September 09, 2007 -Well it's my last day at home before I go back to work, so I figured I would put a couple more pictures up. To the right is another that we took at the picture people the other day. We call it his thinking pose, and he often lays this way when he is sleeping. It's very adorable. Well like I said it is time for me to go back to work tomorrow but, it has been a blast being home for 3 weeks with my kids Walking Rachel and Eric to and home from school has been great. I have enjoyed meeting their teachers and their friends. It's has been nice to be able to talk to them about school, right after class. It's nice to get more out of "How was school today?" then "fine" Everday Rachel and Eric tell me about what they are learning in class and who they played with what their favorite activity for the day was. As you can see in the picture on the left the older kids love their baby brother. In fact if you ask Caitlyn what Jacobs name, that is all she calls him, "my baby brother". It is very cute, they all dote on him constantly and are quick to react if he starts to wake up or fuss at all. In fact Eric was very upset the day after we brought Jacob home that Jacob wasn't going to be sleeping in his room immediatly. Casandra and I are thinking of taking bets however as to how soon Eric will want to be rid of Jacob once he starts to sleep in his room and realizes how often Jacob wakes up and night, crying for food. We are trying to break him of that of course, but these things take time.

Jacob and Caitlyn Rachel and Eric September 07, 2007 - Jacob is now a little over 2 weeks old and we decided to take him in to get his picture taken at the Picture People Rachel and Eric were at School (Rachel is in 1st grade and Eric is in Kindergarten). So for a few hours only Caitlyn is around Monday through Friday to annoy Jacob and Casandra. After a few pictures Jacob was still doing well and Caitlyn was wearing clothes that were similar to Jacobs normal outfit so we thought it would be cute to take a picture of the 2 of them. When the picture came out it reminded me so much of a Picture of Rachel and her little brother when he was first born that I couldn't help but do a side by side comparison. Take a look for your selves and tell me what you think. How will Team Caitlyn and Jacob fair against the older Duo of Rachel and Eric. Will team CJ surpass their counterparts in driving their parents crazy? Only time will tell?

August 22, 2007 - Well the day has finally arrived. Jacob Jordan Helzer has been born. I will create his own page for him soon. For now, here are a few good looking pictures of him with his parents. Jacob arrived at 2:46am August 21st 2007. This marks the end of an era as Jacob will definetly be our last baby (for all you doubters, Cas has been advised that it would be unhealthy and unwise to have any more children, so very soon I will be taking permanent measures) While he is our last baby and second son, he is a first in many ways. He is our first child to be born in the summer and our first child to be late (by 6 days to be exact). For the First time Casandra had to be induced and for the first time the hospital was so full that almost immediatly after his birth we were rushed out of the birthing center and into the pediatrics ward as the Birth Annex (where they normally send us) was full. As far as the official Stats. Jacob was 8lbs 15oz at birth and 21 inches long. Which makes him our heaviest baby (Caitlyn was the 2nd largest at 8lbs 7oz), but not our longest (Rachel was 21.5 inches long) At first glance it appears that Jacob will have Casandras dark brown eyes and hair like his sister Caitlyn, but only time will tell. Thus far he is a very good eater and seems intent to maintain his heavy-weight title. You can also more see more pictures of him taken at the hospital by at the following Link by typing Jacobs birthday, the first 3 letters of our last name and the county where he was born. (San Diego)

June 23, 2007 - So after a short break from updating the web page. My wife decided that one was in order and that I was not allowed food or drink, until I published our latest news. Kids are growing up, they do that, kind of scary. Rachel has completed kindergarten this week and can't wait for 1st grade to start. She is a good girl and a star pupil. She even seems to be having an influence on Eric who thus far has shown almost no focus on the academic side of pre-school, but now that he is supposed to go to kindergarten, he seems a little more interested. Caitlyn, Eric and Rachel all started swim lessons this last week and are doing fabulous and for those who don't know the big news, we are all anxiously awaiting our fourth child. Sign indicate that he will be a boy, Assuming that is true we have Chosen the name Jacob Jordan Helzer. All is well and I do intend to update a little more regular again, now that I can really see. Hopefully later in life Caitlyn will forgive how much I slacked sharing her pictures with the world during her toddler days. She is a cute one, so if you haven't seen her recently you are missing out! Check back later. there is a good chance I will put something up her again soon.

June 15, 2005 -What's this?!? Another update!?! Do wonders never cease?!? As promised, Cas took some extra special pics of Caity for her 6 months and then took a few for fathers day too and they were to awesome not to share with you immediatly.. What father could not be proud of good liking kids like these? So take a look at Caitlyns Page and you can see the updated pictures of her at 6 months. Unfortunately our efforts to capture the tooth that has popped out of her gums has been in vain and I am afraing that you will have to wait a little longer for that but the good news, that we have been able to capture the exciting moments of her getting up on all fours. Now if we can get the events of her throwing her self forward in effort to crawl on camara that would be an accomplishment. But she is making every effort and it has been fun and scary to think that soon we will have no less than 3 mobile children. And since I was here and I found a few pictures from a couple of weeks ago that I forgot to upload that were pretty good, I thought I would share that with you while I was at it as well. So a couple of weeks ago Cas and I adquired a giant box that the kids had been begging us to let them paint up and make a house sooo...You can see the fruits of their labors and the means by which the created their mess in the Painted Box folder. Since that time they have a had a great time playing house and "drive-thru"...I am beginning to think we talk them out for fast-food way to often. in the Online Photo Album. In other news the weather has been pretty nice and Rachel is out of pre-school, so when possible we have been trying to take the kids outdoors. So this last week on my day off we spent a few hours at the park, It was alot of fun but Caitlyn is still deciding if she likes grass. Although we have confirned that she does in fact love her toes. All the rest of the pictures of our fun time at the park are in the Online Photo Album. Park0605 folder. Also to the left there is a picture of Rachel's pre-school class from this year. Finally today we had the chance to take the kids to go visit their great-grandpa Gingras in Orange County and except for some terrible traffic due to an overturned big rig full of bananas (seemed like a bunch of monkey business to me) it was great trip with fun had by all. With that I will sign off and wish you a happy father's day and a good night.

June 1, 2005 -Some of you may consider this a lame update because I didn't add any new pictures of the kids, but that was what the last two updates were for. So get over it. I updated the Games page for the first time in a long time. While in Utah at my aunt Colleen's house we played a fairly new, but rapidly becoming popular, game called Ticket-to-Ride©. Not only is it a very entertaining and educational boardgame to play as a family, but you can play it for free online as well So if you are all by your lonesome and can't get a 2nd person to play this very cool game with you. Juat hop online and join a game online at and if you think Cas or I are home give us a hollar and we can tell you what our name for the day is and we might even be able to play a game together! Gotta love the net! You can see my brief rave about Ticket-to-Ride© on the Games page. By the way, not to worry, I will put some more pictures up soon. Heck Caitlyn is almost 6 months so you know it's about time for some solid pictures. How the time flies. Hope you're having some fun.

May 27, 2005 -I know you probaby didn't expect another update for weeks but I found some time and figured if I didn't update a few things now I wouldt forget the dates pictures were taken and it would take forever to do these updates. So Caitlyns Page has been updated with some cute updates that show her facial features taking form as she develops so quickly in these tender months. Also on a sidenote, a friend of Casandra's is going through some hard times and has asked that she list some items on E-bay to sell for her and hopefully bring in a few dollars. Casandra has enthusiastically taken to the task. I don't remember all the items but if you would like to help this family out you can go to the following links on E-bay and Overstock , it will show all the items she has posted on those sites.

