Monday, December 21, 2009

so soon

Christmas is just days away. I am so grateful for my Father in Heaven and my Savior. I love this time of year to celebrate the miraculous birth of Christ and the opportunity to concentrate on family.

I am so blessed in that department. This year has been very challenging and it has brought one thing to my attention... I have a wonderful family. It's not that I didn't realize this before, I really just have a newfound gratitude and admiration for all of those loved ones in our life. My husband is wonderful, of course, and I love my children to death always, but our extended families have done so much for us in our times of need and I don't know that I can ever fully express the impact that has had on me. My dream is to, one day, be as kind, generous, loving, selfless and Christ-like as these precious ones in our lives.

I hope all of you wonderful people in our lives have a Merry Christmas. I hope you make great memories with your families and remember the true reason for the season. I will be missing my parents and siblings this holiday very much. Have fun in Idaho!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly. President Thomas S. Monson

I stole this quote (well, technically from President Monson) from my Relief Society President's blog--thanks Amy! I love it. Just love it. I was at church the other day and some one asked
"You have four kids?"
"How old is your oldest?"
"Really? Wow."  (accompanied by a look questioning my sanity)
I proceeded to have a similar conversation after church with someone. I seem to have that conversation a lot. Is it really that hard to believe? That someone....that I, would have decided to have four children in five years?  I suppose it could be a possibility that John and I are not educated in the many different methods of birth control, this is not the case. We planned and expected each pregnancy, in fact, there would have been less of a gap between a couple of the kids if we had had things our way. No, I don't like being pregnant. No, I am not particularly silly about babies. No, I am not crazy.

Yes, my life is crazy. There is more cleaning, laundry, sticky messes, ouchies, whining, crying, kisses, band-aids, playdates, Happy Meals, toys, yelling, hugs, cartoons, mac and cheese, diapers, bottles, noise, carseats, wipes, fighting and frustration than is probably healthy... but I am not crazy. Our house is usually clean, the kids (and myself) are bathed, they have good manners considering their ages, we aren't late too often, I even get time to myself occassionally.
It's so amazing. I love that they have each other to learn from and to grow with. I am so proud that Abbi loves reading to her little brothers, and Isaac is so sweet to everyone (most of the time), and Jake is more boy than any boy I have ever encountered, and Ethan is just so entertained and adored by all of the older kids. I am proud that they are well behaved, happy children. I am so grateful to have them in my life and I will never fully be able to express that. So yeah...Wow. Really.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


So yesterday was my birthday. UGH! Not that I didn't have a good birthday, as far as birthdays go. I got some awesome gifts and my hubby took me on a great date. There was a blizzard. It doesn't get much better, really. What is really upsetting to me is that I am closer to 30. Why does 28 seem so much closer to that dreaded number? I mean, I was 27 less than 48 hours ago, but 28 just seems leaps and bounds closer to the big three-oh. I don't get it. I really never thought that I would care-I do.

I really think it's just hard to wrap my brain around. 30 is middle age ( I do still have two precious years)  and I am not middle age. I am a kid. I am a teenager, a college student, a young adult, a young wife, a new mother....where has the time gone? I just feel like my life is passing before my eyes and I am on the sidelineswaiting for it to get started. I need to get in the game-I am just not sure how, I guess. I need to work on that one.

Thanks to all my loved ones for making my big day a happy one...numbers aside!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I have to tell you all how much I love this time of year. I love the music, the weather, the good feelings, remembering the birth of our Savior, and I love being SANTA to my children. (Being SANTA to myself isn't so bad either) I remember being a kid and feeling that 'magic' that surrounds this time of year. That wore off a long time ago...until I had kids to re-create it all for.

I absolutely adore shopping, so any reason to do that is a good one. I am so proud of Abbi and Jake when they show that they actually understand the reason for the season. They affectionately call Christmas "Jesus' birthday". I think it was Abbi who asked once why we get presents if it's Jesus birthday. Good question. I like that I have 99.9% of my shopping done so I don't have to stress...just sit back, relax and enjoy it with my family.

I am grateful that, although our situation is not ideal, we are together--our little family of six. I guess that's not so little. I am grateful that I have had the health and ability to have the four wonderful, healthy children that we have. I am thankful everyday that I have such an incredible husband to share this life, and the eternities, with. John is loving, hard working and fun. I love him so much. I look back on this crazy (and in some ways awful) year, and I really just can't believe it. We have endured several trials of different sorts and although I am not quite at the point to be grateful for those trials, I am grateful for the growth and strength in my family that has resulted from them.

This is going to be a wonderful holiday season, and I am so excited for it. I love my family and I am so grateful for all of my many blessings.

P.S. The pics are all from last year and earlier this year!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Jake had a birthday party. Yes, a party. . .not an actual birthday. . .yet. His big day is not until the 25th but we had some awesome family in town, so we had the party early. My wonderful parents came into town, along with my sis and her kids. I was so happy to see them. I have missed them all so much lately.

Why is it that we always seem rushed when family comes to visit? Rushed to do what? I am not sure but I always wish we had more time.

Jake wanted to go bowling for his Spiderman party. Strange, I know. We had much of our extended family there, along with Jake's friend Koy. Watching all the kids bowl is so funny. We had cake and ice cream in their party room and we were done. Given my history, a very simple party and I think the kids had a great time.

We also had Halloween way back when. We went to the ward trunk-or-treat that Thurday and went trick-or-treating around the neighborhood for a bit. I think the kids were most excited about passing out candy though when we got back.

