like to push the envelope at home and at school to see just how much he can get away with, but despite that he's really good kids who likes to make people happy. He can often be found helping out or secretly serving his family members by cleaning a room or doing someone's chore for them. He is an incredible blessing to our family!

And now, quiz time!!

All About Me
1. Who is your favorite person in the whole world? Mom
2 What is your favorite color? Blue 
3. What is your favorite show? Spy Next Door
4. What is your favorite thing to wear? Despicable Me shirt
5. What song do you love best? "Moves Like Jagger"
6. What's your favorite breakfast? Pancakes
7. Who's your best friend? Chase
8. What do you want to be when you grow up? Fireman
9. What's your favorite book? "I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic"
10. What are you really good at? Soccer
11. Where do you want to go on vacation? Hawaii
12. What would you buy if you had $1000? A big TV! 
13. What is you best memory? When Eddie was born.
14. What vegetable do you hate the most? Spinach
15. What would you wish for? To own my own restaurant.
16. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Mint chocolate chip
17. Who is your biggest hero? Dad
18. What do you like to do with your friends? Play with them
19. What is your favorite sport? Tennis
20. What would you like to do before your next birthday? Visit baby Camden.

And now his perceptions of us:

All about my Mom
1. How old is your Mom? 35
2. What is your Mom's favorite color? Purple
3. What is your Mom's favorite food? Spinach
4. How tall is your Mom? 6 feet tall
5. What shoe size does she wear? 6 1/2
6. What is her favorite TV show? The Incredible Dr. Pol
7. What time does your Mom wake up in the morning? 7:30am
8. What does you Mom do while you're at school? Babysit Corbin.
9. What is your Mom's first name? Jennifer
10. What do you like best about your mom?  Her cooking!

All about my Dad
1. How old is your dad? 38
2. How much does dad weigh? 120lbs
3. What is Dad's favorite food? Donuts
4. How strong is your Dad? A lot strong! 
5. What's Dad's job? A road worker.
6. What does Dad do at work? He works on the computer.
7. What is your favorite thing to do with Dad? Spend some time with him.
8. How tall is your Dad? 8 feet tall
9. What do you like best about your Dad? That he build stuff!
10. What is your Dad's first name? Robert


HAPPY 9TH BIRTHDAY CORI-O!! 
WE LOVE YOU AND ARE GLAD YOU'RE PART OF OUR FAMILY!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

In This Moment...

I'm ok.
I'm not ok.

I wanted this baby. 
I'm relieved that at least we know what is happening.

I'm sad...so sad.
I feel so loved and supported by an incredible family, many friends and an amazing church family.

I'm angry that this is happening again after we took measures to prevent ever being here again.
I'm at peace knowing that my Heavenly Father is there and is in control.

I'm confused at why this happened and what I'm supposed to learn.
I'm confident that there is a purpose and I am not alone in this struggle.

There are so many conflicting emotions. Sometimes I think it's ok; That I'm ok. Then out of nowhere it hits me that I lost my baby. . .another one. And then it's not ok. This has brought all the emotions and struggle from Robert Allen's stillbirth and the 2 subsequent miscarriages back to the foreground. It's like reliving it all again. The desperate need to just mourn. I don't want to do anything or go anywhere. I don't want to have to focus on anything but my grief. 

But then other times, I feel almost normal and I think, maybe it won't be so bad. I go about my life and day like there isn't anything going on. I can smile, laugh, joke, the same as always. But I suppose a large part of that is that it's hard for me to show my grief. It makes me vulnerable and I hate feeling vulnerable. It's so much easier to pretend that it's all ok and mourn and grieve in private. That way no one, including myself has to feel awkward when I burst into tears. 

I think I'm just a mess. Physically, I'll heal very quickly. Emotionally, I'm not sure. This doesn't feel any different than when we lost Robert Allen and that took years to come to terms with . . . If I can even claim that I've done that. 

And then, what is the appropriate amount of time to grieve? A week? A month? Years? I don't know and I doubt anyone else does either. 