May 26, 2005 -It's been no more than a month since my last update, unforntunately no less than a month either, but it has been an enjoyable month. I am adding pictures to the PadreGame folder in the Online Photo Album, because earlier this month I was able to take Rachel and Eric to their very first Padre game at the new Petco Park. Along with my brother Jordan we enjoyed watching the Padres defeat the Colorado Rockies. Rachel and Eric also enjoyed most of the game. Unfortunately the game went into extra innings and right about he 8th inning the kids were done. While Rachel and Eric talk about the game with excitemnet and always express desires to return, when a "Pad Squad" member asked rachel on the way out if she had fun as she offered her a free hat since she lookes so cute, she adamently said "no" and that she wanted to go home. Additionally this month marked the 1st time that Caitlyn was able to attend one of my softball games. While it is unlikely she would remember such an event, it was memorable for myself as we won a closly fought game. In the last few days we returned from a our first family trip to St George, UT. As a family of 5 we made the eight hour drive to spend 5 days visiting with my Aunt Colleen, Casandra's Sister Danielle and her husband Allstair and our good friends John and Lisa who recently moved to Utah in the last 6 months. All have moved into new homes there in St George within the last year and it was a lot of fun to see where they have settled down, spend time catching up and have them show us around town. Rachel especially had missed John and Lisa's son JJ who is only 6 months younger than she is spent a lot of time together as toddlers. (they are pictured together on the right) Of course there are many more pictures available for viewing in the Utah Trip May 05 folder in the Online Photo Album Including some adorable shots of Caity. Well I for now I must be off, but I will try to be back soon. Take care for now.

Apr 26, 2005 -Guess what! It's been busy...Now that you are over your shock and surprise, let me just sum up and then talk about the good stuff, If you haven't been in touch for a while, Casandra, myself, my grandma, my mom, my brother and two of my nephews all celebrated birthdays and my best friends birthday is coming up soon. To consolidate some of the madness we did have one big party for everyone, which gave us a great excuse to all get together and catch, sorry if you couldn't be there it was a good time. We took quite of few pictures, so if you want to get a feeling of fun you know there are always more pictures on the Online Photo Album. in the April 05 B-days So in other exciting news, Caity is on to semi solid food. Which amounts to rice cereal and ... rice cereal. But of course the older kids are very excited about this and I'm sure it won't be long that our back will be turned and Caity will be eating pizza or something like that. Rachel continues the with preschool, I think Casandra is very excited that Eric will start preschool this november, Eric is testing patience like we could never imagine. For example after misbehaving one day, Cas put Eric on timeout. She went to check on him a few minutes later...he had decided to show her who was boss by removing his diaper and pooping on his bed!!! One word Ductape...Just kidding. Who could stay mad at at face like this? Ok more like faces like these... On the plus side, Rachel and Eric have made friends with the neighbors kids Jose and Brenda, who are at our house almost everyday. Which wears them out and gives Cas a break or two now and then. We planted some berry plants in our backyard. So along with the oranges, lemons and plums, we are hoping that next year we will be enjoying home grown strawberries and blackberries. I might even start eatig healthy :-)....We have actually taken a lot of pictures of Caity over the last few months and it is amazing to compare and see her growth, I will update her page shortly so you can see the growth, she is really starting to take shape. And with that I will tell you were very excited because she rolled from her back to stomach on her own for that 1st time. Pretty soon she will be crawling faster than we can keep up. Signing off!

Mar 6, 2005 -So it's been a month and I'm sure you are tired of hearing how busy I am, so I won't tell you how busy I am...I just tell you how much fun we have been having :-) So after caitlyn being sick on an off for weeks it appears that she is finally about over it for now. So we have been trying to get back into the swing of things, hanging out with family and friends, going to church on a regular basis, Casandra doing her genology work and me updating the website now and again. First of all we were finally able to get our pantry done It has been a project I have been working on since we moved in here 8 months ago. My dad had some free time and was able to come down and stay with us for a couple of weeks and he and I worked on it, (ok so it was mostly him) but I helped as much as my schedule would allow and it turned out great. I put a bunch of photos in a folder called Pantry Project in the Online Photo Album. Since Caitlyn was doing so well Rachel requested a photo shoot with her sister. It took about 400 shots to get them both looking the same way at the same time but it was worth it for out takes which I put in the sisters folder of the Online Photo Album. Eric couln't be left out of this entirly so he had us take a few pictures of him but his attention span didn't last long. This was right after a photo shoot that had taken place a day before when one of Casandras best friend's in high school was about to fly out from Georgia with her baby Bethany that is a week older than Caitlyn to spend time with her family and visit Casandra for half a day. The two babies look similar but have their distinct differences as you can see here and in their own own Caitlyn and Bethany folder on the Online Photo Album, because we had fun trying to get them to look at the same time as well. Gotta love digital. Additionally we found out that a Childrens Museum has finally opened in Escondido which which is way cool to have one so close, since the next closest one is in Anaheim. We took them on thursday and I could take 5 pages just talking about this place, so just visit their website. In other news We have had fun this weekend getting ready for Casandra's birthday this cpming up soon. Rachel and I spent some time together at the mall shopping for mommy. Friday we all went to a Surprise birthday party for another friend of ours at Church and Rachel proceeded to tell quite a few people that they should be having this party for her mommy and all the presents that she and her daddy bought for her mommy. Kids, gotta love em! Rachel, Eric, Caitlyn and Mommy all went to Chucke E Cheese with her Mom and some good friends of ours on Saturday and Rachel thought it was her Birthday again. Then today Rachel and Eric had a blast decorating a homemade cake that Rachel had a big part in mixing and baking for her mommy. Check out Eric's concentration. By the way I did update Caitlyn Page with 2 month old pictures. Finally if I can put one plug in for a friend...the wife of my good friend Steve Jennings, Kristen Jennins, just came out of surgery on her spinal cord this weekend, so if you are one who prays and can keep them in their prayers they are facing a tough road and I know they would appreciate any positive thoughts and feelings you can send them. Thanks in advance. Allright that is all for now. I am signing off for now and hopefully will visit this again in less than a month.

Feb 2, 2005 -Well it's been a month since I updated the site and I am not going to apoligize. We have three kids under 5, we're busy. As busy as it gets I'm sure many of you it's hard to stay upset when you get home to faces like these 3. So Caitlyn is getting close to 2 months old so I figured it was about time to post a few 1 month pictures on her page. My favorite is the one where she looks like she is playing peek-a-boo. The first month has not been easy. It's been very cold and rainy for San Diego and alot of people are sick. With Rachel going to preschool, it seems she comes home with something everyweek and of course little Caity can't fight any of it off. So it has seemed that she has been sick more than she has been well. But we make the best of it and she has been happy enought to show off her first smile for us The kids still seem to be doing real well with their sister. Granted they want their own attention as well. Rachel decided a few days ago that she wanted her own photo shoot. So we took a quite a few pcitures which really seemed to wear her out. You can see the compilation of the shots in the Rachel Poses 0105 folder in the Online Photo Album So of course Eric wants to smile for the camera himself after that but he did not have the patience for mom to do a photo shoot for him. One good shot was enough for him. 10pts if you can guess the movie playing behind him. Finally a bit of news, Caitlyn will recieve her naming blessing this Sunday at church and we are having a small lunch at our house afterwards. If you would like to attend simply E-mail me and I will send you time and directions.

Jan 4, 2005 -Happy New Year!!!! So I am couple of days late...With 3 kids the fun never stops around here. Those that are keeping track would have realized that in the last week and a half not only did we have Christmas and New Years but Rachels birthday was December 30th and so we celebrated that as well. We made our annual new years morning trip to Chuckee Cheese and since Rachel knew her birthday was a couple days before she natually assumed that we were going for her birthday which had nothing to do with reason for the trip... but we decided to give in anyway and invited family to join us at the big cheese and celebrate a little. Especially since it has been the only dry day of the New year. It was alot of fun. So I have added alot of pictures to the Online Photo Album in the new Rachel 4th B-day folder Caitlyn did sit this party out, but Rachel and Eric defineltely don't want her left out for much longer they love to love their baby sister and spend lots of time watching her movements and get excited over her every sound. For Rachel after Chucke E Cheese turned out to be just as fun, since she didn't seem to get the hint when we gave her a computer keybord box as a present at The Cheese The most exciting thing for Rachel was yet to come. When she got home she got exactly what she wanted. Her own computer that has all of her kids games on it. (click on the picture below to watch a video No we didn't go spend hundreds of dollars on a computer for her. Believe it our not we took all of our spare parts from old computers that we have upgraded and with the help of my friend John and some spare parts he donated we put together a computer with enough power to run all those games you find in the cereal boxes and get in the mail for free. Best of all of those cheap kid games crash her computer we can just wipe it and start over. Great eh... blows me away though when I was a kid my parents took spare parts and built a wagon or fort...these days we build a computer. Hello 2005.