Oh yeah, and we moved. . .again!! I am not kidding. We moved down here to Manhattan to be together as a family all the time (John has been working, and staying here most of the time, for the past two months). We have our own little space in my mother in law's basement. And believe it or not, it has been a vast improvement for our children. I am not sure how long we will be here, or where we will go after. . .I have no clue. If this past year has taught us anything, we'll just go with the flow and keep praying.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

oh, so much fun

Life with a new baby was going very well, until John decided to get sick that is. You might think, "A sick husband is not a huge deal, Clara." Especially if you remember that John doesn't even live in the same house as me most of the time. The problem is that he got sick while he was in Topeka with us.

A couple weeks ago, John was home for Sunday and Monday. On Monday, we took the kids to a Pumpkin Patch place to do all the fun little activities and let them pick pumpkins. They rode the little train which they all loved, went down the big bouncy slide, and we took the hayrack ride. On the last part of the ride, the farm had staged a wreck from "the last hayrack ride" complete with plastic body parts and an oveturned trailer. Abbi and Jake were highly concerned that the place didn't call some "doctors". I let them believe the scene for a few minutes but had to explain things once Abbi wanted to ask the tractor driver to turn around so we could go help the victims of the crash. Abbi loved the hay jump that was set up but Jake insisted that Daddy caught him every time he jumped. John moved out of the way last minute once and Jake was appalled that Dad would do that to him. Maybe someday I will tell him it was my idea. Isaac just wanted to play on the teeter totter and Ethan slept the whole time--what else?

Later that day, we decided to give in to the pleading and go to the BMX track that is a few blocks from the house. I thought it would be fun to take a family bike ride. It was. Jake has a little 12" bike and no matter how fast he peddaled, he just couldn't keep up. I think someone will be getting a new bike for his birthday. On the way back we let Jake pick the trail home--bad idea. John and I switched bikes--I took the bike with the two little boys in the trailer and John took mine and rode with Jake (he's really slow remember?). That was the plan and then we started home. Jake's way home was the way home that kept getting longer. After another two miles, Abbi and I made it home. We got everything put away and I went inside and waited and waited. I look out the front window after another 45 minutes and here comes John...carrying Jake's bike....pushing Jake on his bike. I am sure that ride with Jake was as fun-filled as they get, but John was a trooper.

That Monday was one of those days that was just perfect. The kids were well behaved so excited to spend a day with Daddy, John and I kept the positive attitude we woke up with and we had so much fun. It was so wonderful. That day is, however, was the day the misery started--we just didn't know it yet. John got sick the next day. Sick husband (mine at least) are so not fun, but it gets worse...germs spread. Jake got sick, really sick. Abbi got sick, Ike got sick, I got sick and Ethan got sick. Not to mention the several members of my sister in laws family that were inflicted by the epidemic. The infirmary we call our house was then invaded by pink eye. Jake is the only one of my children that doesn't have that on top of the severe cold or flu or whatever.

My sleep intake takes a steep decline when my kids are sick. They are all coughing constantly, the older three wake up crying randomly, the oldest two have to go potty a bazillion times and for some reason have to inform me of it every time. That would pose a problem, except I am awake anyway due to the noise and stress of watching the newborn to make sure he can breathe despite the snot and mucous. So to sum it up, I have not slept, like really slept, in two weeks. And I thought I was going to have it easy with this baby because he sleeps so well. I am sure I will--when we all recover!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Life with Ethan

Ethan was a week old yesterday!! Okay, so I know that a week is not long but it doesn't seem like a week since I had him. I am recovering okay. It is nice to know the day and basically the time that your baby is going to be born (a few perks of a C-section) but the recovery is terrible. John has been back in Manhattan since Tuesday night and I am still not supposed to pick Isaac up or the monstrous baby in his infant seat--oh well! What am I supposed to do?? Anyway, Ethan is doing very well. He is nursing every three hours or so and does really great with that. I think we have a pretty good routine at night. . .he nurses, gets changed, etc. and falls asleep by 10 or 10:30. He doesn't wake up until 3:30 or 4 then goes back to sleep until 9. I really love that he sleeps in a little. The other kids and I are up by 7 and then we proceed to eat and get everyone ready and off to school , so it's pretty convenient to get through all of that before I have to stop everything to nurse the baby. He is super cute and all the kids around here adore him. We have to be a little cautious with the little boys. Their idea of soft is not exactly everyone else's idea of soft. Isaac is so in love with babies. He insists on holding his little brother often and will sit still and quietly with Ethan on is lap for quite some time. Isaac gets very upset at Ethan's feeding times when he can't hold him. Anyway, welcome to the family Ethan! We love you!

P.S. I was going to post some pictures, but my stupid computer is not cooperating so there will be pictures to come--promise.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ethan David Balsmeier

He's here!! Ethan was born on September 23rd at 11:42am. He weighed in at a whopping 10lbs 7oz and was 22'' long. I know--he's huge!  Not my longest baby but definitely the heaviest, by more than a pound. Everything went well. I had a C-section, of course, but they had to do some manouvering to get him out. They were concerned about his blood sugar levels because of his size but both tests came back good. He nurses well and is utterly adorable. I am feeling as well as can be expected after major surgery, but as long as I stay on top of my pain killers, I am doing alright.

