Sunday, December 14, 2008

Santa Claus is coming to town!

We are getting ready for Christmas in our house, as are all of you. Abbi asks me everyday if it is Christmas yet.

"Not today," I have to reply.

"The next day?" she always retorts.


"The day after that?"

This goes on for a while, every morning. You think she is a little excited? Well, to be honest, I am excited too. I remember the jitters I would get when I was younger in anticipation of the big day. That majic kind of wears off as you get older. . . until you have your own kids. At least for me, the excitement returns as I decorate, plan and shop for my kids. I get so excited for them.

This is such a wonderful time of year. John and I talk about Baby Jesus as much as we can and try to explain the purpose of the holiday to a three and four year old. I am always amazed at how much they do understand. Abbi approached me the other day and explained to me that Jesus was a baby like Isaac is a baby and He wouldn't like it if she was mean to her brothers.

I love to shop, so naturally this is one of my favorite times of the year!! I love the opportunity to give to my loved ones but I also love the special opportunity to teach my children kindness, generosity and a love for their fellow men. I am so grateful for my Savior and I pray that despite the excitement for all that is Santa Claus this time of year, that my children can continue to learn and understand the true meaning of Chirstmas.

Jake Ryan...

Well, it was Jake's birthday on the 25th of last month!! ( I know I am a slacker) I can not believe that he is three. It was only three years ago that I went through the torture that was his labor, and finally, his delivery. It's crazy to think that just three years ago I had a very sick little baby boy. At this point, the doctor didn't even know what it was but would be rushing us to the hospital for surgery in just two weeks. Wow, three years seems so long ago but then again, it passes so fast.

Jake's party was was a great time. This was the first real party that he has had with friends and favors and all that. Jake had three of his little friends over, Colton, Blake and Paris (not to mention our family, and the parents of most of the extra kids, my sister and her husband were in from ID and my other sister and my niece). It was a Bob the Builder/tractor themed party and it was a lot of fun. The boys had a great time building with the big blocks, painting and playing the Construction Zone game we had for them to do. All of the boys especially loved the hard hats, tool belts and tools that they got as favors.

It was crazy in the house with all of the people around and four little boys going crazy with excitement like the little boys they are. All in all, the party was a success and everyone had a really great time. I still can't believe some of the really great toys that they have now a days but Jake is definitely not complaining!!!

I am so grateful for Jake in my life. Those puppy dog eyes and his cheesy little smile melt my heart. I love you Jake!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I think my kids get almost as excited about Halloween as they do for Christmas. The idea of dressing up and going around to ask people for candy (which, under normal circumstances, would be rude) is just absolutely the most fun they can have.

The Saturday before Halloween, we got all dressed up and went to the Costume Parade here in town. Costumes were a little bit of an issue this year. I really wanted to force them to be Tigger, Pooh and Piglet. Silly, I know, but they were actually okay with it. We go to Wally World and lo and behold Tigger, Pooh and Piglet were nowhere to be found. Then the older two decided they could all be puppies and be the Dalmation Plantation off 101 Dalmations. Dog costumes were not to be had either. We kept looking and Abbi decided she could be a beautiful witch (this is after I vetoed the $30 Princess costume) because Mommy was going to be a witch too. Although Jake decided on Superman, he kept calling himself Batman. Then there is Isaac, who didn't get much say in the matter, who was the bee that now all three of my kids have been. The kids really enjoyed seeing all the other Supermans and bees and other crazy and imaginative costumes at the parade.

On Halloween, we went to Greeley for my sister's ward Trunk-or-Treat. They did a whole "Fall Festival" thing too so the kids had a really great time. We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows, trunk or treated, got faces painted and even won a couple of goldfish. Abbi and Jake had a grand ole time while Isaac slept in the stroller for most of it.

The Saturday after Halloween, we had a dinner party here. It's kind of been tradition in my family to have a Haunted Dinner so we invited some friends and family over and had a great time.

The weekend was pushed over the top for my kids when Grandpa came home for a surprise visit. They were outside all day Saturday helping Gramps work on the the truck. 'Helping" is used very loosely in this context but they did come in right before the dinner party absolutely filthy and covered in oil. Thank you Grandpa. My kids just adore Gramps. When Abbi prays for meals or family prayer she, without fail, asks, "Please bless Grandpa in Arizona so he doesn't get hurt by the big cactuses and that he won't get sick in Arizona. " She was praying for a long time that "Grandpa can get better from his sickness that I don't know what it is." That, of course, is referring to the kidney stones he was hospitalized for a few months ago.

Anyway, had I known that Gramps was coming back we may not have planned all the activities we did but the kids had a great time with him and all the stuff we did.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Well everyone, life here is crazy!! We spent this last weekend having a garage sale and cleaning out my Dad's garage. If you have ever seen his garage, you'll know the kind of effort that would have to go into cleaning it. the result however is very exciting for me, I get to park in the garage! It is the first time in a good 11years that my parents have had a working car in their garage. I know what you're thinking- "well, good for them. " That's right, good for them (us) but not to burst the bubble, they are moving to Arizona! They were pressured a little (by me of course) that if John and I are to rent the house from them when they go, the garage needs to have my mini van in it and dad needs to put on the garage door opener he got last Christmas.

On Monday, I started babysitting two adorable kids. Talin is two and his sister, Zara, is 4 months. They are adorable. So with my three that makes 5. Which is not too bad really except that's 5 kids under the age of 5. It's like having Abbi then two set of twins in a row. Crazy. These kids are good kids, I just have to adjust to it. The past two days, I didn't eat lunch, just an early dinner. I am working on the routine and things are going well.