Dec 23, 2004 -Not a whole lot if new with the family in the last couple of days. You may have noticed the brand new family picture on the first page. Casandra was feeling well enough to brave the mall so we, got their early and out of their fast and got some great family pictures with Caitlyn included. I finished Caitlyn's Newborn page Which includes pictures of everyone who came to see Caity in the hospital and those who traveled far and wide to see her as a newborn. It also has some videos (with sound this time) of her during her first couple of days and Rachel and Eric reaction to seeing Caitlyn for the first time. It's very precious. Now as a disclaimer, if I forgot someone let me know because as you can see I am finishing this update at about 2am (what the heck, caitlyn is up anyway :-) Also if you feel forgotten you may find your picture in the Baby Caitlyn folder in the Online Photo Album I also put the pictures of Caitlyn's Doctor and Nurses that helped her enter the world. Finally in the Professional Pics folder you will find the rest of the pictures we took on Tuesday. Also one other side note, it was determined that Daniel Mora my friend and co-worker won the Baby Guess contest. He came within eight hours of the actual time she was born. Good Job Daniel!

Dec 20, 2004 -so it had been wonderfully busy since Caitlyn has come. First of all I want to say thanks to all of my family, casandra's family and friends from church and work that have shown their support and helped us make this transition from 2 kids to 3. We have had many visitors and because of that I have been a little slow on putting of Caitlyn's page. But it has been started. But not finished, in fact right now it is kind of ugly, but I have been busy doing the important things like catching some z's with my new baby while I can. It will be finished before the new year (I hope) I must report that the kids absolutely love their new sister. (for now at least) and I have the pictures and video to prove it. I did add some cute videos to online Video briefcase Baby Caitlyn folder. We also got a tree and I added some great pictures of us decorating it and the whole family in front of it in the Christmas 04 folder in the Online Photo Album

Dec 11, 2004 -Caitlyn has come! Weighing in at 8 pounds 7 ounces and measing 19.5 inches Caitlyn Rebecca Helzer has joined the world wide eyed and ready to learn. She is alert awake and ready to have fun. I hope you enjoy the picture, we have taken many more but it will take a few days to update the site with them. For the time being you will have to enjoy the silent movies (apparently I was covering the microphone on the camera) I took shortly after she joined the outside world that are located online Video briefcase Baby Caitlyn folder. Just kidding I did also create a new baby Caitlyn folder in the Online Photo Album that has a few of the initial pictures we took at the hospital and there are many more to come, look for her to have her own page soon just like Rachel and Eric. Intereseting side note, Caitlyn was delivered by the same on-call doctor who delivered Rachel.

Nov 29, 2004 -I know you are shocked that there there is another update so soon but I had to add a couple of videos to the site that I promised to certain people so they could see them. Clicking on the picture to the right you can see a short clip of Rachel and Eric Dancing with their favorite toy from Uncle Jordan. All of you parents that have kids will be able to tell that my brother either hates me or has no kids of his own and doesn't realize the agony he is putting me through. Personally I think it's somewhere in teh middle of those two :-)... if you visit the online Video briefcase KidVids folders you will be able to see the complete Elmo Dancing video along with Clips of Eric's Birthday Me playing catch with Eric and Rachel and Rachel singing Primary songs in an adorable fashion as only a child can. Enjoy!!!

Nov 25, 2004 -Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you all had an enjoyable day and were able to get some good grub. We spent thankgiving with my mother and everyone brought something. It was a feast. Best of all the Julia was able to come down from Utah so all four of us siblings were able to enjoy some time together. We took a few pictures to remember the occasion and I put them on the Online Photo Album Family Party Pics folder.
Unlike many friends of mine, I did have to work for most of the week, I couldn't take Wednesday or Friday off so I took tuesday off and did some work in the yard and found a lizard baking in what appears to be his regular spot and he didn't even mind that I picked him up you can see some more pictures of him on the New House folder of the Online Photo Album this has left me with a little extra time to put some fun shots that Casandra took of the kids when they were not always expecting it. Now you can't tell me that last shot doesn't like like they have caught admist something mischeivous. Reminds me of something I saw on the cover of a Hardy Boys novel once. Anyways see alot more pictures like these in the Kid Fun 3 folder of the Online Photo Album as a side note only a few more days to vote in the contest. To see the poll this far click here

Nov 21, 2004 -So I am feeling very much like a slacker, having not updated the website in such a long time. Of course I can always say the usual that I have been busy, but I am going to do better. Enough of that, it's been busy, First of all, Just before Halloween we were excited to get a call from John and Lisa that her water had broke and Lisa was in Labor, and the next day (Oct 26, '04) Emily Weddle was born. I don't want to steal John's thunder so check out his website to see pictures of their adorable little girl. Of course Halloween was alot of fun. Jordan and Rebekah went all out decorating house and threw a great party at their new house a few days before halloween. The kids had a great time and they both loved their costumes. Michelle made Rachel's princess costume and her own renasaince costume and we were able to pick up Eric's Elmo costume for a good deal on a closeout sale awhile ago. It was a little tight because we guesstimated on how big he would be but it worked out OK. you can check out alot more pictures on the Online Photo Album Halloween 04 folder. Since Halloween was on the Sunday our Ward had a Trunk-or-Treat at the Church building a day before. The kids had fun at that Rachel getting less shy about the idea of trick- or-treating. Finally on Sunday we had bunch of people over to carve pumpkins and pass out candy, Eric and Rachel thankfully had enouch walking the night before so they were content to dress up in back-up costumes (that we were afraid of getting pumpkin gook on) and pass out candy to our many visitors. The pumpkins came out great and we got many compliments.
Shortly after Halloween we celebrated Eric's birthday with a family dinner and Elmo stuff. Eric had a blast, keep a look out for some videos of Eric and his Dancing Elmo. I'm just going to say it's almost time to remove some batteries....(thanks Jordan!). For now you can see lots of pictures of the party in the Online Photo Album Eric B-day folder. A week later we had dinner at my mothers house to celebrate Michelle's birthday and now as we turn around it's pratically Thanksgiving which means Casadra's due date is fast approaching. Don't forget to enter the contest, right to you have just a little less than a 1 in 30 chance of winning movie tickets. Take care and check back soon.

Oct 16, 2004 - First of all before I get into the update, if you have subscrived to the site I need you to resuscribe, I recently updated my OS and accidently wiped out my subscribes list file, Doh! So if you sick of getting my e-mails about the updates then your set but if you appreciated the little electronic sticky note then I need you to resubscribe ir simply send me an e-mail. Sorry for the inconvenience. Anyway...I have not done well lately at keeping this updated. I will try an do better. there haven't been a lot of exciting events just a few exciting things like celebrating Lisa Weddle's Birthday at Islands and taking the kids to see Jordan and Rebekah's new house and then a just plain busy with normal stuff like Casandra finishing a quilt for a quilting class she took and you Eric is very into softball lately Casandra has brought the kids to my last couple of games and I think thats all erics thinks I do. It sure seems like it's the only thing he wants to do. He has been carry around his softball and a little glove everywhere, even wears it to bed. Rachel on the other hand is growing up more and more everyday. It's crazy how tall and grown up she is looking. Of course she is still a child who does childish things, for example her preschool class went on a field trip to the fire station and when a firement asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up she replied very excitedly "I'm going to be a princess!" but she is acting a litte older everyday. We can almost carry on a normal conversation about how her day went. Best of all Eric and Rachel are getting along very well...Eric loves his big sister. The other day I was reading and Eric had found some pennies on the ground and was playing with them, so Rachel asked me for some money, I didn't have any more so Rachel was about to throw one of her fits, but Eric came over and gave her one of his coins and Rachel promptly said "Thank you brother!" and gave him a big hug which he returned patting her on the back like old friends. One of those Kodak momoents that you never seem to have a camara ready for. Anyway, as promised I did put a lot of pictures on the Online Photo Album Check out more pictures of Lisa's dinner in the Family Party Pics folder, to see pictures of other quilts that came out of Casandras class you can view the new Cas Quilt Class folder, to see more pictures of Jordan and Rebekah's new house you can visit JnB New House folder and for more pictures of my darling children you should visit the new Kids Fun 3 folder, because the fun never stops around here.

