Thursday, July 31, 2008

27 Hours!!!

I can barely control my excitement. All that I can think about is this. Seriously... I am a dork, and I need help!!!!!
Don't judge me either! We all have our vices!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

2 Days!!!

3 Days!

... and counting!!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Vacation Part 3

Tuesday, July, 15 to Thursday Evening, July 17

(I had to break it up because there is too much to tell..)

On Tuesday we got to Lewis' mom's house just before dinner time. We had lasagna and salad before Allison, Haley and Abigail left to go to the church for Young Women. The rest of us headed out to the outlet mall. Adam wanted to go to the Lego store and I needed shoes. In my world win packing spree the morning we left I forgot to get my shoes. The pairs that I was going to bring sat neat and still in front of my closet until we returned from out trip. Needless to say all I had was my flip flops from the car ride so I needed to get some to wear to the Retirement on Friday. After walking about 10 miles with Katie in that HUGE mall, we each got 1 pair of shoes and Adam got a few Lego sets. We left and went to meet Allison and the girls and go get ice cream.

Wednesday was full for the boys. Marty, Lewis, Adam and Jason got up early and all went to a few places including the Pentagon for the tour. Marty took Adam 3 years ago when we went to VA for a visit but this time he is older and can understand more. They also ate lunch there and got souvenirs. Adam got a shirt and Jason got a new wallet. They were very pleased with their "prizes". On their way home they picked up Heidi from the airport. Katie, Haley, Abi and I all went to IKEA, and Walmart looking for items for Katie's new apartment, and FaBreeze for my car because it still smelled like gym socks. After that we took the girls to Red Robin for lunch.

The girls were mainly well behaved and had a good time. Once everyone was home we had barbecued burgers with fruit and potato salad for dinner.

This was the first time in 5 years that all 3 of the siblings had been together. And the first time in about 10 years that Allison and Marty had all of them together at once with them.

After dinner Heidi, Lewis and I took the kids for a walk to a little park in the neighborhood. We then walked a trail and went to a local graveyard. Haley was very not happy about that but she dealt with it. Once the kids were heading in to shower Katie, Heidi and I went to Target to get some "stuff", including chocolate because Paige, Dave and their son were going to be arriving shortly. They came over and hung out for an hour or so and visited. It was very fun.

Thursday we got up bright and early and headed downtown. Well, if 9:30 is bright and early. Marty took Paige and her family to see the pentagon, and Katie went to her apartment so Allison, Heidi, Lewis and I took the kids downtown to go to the Museum of Natural History.
We saw lots of good stuff.

My favorite was The Hope Diamond.
The girls got little mini necklaces that look just like the real thing. After the museum we went to meet Beth and her girls for lunch at the train station. I got a huge sandwich, and could barely eat half. It was ridiculous. Next time we all share something, right Katie? :)
Haley and Abi hit it off with Beth's girls immediately! It was so nice for them to have the girls to play with. After lunch we stopped at the Post Office Museum for a quick look. It did not take long, but it was a different museum then most people go to, and it is right across for the train station. I was the only one who had been there before. I went in 1995 with Marlo when we were on a layover for a train to New York. Fun Times! It has changed so much since then, but still worth a quick look.I need to make a quick comment about The Metro. Can you say love? I love The Metro, and so did the kids. I always used to take the Metro everywhere when I lived there. Jason would not sit unless we made him. He loved standing and holding on. All of the kids liked going from underground to above ground over and over. It was a hit.
Abigail was very tired by the end of the day though.
Thursday night was a big dinner with all of the family at a yummy Italian restaurant near Allison's house.Beth and Joel (Marty's brother) were there with their girls so my kids had a blast. They all sat together and played. The dinner was delicious. I had the chicken, Lewis had the Salmon, and so did Jason until he tasted the dill sauce. He spit that bite right out across the table at Adam! So we scraped the sauce off of Adam's chicken and off of Jason's salmon and they traded. Everyone ended up very happy. After we ate Beth and her girls gave my kids some little toys to play with to keep them occupied. The kids ended up taking over the restaurant. They had so much fun.
Next time: Thursday Night and Friday, July, 18

The Mess in the Potty

WOW. And you know what I am talking about Sib's...

I will interject my thoughts on the subject by reacting to all of yours:

Cris... Wow, Ouch, and Amen. Never before has truth been so... truthful.

Marlo... "You take the high road, and I'll take the low road."

Sam... Holy Rusted Metal Batman. Really... Holy something that is...

Fake anonymous person... As quoted by Sam, "If anyone disliked you or him to the extent that you are perceiving it….we just would ignore you." Amen brother, amen.

That about sums it up for me. See you all at Rummy on Sunday!

Mama Mia!

I saw it again, and I loved it again!!! One of my new favorite movies!!! Thanks Marlo and Rachel!!
Do cherries give you anger?