My father took another trip to the ER last night (that makes 6 trips there in the past year). HE was rear-ended on his way to pick up my Mother in Boulder. He is fine, just a little sore. Before we had to go pick them up last night, John took me to buy new silverware and he also got me a new crock pot. Yeah, new appliances!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


The past few days I have had to remind myself several times how much I love my kids. They have been crazy!! I don't know that I mentioned that my daughter is 4 going on 17. I thought the "I know everything" attitude didn't start until a little older. I guess not. My oldest son, Jacob, is 2 going on monster. He is crazy! He is all over and into things and playing too rough with the baby. He is so lightning fast to do things he's not supposed to, but getting in and out of the car takes five years!! Isaac is just so cute. I think this only because he doesn't walk or talk yet. That is to come.

Jake is potty trained. Everyone says that boys are so hard to potty train, not him really. I do have to say that I had it pretty easy with Abbi. I put panties on her one day at two and a half and told her not to go potty in them . . . and she didn't. Jake was a little tougher than that. It took a good two weeks constantly reminding him to use the toilet and quite a few accidents but it went pretty smoothly. We just have to work on the wiping thing-gross!

Abbi is loving preschool. It does cost a lot more money for preschool here than we were planning on spending in KS but I feel it's important. I did do her first year of preschool here at the house and she did great. She has been able to write her name for a year now almost and she knows most of her letters (if she's in the right mood she will grace you with her knowledge). I did feel however that for her pre-K year she should be in an environment with other kids her age and a teacher other than Mommy. She is doing great. Every time I ask her what she did in preschool she says she can't tell me. . . it's a secret. Should I be concerned? I would be except for the fact that she points out everything that every one (adults included) does wrong. I am sure she would be first in line to tattle on her classmates or teachers.

Isaac was sick a few days ago and that was pretty gross. A baby spitting up on me is nothing, but he vomited all the freshly eaten baby food all over me and I made the mistake of putting him directly in the bathtub to clean myself off. This was a mistake because he had also exploded in his diaper. A poopy diaper in water is not a good combo!! Crazy day!! I know this is all gross so I will stop that and tell you that he is so happy all the time. He will smile and laugh at anything and everything. He is sitting up well and rocks back and forth on his hands and knees. He hasn't figured out the coordination to actually crawl but he somehow makes it across the living room floor.

I love my kids!!

Monday, September 22, 2008


Well, I have to say that I am a little disappointed in the participation in the last post!! Don't you all just love to play those little games?! That's all right, I will forgive.

I don't really have anything exciting to report. Abbi started preschool and she really enjoys that and Jake gets sad every time we take her because he can't stay. Isaac is getting big and I love his happy smile- he is always smiling!! I did want to post some pictures. Abbi needed to take a family picture into preschool for an activity and we actually didn't have any of all five of us. Poor Isaac. So we dragged Gram and Gramps on a Sunday drive to the mountains and had them take some pictures of the local wildlife--I mean our kids. I can not describe how frustrating it is to get all three kids to look at the camera at the same time. Getting them all to smile is out of the question. I do have to say that the seven month old cooperated well. The older two, well, I should have left the older two at home but that kind of defeats the 'family picture' purpose. Maybe I should have left them in the mountains. They would be okay, Abbi believes that she can whine her way out of any unpleasant situation and I believe that the bear wouldturn and run after listening to her for a second or two. Despite the struggles, we did get a few cute ones in.tains.

We did just got back from a really quick trip to UT to bless my niece. My bro, Aaron, and his wife, Jessica, had a beautiful little girl, Brooklynn, in July. All the family headed to their house this weekend to be there when they blessed her. It was the first time we (John and I and the kids) had seen her. She is so tiny and cute. Congratulations again to them.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I haven't posted in a while and I don't really have anything to tell you all. My sis-in-law had something on her blog that sounded like fun though, so here goes . . .

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. If you like the idea of knowing what others remember about you, leave this post on your blog!

(Sounds an awful lot like one of those e-tag things doesn't it?)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Here is Abigail's birthday party. After much debate, I decided to do a low-key birthday party in the back yard. We had just gotten the patio poured before we left for Powell. As sad as I was to see the road base go, it's pretty darn nice. Despite the patio being finished and the 'low key' status of the party, I still worked my butt off. The yard still needed a lot of work done, the food and favors and other stuff still had to get done. Oh yeah, the house needed a good cleaning too.

So we decided to go with 'balloons' instead of the original 'ice cream' theme she had wanted. You will notice the balloons cake (Thanks J!) and the semi-home-made hot air balloon pinata and the balloons every where. We had originally invited three or four families and all but one cancelled last minute. So there was us, Manda and Lin and our friends the Fowers. Awesome!

Abbi and the other kids had a good time and it was really great to get to know the Fowers a little better. They have been kind enough to invite us over once or twice and we finally had the opportunity to return the favor. Abbi got really great gifts and did an excellent job with her thank you cards. The BBQ was on the 22nd, on her actual birthday (21st) John brought her flowers. She said "Thank you Dad. But they're not tulips." What a gracious little girl! Then we went out for dinner. All day Thursday and Friday Jake would go up to her and say "Happy Birthday Abbi" and give her a hug. She did get sick of this by the end of the second day but it was so cute. He's pretty sweet to her sometimes, this might change when he realizes how snotty she is to him most of the time.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I do need to post about Abbi's birthday but I am not going to go downstairs to get the camera. I will tell you that she asked me how old I am and I said, "I'm 26. I will be 27 on my next birthday." Her face and voice got very serious, nearly concerned, and she asked, "And then will you be old and wrinkly?" Well, the bright side is that she doesn't think this of me yet (I have 4 more months) and she was very concerned about me!!