Sep 26, 2004 -Ok so right about now you all of my faithful relatives from out of town that expect my weekly updates have probably had enough since I haven't updated in almost a month. In my defense we have been very busy and for this reason this will be a long update and you understand why I haven't had time to put anything up here because I feel like I have so much to put up here. Ok now tha I have spent half a page explaining myself here goes...Since last I logged in we participated in the Escondido's 1st Ward's annual Chili Cookoff and Pinewood Derby. It was the first time I had made a Pinewood Derby car since I was in boy scouts over 10 years ago. Sadly I came in 2nd to last. But it was a lot of fun. The next weekend we celebrated Lucas' (Husband of my sister michelle) birthday at my friends cyber cafe LANSTORM. The weekend after was September 11th and we celebrated Patriots Day by Marching (well I marched and Cas and the kids came down and watched) in the 2nd Annual Escondido Patriots Day Parade representing the great patriots that served in the Mormon Battalion. It was a stirring event marching up and Down Grand Ave in Escondido Singing and whistling Road to California and God Bless America The following weekend (last weekend) I had planned to update the website but we were paid a suprise visit by my dad and his dog Jupiter. We had a fun time visiting and trying to accomodate his very energetic dog. As it is I am updating the site Late tonight because it been a busy week and day today. My brother Jordan and his wife Rebekah were finally able to close on their new house in La Mesa and I helped them move this week and today our ward held their annual Daddy & Daughter breakfast at Dixon lake where we made a huge breakfast and then played alot of games and had fun activities. Rachel had the most fun making a necklace out of beads with some other girls. So that is the short version of what has happened in the last month. In regular News Rachel is still loving preschool and Eric is growing like a stringbean again and is reaching for new heights (like the power button on our DVD player :-) I promise there will be some more pictures up soon.

Aug 29, 2004 -Well Rachel and Eric appear to be dreaming of what they want to be when they grow up already. Rachel has long since told us many a time that she wants to be a ballerina so when a neighbor gave us a little ballerina outfit, Rachel couldn't wait to try it on and perform like Angelina Ballerina . In the meantime eric seems to be taking the route of the sportsman. Here he is at a FHE in my mothers ward looking like he is checking the sign from the catcher (my mom) to see if he likes the pitch she called. Look out Randy Johnson. Of course I could have it all wrong because here is a shot that Casandra got of Eric copying Rachel as she danced. Finally much to my own dismay since I placed a picture of my wife and her new haircut awhile back I guess it's only fair that I torture you with my ugly mug sporting a fresh 'cut. and you can be sure that I have placed many a more picture of the kids doing all sorts of funstuff on the Online Photo Album Kid Fun 2 folder. Hasta la vista baby.

Aug 26, 2004 -I thought you might enjoy these pictures and videos to our most recent visit to the local parks this last week. Rachel and Eric are growing up so fast, neither is afraid to climb high and speed down the slide. Also included are some pictures of
John, Lisa, and JJ who went with us to a Family Home Evening at the park. Sorry about some of my video taking skills (or lack thereof) In other recent family events we survived hosting a garage sale where our junk becomes another mans treasure, and taking pictures of the "Gingras" grandchildren Eric Helzer, Rachel Helzer and Austin Jones. So as usual enjoy and don't forget to check out the additional shots in the Online Photo Album Kid Fun 2 and Professional Family Pics folders and more park videos in the kid vids folder of the online Video briefcase (Hint: they all have the work "park" in the title of the file.)

Aug 22, 2004 -Play Ball!!! Wednesday I was able to see my first live Padres game at San Diego's New Downtown ballpark, the infamous Petco Park. It was a great time. My brother Jordan was able to get us free tickets and being the goofball that I am I insisted that we arrive early to watch batting practice and hope for the chance to catch a foul ball. Of course there wasn't a ball hit within 50 feet of us. The park itself definetly met my expectations. With all the hype about how San Diego-ish it was to have a downtown ballpark that was actually saying alot. We had good seats in that they were right behind home plate almost though they were so high up you were practically level with low flying planes. But I can't complain too much because we did have a great view of the game. Additionally a great game was played, unfortunately it did not end with the Padres winning. In fact it all ended with a throw to home that made for a very dramatic win for the Atlanta Braves. However I did get to see Trevor time rock in the new stadium as well as the newest rookie brought up from the minors steal his first base in the major league. I took a bunch more pictures that are in the Online Photo Album PadreGame folder and a lot more videos (including the full Trevor Time) in the online Video briefcase

Aug 10, 2004 -This week has been a little calmer so far than previous weeks. Some of our main excitment has come from the surprising realization that Eric likes to scale tall buildings (well tall for him) when we went in to go check on him and instead of being in his bed he was on the changing table. After we told him that he shouldn't climb up on the changing table we found him in the baby's crib the next day! We can't win! So as they say if you can't beat them join them and we asked him to climb up there for the camara (so then Rachel wanted to do it to) and now he doesn't want to do it anymore :-) Anyway not much else is new, we did get a bunch of clothes for the kids from our next door neighbors who have kids that are just a little older than ours so we have taken lots of pictures of the kids. Because of this I have added a new kid fun folder so you can see the latest pictures of the kids adventures in the Kid Fun 2 folder of the Online Photo Album

Aug 05, 2004 -What can turn a room from the picutre on the left to the picture on the right in less than 10 minutes? If your guess was this little terror and cutest daughter of mine then you would have overestimated her abilities (in a few more years you would probably be right :-) but if you guessed housewarming party with 30 people coming and going throughout the day then you were right. This last week and weekend we really all out to show off how blessed we were to find this house and show it off to our friends as neighbors and entertain them while they were here. It was alot of work and as always when you are spending time with friends and family it was alot of fun. We cooked up and served about 7 pounds of marinated carne and pollo asada and went through a few dozed sodas and water bottles. fortunately the weather was a little milder than it has been in the past weeks so it was quite comfortable on the Patio even though the kids used it to its fullest potential while we were there. Boys will always be boys. After all was said and done we were very ready for a nap though some of is didn't quite make it too our beds or back to them like Eric in this picture who was very tired when we put him in bed but could hear his mommy sewing in the office next door and apparently came out to check on her but didn't make it all the way. :-) Anyway I added a few more pictures to the new house folder of the Online Photo Album of the place cleaned up and during the cleaning up process.

Jul 26, 2004 -Well we had the big sonogram today where they do thier darndest to make a determination as to the gender of our new baby. There was a lot of anticipation as the little baby was definetely awake and active and was constantly moving. They did get a lot of good pictures and gave us a lot of printouts. First of all they confimred that the due date of December 15th seems solid, so all of you that have entered the contest there will be no more changes. For any of those that were waiting for this Sonogram before they entered the contest, well you have no more excuses. Anyhow they baby's movements actually facilitated all of the measurements they wanted to take. Only trouble was that this baby was being much more modest than Eric or Rachel so they could only give as a 70% chance that the baby will be...

Jul 25, 2004 -Sunday, blessed Sunday. Not too much of a going on during this week. Just the average going to work, kids growing up and doing new things everyday kinda of week. In fact the height of our exciting week came when we saw a bird perched in our back filage which prompted us to take a picture of it, birds nest we found and a short video that I added to the new house folder of the online Video briefcase (they are the Love the Yard Videos). I think the week flew by mostly due to the anticipation of this weekend, Casandra and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary by doing very little more than relax and visit some fun places we spent time at when we were dating in a somewhat similar fashion because Casandra's mother volunteered to babysit for a good portion of the weekend. Alas, plans never seem to go exactly as you set them but we don't mind a little variation now and then. We were pleasantly surprised by my sister Julia coming in for a brief visit from Utah to see our new house and spend time with other visiting relatives in town for the celebration of my Grandpa Burrell's 80th Birthday! Sadly the actual Saturday anniversary went by with not photograpic documentation from us so I hope these boring pictures of everyday life in the Helzer home will satisfy your appetite for optic stimulation of our lives and mostly our beautiful children. So of course there were many more pictures added to the Online Photo Album in the Kid Fun and New House All in all it has been a fun and busy weekend that seemed to fly by as we wait for tomorrows sonogram where they will attempt to determine the gender of the child growing within Casandra's belly. As you can see the kids are just torn up with excitement they are practically bouncing off the walls. Lot's of exciting events coming up so I will try and keep them posted.