Because my brain is bleeding....
But tell me does she kiss
Like I used to kiss you?
Does it feel the same
When she calls your name?
Somewhere deep inside
You must know I miss you
But what can I say
Rules must be obeyed

Friday, July 25, 2008

I need to clarify that the trip we took was fun and to the kids it was a WONDERFUL vacation. Lewis and I are just saying that something relaxing sounds good...

Whens My Vacation Part 2

Sunday, July 13 to Monday, July, 14

On Sunday morning I had to wake everyone up to get to breakfast before they closed it for the day. So everyone went down sleepy eyed and with frazzled hair. We had waffles, cereal, fruit and juice. There was also donuts, muffins, and bagels. The kids wasted a ton of food, but tried everything. After breakfast we got ready and went to Hershey's Chocolate World. We took the tour, sampled the fair and watched the show. The kids had a great time.

From there we went and had a late lunch at Cracker Barrel. After lunch Katie and I went and had pedicures while Lewis and the kids watched a movie and napped in the hotel. When we got back to the hotel we all went swimming for almost 2 hours. For dinner we went to the local grocery store and got salami, cheese, bread and fruit for dinner. The kids had Lunchables and juice. After dinner we watched a movie and then went to bed late again.

Monday morning I had to get up again and rouse the troops for breakfast again. We got there with 15 minutes to spare. After breakfast we hung around the hotel "getting ready" for over two hours. We showered the kids, packed the bags, played the computer, checked work emails, answered phone calls, and watched TV. Pretty much anything to waste time. We were in no hurry and we only had an hour or so drive ahead of us.

We finally got all ready to go and drove to Brent's family's house. We got there early afternoon and went swimming with the boys.

{I have a good story here. Well not good but a story. We went to the pool and there was no sun. As everyone knows I go to the pool so the kids can play and I can sit in the sun and read. Well, with no sun there was nothing for me to do. I finally relented to Katie's pleas and went to jump into the deep end with her. Adam was there using the diving board and so we joined him. Katie and I were going to jump together but Adam shoved me in before we could jump. It was cold and I was out for a little revenge. So Katie jumped in on her own. I got out went to Adam and said I was going to toss him in. He was laughing and going along with it, not fighting me at all. So I toss him in and I get whistled at by the lifeguard. "NO THROWING!" she yells at me. So I said he pushed me and and did not get a whistle and she yells at me again so I jump in and swim to the other side and get out. So to the lady at the pool: Don't whistle me if you are not going to do the same for MY kid when he does to me what I did to him. Just because you sit on the stand doesn't mean you are freaking King Titan. Side note: Maybe I just do not like people telling me what to do. This is what Lewis thinks. I am independent and I like to play. I listen to what my bosses tell me to do, and I do not mind. I just do not like when someone like a lifeguard (I would NEVER put my child in danger) or a fake cop at basketball games tells me what I am doing is wrong just so that they can feel puffed up about themselves. What do you think?}

Anyways so the pool was fun for the kids, but a bust for me. The sun finally came out and Katie got a little sun (finally!) she was looking rather white and glowish. We went back to Brent's and the kids had pizza (yuck!). I luckily have Belinda who was tired of pizza too so she made us chicken and rice. After dinner Adam drove the lawnmower and we all jumped on the trampoline and played in the yard for awhile. For dessert we had ice cream and brownies.
After dessert Lewis and I went to the store to get some Fabreeze for the smelly car and the kids all went to a local park. After going to the store we went on a walk of the neighborhood and enjoyed the humidity for a while. When the kids got back we got them ready for bed, and the boys watched Nacho Libre and Lewis and I watched the first half of Oliver. Everyone had gone to bed.

Morning of Tuesday, July 15

In the morning Brent and Belinda took the kids to a big park and Lewis and I had the morning to ourselves. Michael stayed home too and hung out. I worked for a few hours and Lewis did paperwork for his new job. I also got laundry done and made some work phone calls while it was quiet. Lewis made us breakfast too. It was nice and quiet. (Katie had left many hours before to go home and move into her new apartment in VA.) We had the car packed and ready to go when they got back from the park. We left right away and stopped for lunch at Wendys. We hit a little traffic once we got into DC but it was not too bad.

Next Time: Post 3 Tuesday, July 15 to Friday, July 18
So I was just informed from Lewis that we did not go on a vacation. We went on a trip. I suppose after thinking about it I agree. What we did was not vacation, so I still need one. So...

Whens My Vacation?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Who is under the covers?

Can you guess who is under the covers? I have a picture with the faces showing. It may or not make it to the blog...we will see!

Whens My Vacation?

So I got my vacation. Finally. We have not had a family vacation in 3 years.. I think it is about time, don't you? We headed out East to visit family and go to Marty's Navy Retirement. I will tell you all about it day by day.