The point is that I was tagged again. List 6 quirky things about me...
1. I hate it when my hands feel dirty. Not particularly when they are actually dirty or the knowing or feeling bacteria or germs abound on them, nope. Just the physical feeling of my hands being dirty.
2. You know when you get a sunburn bad enough that your skin peels- I like to peel it. I know, gross. Now I have to say that only my immediate family will I dare to touch dead skin cells, but it has to be outside or in the bathroom. The thought of dead skin floating around on the couch or in the kitchen makes me gag.
3. I have to take a shower after I take a bath. I am not sure why this is.
4. I have a really hard time putting down a project. I feel like I just have to finish the sewing, scrapbooking or book I am reading and it takes all my will power to put it down for another time.
5. I have three kids, three little kids, but I can not stand noise. Crying I can take, loud music I can take, they have a bazillion toys that make sound and that's not it either, it's just plain noise. Pointless unnecessary noise.
6. I hate the feeling of fabric between my teeth. For some people it's nails on a chalk board, but for me any kind of fabric between my teeth just gives me chills.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A few things have been brought to my attention. I look terrible in that picture to the right here (I was camping, give me a break!) and some of you might be interested in John's smoothness those first couple of days we knew each other.

As for the first, well, like I said, I was camping and hair product and make up were no where to be found, let alone a mirror. I would have to agree that I look like poo but the pictures of me are few and far in between. I am in agree-ance with the friend that mentioned that the darker hair looks better and I am thinking about re-dying it. Anyway, those of you who are deeply concerned about my well being because of this picture-don't worry, I do, on a normal basis, have my hair done up cute with a pound and a half of hair product and my face is graced with mascara at least. I appreciate the concern and I would be deeply concerned as well if a friend of mine posted a picture of this horrific magnitude. Thank you for the concern all.

For the second subject-John. Well, like I said my friend convinced me to go on a date with him (I later found out that all she had to do was tell him that I was cute). Now keep in mind it was Thanksgiving Day, I was planning on staying home with my family. So I show up at Ashley's house and it's all commotion like it always is at her, or my house, and they introduce John and I. I think he may have said "Hi" but, other than that, he didn't say a word to me. I didn't speak to him either, but come on - he's the guy.

So we go to the movie theater (we being John, Ashley, TJ (who is now A's husband) and myself). I actually rode in the back seat with TJ. I don't remember how that worked out by the way, but I do remember them (A and TJ anyway, I don't think John knew me well enough and like I said he didn't speak to me) making fun of my because my coat smelled like Thanksgiving dinner. Actually, I think he may have said something like "I think you smell fine" so that brings the word count up to what? Six, yes, six.

Some of you might be thinking about now "So what? He didn't talk to you because he didn't know you." Well, those of you thinking this obviously don't know John. He could hold a conversation with a bush. Even if he didn't know said bush. Just not me apparently. Also, it might be crossing your minds that we were set up and he just didn't like me so he felt weird talking to me. Once again, remember the bush. On top of that, HELLO, we are married now, so obviously he had to have liked something about me. I now know that he even thought me very attractive, so I don't know. Six words? In what, an hour? Can we say suave?

Well, we made into the movie and we were very early. All four of us go in and sit down with like 45 min til the movie starts. We sit down in this order from left to right- me, Ashley, TJ then John. Ya, not only could he not speak to me but he couldn't sit next to me either. Well, given the extraordinary amount of time we had, Ashely and I start to goof off. We are running around and being silly (there is no one else in the theater, remember-it's Thanksgiving, most people are at home with their families not on a date with some guy snubbing them. I might also mention that at this point I was wishing that I had stuck to my original plans).So anyway, the movie gets ready to start and we all take our seats again, in the 'don't touch me' manner I explained, and Ashley and TJ decide to go get some food. So there we are John and I, all alone, but on opposite sides of the theater. I decided that this arrangement was a little ridiculous so I, yes I, went and sat next to him. Besides the fact that he found Monsters Inc. scary in a part or two, the rest of that evening was fine. I daresay fun.

So there's the first date for you. We went out like three more times that weekend and then he had to go back to KS (we left for college later that day). I walked him out to his car when he was leaving to say goodbye (remember, he had kissed me by this point. Bad boy!!). We are at his car and he gives me a hug and says "I will get your email address from Ashley" and he got in his car and left. Okay. Not very cool. I was pretty sure at that point that he was just a jerk and I was never going to hear from him again.

I realized that was not the case when I got to UT two whole days later (that's another story) and he had called fifty times and left like 10 return numbers. I guess he did like me. Who knew? Then a few short weeks later he tells me he loves me-shock ensues. Then a few short months later he proposes. I must have been in shock, more shock, because I did say yes!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tagged again. . .

I know this pic was posted a while ago. I was trying to find a pic of me, just me, and I can't. Apparently, I am always the one taking the pics or I'm helping one of the kids do something for a picture of them. Anyway, this is one of the most decent and recent pictures of me. Besides, I love this picture. The search began because, my friend Emily tagged me to do a post about myself. For some reason this seems much harder than the one about John. Here goes...