Jul 17, 2004 -One thing I can say about owning a house is that there is never a shortage of things to do. Everyday I come home and there is something I should be doing. The house may be in fantastic condition but there is forever the projects that you would like to complete to make it that much better. For example we are currently changing the "Hobby room" the owner has built into a pantry/food storage shed. (When I told one of co-workers about this project she said I must be Mormon, Catholic or from the Midwest :-) But as you can see we haven't been just tearing things down, we have been working hard to make everything look somewhat presentable (we at least it looks like we live here) as we have decided to have an official open house in two weeks. Should be a great time if your going to be in the San Diego area come the 31st of July. There will of course food, games and good company. So if you have the inkling to stop by, drop me an E-mail and I will get you the details. Well between 'housework' and our regular busy schedule we have been plumb tuckered out these days. But not without good reason, we have been keeping ourselves occupied with reasonably worthwhile tasks. For example last weekend we paid a visit to the annual San Diego Burn Run. That's pretty much it for right now. And this weekend we have finally convinced Eric to start sleeping in his toddler bed. So regardless of what it may look like from the outside, life is never dull in the Helzer house. That's about it for now. By the way don't forget to visit the Online Photo Album in the New House and KidFun folder where I have added more pictures of the house with furnishings and of course more pictures of the kids antics as well as some recent pictures of their cousing Nathan since he is a regular visitor of our household eversince his parents Michelle and Lucas live a tad more than a block away from our new house. Also I have updated the statistics on the contest votes and to my great surprise the number of votes for a boy has exceded that of the girls. There was so many girl before I didn't think the boy could catch up. A little more than a week till we find out the Gender according to the Sonogram which is why the Gender question is for fun and has no bearing on the contest. Of course they say those things are not 100% correct, but they have been right on with the first two.

Jul 6, 2004 -I know I promised a longer update over the weekend but the weather was just way to nice to stay inside and type away at the computer. I hope you all had a great 4th of July holiday. I kicked off this weekend working Friday Night for GEICO at the San Diego County fair {formally know as the Del Mar Fair} which was a lot of fun. I spent most of the evening hosting the Walk the Line event which gives people a reality check on what their vision is like when they are slightly inebriated. Kinda like a public service thing. It was alot of fun as adults and teenages stumbled and rarely tumbled as they tried walk in a strait line with their vision slightly skewed. On July 4th we had a small barbeque with Marcia, Michelle, Lucas, Danielle, Allystair, and the kids. We played board games till the Fireworks started and then closed shop as the kids were very tired by then. Over all we are finally starting to feel a little settled. I had the joy of installing a curbside mailbox because the previous owners had lived here since the 60's and the post office couldn't make them change it. So there has been a few things to do since we moved in but As you can see everyone has been getting into the act. Rachel and Eric love the seemingly infinite amount of space that they have to run jump and play that they want to do everything they can to help us stay. (We told rachel them when we first saw the house that we had to be really good and work extra hard to keep her room clean so we could sell the condo to get the new house so now she seems to think the rules still apply if we are going to stay here) It's funny the way kids think sometimes. Eric has been doing his best to get rid of those pesky telemarketers trying to convince us to pull out more equity and remoldel our gorgeous home, meanwhile rachel has been willing to help mommy wash dishes and show what a big girl she is (especially since she just started preschool this last week and loves it, didn't even turn around to wave goodbye to mommy and daddy when we dropped her off!!!) and help mommy stay rested so that she will bring her that new baby. By the way Rachel has voted for what she thinks the new baby is...have you? As usual I have also added a ton of hilarious photos of the kids hamming it up for the camara that we have taken in recent weeks and that I finally got aroudn to adding to the Online Photo Album in the New House and Kid Fun folders.

Jul 2, 2004 -Just a quick update, we got some pictures taken a while ago by Silver Sand Photography, and I finally had a chance to scan them in. The kids look absolutley adorable as you can see. You can see the full gamut in the Online Photo Album in the new Professional Kid Pics folder. There has actually been alot of stuff going on so expect to see quite a few updates as I play catch up this nice 3 day weekend (unless of course I can't resist the beautiful weather outside) but expect at least one more update this weekend so come back soon!

Jun 20, 2004 -We have moved into the new house! Everything went relatively smoothly. Of course we are still unpacking but we definetely feel at home. Pictures of the furnished house will appear soon, right now pictures of the some of the friends who came to help us move will have to suffice. Our internet has been up and down so I will get to your messages as soon as I can so you should expect my replies shortly or sometime thereafter till everything is certain. The kids love the new house. I will put some pictures and videos up soon of them dancing, playing and more or less loving the new house. Check out the new pics of Christian, Charlie, Dave and others helping finish packing and moving in Online Photo Album in the New House folder..

Jun 07, 2004 -The moving day is set we are are closing on Thursday 06/10/04 so we are moving Friday 6/11/04 and Saturday 6/12/04. It's exciting, overwhelming and if you can help us we won't turn you down and if you come at the right time we will feed you too. Contact me by E-mail if you can help. Side note..our internet connection will be down while they move it from one house to the other. It will go down on Friday 6/11/04 and won't be back up until Wednesday 6/15/04. One of the few drawbacks of Highspeed internet is that it is not quite as portable as dialup.

May 31, 2004 -Happy Memorial Day! Hope you had a great day, we had a great weekend relaxing with family and friends that came to San Diego to visit the sun and the surf. It all started last week when my cousin Tanya Deans came to San Diego to show off her new son Maximilian Deans who topped the chart and 10+ pounds at birth. So we had a gathering to celebrate her visit and at my uncles house. Then on Friday my sister Julia was able to hitch a ride down to San Diego with some friends in Utah combine that with an old friend of my parents John Cowley and his family that made for a great time and a pretty large crowd at my mothers house (especially in her little spa that was practically empty when we were done as it was to cloudly and cold on Saturday to swim in the pool so we all crowded in the spa, we even kept the tempeture low so Cas could get in) on Saturday where we got to talk about the good old days when my family lived in Sacramento and John was showing me how to make a little computer figure dance a the screen of our Comodore64. I blame him for my insatiable love for computers. Finally we rounded out the long weekend by trying to stay home and relax but of course my family couldn't let that happen so today my sister Julia rounded my other sister Michelle up to come to our house to swim on an extremly warm day and grill up some hamburgers. Of course pictures from all of the above gatherings are in the online Photo Album ine the new Family Party Pics folder. In other news Casandra decided she needed a new summer hairdo so she got her hair chopped and is looking very cute and loving how light her head is feeling becuase even though most of the morning sickness is over, we are coming to find out that this baby is a picky eater. Since I was home on a Monday morning I thought it would be fun to make pancakes and as much as Cassie likes pancakes they found their way to the porcelein disposal site quicker than normal. So anything she can do within reason to ease her discomfort I am all for. Finally no update would be complete if we did not add some cute pictures of my kids. This week we must have worn the kids out because they took a lot of naps in funny places so take a gander at those pics and some cute attempts of them trying to shut themselves into their toybox! Well thats about it on the week for those that are dying for news on the house still no concrete updates, just that we hope that everything closes in the next few here. I don't think anyone is more excited than us.

May 30, 2004 -It's been a busy week and I actually have few pictures up and that will probably happen tomorrow, but I did do a lot of little updates on the games page and I updated the stats on the votes for the contest. The big thing that was added was I finally took the time to start cutting up the long video I took of the new house when the we had it inspected and I added a few of those clips to the website. I only have the 1st part up there. Again I expect to put the rest up tomorrow as I have the day off for memorial day tomorrow.

May 20, 2004 -Casandra had another doctors appointment and they did another sonogram and low and behold she was further along than they originally guessed. They have firmed up the Due Date to be December 15, 2004 And they took another sonogram pictures that if you look very closely you can at the new sonogram you can see little globs that represent head and body and little stubs that will be arms and legs. Of course I know that a few of you have already entered the contest based on the tentative due date that was posted earlier. So those that have voted already I will allow you to change the date if you would like. This time they tell us this the new due date is firm so this shouldn't happen again. Thanks for your patience. Another important date isJuly 26th. They will be taking the Sonogram to determine gender then! In other news, Casandra took some great shots of the kids so I added a few pictures to the online Photo Album Kid Fun and Art Work folder. If nothing else you really should check out the shot she got of Eric in mid air as he jumps off the back of the of his trike! Better still are the shots leading up to it and the shot of the grin on his mug afterward!