Post 1

Thursday, July, 10 to Saturday, July, 12

We made a final decision to go on this hair brained adventure on Wednesday, even though we had talked about it for weeks, so I had to get up and get packing on Thursday. I got up early and got the kids stuff packed. I started the laundry and went into work. Yes, that right even on the day of my trip I went to work. I am sick and I need help...I know. So after I worked, drove downtown to the state offices and ran about 10 errands we packed the car and left for Toledo, Ohio. Toledo you say. Yes. Our plans had us drive for 24 hours straight to get most of the way there. Our stop was Toledo. We had hotel reservations for the night. Thank you Marriott points!
I took this picture while driving! Dangerous I know! Ahhh! All of the pictures taken like this in the car were taken by me while driving.
The drive started slow. Too much traffic until we got onto I-80. We stopped for dinner at about 9:30 pm, and then I drove on into the night. Everyone was great except for the one time I had to scream at Haley and Jason for playing and being loud. Oh it was after 1 am, and Lewis was trying to sleep so that he could take over driving for me at 3 am or so.

Our car got AWESOME gas mileage. We could go for about 5 to 5 and 1/2 hours on one tank of gas. With the van we needed to refill after 4 hours. We spent much less in gas then we thought. It was still a lot but compared to flying... well there was no comparison.
On Friday we got to Toledo at about 6 pm. We went to dinner and then went back to the hotel and watched TV. Everyone was exhausted except for Jason who had a 4 hour nap that afternoon. He stayed awake for quite a while playing his video games.

Saturday morning we got up, ate a quick breakfast in the car while driving to Hershey, PA. On the way there we stopped for lunch so the kids could get out of the car and have a break. We were about to run out of gas. We had about 15 miles left and the exit we were currently by only had Burger King. I did not want that so I said lets go and try to make it to the next exit. The kids were screaming that we would run out of gas, and Lewis said great and gunned the engine. If we ran out of gas, he said, then he was not walking to get it. Of course not, I would just call AAA. So, yes we made it to the next exit with 2 miles left in gas! HA HA! I will always provide a good adventure that's for sure! (Right DAD? Keep going, we will make it!) So when we got off of that exit the only places to eat were Burger King (!!!) and a place called Kings. So we went to Kings. We chose wisely!! The food was good, and cheap and the kids got these desserts with their meal called Frownies. They were brownies with a frown drawn in frosting. So cute, and so yummy! The kids loved the place and wanted to go back for every meal the rest of the trip.
When we got to Hershey, I went into the wonderful hotel that S.B. helped me get on priceline (thanks!), and there was a little misunderstanding. All of the 2 double bed rooms were rented out for the night! They had overbooked because of a bachelorette party! So since we arrived last we got two King bed rooms. So it was Lewis and myself, our 4 kids, and Katie. {For those who do not know, Katie is Lewis' younger sister, and my b.f.s.i.l. (Figure that one out!) She drove up from VA to visit with us and to spend some time with the kids.} How were all 7 of us supposed to fit into 2 beds? Well they gave us one single roll away for the first night. There were little chaise's in the rooms so Abigail and Jason slept on those the first night. The second night they gave us a double bed roll away for the second room so everyone had a bed, but it was scary that first morning with bodies all over the rooms. There are 5 people sleeping in these pictures. Yikes!
Right when Katie got to the hotel on Saturday we all went swimming. We swam for an hour or so and then went to dinner. We ate at Texas Road House (Lewis' Favorite). We went straight back to the hotel and the kids watched a movie in one room and went to sleep (after a little fighting, wrestling, and playing, all in all good fun and no blood) and the 3 adults watched a movie, played on Facebook, and checked emails in the other room before bed.

All in all not a bad beginning to the trip. The kids were happy, Katie was with us and Lewis was in a good mood.

Coming Soon: Part 2
Hershey, PA Sunday, July 13 to Monday July 14

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Where is my cord?

IF I could find my cord then I could download my pictures from my trip and tell you all of the great things that we did on our vacation. BUT I can't!!! I was going to take it on the trip, but I thought that I left it here thinking that I would have plenty of room on my memory card. Maybe I did take it with me...but I can't remember. Have you seen it?

Monday, July 21, 2008

I keep getting on the computer today and starting to post and then I remember all of my pictures from the trip are not downloaded yet! There are over 200 of them so it is going to take a long time to load them all on. I am just putting that off. I guess I should do it now so that I can get some of the fun stuff we did on the blog before another week goes by without a real post. OK I am going to do it now... well, after I eat the cinnamon roll from IKEA that I bought this morning.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!
2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I am Sorry!

I know it has been a long time since my last post. I am FINALLY on my vacation. I will post as soon as I get home and tell you all about the great adventures that I am having!