Four places I've lived

1. Longmont, CO

2. Topeka, KS

3. Manhattan, KS

4. Westminster, CO

Four favorite books

1. Gone with the Wind

2. Pride and Prejudice

3. Narnia Chronicles

4. Little Women

Four Favorite Movies

1. Hairspray

2. Gone with the Wind

3. Transformers

4. Pride and Prejudice (most recent with Kira Knightley)

Four embarrassing facts about me

1. I have more stripes than a zebra (thank you pregnancy)

2. I don't believe in making my bed, we're just going to mess it up again. I am working on this. It is , however, required of my children to make theirs. Strange.

3. I worry way too much about what other people think

4. I love to wear "sweats". Can we say homely house wife? They are just so comfortable when all I have to do that day is play with kids or clean.

Four dreams of mine

1. that my children turn out to be good, kind, faithful people in spite of me.

2. To do a tri-atholon next summer

3. To serve a mission with my husband someday.

4. Emily put it well-To be a good person. A kind, considerate, patient, confidant, fun, generous person. Someone I can look back at when I am a hundred years old and be happy with.

Four pet Peeves

1. Junk mail

2. Hearing "Mom" or "Mommy", or any other variation of the name, 50 times in less than a minute.

3. Toys everywhere! I hate it when I look around and feel like my kids have every toy in creation that they don't play with.

4. Unfinished projects

Four things that make me really happy

1. When, out of nowhere, one of my children gives me a hug or says I love you.

2. When John is especially sweet to me or when I make him laugh.

3. Shopping!

4. To have the knowledge of the gospel in my life, particularly the atonement.

Tag four people

1. J

2. Ashley

3. Jessica

4. Megan

Monday, August 11, 2008

Well, we made it home from Lake Powell. It was an interesting week. We made it there and my Dad's boat broke so he and John and my brother-in-law were up in Provo for a few days while the rest of us were stranded on the beach until my uncle showed up with his boat. There was a lot of talk of my dad buying a new boat. Then the boat trailer broke so he had to fix that and parked the boat. My uncle and his family are amazing. They were so willing to help and share 'boat time' since we were down to one boat that wouldn't fit everyone.

The highlights would be that John caught some fish, though too small to eat. He also went tubing and seemed to enjoy it although he claims to hate it. Abbi and Jake had a grand old time playing all day. They both really enjoyed the water and the boat. Abbi is okay with tubing as long as Mommy doesn't make it go under water. Isaac really loved just floating in the water despite the fact that the fish thought him some kind of delicacy and kept nibbling on him.

All in all. It was a good trip. Interesting and a little frustrating but good. We did some hiking and cliff jumping and played some games too which was a lot of fun. The kids all really enjoyed themselves and the food always tastes so good even with the sand in it!!


Well, I was 'tagged' by my sister-in-law to do a little questionnaire about John so here goes. . .

1. What is his name? John David Balsmeier

2. Who eats more? I am not really sure. He probably does, most of the time. He is always on or off some kind of crazy diet and dieting is against my religion, but I am often pregnant or nursing.

3. Who said "I love you" first? He did. I was actually in shock considering we had only known each other a couple of weeks.

4. Who is taller? Him, easy. He actually calls me a midget on occasion.

5. Who is smarter? Me, of course! No not really, we just know different stuff.

6. Who is more sensitive? Me, hands down.

7. Who does the laundry? Me!!!!!!!!!!!!

8. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? John

9. Who pays the bills? John. We have a great system-John goes to work and makes the money, and I spend the money so he has to figure out where to send all that hard earned income. Works for me.

10. Who cooks more? Me. I cook just about everything. Occasionally on Saturdays he will go and pick up donuts, I don't think that really counts though.

11. What meals do you cook together? None really. Once in a blue moon he will want to cook something fancy for Sunday dinner and I'll help him out.

12. Who is more stubborn? Um, that's tough. We are both pretty stubborn.

13. Who is the first to admit they were wrong? It depends on the situation. We are both are both willing to admit we were wrong, if we were wrong. I am positive I am never wrong though, so it must be John

14. Who has more siblings? John. There are 7 kids on his side and 4 on mine.

15. Who wears the pants in the relationship? Well, my first instinct is to say that I do but he is pretty definite on the things that are important to him.

16. What do you like to do together? We like going out to eat and to movies. We also enjoy bike riding and spending time with the kids.

17. Who eats more sweets? That would be John.

18. Guilty pleasures? Who's mine or his? Well, mine would be buying myself or my daughter the umpteenth pair of shoes I just can't resist. John's might have to be the sweets. Like I said he is always on some kind of diet but he can't resist cake!!

19. How did you meet? We actually met on a blind date. He was out here in CO visiting a friend, an old family friend that happened to be one of my best friends. Her and I were home from college in UT for the Thanksgiving break. She was gong out and didn't want John to stay home or be a third wheel. She talked me into my first and last blind date. You'll have to ask John about his suave and smooth behavior, not only on the first date, but his farewell when he left for KS.

20. Who asked who out first? Like I said, we were set up.

21. Who kissed who first? Well, that would be John kissing me on like our third date or something. Not to say I didn't kiss him back.

22. Who proposed? John asked me to marry him. We had known each other for just over two months. Are we seeing a pattern here? John moves fast! No sense in waiting if you know what you're supposed to do I guess.

23. His best features? I love his eyes and his smile. I know they're not physical, but I love his work ethic and how he teases me and plays with the kids.