May 16, 2004 -It's been a busy week and end, Since Mothers it seems that I have been going non-stop between my poor wifes morning sickness, taking care of the kids, studying for the last days of my CCNA class and the graduation of friends and family from their respective colleges it's been a hectic week. First of all I want to give props to I was a little worried about ordering flowers from an online site to send to my mother and wife but they came through as they promised and delivered some great looking roses, As you can see from the first picture. I hope all you mothers has a great mothers day! So far we don't really have any updates of the situation of the new house. or the new baby yet, though it feels like I have been signing paperwork endlessly for the last 2 weeks check back here next weekend for sure because Cas has another doctors appointment this week and they felt pretty sure they would be able to firm up the due date and tell us when the appointment would be for us to find out the gender of the baby so that is pretty exciting. Even with all the craziness we did take quite a few pictures of the kids this week. Eric was is prime picture taking form. so of course I added alot of pictures to the online Photo Album Kid Fun And you can actually see all of Eric mood's as well. This one is especially for my sister who thinks Eric is very quite when he is upset! Finally I got some of him making a mess eating applesauce which is always fun. Check back soon, like I said we had a busy weekend with Graduations of friends and family. One such graduation included my darling mother who recently graduated from CSUSM so we had a "thrilling" day at the Del Mar Race track watching her and and about 500 others graduate. Unfortunately I forgot my camara, but my grandmother and brother brought there so hopefully one of the two will send me or bring me pictures and clips of what they shot at the Graduation and dinner afterwards and I will put them up as soom as I get them. Have a great day!

May 8, 2004 -Since it is unlikely that Casandra will have a 3rd baby shower, I decided that I would hold a
game/contest that includes a prize (2 movie tickets) for guessing the closest to the date our new baby will be born. You can go to the New Baby Page to enter the contest and follow the link Rules to see the rules of the contest.

May 6, 2004 -Casandra had her 1st official appointment today where they took a sonogram and everthing. Based on their measurements they can tell 1 thing for sure. Casandra is not at 9 week yet. They believe she is about 7 weeks along but until she is at least 8 weeks long they cannot be sure. But they did give us a tentative due date based on Casandra being 7 weeks along
that would out the Due date right around December 21, 2004! We are cursed with 2th quarter Babies. Bad for Christmas spending, good for the 1st year Taxes. Guess you can't win them all right. To the right you can see the initial sonogram of the new baby. Apparently he is between the crosshairs. (Amazing something so small can make my wife so sick)
Anyway I have created a page for our little peanut similar to old pages that will show how far long Casandra is along and what is and going to be going on during that time. It's a fun little page that I created back when Casandra was pregnant with Rachel and now I am dusting the cobwebs off it and I will put some good stuff on it as time goes on. It updates itself weekly so check it out periodically you might find it very intersting.

May 5, 2004 -My Nephew Austin Jones was blessed on Sunday and of Course Danielle and Allystair had a big shindig at their place with dinner, pictures, laughing and a general good time. I acted as photohrapher for the event so of course you can see all the pictures on the online Photo Album Austin is Here Folder. Of course we had to get the kids dressed up for the Happy occasion and they were so adorable we decided to try and take some photos. Key word is Try, we could not get them to stand still for the life of us. We finally got a good picture by sitting them down. You can get a laugh checking out the fun pictures of us trying to round them up in the online Photo Album Kid Fun Folder or click on the picture to your right to watch a cute clip of Rachel trying to get Eric back up so they can continue dancing. Finally when all was said and done and you want another laugh you can click on this last video link to see Eric's response to Casandra asking him to repeat something. Poor Mommy!

May 2, 2004 -So we had the Home Inspection on the new house Yesterday which means I got a solid 2 hours inside the house to poke are take pictures and videos. Unfortunately I got a little overzealous with the Video which means I have to do some chopping before I can add them to the site but it will be up soon. On the otherhand I was able to take some 20 odd pics which don't quite do the place justice but you will be able to get the Idea. I put them in the online Photo Album New House? Folder of course. And other than that all is moving forward with the selling of our place and buying of the new so keep those apendages crossed for us and we will invite you to the big moving party when it all goes through :-) Also I added some random recent quick pics if eric when he made a mess of himself it was hilarious. BTW, For the record I have no Idea what that substance was that he got into!

May 1, 2004 -Getting Started Early This month. We have some good friends the Withams in Town for the blessing of Austin Tommorrow and they were giving us a hard time because we spent New Years with them (which was a great time BTW) but didn't include any pics or video on the site of them. (some people are so picky) so I will give them their 15 minutes of fame, and put their Pics at the top of the Utah Trip Lost Photos online Photo Album So you can see the great time I had riding a sled behind their truck in the streets of Eagle Mountain. Good Times! BTW there are tons of other pics from our trip on their as well now. Additionally I added some videos to the Kids Vids folder in the online Video briefcase and Utah Sideways Vids folder, that didn't make it before because my Wife was still in her taking Videos Sideways stage. By the way anyone out there know of some good Video Editing software that can rotate Videos? I'm still looking.

April 30, 2004 -Not a major update, just added this funky Menu Bar to the top of News page so because I can and I thought it might be easier to navigate this entire page and easily see old family news etc.
Tell me what you think of it.

April 29, 2004 -Not a major update, just some minor additions to the
Games page. Added some cool game sites and a board game review. No news on the house, we are still playing the fun Escrow waiting game with our house and the one we want to buy. But if all goes well in 30 days we will be moving, so keep those fingers toes, and eyes crossed. Also pass along you sympathies and love to my wife who is enduring some morning sickness. She is a trooper but there is only so much TLC I can give when I work, go to school and getting us ready to move. But keep checking back for more fun and updates.

April 24, 2004 -It's been a busy couple of days since I last posted an update. I've been working nearly non-stop doing little fixer-upper things so the house would sell fast so we wouldn't default on our offer for the new house. Painting Doors and Doorjams, replacing faucets, laying new sod, and pretty much taking almost everything our condo so it would look larger. You can see pics of all we did in the online Photo Album New House? folder. After all is said and done it appears it was worth it. Incredibly we got a full priced offer the first day it was on the market which we have accepted so our place short of alot of paperwork can be pretty much considered sold. So we are feeling very blessed and that we really are supposed to get this new house. I want to thank all those that helped me with the home improvements and packing, we couldn't have done it without your help and prayers. Finally I have added a few pics to the online Photo Album Austin is Here and Kid Fun folders. Danielle decided she needed break from her house and paid us a visit and brought Austin with her. Of course the kids had a lot of fun loving the new baby. In fact in the picture the left Eric was giving Austin a hug and got upset that we pulled him off Austin so we could take a picture :-) It is a cute picture of Austin so regardless of Erics unhappy face I had to put it in. To the right is a link to a video of Eric giving Austing a kiss on his forhead. When Danielle first set him down we practically had to tear the kids off of him they were having so much fun hugging, loving and of course poking and prodding their new coisin in his first visit to their house. That's pretty much all that is new we should have our place fully back in order (doors back on thier hinges and all :-) in a couple of days and we will keep you updated as the deal unfolds on this new house and as Casandra's belly grows with the new baby coming.

April 20, 2004 - Even though easter has been long gone I did finally put some easter pictures on the website that we took and there are some very cute ones of the kids in the online Photo Album Easter Now and Then folder.
Additionally because Casandra is Pregnant We have decided we really need a bigger place so We put and offer on a 4 bedroom house here in Escondido. It is a beatiful old house that seems to fit us very well. Our offer was accepted on Saturday contingent on the fact that we sell our Condo in the next 20 days. So we are in a mad rush to do some fix-ups to the condo to make it extra presentable and we help all falls into place. Any Prayers or assitance on our behalf would be appreciated in this case. I also put pics of what will hopefully be our new house in the near future in the online Photo Album New House? folder.

April 14, 2004 - Well Easter has come and gone and due to lots of factors including myself being very under the weather we did not have a big hoopla as we have done in Easter's gone by. While I was rummaging around the old PC I did find some very cute pictures from last years Easter that I never got around to adding so I figured why not. They are adorable like the one on the right where little Eric is doing his impression of Where's Waldo and you can see them all in the online Photo Album Easter 2003.
Oh and by the way in other interesting news we found out that Casandra is Pregnant She was feeling a little funny and while we had the kids in for a checkup she took one of the hospitals pregnancy tests and the results came of positive. So it appears God Willing we will have another addition to this Helzer household within the next year. Not to worry, I will keep the site updated with the latest developments of Helzer Baby News 2004.