Thank you, by the way, for all of the name suggestions. Some of you might be wondering where we got Ethan from, well. . .I have always liked the name Ethan and kind of never really thought of it until last week. John and I were searching on the internet for names and we did a 'biblical name' search. Yes, people, Ethan is in the bible. . .who knew? Okay maybe a lot of you did, but I did not. The name is mentioned in 1 Chronicles. He is reffered to as a musician and in 1 Kings it's implied that he was a wise man. Although all the previous kids have biblical names-- we did not plan it that way. We liked Abigail, Jacob is my g-grandfather's name, and Isaac just went well with Drake. We decided to stick with that 'theme' and I liked the way Ethan went with the other kids' names--it was just very convenient that a name I love just happened to be mentioned in the bible. David, of course, is John's middle name and there you have it--Ethan David.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I so wish I had a picture of my pathetic looking little prince to post...

Jake fell out of one of the many little coupe cars that are around here and he, of course, had to land on his mouth, where else? He came in screaming and crying and bleeding all over the place which is to be expected. He scraped up his upper lip pretty badly and I noticed that he was also bleeding from the gumline on is upper front tooth. I couldn't tell if he had knocked it loose or not (mostly due to his histerycal screaming if I even came near his mouth for the rest of that day or the next). Today his lip is not three times it's normal size anymore, good sign. I thought he might let me check his tooth (it still is bothering him when he bites into something)--still a no go. So I ask my little boy, "Jake, if you won't let me try it, can you? Can you wiggle your tooth and see if it is loose?:"

You know what he does? He starts wiggling. . . wiggling his whole head and body!!! I could not stop laughing. Then he said, "See Mom, it wiggles." Of course, how could I have been so blind!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Some things. . .

Jake went to the other Optometrist today and surprise-- he is color blind. Not red/green or any specific 'kind' just color blind. The Optometrist actually said that it seems that Jake sees everything in varying shades of gray. He can see a difference in shade of the basic colors and will learn, with time, to correspond a certain shade he sees with the color-name someone assigns to it. He will not see differences in shades and tones of colors like most people do. This is similar to what my father has been able to explain to me that he sees. Although, my father does say that he sees colors--it' just that many of the paint chips in Home Depot, for example, all look the same. He can't distinguish many of the different shades or tones, they look the same. The Optometrist assumed today that Jake just sees in gray, and while I still have hope that maybe he does see color, just not all of the colors, he won't be able to communicate that until he gets older. We'll see.

On a more positive note. . .I got my maternity pictures today. I am so excited and so grateful to my dear friend Rachel in Longmont. I felt so bad during the shoot before we moved--Jake was being such a snot and Abbi didn't want to do anything other than play and Isaac wanted to just run around. Rachel was very patient and got many shots that were not set-up but show the true personality of my children. Rachel, you were amazing and I love so many of the shots. Thank you so much and if any of you need a photographer for anything contact her

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Princess and I

As promised, here is a picture of my beautiful princess in her new specks. She says she is excited about them but I think the most exciting thing for her is cleaning them with the spray and cloth that she got. She takes very good care of them and is adamant that no one else touches them. I am a little impressed with how responsible she has been with them.
As far as school goes. . .she is still struggling a little with the I miss Mommy syndrome (so weird) but she really likes school and her teacher. She tells me about her days and all the kids in her class. I am really thinking that with the crazy-ness in our family right now, we just need to be consistent and patient and she will be over it soon.

And this is me, of course. Who else's tummy gets this humongous? This is me with sixteen days left until the actual due date, but really I only have to wait nine days until the C-section. So close I can taste it!!!
In other news. . .Isaac is in need of some speech therapy. He is 'normal' in every other way, he just won't use words to communicate. I am grateful that we can get it taken care of early and to hopefully reduce the yelling and screaming very soon. I love the boy, but I can not handle his frustration level lately. Jake actually goes to another optometrist appointment, one that I have heard will do the color blind test. We will update on that after the appointment and hopefully I know one way or the other about my wonderful genes being passed on to my son.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


We have had a lot of things going on these past couple of weeks...
First, Abbi started school. Kindergarten at the ripe old age of 4. Sigh. I already posted about what she thought of her first day. She really seems to enjoy it but she goes through a little separation anxiety every morning. Which, really is weird for her. I feel a little guilty quite honestly. Our poor kids have been through so much the past few months, more than most four and three year olds go through in their entire lives. On top of all that, they don't see their dad more than one or two days a week. No, we are not separated, or anything of the sort, just trying to save on gas for his job that is an hour away from where we currently live. I am not sure which/any or all of these is contributing to her sadness every morning, but her teacher assures me that she does well at school except for an occasional, "I miss my Mom." Wow, even more sad, my poor baby!

A week after Abbi started, Jake started preschool. My handsome little man is so excited and he loves it, especially that he got a Spider Man back pack. Jake is doing well. Like I said, he really enjoys preschool. "We played on the park inside and the one in the backyard!" he tells me. I am relieved the he is really enjoying it, I was worried about him and the separation-- not abbi-- ironic, huh? We visited the optometrist the other day and I discovered that my two oldest children need glasses--poor kids. Abbi will get hers next week when the pink ones she ordered come in. Jake actually has poorer vision than she, but he is a little young for glasses and their vision can change quite a bit still at that age--so no glasses for the little man. . .yet. He was highly disappointed when his older sister 'got to' pick out glasses and he did not. It was a little amusing (and relieving at this point) that they think glasses are fun and cool, they don't realize the pain that they actually are.