24 What is his greatest quality? Hmm, it's hard to think of just one. He has a good sense of humor which makes our marriage interesting and fun. But his charitable spirit is really amazing to me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Well, the rest of July hasn't been as exciting as the Fourth. I am, however, anxiously awaiting the arrival of August. First, we go to Lake Powell the 2nd to the 9th and then my daughter's birthday is the 21st. I get so excited for her birthday and I am not really sure why. Could it be because I get to go shopping for my little princess, or because I get to plan a party (like last year's elaborate princess bash)? Well, actually it is. That is why her b-day gets me all excited but then I think, "Oh no, she's another year older." It doesn't sadden me but gets me thinking how fast it all goes. She will be four next month, next year she starts kindergarten. That is crazy.

I know I talk about Abbi all the time but she is my princess. With my luck, and John's genetics, she might very well be the only one I get. Despite my love of little girl things, I love my boys so much. I love all my kids so much. They teach me everyday. I am so grateful to my Father in Heaven for sending them to me. I know that he would not send such precious cargo to me unless he had a plan and resources here to help me teach them. I am so grateful for my husband. He is a good man and a great father and husband. John is a kind, honest, generous person and I am so very glad he has always been worthy of the priesthood he has been trusted with. Sometimes, through out our marriage, he has tried to take on too much, to be there for and help everyone, and it has been a struggle for him, our marriage and our family. I am thankful that he has grown to put his family, our family, first.

I feel very blessed to have the family I have. I am grateful John and I both agree to live our lives and raise our children according to the Father's will. We are working hard to build good foundations for our children through what we teach and our example. I know I am trying so hard to do what is right but I worry so much. I worry about my daughter's self-esteem and image, I worry that my sons know the importance of the priesthood they will one day hold and that it is God's will to marry and respect and fulfill their own family. I know some of these things are far off, but I also know that what and how I teach them now will affect their future.

"Future"--that's a funny word. The future is so bright and my children's "future' seems so far away. But with how quickly four years has passed, it may not be so far after all.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Well, we had plans to stay here for the Fourth but Aaron and Jessica had their baby (yeah!!) on the 2nd. Therefore, the plans we had to go boating with my parents were shot because they were going to leave for UT on the 3rd. So John and I, after much discussion, decided to head to KS. After all, we won't be seeing John's family again until Christmas, unless plans change. Anyway, we spent the Fourth of July weekend in KS. It was a good time. The nice thing about the Fourth in KS is that you can do your own fireworks right in your back yard, which we did. The years we lived in KS for this holiday, John spent a lot of $ on fireworks. With the trip out there and all, $20 was our limit on some small one for the kids. But the day was saved when three of the younger siblings covered the show. Now, you have to understand that this family can't just do a few cool ones or a couple little ones--NO, it has to be a show. I mean the neighbors set up chairs in the street to watch the show we put on. We're talking seven people lighting fireworks consistently for over an hour. It's a production.

So Kathi (my mother in law) invites a ton of people over for a BBQ. Right before people start showing up the boys leave to go buy the goods. You see, the longer you wait, the more they will discount the stuff they want to get rid of. A couple of truckloads later the BBQ is well under way. The weather was really agreeable and the food was great. Kathi added up 100 people at the house for the occasion. We eat and talk and the kids play (we also had a huge Blues Clues bouncer) and they do the small fireworks that entertain them in the daylight. Then the planning starts. You can see my brothers-in-law, John and the other helpers at the back of Kathi's massive yard setting up and talking about timing. Then the sun goes down and the firecrackers start. They think it's great to get the giant roll of black cats to have going for sound effects, I guess, while the fireworks are going off. So the noise starts, as if huge explosions in the sky weren't enough, and then the show starts. It was a wonderful show, I will admit. My kids loved it. Well, Ike slept through it all, but Jake and Abbi thought it was great.

After the show, we had some sparklers and roman candles for the kids. I was helping Abbi with a roman candle (those are the ones that you hold the tube in your hand on one end and the spark or firework shoots out the other) and I had it faced the wrong way-toward her, not away. It went off and hit her right in the chest. She starts screaming and I rip off her shirt and take her inside to get some cold water and ice on it. Now, as I am typing this I am thinking, "Clara, why are you telling the world that you shot your daughter with a firework? It might be something that will win you the elusive Worst Mother Award but not something you should announce to people."

Well, I am telling you, not because I necessarily want the world to know my momentary carelessness, but what happened afterward. Like I said I took her shirt off and brought her inside. I am actually very calm in these situations (if you know my brother you would understand I have a lot of experience with them), so I have her on the counter in the kitchen tending to her wound and her screaming. My brother in law got me some ice and my sister in law was telling me what I should and shouldn't do, mentioning the hospital and all kinds of unnecessary stuff. I have ice on her stomach and through her sobs she asks me, "Mommy, can we do another firework? And this time can we point it this way." I can not help but laugh. She hadn't even recovered from her injury, much less stopped crying, before she wants to do it again. And she had to throw in that she thought pointing it away from her body would be a good idea.

What a tough little girl!! John took her outside to do some more roman candles (Mommy is no longer allowed to assist with the fireworks for obvious reasons). She thought that they were great. We found out the next day that her wound turned out to be no real wound at all, just a little red dot on her chest.