April 10, 2004 - Quite a few updates to the site. Rachel and Eric got a new bunk-bed, (cas felt my old one was unsafe) and I finally put some pictures in the online Photo Album of that in the Kid Fun folder. Rachel loves the new bed but Eric still doesn't want to leave his crib and we don't feel like pushing him either. We also got a little 3 in one bike for Eric that starts as a little rocker and then can convert to a boke that Mom or dad can push them on and finally the rear handle can come off and you can let them ride if you dare. Rachel seems to love the bike just as much as Eric and he does not seem to mind sharing. Today Michelle and little Nathan came over to hang out. The kids played fairly well together and we got some adorable pictures also in the Kid Fun folder of the online Photo Album Additionally we took some adorable video of them playing with balloons and Eric Pushing Nathan on the little fire Engine that you you can see in the online video briefcase under KidVids. Finally we got some minimal decorations out for easter. For the last week we have been all a little under the weather and there just has not been the time for it. In fact we did not even color eggs this year (though I couldn't resist putting this funny comic up that Julia sent me) Cas did make the effort to set out some baskets for the kids but that will be about it. Besides tommorrow we will celebrate more importantly by getting together as a family at my Grandma Burrell's house to celebrate easter and the Bazillion Birthdays among the Burrell, Helzer, and Steimle clan in the month of April. My Grandmother Letha Burrell starts us off on April the 6th, then my Mother Marcia's Birthday is the 11th (easter sunday this year), I follow shortly after on the 17th, Little Nathan Steimle (my sister Michelle's son) comes next on the 22nd with my brother Jordan right on his tail on the 23rd to finish up the month. Last but not least I found some old pictures from our wedding that I never used when I made the original webpage (because of limited space) and I uploaded them to the online Photo Album. It's under Chris and Cas lost wedding album or something like that. They brought me back to some great memories and reminded me of some old friends, take a gander if you have time and see if maybe you are there!

P.S. I also added another BoardGame Review to the Game page....

April 6, 2004 - Casandra got back from her trip to Central CA late sunday night. She had a great time with her sister seeing the sites of San Francisco and Sacramento and cool places round about. Some of her favorite sites include the Oakland Temple, 2 story carousel (pictured to the left), the State Capital and best of all the famous Winchester Mystery Mansion and its 160 crazy and beautiful rooms. See videos of the of the seals at Pier 39 and a blacksmith shop at Sutters Fort. Also see many pictures in the online Photo Galleries of every place she visited. By the way Today is my Grandma Letha Burrell's Birthday I don't know exactly how old she is but she doesn't look a day over 50.

April 4, 2004 - After a 9 month Dance inside the tummy of my Wife's sister Danielle, Austin Jones finally arrived last night. You can see pictures and a video of the strappling young man in my online Photo Galleries. More will follow soon. I apologize that they are blurry. Casandra is visiting her sister in Davis. Carrie took her sight seeing in San Franscisco and they have our good camara so I had to borrow my mom's camara which I am not that familiar with. Since Austin is a week early I had fun helping Allystair paint Austin's room and move in his new furniture today.

March 31, 2004 - I have added a new page to my website. It will be a Fun and Games section. It will have links to free online game sites, reviews of my favorite not so well known Board Games, and video games of course. most of you know that after god and my family, my next love is games and since board games and family go together like PB&J that is one of my favorite pastimes. And since I married a board game lover who worked at Gamekeeper for a time you know we have some oddball games. I am starting small but I will try and add a new game once a week. The online game sites will update as I find them. And the video game portion is more of a future thing. Because all the while I will of course be updating the site with pics of my adorable Children. So come back frequently and you might be surprised how much fun you will have.

Rachel Fun!! March 30, 2004 - For six weeks Rachel attended and art and crafts class. She actually fininshed a couple of weeks ago but as usual I am slightly behind in adding the photos to the site. Of course you can as usual check out the photos at the online Photo galleries and see all the fun rachel had under Rachel's Art Class. Come back in June and you can see more great pictures and cool crafts that Rachel has made.
Click pic to see vid! By the way, I'm looking for some help, my wife likes to take sideways videos (like the one to the left) with out digital camara, she keeps forgetting that you can't just rotate a video as easily as you can rotate a picture. taken on a digital camara. I've downloaded a number of free video editing software packages and none of them seem to have thought of the dilema I am in. Does anyone out there have or know of software that can help me?

Gorillas! March 28, 2004 - Went to the Wild Animal Park Yesterday, we saw lions, tigers and Gorillas oh my! Casandra and I decided to get those year long passes since it's so close to us. We just walked around and saw some of Rachels favorite animals. I recently down loaded pictures to the Photo galleries of past trips Which I think you will enjoy. Additionally I Added pictures to the Photo galleries Of Casandras Non-Surprise Birthday party that my sister and mom through at mom's house, Almost everyone local made it and we had a blast. Eric Showed off how well he can walk on his own and Nathan and Eric continued working on the people skills together. Finally I added a video from the party to Other Fun Videos Folder in the OnlineVideo Briefcase. Enjoy!

March 22, 2004 - Sorry I haven't posted anything in a while. alot has actually happened in the last month which is why I haven't posted anything, because I have been so busy. Earlier this month Casandra hit the big two-five! I threw a surprise Birthday dinner for her where she thought just me and her were going to dinner but when we got to the restaurant lots of her friends were there to show how loved she really is. She was very surprised. In other news Her sister Danielle is close to
popping. So we had a baby shower for her this last weekend. You can see the pictures here. Casandra's mom moved the same weekend as Casandra's birthday so we were very busy helping her with that and finally Cas and I went out and got new bed for Rachel as Casandra felt that my old bunk beds were just not safe enough. Seems that nothing we did when we were kids was safe (just fun :-) Speaking of unsafe, Eric is a regular walker now and mobility has opened a whole new world for him. Check back soon, we did take lots of pictures this month, Rachel and eric were very cute, it's just a matter of loading them up.

The White House! February 21, 2004 - I just got back from Washington D.C. Area where I was at a training seminar for work. On my last day there I did get a couple hours in the evening to see some sights including the White House, the Washington Monument, the Washington D.C. Temple, and in doing so I had the opportunity to learn the DC Metro System , and If you follow the link and look at the map you wil see that is not necesarilly the easiest thing to do. Unfortunately, I forgot a camara so I didn't get to take any pictures but some of my fellow GEICO trainers did take some pics that they promised they would send soon. So Check back here in a couple of weeks and you should be able to see me next to a very humorous statue. I wanted to thank everyone that called and checked up on my family while I was gone. This was the 1st time in almost 5 years of marriage that we have been away from each other for more than a weekend. So thanks! Also, Casandra took some adorable pictures of the kids while I was gone and I will try and post some of them this week.

February 9, 2004 - I added a couple of old pics to the
Rachel over 2 yer page I should have done a long time ago but I just to busy.

February 8, 2004 -
Online Albums set up. Well once I got the videos posted in the online briefcase I decided I might make use of the Online Photo Album provided to me by my ISP. Even though I know it is a retention gimmick so I don't switch my services. I was sick of all that space provided just going to waste so I am using it to post pictures that are cute or cool but didn't necessarily make the cut on the website because of lack of time and resourses. So added to the onlince photo album are pictures from the 79th Birthday party we had for my Grandpa Burrell (which has some real cute pictures of Rachel in Pigtails which now surprise me that I was too busy to put some of those on the website) and Some of Rachels artwork in the past year or so that I was too busy to post. Going From recolection attendance included: Loren and Letha Burrell, Randie, Dixie, and Scott Burrell (and Scott's girlfriend at the time) David Crossman, Marcia and Julia Helzer, Jordan and Rebekah Helzer,

February 7, 2004 - Videos Posted!!! I know it is the moment you have all been waiting for, I found a much easier and less expensive way for me to post the many short digital pictures I have taken of my children. Follow this
link to some shared folders and you can view them in no time (if you have something other than dial up) no problem. Not only will you find recent videos but I posted some oldies but goodies that had only spent a breif time before on the website. Also if would you like to subscribe to my site click here so that you will get an brief E-mail everytime I update the site. Click here to unsubscribe

January 25, 2004 - We finally had Rachels
3rd Birthday Party and she got to live her dream of having it at Chucke E Cheese shortly thereafter we found out that actually meeting Chuck E Cheese was not actually one of her lifes ambitions, but she and all of her friends had a blast and so did most of the adults. We had a great crowd of 9 kids and about 20 Adults. Follow the link above to see the good times you missed out on. Additionally if you have visited in a while you'll notice below I have made quite of few updates recently.