To my disappointment, they both need glasses, and more disappointment. . . the optometrist wouldn't give Jake the color blind test. Color blindness runs in my family (my father and other relatives are) and we have suspected for a long while that Jake might be. He has always done really well recognizing shapes and numbers and even letters--not colors. He knows black and white and pretty much nothing in between. The doc wouldn't test him. My sis-in-law found a couple of sights on-line and had her three year old try it and he got every one of them. Then Jake tried. . .Poor kid. He had no clue there was anything in all those dots. He got the ones that everyone should get, the ones color blind individuals can't see, he couldn't see. It's definitely not a professional diagnosis but my suspicions are confirmed--the kid is color blind-- poor thing. So with his glasses (at some point in the future) and the color issue. . .well, I just feel a little bad for the kid.

A week and a half after Abbi started school, she had a birthday!! She is now the big 5. Her birthday was on a Friday and she was very excited to bring her special treat to class. We drove down to Manhattan to meet John to go out to eat for her big day. She chose Chili's and she did get to open some gifts given that her party wasn't until the following weekend. She was very excited about the Thumbelina barbie sent from Grandma Love. Her party was on the 29th and she had a big bouncy castle, a pinata and a BBQ in the backyard. All the kids had a good time and a new friend from school came--very exciting. Thank you to everyone who helped and came! Mommy and Daddy got her a new "big girl" bike so her knees are no longer in her mouth when she rides. Today, Daddy took off the training wheels and started teaching her to ride a "two-wheel bike". She did well, we will practice more tomorrow or Monday.

Isaac is here. . .and that's pretty much it. He is so super cute, but definitely trying my patience lately. He refuses to talk so he just screams and yells about everything. I can not handle all the noise!!!! He actually get evaluated to see if he needs speech therapy next week. We'll see how that goes.

My C-section is the 23rd now and I am feeling terrible. Just the normal-- tired, huge, hot, impatient and really ready to not be preggo anymore!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Why is this so hard?

Names, people, I need names. Our (our? why do I say "our", I am the one having surgery, right? I mean, I know John has a hard time with blood and needles and all that, but let's face it--he's got it pretty easy for my c-section) C-section is scheduled for Sept.24, for now that is. . .

There is some confusion as to my actual due date (the 30th). Changing docs in the middle of a pregnancy is not a whole lot of fun. I really loved my doc in Longmont, I do like the one I have here, it's just weird changing doctors. Anyway, my cycle and my due date don't align. In CO they did an early U/S to get a really accurate date and it put me two weeks back (the 30th), remember? Now I am measuring exactly what the cycle date (15th) was--weird. And our last U/S had the baby right at the cycle date too. Well, she is going with the ultrasound date and hopefully I don't go into labor on my own before that.

The thing is. . . John and I can not think of any names we both like. He wants to use some weird ones and I am not going there. I do have some really amazing girl names I want to use. . . too bad. I want a name that "goes" with the other three but not old man-ish or dorky. Any ideas?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Busy Life

I was kind of waiting until I had pictures ready before I posted, but not having my own computer to use slows that down tremendously.

I bought school supplies with (and for) Abbi before we left town. It was actually pretty fun, she really cracks me up. She was so excited to do it and she had to get everything off the shelf and put it in the cart--I was not permitted to help.

We left town Wed the 22nd and the concert was on the 23rd (I think that's right). Amanda and I had so much fun!! Last time I went to Cheyenne Frontier Days it was all drunkards and crazy. This time it was all teenage girls and their parents. I understand her music is geared to that audience but I have to say that I love her music and really admire her talent. It was a lot of fun. When I told Abbi that I went to the "Juliet" concert (that's what she calls Taylor Swift because of her one song "Love Story") she was actually a little upset that she didn't get to go. One reason I like her music--I can listen to it in the car with my kids!! They actually know some of her songs.

We hung out the rest of the next week at my Mom's house. We went out on the boat, we visited Grandma at work and we visited some friends. It was nice to relax at Grandma's. Then cousins came into town also and we prepared for the Lake Powell trip.

The Lake was a lot of fun, it always is. I have to say it was a lot different with non family members there and about a bazillion kids under the age of 9. It wasn't quite as relaxing as usual, but still lots of fun. On the way back, the boat trailer blew a tire. Of course my dad wasn't there, he had just headed back up to Roy, UT straight from the lake. We got that taken care of and finally make it back to Longmont. I found out the next morning that the keys to my van were still in the glove box of my parent's car, you know, the one that my dad drove home with. Genius, Clara, genius. So after four hours and almost four hundred dollars...we were on our way home-to KS.

Abbi started school last Wed. She was so excited. We picked out her clothes and she got all ready, John made her pancakes (per her request), we took some pictures and off we went. The boys and I walked her in and we waited in the Gym for all the kids to arrive and sit in line with their class. ( We had actually gone the night before to the school's Sneak Peak where we saw her classroom and met her teacher) Then we walked with the class down to their room and we left her. She was fine, with me leaving her, that is. She was a little apprehensive in line at the gym but we walked down, she gave us all a hug and kiss and she was good. When I went to pick her up, well, she wasn't there. Her cousin had come and gotten her, so we waited for them to come back to her classroom. She told me that "it was so boring. We didn't even play with play-do. It was just so boring. We just sat and listened and walked around and sat some more-so boring, Mom." I have never heard the word boring so many times in one conversation. I tried to appease her by explaining that the teacher had to go through all of the rules and all that boring stuff on the first day, but it will be a lot more fun tomorrow. She would hear none of it, "You said it was going to be fun and it was boring."