Love and miss you all!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sarah's Farewell

Sarah you will be missed! Love You!

OK, so a quick note about this picture. Did you notice that these ladies are sitting EXACT opposite of each other?

Slip 'N' Slide

When my family was over on Saturday we took out the Slip 'n' Slide. It was the most fun that the kids have ever had on that thing. Here are the pictures. Please notice that even Aunt Angel got in on the action!

Finally! Someone Likes My Idea!

I hosted my family for a BBQ on Saturday. I not only invited them over for dinner and fun, but I had ulterior motives as well. I wanted to go over family schedules with everyone so that we could schedule a few things. We always go to 7 Peaks as a family once a summer, so that needed to get scheduled. Alain wanted to plan out the season tickets for the BYU Football season.

I also wanted to propose an idea that I have been trying to get worked out for about, um... 6 years now. I proposed it with Lewis' family a few years back and everyone was excited to do it, but it never happened. People couldn't do it at the same time, or did not have the money. (Now most of them {minus Katie and Marty} have gone and done it already.) Marlo and I have also been talking about it for 3 years so I decided to take the plunge and ask the Balmanno's what they thought.

Oh Yeah! The idea. I suggested to the adults that we go to Disneyland for Christmas. Cris, Marlo and Alain were down with the idea just about from the start. I had done some research and I gave them the numbers, and they all agreed it was doable. My idea was that ALL of the siblings go with their spouses and kids, if applicable. Sam and Angel needed a little prodding, but came around to the idea. Even the kids, when asked if they would give up the gifts to go to Disney for Christmas, had an overwhelming positive response. Donna was just quite, but when asked she agreed it was a good idea. When Lewis was asked (I had not run the idea by him first) he responded with, "It is a fine idea, but I just figured that I did not have a say because this is the first that I have heard about it." Sorry dear! I was so excited that I forgot to talk to you.

So we are going to Disneyland for Christmas! I am totally excited. I wanted to take the kids since Adam was 3 or 4. And now we finally get to go! I have the best memories going with my family during the summers when I was growing up.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

4th of July Night

So after the very boring day...

OK maybe I should explain why it was so boring. If you read my post below you will see that we did nothing for the "day" on the 4TH. Maybe this is normal for some people. Not for me. I have great memories of Independence Day when I was growing up. My dad was in the military for most of my life, so we spent many July 4Th's on military posts/bases. We always breakfasts (either at church or with my dad's work) followed by a parade and then a huge BBQ. We would then go swimming in the afternoon, or on a hike, or to a park. Then in the evening there was always a huge firework celebration. I LOVED the 4TH when I was young.

So now you can see why I thought Lewis laying around doing nothing (while I read my book), and the kids being bored out of their minds! was not a very fun way to spend a day.

... we did have plans for the night. Our friends Holly & Kyle and Connie & Tim invited the whole family out to a pig roast. Yes! We got there about 6:30pm. They live out near The Ranches. (And by the way, if you have not been out there recently it has changed. There is a gas station, stores, and restaurants. It is no longer in the middle of nowhere.) We thought that it would be big fun since I managed to cancel on them last year for the roast. (I got a bad sunburn and we were unable to attend.) When we got to Holly's we hung out for a while, took a tour of their house, and then headed next door to the party. Let me just tell you the backyard was to die for. Basketball court, volleyball court, Koi pond (with maybe 20 fish, including babies), playground, trampoline, playhouse and another acre or so of grass to spread out on and play.
The dinner was freshly pulled pork, lamb, all kinds of potato dishes, pasta salads, fruit and veggie trays, chips, cookies, watermelon, cupcakes, jell-o, and brownies. The kids were in heaven. I stopped counting after Adam had his 4Th dessert.
After dinner the kids played basketball with Lewis, bounced on the tramp, and played with the other kids that were there for a couple of hours. There was line dancing too...well 5 of us did the dancing. When it stated to get dark we cleared the tables and food and set up to watch the movie. Oh! Did I forget to mention that they had an outdoor theater screen attached to the back of their house? Yeah, they did. So we got out blankets and chairs, candy and popcorn too, and got set to watch Independence Day with Will Smith. Before the movie they had a clip of fireworks, short cartoon films (the golfing bear, and the birds for those of you who know what they are), and some patriotic videos set to song. (No real fireworks because of the wind and the lack of water.) By the time the movie was 1/3 of the way in it was 12:30am and Abigail was asleep. Adam and Haley were almost asleep too, but Jason just could not get comfy and he was grumpy so we decided to go home. Overall we had a great time. Thanks to our friends for inviting us out!

To spite the slow beginning of the day, the day turned out very well. Happy Independence Day!
*In all of the pictures, their yard is as far as the eye can see in each direction*