Thursday, August 17, 2017

Touring the U

My little Porge is super sick. Stockton said he put a ton of blankets on her during the night. I brought her phone down to her close to noon. I knew she had been waiting for a message from Ebony. I was about to leave with Stockton and I hadn't seen her all day. She was still sleeping and felt very warm. She moved upstairs on the couch and I fixed her an acai bowl before I left. She was still like this when I came home. I took her temperature after she had a bit of the milkshake I brought her. It was over 101 degrees. She felt dizzy every time she stood up. I'm guessing she has the flu. She missed her first softball game of the new season. I hope she is better tomorrow.
Poor sick little Porgie
Stockton and I went down to Salt Lake and toured the University of Utah. The tour is long. It is a walking tour and takes about 2 1/2 hours. It is good to get a feel of a place before you make a decision. Stockton is very familiar with the diving pool, but it was good for him to see the rest of campus. I'm trying to take him on tours earlier than I took Maysen so we can space them out a bit. So far we have been to Utah State now the U. I'll have to start scheduling others soon. I meant to get SUU this summer, but didn't get around to it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Incoming Freshman

Stockton and I went to Alta this morning. We had been putting together paperwork for Arete. In order to get the Arete token, or whatever it is, Stockton needed to have 8 quarters of a 4.0, at least a 28 on the ACT and no more than 2 absences and tardys in each quarter. Stockton met those qualifications. Once he is awarded the token he can get into any Alta event for free, gets $25 off his yearbook, gets a hoodie and gets to park in a special area. We might let Stockton drive this year, so he is pretty excited about the parking space. We also walked around for a bit to find his classes. He knows where pretty much everything is anyway, so it didn't matter much but it was fun to do.

It was time for me to leave with Jorja as soon as Stockton got home. I was taking Jorja and her friends to find their classes and lockers. Jorja had them send her their schedules and I color coded maps for them. I love doing that. They were good sports about it. I picked up Evan and Isaac first. {Quick side story . . . I won't go into too much detail here, and this is just what I gather, so hopefully it is accurate. Anyways, Isaac has liked Jorja for awhile. Jorja didn't want to let on that she liked him because she didn't want to ruin their friendship. She caved and let Isaac know she liked him. They liked each other for about two seconds before Isaac went to EFY and was in a class where they talked about how they shouldn't date until they were 16, but also they shouldn't have emotional attachments this young. Isaac, trying the hardest to do what he is counseled to do, broke up with Jorja. Jorja was sad, but she thought it was the right thing to do. She was terrified that Isaac wouldn't be her friend anymore. Today was the first time they had seen each other since then. . . ~ how's that for background?} Okay, so Isaac and Evan hop in the car. I say hi to them and ask them how they are doing. Then, for some unknown reason I look at Isaac and say, "So. You broke up with my daughter." Several things happened simultaneously. Isaac's eyes about popped out of his head and he said yes. Jorja screamed, "Mom!" and turned and buried her head in the seat. Evan broke out laughing and gave me a high five. Oh gosh. It was so funny. I laughed and laughed. Evan kept saying that was the funniest thing ever. Jorja and Isaac didn't appreciate it much, but it sure did break the ice. By the end of the day they seemed to be back to their best friend status. (Although, I need to keep my eye on Isaac, sometimes the way he looks at Jorja you can see complete adoration in his eyes. I'm going to have to pay attention and notice if he looks at all girls this way or just Jorja.) Jorja is going to laugh when she finally reads this post. It will probably be years from now, she never reads my blog. Haha! Jorja! I love you! Thank you for putting up with me!

Okay, back to today. I picked up Hailey and then Raina and we headed to Alta. They humored me for a picture before we walked in. This one was my favorite.
Hailey, Raina, Jorja, Isaac, Evan
 Okay, this made me laugh. This was my first picture. One of the kids said to read their maps.
 I then said to look up. I laughed at Hailey! She cracks me up! I realized later she wasn't looking down, still it was so funny!
Drew met us after we had been here for awhile. We spent several hours walking the halls. Finding lockers, classes, trying to make note of the best way to go to classes. Poor Isaac, every class is almost as far as possible from each other. Hailey's classes are nice and tightly together. I dropped Raina off when we were leaving, Hailey's mom had picked her up earlier. We brought Drew, Evan and Isaac home to play games. (Jorja made Drew and Isaac a corn dog. Drew and Jorja then tried a hot red pepper from Kristen. First few bites were fine, then they were dying!) We tried playing One Night Ultimate Werewolf with Stockton and Preston. Evan picked up on it pretty well. Next we played Apples to Apples Bible edition. That was funny. Stockton got a quick lead, then I was able to tie him. I had several cards in a row that were perfect. For example: I had 'Hidden Treasures' for FANCY, 'flood' for WET and 'The Lamb of God' for Good. All in a row. Ping Pong and foosball were played before we finished with Code Names. Jorja was looking worn out at the end. She doesn't like playing games for hours like I do. Anyways, we dropped Evan and Issac off before I took Jorja to softball practice. She said she felt pretty sick for the first part of the practice, but was still glad she went. I can't believe summer is almost over! Time is moving way too fast.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Shopping with Shan