You will be happy to know the next few days went a lot better. They didn't have to sit and listen to rules and regulations and procedures all day. They did get to play with play-do, thank goodness. She is having a good time, she says she is making friends in her class but she can't remember their names.

The summer was absolutely nuts but it has drawn to an end. My oldest has started Kindergarten and I survived. It's just a little saddening and weird to only have two kids at home all day. Jake starts Preschool this Wed, which leaves us with one-for the mornings anyway. John found a manager position with Best Buy, it's just that the position is in Manhattan, KS. About an hour drive. He stays down there at his Mother's for two to three days in a row to help save on gas. The raise is helpful , I just don't like being a single mom most of the time. Right now though, we will take what we can get.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes

So we were playing outside this morning before lunch. I was sitting on the front porch and Jake was standing in front of me when he pointed to the area between my eyes and my cheek bones. He points there and asks, "Mommy what color is that?" I am thinking he is referring to the mole I have below my right eye and respond, "Well, honey that's my mole and I think it is brown." Jake corrects, "No. What color is this right under your eye?" That's when it sinks in that he is referring, not to my mole, but the huge circles under my eyes--"Purple."

I guess I am in desperate need of a nap!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

No news

I am posting simply because I feel like I should, it's been a couple of weeks. I am just not sure there is anything to post about...let's see...

My dear sister and her husband suffered a great loss at the beginning of the month when their precious daughter passed away. John and I and the kids were so grateful to make the trip to Idaho and Utah to be there for them and the funeral. We were also able to have some great family time despite the circumstances. Jess and Travis--we love you very much!

The kids and I will be heading back out to CO later next week. My mom was nice enough to purchase Taylor Swift concert tickets for my sis, Amanda, and I for Christmas. The concert is on the 23rd. I am super excited--it's going to be so much fun. We head to Lake Powell the following week and the kids start school two days after we get back. Where has the summer gone!?! I can't believe I go to buy school supplies on Sat for my baby to start school. You think she would be terribly disappointed if I made her wait a year? Probably. Time goes by way to quickly.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


So we're here...again. We moved last Wed. and Thurs. It was a little stressful, to say the least. I am always surprised at how much crap we have. Why is that? We move so much you think we would severely cut down-nope. When you have all your stuff in your house, and I really do try to keep to a minimum, it just doesn't seem like that much, then you pack full a 24 foot moving truck ( I mean really pack full) and it doesn't all fit!!! Anyway, we got all of the important stuff. We packed up pretty much by ourselves, I know, I know, "Clara you're pregnant, you shouldn't be doing that kind of stuff." Well, sorry Mom and everyone else who likes to tell me that--it had to get done. And it did Tues night and we headed out Wed morning.

I really have to send thanks and apologies to John's family for unpacking us when we got into Manhattan. I think I may have been a little snippy, okay, maybe a lot, and I am sorry for that. I really tried to direct it all at John, who has to endure me when I am pregnant, stressed, and exhausted in more way than one. I am so grateful sometimes that John has so many guys on his side of the family because they unloaded it all for us.

We are here at my sister in law's house. We, meaning me and the kids, John had to return to Colorado until a position becomes available here for him. J, as we affectionately call my sis in law, and her family have been incredibly gracious and kind. I am thankful everyday that John and I have been blessed with such wonderful families to really be there in time of need.

Life is okay so far. Some good news from KS is that Kindergarten for Abbi is full day -yeah for that! And Jake will be able to attend preschool for free and it's four days a week- yeah for that too!! Bad news- it's hot as all get out and humid too. Yuck! And I really miss John. I have been away from him before but this is different. He has been such a wonderful source of love and comfort these past couple months. I am glad we have a relationship that has grown stronger through these trials and brought out the best in him. I love him tremendously and I hope that he can join us soon. It would make this situation much easier to bear.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Okay everyone, it's time I tell you all what has been going on the past two months. We moved and that was a lot of work, of course, but everything went well. We are so grateful for all of the help we had to make that happen. A week after we moved in, John lost his job very unexpectedly. The situation was very stressful and very upsetting, but there's not a whole lot to do other than move on... and that's what we are doing... again!!

John was a branch manager for a large credit union in Boulder, that was the day job anyway. Last October he had started working part time at Best Buy and thank goodness for that. Since the beginning of May they bumped him up to full time and have been so wonderful to him. John has decided to take a break from banking and try retail management. He has not found a position there yet.

Having just signed a lease, we had to find someone to take over our lease here and find a place for our family to go that is affordable on our now suddenly very tight budget. After much praying, fasting disappointment and deliberating we have decided to move back to KS. To Topeka. We own a home there but currently have a renter in it, their lease is up the end of December. In an effort to get out of this house and be in a place for Abbi to start K, we are going to stay with John's sister, JJ and her family. They live a couple of miles from our house there.

I need to say that I am so grateful to our family and friends, for their love and support through this time. It's not over yet. I am grateful John has a job (they are going to transfer him to the store in Topeka for now), but we are still looking for a position that can better provide the income our family needs. This is a very difficult leap of faith in many ways, but we are positive that the Lord has a plan for our family and there is something wonderful waiting for us down the road.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I wish that the majority of you were correct in our little poll...nope. It's a boy! I desperately wanted another girl but that's life right? We, of course, will be happy with a third baby boy!! We are going to a specialist next week to make sure that we don't have another 2 vessel umbilical cord (Isaac had one and it didn't amount to anything for him, he has always been healthy). They just like to check because many in the medical field believe that it's a sign of other problems. The other half of the field believes it means nothing more than a lower birth weight. Isaac was only 7lbs 14oz. Yes, I say only because he was my smallest baby by almost a pound and a half. Anyway, he seems to be doing well, moving a lot. He has swollen kidneys but apparently that's not something they really worry about as long as there is enough fluid in the placenta-which there is at this point. It does mean that we will have more ultrasounds. There always seems to be something with these babies of ours and we get like a dozen chances to see our little one before they join us for real. That's nice, even more nice is that despite the precautions, we have always had healthy babies at birth, we are hoping that our luck holds up!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Signing off (soon)

As you know, we are moving on May second. After that, John will be keeping up the blog from work of he gets a spare minute or two. I really love the opportunity that blogging gives to keep in touch so I am hoping that he does a good job... and I hope to to be back in touch soon!!