In a nutshell, we had a great BBQ and a huge spectacular show with no injuries. Until I entered the picture. We now know that if you are to get hit with a firework, make sure that it is a roman candle. All in all, it was a good trip. Allen and Megan had their open house the following night and that was a lot of fun as well. We drove back on Monday. And given all the debate we had whether or not to go in the first place, we are glad that we did.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


My brother and his wife are expecting their first child--any day now. In fact, she was due on the 25th of June. Unfortunately for her, she is still pregnant. I would be dying if I was over my due date. With Abigail the doc scheduled me to be induced the day after my due date (I came a few days early so I didn't need it). I think with Jess, my sister in law, they used the cream to try to induce labor and her and Aaron have been going on long walks, but nothing has worked. I think that her doc is actually on vaca this week so her next appointment isn't til next week anyway. I would just like to say I am sorry Jess and I hope that your little girl decides to make her debut earlier rather than later and I hope that your patience hangs in there.

My grandma has been in town visiting and it's been really great to see her. As she has been here at home with the kids and I all during the day, I am a little self consious about my parenting. You know, I want my grandma to be proud of me not thinking, "OH my gosh, what the heck is going on here." Amidst this self scrutiny, I have noticed that my patience has, in fact, decreased with each child I have had. Like the more children the less patience. Isn't it supposed to be the other way around? I am so incredibly grateful for each of my children and I hope that they know I love them despite how stressed or upset I act sometimes.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


If you look closely at Abbi's ear here, you'll notice something... ya, I got her ears pierced. I was thinking of doing it for her 4th birthday so I went to the mall to look and ask the questions I had. She saw this pair of flower earrings and she wanted them pierced NOW! No fit really, she was just very sure that she was ready and needed them. Surprisingly, she picked the blue flowers, not the pink ones like I suspected she would. After the first one, she cried for about 15 seconds and then said that she was ready for the next one. She cried after that one too, for about 30 seconds, then she wanted to see her "pretty earrings" in the mirror and then proceeded to ask me if I had any money for the carousel. Anyway, she was very brave and now she shows everyone and says, "I love having my ears pierced."
Someone asked me the other day if she was a "girly-girl', you know princesses and pretties. I didn't really know how to answer that. She loves princesses and Barbies and dressing up and now earrings, but she also really enjoys the 'boy' stuff. She likes to play with Jake's trains and cars and she loves the tractors in the sand box. On the other hand, she makes a fuss about what clothes she is wearing and if they match. she is also a pretty fearless little girl. It made me proud at Lake Powell last year that she went tubing and all kinds of stuff. So I guess she is a girly-girl and then some.
The boys are really great too. John is relieved that the dressing up didn't last long with Jake. For a while there he wanted to dress up like a princess with Abbi. Now he won't, he'll put on his cowboy stuff and they pretend that he is the prince. Jake also has decided that Cars is his favorite movie, well it's a toss-up between that and old Donald Duck cartoons. He is always climbing on stuff, I turn around for a second and he's on the window sill. It's safe to say that he is all boy. And Isaac is just so sweet. He smiles and laughs all the time. He thinks everything is funny. He has been sleeping through the night since about two months old, well, except for last week. He was waking up during the night and, not only could I not figure out why, I just couldn't handle it. I get up at 5 AM to go to the gym and I just can't swing that when I am up all night with a crying baby. A lot of frustration was present merely because I had not a clue as to what was wrong. He wasn't hungry and we hadn't changed anything. Anyway, whatever it was he is over now and we have peaceful nights again.
So my princess and my boys are doing great. Too bad those peaceful nights don't carry over into peaceful days. Abbi and Jake have been fighting a lot today so I better go take care of that. I think a nap right about now would be wonderful.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Pretty in Pink

So here it is!! My helmet came this past week. I actually haven't worn it on a ride but I do occasionally wear it in the house. ( Abbi and jake think it's funny when I put it on.) John had ordered a riding jacket and some other stuff. He also got all that stuff this past week so he is pretty set. I have to say though, the helmet he got is not nearly as good looking as mine!!

Monday, June 2, 2008


When Abbi was just getting potty trained, over a year ago now, we went to a restaurant. At this restaurant she told me she had to go potty, so I took her, naturally. Anyway, when she was finished and had gotten off the toilet, it flushed, all by itself. She was fascinated. She asked me how the toilet could flush on it's own and I tried to explain mechanics of this amazing product. I realized it didn't sink in when she asked, "Is it magic, Mommy?" Not wanting to re-iterate the whole conversation I had just had, apparently with myself, I responded,"Yes, Abbi, it's a magic toilet." From that moment on, they were magic toilets and she gets pretty excited about the magical experience of using the restroom at certain places.

As far as what the heck this has to do with anything, well, my van has magic doors!! Abbi thinks it's the greatest that the sliding doors will seemingly open and close by themselves. She likes to pull the handle or push the button that starts the magical motion. While she is a bit confused about the real process of these amazing contraptions, I agree that they are magical. It is absolute magic to me to have the process of getting three kids into the car made a bit easier. That one part of my day goes a little smoother and stress free. (Well, not exactly stress free.) Have I mentioned that I am really liking my new van? I told John that the next van we get is going to have to have the automatic tailgate on it too!!

Speaking of John, I did take a ride on the motorcycle and it was a lot of fun. My pink helmet has still not arrived, I know you were wondering. On the first ride I took we noticed there was this funny noise every time John shifted or we went over a bump. We thought it was the shocks, they are, after all, older than I am. When we got back to the house John made a discovery, it wasn't the shocks that were making the noise. In fact it was the weight of my big rear on the back making the fender hit the tire!! Now, John may have thought this but he didn't say it (Good boy) and he tightened up the springs. We took it out again and it only happens if we go over a pretty big bump. New shocks are a little pricey so I guess maybe I could lose a leg or something and lighten the load on the back half of the seat.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

so. . .