Jorja asked if Sherry or Shannon could take her school shopping. Apparently she doesn't like my style. Although my style is whatever is given to me so I don't have to shop. Hopefully Sherry and Miah can go with Jorja sometime next week. That would be fun. We were able to squeeze a couple hours with Shannon today. This is the outfit Shannon helped Jorja put together.
Jorja
Shopping is more fun with someone else. I was able to visit with Shannon and she was able to make all the decisions. Usually I walk in a store and feel so overwhelmed I just walk right out. I just don't like it. I am grateful for people who love my daughter and will help her with something I struggle with. Jorja was pretty happy.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Miracle!

Stockton has always wanted a grey or black locker. Most of the lockers are red, with just a couple grey or black lockers on each hall. I decided to run to the school to get some maps. Also, I was hoping to ask the counselors a question. Anyways, while I was there I decided to find the kids lockers. 
Stockton got red again. His locker is across from the library near the chemistry room.
Jorja got a grey locker. Her locker is in the main area, right next to the theater classroom.
I sent these pictures to the kids. Stockton texted back, "4 reds and Jorja gets a silver first try. Life if fair." Haha! That is okay, because I had some great news for Stockton.

One diving day in June I was talking to a mom I had never talked to before. Not because I'm not friendly, just because it is usually her husband who would bring their daughter to diving. Her daughter is in lessons with Preston. I haven't even seen her the rest of the summer, so this was our one and only conversation. She is a school teacher and works with special ed kids. I mentioned how upset I was with Stockton's physics teacher. How he had ruined Stockton's 4.0. I wouldn't be as upset if I thought he had given Stockton a fair chance, but it was just impossible to get an A that first quarter. Stockton did manage to get As the rest, but he has that one B in the middle of all his As. Anyways, she mentioned that there was a new law that was just passed where you could retake a class and it would change the grade. She said it used to be that way if you failed a class, but someone was arguing that that was favoring people to fail. What if you got a lower grade then you liked, why couldn't that person be given the same consideration? Anyways, this conversation has been in the back of my mind for awhile. It is one of the reasons I went down to the school to ask for a map. I felt really silly, because it seemed so weird. I said a prayer asking that I be led to the right people that would help me, and that I would know what to say. I didn't even know exactly what I was asking for, so I was quite nervous. I just knew I wanted to leave no stone unturned to help Stockton.

I saw Stockton's old counselor. (The names have changed this year and she lost all the Smith's.) I asked her about it. She said that I was right. There was a new law, but she didn't know much about it because it was so new. She told me Stockton's new counselor would probably know what to do. I asked a receptionist lady if I could schedule an appointment with her. She said her next appointment was in September! Yikes! That would be too late! I explained what I wanted to talk about. She took me to the registers office to see if they knew. The lady there was awesome. She said that it was a new law. She called up someone to get clarification on it. After she asked a lot of questions, this is what it boiled down to. Stockton can retake physics online and they will put the highest grade on his transcript. He can get his 4.0 back. They don't offer AP physics, but they said that didn't matter. I couldn't believe it. It is also awesome that the quarter he needs to retake is the first quarter. It would be harder to step into the middle of something. The lady had a paper for me to fill out and I needed Stockton to sign it. I brought it back later that day. She was surprised. I told her that I didn't want her to change her mind and that we would be singing her praises at our house today. Yay! Yay! Yay!

I feel like this was an answer to my prayers. I remember praying for a miracle so Stockton could get his 4.0 back. At the time, I thought the only way would be for him to get a 5 on his AP Physics with Calculus test. I knew that would be a huge miracle because we thought it would be a miracle if he just passed it. I remember saying that no matter what happened, my faith wouldn't be shaken; but if this didn't matter to some grand plan, could we just have this miracle? It wasn't like I was asking for my mom to stay alive, although I did pray and fast for that a lot. That must have been some annoying grand plan kind of thing. I felt like this wouldn't matter to anyone but would be a big deal to us. Instead of Stockton getting a 5, he got a 3. We were still happy with that, because that was a miracle too. I don't know how long Heavenly Father had this in the works to come right at the time I was asking for a miracle, but I'm just going to take it as a small nod that Heavenly Father is aware of me. He's aware of Stockton. He knows how hard Stockton has worked and this is a way he could help him. I know this will benefit other people too, but the timing was just too perfect for me. We are so blessed!