Monday, April 13, 2009


The week before we left for KS for the wedding, we were also looking for a house to rent. (We did find a really cute ranch home.) We were in KS for over a week and we were home for a week before the kids and I left town for UT. We had a nice time visiting my brother and his family and an awesome time at the baby shower we threw for both my pregnant sisters.

We have a lot of extended family out there in UT so we decided to throw them a shower out there-family only, kind of . So we all got to see many of the aunts and cousins that live that way. It was a great time.

Now we are home and planning on heading back out to UT in two weeks when Jessica has her baby on the 24th. Then we move a week later on May 2nd. I really need to get some packing in there somewhere!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


We were in KS all of last week for a wedding. John's younger sister, Jordan, tied the knot to a wonderful guy. Blake fits in the family well and we are all thrilled to have him as the newest addition. We were able to be in attendance when Kailyn, the newest baby, was blessed. We had an Easter Egg Hunt and got to play with the cousins a lot. It was nice to visit John's family, especially given that we haven't seen them in almost nine months!!

We headed out there on the 20th. Allen, John's younger brother, and his wife flew here from SLC and drove with us out to KS. I feel a little bad that we crammed them in the far back seat of the Odyssey. Not so bad when I think about how car sick I got last time I rode back there. Anyway, we had a nice ride out there and a very nice time visiting the zoo that is John's mother's house (when everyone is there--he has a large family). This past Sunday Kathi wanted to do an Easter Egg Hunt while we were in town. The kids had a great time. Abbi had a wonderful time eating a bunch of her candy that evening. I think she may have regretted that decision when she puked all over herself, her brother and both their bedding later that night. Given that we were to head back home the next morning, I threw it all in some trash bags, a lot of trash bags, and everyone went back to sleep.

We were a little worried about the weather on the way home but, except for the area around Limon, the weather was nothing more than windy. What we should have been worried about was Abbi's stomach...

We had been off the toll road (headed up Colorado Blvd.) for no more than 5 minutes when Abbi hurls all over the far back seat. Poor Allen and Megan, you know the suckers we stuck in the back. I felt terrible. There is no gas station or anything in sight so I tell John to pull over so we can clean it up. It's freezing outside, there is vomit everywhere in the van, Megan is gagging due to the smell (we are all grateful at this point that she has a cold and can't really smell it all, she jumps out of the van with one shoe).

Well, we had to strip Abbi down and throw her and Jake in the front seat so I could clean up as much as I can. The van is at it's limit of people and stuff (mostly due to John's need to buy Guitar Hero while we are out there so we can drag this huge box back with us) therefore, Abbi's booster seat is currently on the side of Colorado Blvd somewhere covered in puke. There was no way we were fitting that disgusting thing back in the van so I could take it home to clean it all off. So if you know of anyone desperate for one used booster send them that direction...oh yeah, in case you need a slightly used Easter basket too...

We all get back in the van, short a booster seat, to try to make it home. We get a few yards down the road and we notice that the kids had dumped over John's fountain pop from the last stop, upside down into Abbi's Easter basket. The little vinyl basket was pooled with Diet Coke and the jelly beans and all the other candy in it. I am at my limit at this point, I instruct John to pull over, I open my door and I toss the basket.

Fun times!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Special...or not?

I have this little girl, my princess, Abigail. She is very independent and smart and so excited to learn and do new things. She is also very opinionated and will tell you everything that goes through her pretty little head.

She came home from preschool the other day and this is what she said to me...
"Mommy, Jake is very special. He is special because he makes us laugh. I am special because I can run really fast. Mommy, you are special because...(long pause)... well, I guess you are not very special. Isaac is special because he is silly."

At least she is honest!!!

I love my children tremendously and they crack me up constantly. One of my favorite parts of preschool age children is hearing all the crazy things they say. When Abbi was younger I decided to keep a little notebook and write down the funny and sweet things they say. I highly recommend this. It is so funny to go back and read the things that they have said and done. This and the 'corn' incident are both recent entries!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Corn makes me nervous..."

So I have this little boy named Jacob Ryan. Jake, as we call him, is very sensitive and can be very sweet. He does not like new things. I once had to drag him kicking and screaming to the top of one of those big bouncy castle slides, and push him down it, to make him realize that they are supposed to be fun. Just for the record, I couldn't get him off the thing when it was time to go!! This little boy of mine also had a very hard time at meals. He is not a huge eater (except for doughnut days) and getting him to eat his vegetables is like pulling teeth.

For a long time, this problem escalated because he was smart enough to gag on them. I didn't buy it, but John...well, John thought that Jake wasn't that clever. Oh, he is. Anyway, meal times have gotten a lot smoother in recent history, partly because John isn't usually home for dinner and, I don't know, maybe Jake realizes I am going to make him sit there until he eats. Who knows!!