Yes, that's right, he got his motorcycle. I finally caved on the motorcycle given the inexpensive one he was looking at and, with gas at nearly four dollars a gallon, the 50-60 mpg was looking really great. One of John's employee's spouse was selling it so we did get a good price on it. It's a 1979 Honda something or other and it is actually in great condition with only 6500 miles on it. So John took the class to get the endorsement on his license and he drives it to and from work everyday. I have yet to take a ride on it but I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my pretty pink helmet.

More importantly, I have a new minivan. I have wanted an Odyssey since the day I started driving a minivan, come on it's a Honda minivan! Anyway, we have been seriously looking for a few weeks and we have gone back and forth about another car payment. The Windstar has been an okay van (besides having to replace the tranny a year ago, and the recent check engine light appearance) but it was creeping up on a hundred thousand miles and I am pretty sure a Ford minivan with that kind of mileage might be more of a problem than an asset. Anyway, we had planned on running it into the ground but we figured if we can get something out of it for a newer one then, why not? And besides, Father's Day is coming up and I am due for an incredible gift!!

Anyway, it's a 2000 Odyssey and I love it. Out of all the bazillion that we looked at this was the prettiest (color) and the best deal, by far. I was wanting one a bit newer (brand new would be nice!!) but, being a Honda and all, the price jumps the newer you get. Besides, it would be a real bummer going from no car payment on the van to a huge one, so I am happy with the van and the deal we got. And I must say that whoever invented the dual power sliding doors deserves an award of some kind.

Given the recent expenses, our dates will now consist of trips to the driving range (I have his old clubs) and rides on the motorcaycle. The unfortunate thing here is that driving my van is going to be sparse given the price of gas. So, John has his motorcycle and golf clubs, and I have my 'new' van. I think we should be set for a while.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Okay, so we were unbelievably close to buying a new car this weekend. John had looked at the Kia Spectra with my dad. Well, it gets better gas mileage and the payment would be close to what we have on the Impala anyway and Kia has that good warranty. We didn't buy one though. Now he is trying to convince me to let him buy this motorcycle that one of his employee's brother (or something like that) is selling. The crazy thing--I am actually considering it.

Gas is so expensive and he drives 25 miles to and from work every day. While the Impala gets better gas mileage than our minivan, it's not that great. I could cram all the kids into the Impala and be a little better off with mileage if I want to take them down to Denver to the zoo or museum and stuff like that. I don't know though, motorcycles make me nervous. My brother has had a number of them and gotten into an accident or two that weren't his fault. Motorcycles are just dangerous and I need that man around. Mostly just to work and provide for me in the lifestyle that I am accustomed to.

We are definitely going to have to give it more thought. Meanwhile, my adorable baby boy laughed for the first time yesterday. Like a real 'haha' laugh. He actually did it on a couple different occasions yesterday. Apparently he really likes rap music, at least the kind his daddy makes up for him.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Lake

Well, John got a new set of golf clubs for Mother's Day. How does that happen?! He did get me some beautiful flowers and a made to order breakfast yesterday. We did decide this past weekend though, that we are officially, 100% going to Lake Powell this year. We were kind of going back and forth as to wether we should go or not. We are trying to save money. But with that in mind, Lake Powell is the least expensive thing we can do with the kids this summer. Besides, I love it and the kids love it too. The verdict is still out for John. The one year he came with us, the beach was terrible and the weather was awful.

We purchased a new tent and some cots for the trip. Cots? You might ask. Well, no matter where we go, it's all about the sleep with John. He needs to get a good nights rest or he doesn't enjoy the trip. Not me, I might be a tad sore in the morning, but I can sleep anywhere. We also had some major issues with the air mattress last time he came, so cot it is. The beg tent is nice, we can all fit with ease, the cots too.

I am so looking forward to going. It's my vaca. Yeah, sure it's camping, but it's also a week chilling in the water and spending time with family. On top of that, I slack on my mothering too. We have but two rules at the lake - life jackets and liquids. The kids have to wear a life jacket always, unless sleeping, and they have to drink lots of water. That's it. John doesn't really believe me when I tell him how much the kids enjoy going to the lake, but come on . . . they get one whole week where they can eat what they want (or don't want), go to bed when they want and play all day. What toddler, or kid for that matter, wouldn't just love that? That's their dream, right?

Saturday, May 10, 2008


So this is my son!! He always makes the funniest faces. My brother-in-law, Taylor, just happened to catch this one on our trip to UT a few weeks ago. When we showed it to my mom she thought that John had tampered with it somehow. Nope. That's our boy!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

This is Clara...

Taking over for the hubby. Like he mentioned, we are hoping that I will be a tad better at keeping things updated. I am still figuring out how to do all this stuff and hopefully I will have some more cute pix of my adorable children on here soon. It's good that they look so cute in the photos. I am hoping that I will look back on them and not remember how horrible they were on some days.

Abigail is definetely tryng to assert her independence and I just wish she wouldn't do that!! It makes for some pretty rough times for the both of us. Jake is just a boy through and through. Isaac, well, Isaac is crying right now so I better take care of that!

Monday, May 5, 2008


So I know it has been a while since my last post. Just to update you all on everything.....