I am so grateful though that I have the gospel. The knowledge that my Savior is there, holding me through all of this. Even when I'm angry, even when it's directed at Him, He's there. And he can handle it. He understands because He has suffered all that I am suffering. Not just theoretically, but literally. He has felt every pain, sorrow and emotion that I am feeling and so He knows how to comfort me. And I know that He has promised that my family can be eternal including the babies I have lost, they are mine forever. I will hold them and raise them and love them. I will get to be the mother that I wasn't able to be here. 

That doesn't make the pain of losing my babies less painful but it does make it bearable because I know that it will be made right. That is what the atonement was about; Fixing what couldn't or wouldn't be fixed here. 

Although, if you want my opinion, it's just easier to not break it in the first place. On the bright side, I have walked this path before and I know that although it's hard (sooooo very, very hard) you do get through it. Not over it, mind you, but you do get through it. Eventually there will come a day where my thoughts and heart won't be consumed with grief. There will always be moments where I grieve but it won't be as all-encompassing as it is right now.

I will be ok. 


Friday, September 5, 2014

A Post I'd Never Thought I'd Write

Although Rob and I had lost 3 babies so far in our journey in creating our family, we had never thought we would ever have to face it again. After Eddie, my tubes were tied; we were done! 9 pregnancies and 6 living kids was all we could do. It wasn't so much the 6 kids (I would have had more, but Rob insisted that we had to stop at some point), it was going through the stress of a pregnancy after we'd lost 3 of them.

The worrying, the constant anxiety, the knowledge that there ISN'T a "safe" point in pregnancy. Never being able to just relax and enjoy the amazing process of creating life, but always wondering if that pain, cramp, tug, lack of movement, was the beginning of the end. A constant state of stress. We'd gotten Kailyn and Eddie here safely after losing 3 babies and we just couldn't do the emotional roller coaster again. So after much prayer we knew we were done and decided that tying my tubes was the right decision for us.

And that is where the story of our losses should have ended. All in the past. A 6 out of 9 success rate, 2/3 or 67%. Not great; A little less than the 80-85% success rate of the average woman, but really not bad.

And although I've written posts about our son, Robert Allen, and some of our journey through pregnancy loss, I've never actually blogged about it while it was happening because it all happened in my pre-blogging days. But today, that changes.

We are the 1.3%; the 13 out of 1000 who manage to get pregnant after a tubal ligation. Lucky us!!

Only, not lucky us because we are also part of the 60% who then suffer an ectopic pregnancy. Though to be fair we can't be positive it's ectopic, it may just be a miscarriage but either way, the odds weren't in our favor and we didn't beat them.

So now we have a failure rate of 40%. We have lost 4 out of our 10 babies. Almost half...

And it all took place in the space of 3 days. Not feeling well on Tuesday, positive test on Wednesday, then a drop in hcg levels and miscarriage today.

And I think it sucks.

Yeah, it REALLY sucks.

See, I didn't want anymore babies. I was content with the 6 I had here and the ones waiting in heaven. I was relieved to never have to change diapers, wake up every couple of hours to nurse and potty training! Oh, so glad that was DONE! Until I found out I was pregnant...then it changed. I wanted this baby. I wanted to have this pregnancy be successful. I DIDN'T WANT TO LOSE ANOTHER BABY!!! And I had done everything in my power to make sure I would never have to, but here I am, going through it again.

Have I cried about it? Absolutely. The laying on the floor sobbing, curled in the fetal position for an hour BEGGING the Lord that you don't have to do this again, kind of crying. The kind were you feel like you're heart has been ripped out of your chest, and you know you don't look pretty like the girls in the movies who just have a few tears trickle from their not red eyes down their cheek past their not runny nose then drip silently on the ground kind of cry.

Yeah, that one.

But somewhere in all of it I have felt peace too. The kind where I know that my Heavenly Father is in control and although I didn't ask and don't want this trial (again) He's there. And maybe I will learn something from this? But at least I know I'll get through this...eventually....but I'm going to certainly have a very stern conversation with someone when I get to Heaven because I'm still going with, "This isn't fair!"

But then life isn't.

At least that's what I keep telling my kids when they whine that same line to me. But that's different and I feel like my life should be fair....and my definition of fair, thank you very much.

Mostly though I'm left with the one question that never seems to have an answer, at least in this life, and that is "Why?"

Not "Why me?"; 'Cause, why not me? Just "Why?"