Last night Grandma had gone to the grocery store on her way home from work. She got the kids each one of those kid TV dinner things for kind of a 'special' dinner for them. They had a corn dog, french fries, corn and some chocolate pudding in them. I heat them up and we sit down for our very casual dinner. Abbi is eating away, Jake, of course, tackles the pudding first. He starts eating is corn dog and I inform him that he has to eat the corn too. After quite a few bites of the corn, he says (with his mouth full of corn), "I can't eat this mom. Corn makes me nervous. It makes me nervous so I can't eat it."

What a strange child!! I will also say this about my handsome boy...he knows how to make me laugh!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Why do Crocs have holes in them?

Sure the holes keep your feet from smelling and who knows what else. But whoever thought of the holes didn't ever have a child throw up on them I am sure. Jake had a stomach bug a few days ago. After cancelling play groups and changing sheets and giving him a couple of baths--I remained fairly unscathed. That is until last night. Jake's issue only lasted about 24 hours but of course Isaac has it now.

We were on our way to Greeley to meet my sister at Ci Ci's pizza. Yum Yum. We had almost made it into Greeley when Ike puked all over himself and the carseat. Gross. The van smelt so bad!! We decided to go to Wal-Mart and get him some clean clothes and something to clean out his seat for the time being. After all that, we head to the restaurant. The other kids and I had to eat and he didn't have anything else in his stomach anyway. So we go to the restaurant and eat. I didn't give Isaac anything but a saltine and some pedialyte that was in his cup. He was getting fussy near the end so I took him out of the high chair and sat him on my lap. Bad idea!! He proceeded to throw up all over me... and the floor... and himself. It was such a mess. There were a couple of young college girls sitting close to us and I swear we convinced them never to have children.

So vomit all over me and everything else. This is were my problem with the holes in crocs comes in. Puke, chunks and all, ooze quite nicely through those holes and, believe me, it's very uncomfortable to say the least. It is a darn good thing I can just hose them off though!!

We did make it home and Abbi threw up in the van as we were getting out at the house. We got them all in bed without incident. That is until Abbi got out of bed and stood at the top of the stairs to throw up again. Not convenient positioning on her part.

Oh, the joys of parenting!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Road Trip

So last Thursday afternoon, we (my parents and I) decided to leave Friday morning for a road trip to Arizona. My parents had actually started to move down there last fall but plans changed and they are going to UT instead. In the process of moving, they hauled most of their belongings and my Dad's ginormous boat down there. On his return, he brought the boxes and stuff so the boat (his baby) remained 16 hours away. We decided that we should head down and get the thing before he started his new job and had to take time off.

Well, Grandma and Grandpa decided and I decided that the kids and I needed to come. Since Grandpa moved down there, Abbi has prayed fervently that he could be kept safe from the big cactus (sahuaro cactus to be exact). That and all the stories and things I have told them about growing up in Arizona made Abbi and Jake very interested in the state. I was also very interested in stopping at Pancho's. A Mexican food place that I have very fond memories of when we lived in El Paso actually, but they have one in Phoenix.
Anyway, we packed up Friday morning and headed out. After eight hours in the car, we arrived at Bluewater New Mexico and we camped, yes camped in February, in the truck. We had a campfire with Jiffy Pop that the kids thought was so cool and we slept in the cab of the truck with Grandma and Grandpa in the bed of the truck. In the morning, we went down to the freezing water, Abbi was upset she couldn't go for a swim. Then we were on the road again.

As we approached Gallup, Abbi noticed some "cliffs" that looked just like the ones in Radiator Springs. Cars, Jake's favorite movie, was based on the old Highway 66 and they took a lot of thing from the actual area and adapted it for the movie. We arrived in Phoenix that evening and I got to go to Pancho's. The only craving I have had in all my pregnancies was for a cheese tostada from this restaurant. Obviously, that was never fulfilled, until Saturday night. SOOOOO GOOOOD!!!! The only unfortunate thing is that I want another one!! That is not likely to happen. Then we went to Ikea- I love that place!!

We were able to see my Uncle Dewalt and his family. They were kind enough to let us crash at their house and Abigail took a big liking to my cousin Thomas. He is fourteen and he was a very good sport to put up with her following him around and asking him a million questions. My Aunt, with help was kind enough to make us breakfast and Abbi wouldn't sit until she knew where Thomas was sitting and she wouldn't pick a drink or get anything to eat until she knew what he was going to eat and drink. Thanks Thomas for being so great to her. Then she found Thomas's sister Sarah and asked her about three million questions as well. Thanks again guys!!

Abbi had a great time with my cousins and Isaac took a liking to Uncle Dewalt. It was a lot of fun to visit them and be at the house where I have so many memories playing with their kids closer to my age. It was a blast!! The next morning, before we left town, we stopped to see an old friend of mine, Emily. IT was so wonderful to see her. I miss her so much and it was nice just to see her in person and give her a hug and see how she is doing. I love you Emily. As we were headed out of town, we had to stop at an In and Out burger because I had never been to one. Then, the big moment came when we found a place to pull off the road. Grandpa, Abbi, Jake and I hopped out of the truck and went for a little hike. We got to see all the desert plants and several different varieties of cactus. I know it sounds crazy, but the kids have never seen cactus and they have heard a lot about it so they were absolutely amazed at the different kinds and how often they appear in the Arizona desert.