Allen and Megan were married April 22nd, and pretty much everyone was there. Yes, with all the Balsmeiers migrating from Kansas to Utah, it was almost as spectacular event as the exodus of the Jews with Moses. I am pretty sure Moses had less drama with his people than my family though. Anyways, we are excited to have Megan in our family, and hope she isn't too scared.

The kids are all doing well. Isaac is getting big (fat). Abbi and Jake are growing up and getting more ornery each day.

I am currently showing Clara how to update this, so she should be more diligent than I am.

That is all so far. Look forward to more fabulous posts by my lovely (and very Hot) wife!


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Wedding Bells

On February 27th, my younger brother Larry proposed to his girlfriend Megan. She said yes!!! They will be getting married in the Salt Lake City Temple on April 22nd. It will be a joyous occasion in a year filled with many blessings already. We are all very excited for them, and will all be trekking out to Utah. Fortunately, I will be trekking a little higher and faster as I will be flying in, (Southwest of course) and spending a couple extra days with him before the rest of my family gets here. So Salt Lake, watch out the weekend of the 18th of April, 2 crazy Kansas Mormon boys will be tearing up the town! Actually, we will probably go out for sushi.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Tomorrow I am going back to work. It is bittersweet. While I have enjoyed staying home for the past week, I am not meant to be a stay at home parent. First, Clara is way better than I am and has a lot more patience than I do. Second I enjoy my job too much. I mostly miss having a routine. Get up, be to work, and do the various things that need to be done. I have four meetings for tomorrow and could not be happier about it. Mostly, I think that children are better off when they have their mother raising them. Case in point; anytime my kids have learned something (crawling, walking, talking, etc.) it has been when they have been away from me. Yes, I dumb my kids down. It's not intentional, it just happens. It is not a guy thing either. I have a good friend who has raised two wonderful and smart daughters on his own, so it must be me. Anyways, I look forward to the fact of missing my kids and having them run to me when I get home from work. Oh yeah, I will not miss getting them to take a nap.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

What a Web Cam Should Really Be Used for

I went to Wal-Mart yesterday and bought a web cam. Well actually 4 web cams. Clara and I had been talking about getting one so the kids could video chat with their cousins and grandma in Kansas. I originally went for a $20 Logitech that got pretty good reviews. When I went to get it, there were a whole slew of other types ranging from $16 up to almost $100. What caught my eye was a box that had 2 cameras in it. It was made by a company called Ezonics, and it was an EZ Video Chat kit. It came with 2 headsets as well. So I bought the last 2 boxes they had. Best part...$35. That’s $15 a camera and they are a higher resolution (1.3mp) than the $20 Logitech. I set mine up and it came with some extra programs. One was a video creator, one was a video mail program, and the other was a surveillance program....creepy. Anyways, I set it up with yahoo chat, and once my family members get theirs set up, we will try it out. I spent a while trying to set up the head set so we could use it as a microphone. I later found out that the camera has one built in. We have our computer hooked up to our big screen in out room, so the headset was not feasible as it did not reach very far. For one on one chat at a desk, the headset would work fine. For multiple people, stick with the mic in the camera and turn up the volume. Anyways, my sister is taking one box back with her, and will use one of the cameras, and give the other to my mom. Clara’s brother Aaron and his wife will get the other since they will have a new baby in June, and that way Clara's parent's can see her. We hope we can get good use out of these.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

JJ and The Plane

My sister, JJ comes into town today. I am getting ready to go pick her up from the airport in a few minutes. She had an early flight that wasn't cancelled until her husband already dropped her off and left. She caught another a couple hours later. That’s why I never fly United. Only Southwest. Besides, you have to love a company whose President said "Work is either fun or drudgery. It depends on your attitude. I like fun." (Colleen C. Barrett) I was very happy when Southwest changed their policy to where you didn't have to race to the line to get a front seat. Instead, they now assign you a number and you stand in place when it is time to board. It saves me from having to watch those weird people standing by the gate 2 hours before we board, just so they can get the seat they want. I never cared to do that; I figured as long as I have a seat, I am happy. Besides, I would usually try to sit behind the wing. It is pretty cool watching the flaps raise and lower as we go along. The scary part is landing. Have you ever seen the wings when a plane lands? The flaps flip up at a 90 degree angle, and those 3 feet of resistance that they create actually slows the plane down?! The other scary part about sitting by the wing is when you swear the plane isn't level because your wing is almost touching the ground. But I digress. I am very happy to have JJ spend the week with us because I have to go to work, and Clara shouldn't be doing too much with the C-Section. Abbi and Jake are excited as well, but I don't think they realize their cousins are not coming with her. They love their cousins and miss them. I think we are going to invest in a web cam so we can do video chat with them and Grandma Kathi. Anyways, I am off to the airport. I will arrive on time because I am driving a Chevrolet Impala. Unlike United, it is very reliable.


Friday, February 15, 2008


Please enjoy the albums of our wedding and of Isaac. I will post more when I create them. As I was going through my pictures on Picasa (thanks Ashley for the recommendation) I thought I would post this Christmas eve picture of Jake, Abbi, and their cousin Mandolin.

Welcome To Our Blog!!!

So at the urging of a good friend (Ashley), we decided to start our family blog. Clara will probably be running it most of the time, but John may have some input. Anyways, a lot has happened this year. We moved to Colorado in May. John works at a credit union in Boulder while Clara stays at home with Abigail, Jacob, and our newest addition Isaac. We are very happy being back in Colorado, and the only thing better would be to sell our house in Topeka, so we can buy our own out here. Thats all for now, enjoy the pictures and future posts.