Jackpot!!!!January 20, 2004 - Something old and new? Rachel is sleeping on her new bed but if that bed looks familiar to you, you may have know the Helzers for a long time because that bed is 1 of 2 bunk beds that Jordan and I shared as childen. If it can be reused or refurbished we Helzers never get rid of a good thing

January 17, 2004 - Eric got his 1st haircut! Daddy took Eric to Casandra's hairstylist where we knew he would get some good TLC. At First he did very well sitting in the chair all by himself so daddy could take some pictures. But it didn't take long before he realized what was going on and he did not like it so in the end daddy did have to hold him. See the very adorable pictures
here. or go to Eric's growth page where I have update the pictures for 8 through 12 months and use the link there.

January 2, 2004 - We just got back from a 1 week Vacation in Utah that began with a drive through one of the heaviest snow storms they have seen in 8 years! Just our luck. Actually we were very excited to see snow. Rachel and Eric and never seen snow, When told Rachel we would be in Utah during her actual birthday (we will be celebrating it later BTW) she wanted to know what's in Utah, the promise of relatives did not intrigued her but when we told her she could see snow she got very thoughtful. She looked up at me "snow daddy? I make snow man?!? " we said yes and she got very excited hugging both of us and thanking us for promising a trip to see snow. Needless to say we were glad there was plenty of snow to make a snow man. Follow this
Link to see some of the snow pictures. We took many more and some great short videos which will be updated shortly as well.

In the future as life continues in the Helzer home of Escondido and we hit significant milestones they will be noted here with links that will take you to more info, articles, pictures etc. So if you see an updated date on the main page info that scrolls by check here and it will give you details and links to things that have been updated.

Links: | Status of Escondido | Weather report | Emergency instructions from the city | Recent news and pics | Detailed Fire Maps |
FireStorm 2003

What Happened?
Many of you are probably wondering why the sudden emergency? How did this sneak up on you so quickly.

News is reporting that a lost hunter started a fire to find his companion around 1am that got out of control. That is the story and he is now in custody. Unfortunatly it was at the worst time. Weather conditions at the time were Santa Ana, a worse case scenario for a fire. It literally snuck up on the rest of us as well. Sunday morning typically means late risers in our house since we don't have church till Noon. We did notice that it smelled like a fire in the morining but we were aware of the San Bernadino/Camp Pendleton fires and simply figured the expected Santa Ana's had brought in the smoke. It was not until I walked out the door to head to a 10am meeting that I realized the fire was closer than we thought. Looking out the front door the light on the ground was an orangish/amber color, like the light of sunrise. We looked up to see a smoke filled sky and then noticed the ash on the ground. The fire closest to us and immediatly in view appeared to be over the hill in Valley Center. And we thought it was the only fire in the region. It wasn't until I got into the car and heard the radio that I realized ours was one of 3 fires in San Diego county. Besides the one threating us from Valley Center, There was one burning in Scripps ranch threating Poway and other in Alpine threating Santee. See Maps showing affected fire areas

At our church building we could clearly see flames on on distant but visible ridge. While at church I got the first news of evacuations. My brother who lives in Tierra Santa/Santee in Southeast San Diego was told to evacuate. A short time later Valley Center residents showed up at our church building mentioning they were told to evacuate and that they decided to come down here. Now that made 2 locations were poeple were being evacuated.

Finally upon returning home we truly got an idea of how bad the situation was as reports came out that major freeways were being closed, all schools in the county were being asked to close doors, the mayor asked business to close thier doors for the next day so roads would be clear for emergency crews and those being evacuated. We have readied necessary 72 hour kits and supplies so we can go if the notice comes. We are keeping and eye on the Fire reports and ears glued to radio as it was the medium giving the most updated reports. Keep us in your prayers and ask for rain to be sent to us.

10/27/03 We are doing our best to keep out ears glued to the radio and remain sane. Outside the during the day the light is strangly filtered. As of right now, Fires seems to be blown north and south of us so we are not in any imminent danger. But to assist emergency vehicles on getting to hotspots and to conserve precious resources, public officials have called for school closures and for all businesses in the San Diego areas to let their workers stay home today. Fires most recently are being blown away from our homes. Looks like most people that are able are being asked to return to work and other normal activities tommorrow. The ash in the air is near overwhelming filled with particulate matter. Although we seem to be out of danger, I am not looking forward to leaving my family tommorrow.

10/28/03 The fires in our area are all but contained in the main city areas, now we are just worrying about friends in more remote areas that are still in the path of the fire. I went to work today but it was very hard to concentrate especially fires had been very near my workplace and the smoky atmosphere left a heavy lump in us the mirrored out feelings as we got sad reports of fellow co-workers who had lost their homes and community members who had lost lives or were seriously injured. We were encouraged by the fact that high winds of the Santa Ana miracuosly calmed even though the warm temputatures continued. This made it easier for firefighters to direct the flames away from populated areas.

I was alarmed at work when I received a message that my wife was taking our children down to my mothers house near me in Poway. When the fires had been near us if we were to be evacuated, we had made it our plan to go to my mothers house. Before I could make an excuse to call my wife and find out why she was leaving, when I had been assured by reports that our home was no danger. I received another message that the smoke was so bad in Escondido and the kids were coughing so much she felt it was in our best interest to stay for at least a day and that night in my mothers home where she had an air filter that made the air much clearer in her home compared to ours. As the day continued a marine layer rolled in from the ocean and combined with heavy polluted air to turning the sky obscure orange and strangely "dark as night" by 3pm. Whispers around work included things like "last days" and "isn't this in the bible". But it turned out that marine layer was more of a blessing instead of a dark omen. The water in the air combined with particulate matter weighing it down alot making the air much clearer the next day.

As I rejoined my family after work, we did our best to take advantage of the opportunity to stay up late. Mother was still not working because schools were closed due to the poor air quality in the county and because I was going to be staying in Poway I could sleep in a little as I was so near to work. We played board games to pass the evening and keep a happy face for the children. But after spending the whole day at grandmas Rachel knew that normally we would be going home. The only time we spent the night at Grandmas before we had arrived in the evening and spent the next day there. So when we informed Rachel that it was bedtime she said "ok, go home now." When we told her were staying here, she was not happy, this was not want we normally did. She demanded as 2 yrs olds do that we go home so she could sleep in her bed. We told her we couldn't. Rachel did not want to hear that and threw a fit. We made a game out of it and eventually got her to bed but only after we agreed that we sleep in the same room as her. No matter how hard we tried Rachel knew something wasn't right.

10/29/03 Just when we thought we San Diego as a whole was in the clear, the high winds have started back up. Where the fires are still burning in remote areas flames are moving rapidly again and now threating homes in the more inland areas or Ramona, Julian, and Palomar Mountain. Even with the concern for out inland neighbors a sense of normalcy returns and we mourn for the losses of our friends and efforts begin to start collections for fellow co-workers that have lost homes, property and worst of all, lives of loved-ones. As the day rolls on, those in the city areas unthreatened by approaching fires give thanks for winds that further cleared the air and let us breath easier, but with heavy hearts we watched as smoke still billowed in the distance meaning the fires in more rural areas were still not completly contained and fear for friends and loved ones still held portions of out hearts.

When my wife stopped by the house to get additional clothes for the kids she felt ok that we could return home by nightfall and so we could put our children at ease. As much as the kids like being at Grandmas, we could tell that they could sense that all was not normal. And returning home to their comfort zone we could immediatly see relief in my daughter expressions that told us she may have understood more than we know about how dangerous the situation might have been and as much as we tried to hide it and put on a good face for the kids, to a point the could see mommy and daddy were worried. To further put them at ease we went out to dinner to celebrate our good fortune and safety. The waitress was very kind though we could see she they were shortstaffed. Actually there were not many customers anyway and they were glad that we would celebrate during these trying times. As bedtimes neared there was little of the normal stalling for a later bedtime and Rachel asked if she could say the nightly family prayer. It was simple yet beatiful. The high stress of the previous days has left me exausted so I close this now hoping it is the final chapter of this personal saga that I will feel compelled to share. If I see you not again. Good morning, Good Afternoon and Good night.

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