We took off Sunday morning to come home and Grandma suggested that we would only be an hour or so from the Grand Canyon. We decided that it would be a lot of fun to take the kids to "the big hole in the ground" (as they call it). So we took the huge detour and the kids thought it was great. We were at the South Rim and we walked along the path for almost a mile and back and made some great memories. Then we headed back. We stayed at a hotel in Holebrook which the kids thought equally as fun as any thing else on the trip.
Before we really got on the road Monday morning, we decided to humor the kids and stop at a tourist-y gift shop off the interstate near the petrified forest in New Mexico. They had fake tipi's up and a weather rock and some of the petrified trees. Abbi kept asking where the Indians were that lived in the tipi's. It turned into this huge conversation about how 'Indians' are just like everyone else and live in houses and drive cars now. They didn't ever live in tipi's in the southwest anyway. She had so many questions and it was funny to try to get her to understand. Then after a super long day yesterday, we made it home at about midnight last night.

It was a really short trip and we spent most of it in the car, but we all had a really good time. I might say this a lot, but I am so grateful for my parents. They are such wonderful grandparents. They did so much this past weekend just to humor my three and four year old. I am so grateful that my children have supportive and happy grandparents. Thanks mom and dad!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bummer. . .

So the past week or so I have been feeling a little (okay, a lot) like garbage. Pregnancy, right? I was just thinking it was a little weird that the 'morning' sickness just hit at 10 weeks. Well, that's because it didn't!!!

I went to my first Dr's appointment yesterday and found out that my body was completely whacked out over the holidays apparently. I am only eight weeks and 2 days today, although, my cycle (which I am 100% sure about) would put me at 10 weeks and 2 days. Crazy!! And a bit upsetting- I would really like to be the 10 weeks instead of 8. Oh well. We did find out that the baby is there and has a very healthy heart beat, so still some good news.

Bad news... Abbi didn't get into the Charter School that we wanted her to get into. Well, she is on this list (#88 out of 89 names) and the school takes 21. Now people move and parents decline spots so the openings will move up the list, but come on... she's second to last. Stupid lottery system!! I am pretty bummed but I know that there is a reason and things will be fine no matter where she goes to Kindergarten in the fall.

I think it might be a blessing in disguise because my father found a job in UT that he starts in just over a week and my mom will be following him out there once she gets the house here taken care of. Therefore, John and I are moving!! I do say that like it's a good thing. My parents have been so unbelievably gracious to let us live here for almost two years and things could not have been more fun. We have had the wonderful opportunity to get to know them better and I marvel at how wonderful they are with my kids. John and I are so grateful for their kindness and all that they have done for us. I am so grateful that this experience has done nothing but strengthen our relationship with my parents. They are such great people and amazing grandparents. Thanks Mom and Dad!!

With all that, moving is still a good thing. We are ready to have a place of our own. I am also looking forward to being in a new part of town. We just have to keep praying that we always have a renter in our house in KS or we can get it sold someday soon.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Here we go again. . .

I have not posted in a while. There isn't all that much going on with us. That is to say that January was actually a very happening month for my extended family. Several unfortunate things have been going on and we are grateful that we (John and I) do have some good news to share. . . we are expecting our fourth baby in September!!

Yes, that is right, I am only eight weeks people. Past history would tell me that I shouldn't even know that I am pregnant yet, but the test did work pretty early on (for me anyway). And whether or not I wanted to wait until I had at least seen a doctor, John can not keep a secret. In his defense, he didn't know that it was a secret for now. That's only because he told everyone he knew before he spoke to me about it. Yeah, you think he might be excited or something?! At this point, I should apologize to all who received the picture message of the 'stick' that showed a positive pregnancy. That was really meant for John's eyes only. Sorry.

So no, I have not been to a Dr. or anything but given the fact that I saw the announcement on his Facebook, I better get it out in the open I suppose. The kids are very excited Abbi is expecting a little sister (Diamond or Sparkle) and Jake a little brother (Jake). One of them will be right (not about the name-obviously)!!

With all the news that has been spreading around here, things seem to be settling down. We are just waiting for Isaac to walk or talk or do something other than eat. We'll see. I am sure it's in his future somewhere!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

The fat lady has sung

Christmas at our house, and New Year's too, was pretty uneventful. We had cancelled our plans to travel to KS a couple of months ago and John's sister, Jordan, and her fiance cancelled their plans to come out here. (They did have a great time in Louisiana with his family though.)

I was up late doing Christmas Eve 'stuff' and woke very early in the morning to vomit the remains of the very time consuming dinner I had prepared merely hours prior. Very Christmas Cheer-y, I know. I don't get sick to my stomach very often at all and I don't know why it had to be on Christmas. Very disturbing planning by the fates. Anyway, I was very tired and not feeling well this Christmas but . . . it was a good holiday.

Given my sickly state, my mother prepared Christmas Dinner, so I didn't really have a whole lot to worry about that day (except of course the fact that the first hurricane to ever hit CO had happened in my house!) The kids had a great holiday. I cannot believe how spoiled they are!!! It was great to be with family and enjoy the excitement of the holiday.

New Year's this year was the first holiday ever that we did not spend with extended family. It was just us and the kids and I have to say I loved it!! Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with John's family and mine too, having big holiday events and traditions, but it was so nice to have our family start our own traditions, just us. We rented movies and got a lot of junk food. The kids were in heaven. They stayed up so late, but I was the only one to make it to midnight, sad, huh John?! So I stole my New Year's kisses from a sleeping husband and sleeping children.
So it's all over. All the crazy-ness and preparation for the holidays and it is all over...until next year.