Why did my tubal fail?
Why did I get pregnant?
Why did I lose the baby?
Why now?
Why couldn't the baby be ok?
Why is this happening again?
Why couldn't I have my miracle?

Lots of "Why's" and no really good answers for me....well, yet, anyway. Maybe someday but for now I just get to keep moving ahead, praying and searching and then someday it will all make sense even if it's not right here and right now.

So in the end, I'm somewhere between grief, anger, disappointment, peace and faith. It's not very pretty and depending on what I'm feeling in that moment it can be downright ugly.

And maybe my next post about it will be angry...or peaceful...or ugly....or encouraging...or maybe I'll never write about it again. Who knows? But that is just the process of grief. And right now, I'm feeling kind of bi-polar and can't decide how I feel.

Peaceful but devastated
Angry but accepting
Sad but...no, just sad.

Now, excuse me while I go curl up on the floor and cry some more 'cause mostly...I just want my baby.





Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Happy 10th Birthday Joe!!

It's been a decade since we welcomed our sweet Josiah into our family and we've never regretted it! He is probably the goofiest out of all the kids and he's super smart on top of it. He loves to read but has a particular fond spot for Diary of  a Wimpy kid books as well as books about tanks.

Yep, tanks. As in the military machines that have tracks and great big guns and shoot stuff. In fact, he can identify lots of tanks by sight. I especially get a kick out of finding a picture of one and asking what it is, when it was used and what makes it special. He'll all be like, "That's an M2D2 RX Pansy Shooter with 32 foot thick armor plating and a gun that can shoot atomic bomb bullet missiles 47,000 miles and was used in World War 27 by the GerBritMericanese Army Marine Navy Corp." Although his info is a little more factual than that. It truly fascinates me how much he knows about them!

He loves school and his teachers and does well there, getting execellent grades and making friends. He can be very sensitive and likes to make people happy...although he also has an incredible ability to tease and push people's buttons too! We are so blessed to have him in our family and I thank our Heavenly Father for sending him to us!

And, now for the interview portion of this post:

All About Me
1. Who is your favorite person in the whole world? Mom
2 What is your favorite color? Pink 
3. What is your favorite show?Star Wars
4. What is your favorite thing to wear? Motorcycle shirt
5. What song do you love best? "I'm Glad You Came" Halo Version
6. What's your favorite breakfast?  Cocoa Puffs
7. Who's your best friend? Finnegan
8. What do you want to be when you grow up? Police Officer
9. What's your favorite book? "What Would Joey Do"
10. What are you really good at? Soccer
11. Where do you want to go on vacation? Omaha
12. What would you buy if you had $1000? A Wii, Xbox 360 and games! 
13. What is you best memory? Going to Disney World
14. What vegetable do you hate the most? Broccoli
15. What would you wish for? Infinity Wishes
16. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Cookie Dough
17. Who is your biggest hero? Dad
18. What do you like to do with your friends? Play soccer
19. What is your favorite sport? Soccer
20. What would you like to do before your next birthday? Ride on bumper cars and go karts.

And now his perceptions of us:

All about my Mom
1. How old is your Mom? 34
2. What is your Mom's favorite color? Purple
3. What is your Mom's favorite food? Pizza
4. How tall is your Mom? 6 foot 5 inches
5. What shoe size does she wear? 9 1/2
6. What is her favorite TV show? Dance Moms
7. What time does your Mom wake up in the morning? 7 or 7:20 am
8. What does you Mom do while you're at school? Go to the gym, feed corbin, sleep and work.
9. What is your Mom's first name? Jennifer
10. What do you like best about your mom? That she loves me!

All about my Dad
1. How old is your dad? 38
2. How much does dad weigh? 112lbs
3. What is Dad's favorite food? Mexican Turkey Roll Ups
4. How strong is your Dad? He can lift 170 lbs. 
5. What's Dad's job? He works at Kansas Department of Transportation
6. What does Dad do at work? Design Roads
7. What is your favorite thing to do with Dad? Play soccer
8. How tall is your Dad? 6 foot 8 inches
9. What do you like best about your Dad? That he's fun and funny!
10. What is your Dad's first name? Robert


HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOSIAH!! 
WE ARE SO GRATEFUL YOU ARE OURS!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Conversations to Remember

So, I was talking to Eddie and Kailyn about his upcoming surgery tomorrow and how they will cut open his tummy to fix his belly button. The following conversation ensued:
K: Can I go too?
Me: No, you have to stay home. There's nothing to do except sit in a room.
K: But I want to see the room!
Me: No, you can't come.
E: Yeah, KK, it's jangerous...Is it jangerous mom?
Me: No Eddie, it's not dangerous. It's just boring.
E: Yeah it's boring KK........Is there a baby in my tummy mommy? 
Me: What do you think Eddie?
E: Hehe...No! 
Me: Ok. 
E: Mom, will they cut my foot open if it hurts?
Me: No Eddie. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Visiting Big Brutus

Meet Big Brutus!

He is the 2nd largest electric shovel in the WORLD and he lives here in KS!! I've lived my entire life in KS and didn't know about him but now, we're well acquainted. A few interesting facts:

He is 16 stories tall
He weighs 11 million pounds (Makes me seem so much thinner!!)
He took 11 months to build.
He's a little slow, with a top speed of .22 mph (Yes, that's a decimal point there!)
In his last month of operation his electric bill was $27,000.
But that's small change compared to his original $6.5 million price tag!

Anyway, Sterling and Emmy's school (LVS)hosted a "field trip" to go see Big Brutus today. I only had the 4 younger kids as Sterling and Emmy are still out of state having their own adventures; One in Texas and the other at Lake Powell. And I'd have to say it was a hit! 

 The kids LOVED getting to climb up into Big Brutus and sit in the operator's chair. It's quite a nice view from in there, but it was awfully warm! When it was in operation, the cab was air conditioned...but not anymore. Can you imagine driving this thing?
And here's the view looking out from the side. And we're not even close to the top. Of course, due to insurance rules, you can no longer climb all the way up to the top of the boom. (Dang!) 
And this is the. . .yeah, I don't remember. . . .a great big spool with great big thread?? Whatever it is, it was probably important and did something. Perhaps it was where the cables for the dipper attached? I really can't remember. But it was big, so it was picture worthy!

 And speaking of big, here's how small the kiddos are in comparison to the crawlers and the dipper. The dipper itself has a capacity of 90 cubic yards which is enough to fill 3 railroad cars. 

 And to give you some perspective on just how ginormously, monstrously, huge Big Brutus is, try finding my kids in the following three pictures. (Like "Where's Waldo?" but "Where's Bidwell?" instead!)

So, yeah, it's kinda big. ;-)




  There are several other things to see there, but the one that the kids were second most interested in was the 1920 Page Dragline. I didn't take a picture of it (my kids were less than thrilled that I took ANY pictures at all!) but you can see a picture of it HERE. It looks like a house with a crane attached on the front, sitting on railroad tracks. The kids liked pretending to drive that one too. There were knobs and handles and foot pedals. . . all kinds of fun things to pull and push on! If you'll look closely, you can see that Kailyn even brought her new baby doll with her and she is helping her drive. 




And here's is a group selfie just to prove that I was in fact there. :-)
You're welcome!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lovin' Summer!


This summer hasn't been too bad as far as heat goes. We've had a few rather hot days, but mostly we've been in the 90's which is totally doable in KS! On one particularly hot day though I found this poor squirrel stretched out on our driveway...Even em coming towards him wasn't enough to make him want to move. 


 We've had several bonfires this summer and the kids love them! One night Emmy had a few friends over and they insisted on taking some pics together. These people are the ones KK calls "Her Girls". She is under the impression that they are her AND Emmy's friends. Luckily they are sweet enough to let Kailyn think that she is part of the group.
Of course, what is a bonfire without S'mores? As far as I and my kids are concerned completely burnt marshmallows are the way to go. You catch them on fire and while they're still burning lay them (very carefully) on top of the chocolate on the graham cracker. This melts the chocolate perfectly and once the marshmallow is no longer burning you can put the other cracker on top for a perfect S'mores!                                                                
Another fun time we had was when I gave Kailyn and Eddie some flour to play in. They (and the back porch) were COVERED in it! But they had soooo much fun! I mean, who wouldn't love to have a flour fight? I know I would! Perhaps a Family Home Evening activity is in order??? Of course, since they were covered in flour and the dog needed a bath, I got out the hose. First we washed Marga, which I don't think she appreciated as much as we did. Then we took the kiddie pool up front and had some water fun!





The water fun would have been fine, but as these things sometimes do it escalated into, well, a mud fight. I know, the purpose of the water was to clean up the flour...(which we did, so mission accomplished there!) but letting them throw mud at each other was a tiny bit counter-productive! In the end I ended up with a much bigger mess than I started with. The kids were covered in mud as were their clothes. But I suspect the kids would say it was well worth it! And, yeah, I'm not sure what Kailyn is doing in the pictures...and I'm not sure who taught her the duck face pose, though I suspect it may have been one of "her girls". I think that this was one of my favorite days this summer. Just letting the kids be kids, get dirty and wet and have fun!


The most recent adventure wasn't fun, necessarily, although Eddie and Kailyn managed to have a good time together. Eddie was lucky enough to be born with a small umbilical hernia that just hasn't closed on its own so he had an appointment for a surgery consult at Children's Mercy. The Dr seems very nice and lucky Eddie will have his 3rd surgery of his life in a couple weeks. (His first two were for ear tube placement and then removal.) He doesn't see at all phased by this impending surgery. When I told him that about it he said, "The Dr will fix my button so it doesn't hurt?" Since he had never complained of it hurting before I asked him when it hurts. He then lifted up his hsirt and said, "When I push on it like dis!" and then proceeded to try and push his finger through his belly button as hard as he could. I just laughed (yeah, I suppose that would hurt anyone!) and then he said, "And it won't hurt my pee pee anymore too to push on my button!? I admit, I lost it and just laughed at him. I mean, what do you say to that?
The procedure itself will be pretty easy and Eddie should be back to his regular old, weird self within a couple of days. Although, he will have to take a 5 day break from swimming while the incision heals. Hopefully all will go well and he will be done with surgeries for awhile. . .at least until he's paying his own medical bills! And in case you're wondering, Kailyn and Eddie were racing planes in the picture. Who won? Well, depends on who you ask!

On another side note. . .I've been considering the reality that Emmy may belong in a circus or some kind of act like Cirque De Soleil. That girl is a little too flexible for comfort and she's trying new things because she started watching "Dance Moms" (that would be my fault, I admit it) and there's a girl who does "acrobatics" and Emmy likes to try the moves too. It just makes me sore watching!



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Happy 8th Birthday Robert Allen

Incredibly, it's been 8 years since Rob and I began to walk the most difficult path we'd ever been called to walk. I can remember wondering if I'd ever make it through, or if I'd ever be able to think of my son without crying. Looking back, sometimes I wonder how I made it through. There were times that the pain and anguish were so overwhelming that I felt that I was drowning in it. To have my heart ripped from me in such a way was unthinkable. . . And having to
go on afterwards was simply unimaginable! The days when i just couldn't get past what I'd lost, or the nights spent sobbing as I'd relive the memories or go through the few tangible objects I had; the only evidence that my child existed and mattered. It is a sorrow that is infinite in its depth and brutal in its force. But I did go on because I had to, because I needed to. But ultimately, it was only with the Lord's help that some healing could take place.


Losing my child, my precious baby boy, was the most devastating trial I'd ever experienced but as enormous as that loss is, the healing power of the atonement of Jesus Christ is bigger. It's not to say that I'm completely healed. . .because I'm not. The wound is still there. I miss my baby everyday and at times the grief is as fresh as if it was all happening again. Any parent who's lost a child will tell you that full healing can never take place here, because our arms are still empty and so our hearts are still broken. And until I have my
son back, I will always be broken to some degree. But through the atonement and my Savior's love, my wound is temporarily stitched together. Aching and still at times bleeding, but for now, until full healing can take place when I meet my son in heaven and hold him again, it will be enough to keep me going. And the next time he's in my arms, it will be for forever. . .I won't have to be left behind to grieve.

Dearest baby boy,
I miss you. I think of you all the time and long to hold you. You are my sorrow and my joy. Know that my love is stronger than death which has temporarily separated us. Someday, I will hold you again. I will kiss your face and hear your heart beating and you will be mine forever. I love you darling boy!
Love forever,
Mommy


Robert Allen

miscarriage