Okay, other things that happened today. Natalie and Evan came over to work on their Chinese packet with Jorja. They worked most of the day. They didn't get it finished, but most of it is done. Hallelujah! I brought back Stockton's biology book to Kristen across the street and got to talk to her for awhile. I miss her! She has been attending the singles ward for awhile now. She likes it though, so that's good. I talked to her until it was time to go pick up Jorja from softball practice. Wow. Today was a great day!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Random Things

We cleaned up the cabin and went to a random church along the way. We stopped at an 11:00 service at a church building we had been to before. After we sat down, I looked at the program. We were in a singles ward. Haha! Stockton was laughing so hard. The talks were great. Especially the first one. She was funny. Her topic was something based on getting stronger though trials. She said she started looking through the scriptures for examples and then realized that was nuts. Everyone fit that example because "if you are cool enough to be in the scriptures you have had some crazy trials". Then she started naming a lot of examples: Ester, Ruth, Nephi, Moroni . . . "Take Joseph Smith for example. If you take the part about him restoring the gospel out of the equation. (Granted that was a significant part.) But if you look at the other parts of his life, his life really sucked. He was poor, his children kept dying, he was betrayed and persecuted. Not a lot of fun." She talked about how any kind of growing, physical or spiritual required pain. She had asked about remembering when you were little and your bones hurt so bad because they were growing that you lived on ibuprofen. That made me laugh. Must be a tall people thing.

Anyways, the second speaker was okay, just not as engaging. The last speaker was the first speakers brother. He did great as well. He told missionary stories. One was about a family they were teaching. They were doing all the right things and he felt sure they would be baptized. The man asked him one time why he couldn't get an answer if the Book of Mormon was true. He was praying and praying. This young missionary said a super speedy prayer and the words just came to him. He asked him if he got the answer the scriptures were true would he be willing to get married (he was living with his girlfriend), stop drinking beer, pay his tithing and probably a few other things I can't remember now. The man thought about it and said, "No, I don't want to do any of those things." Well, that is why he wasn't getting an answer. I thought that was interesting. I loved that concept.

Anyways, we got home around 4:00. I got my family to watch another episode of Dr. Who. I know they hate it, but I still like watching it with them. We also watched Wait Until Dark with Audrey Hepburn. Maysen had wanted to watch that with the family a long time ago. She studied it in her film class. About the use of sound I think. Anyways, that was fun.

Some random things I wanted to remember. When I was at church with Brett and Rachel, we were peaking in Mina's primary class. She was whispering to some of the girls. One of them she whispered, "Will you be my friend?" Oh my gosh. I LOVE that girl! How sweet can she be? --Stockton and Preston both forgot their swimsuits for this trip. They knew we were going boating, but because neither Mike or I specifically said to bring their swimsuits they forgot them. Maysen and Jorja both packed theirs with the same instructions. Stockton was funny, he said, "Thanks mom for destroying 17 years of trust." or something like that. It was funny. Luckily both Stockton and Preston had basketball shorts and they worked just fine. It would have been worse if one of the girls had forgotten theirs. --I know there was other random things I wanted to write about, but I can't remember any of them now. My memory sure is annoying!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

UAE

First I'll start with some pictures from yesterday that I got off of Mike's phone. The first ones are from our walk yesterday morning. Well, I didn't bring my phone, so this is when Mike and Jorja found us.
Jorja ~ I accidentally put this as a moving picture, so I'm not sure if it will work.
 Mike & Jorja
 Weird fireplace in the middle of nowhere
 Jorja & Stephanie
 Jorja
 Jorja up at the Springs
 Stephanie ~ I just recovered the licorice Mike sent down
 Maysen, Stockton, Preston
It is so hard to get Maysen off of the tube unless it tips over. She got kind of 'tube sucked' out on this one!
video
The kids stayed on, but Maysen swallowed a lot of water!
video
Okay, that was all the pictures from yesterday. Here are today's pictures. We ended up not getting on the lake. The sky looked ominous the entire day. We still had fun though. It was fun watching eagles flying around. This one was right outside our cabin for about thirty minutes.
I walked with Shannon up to the Springs. Sharon was leaving with a group to go rafting right as we passed. She rolled down the window and we chatted for a bit. She said she didn't know we were here, but she could throw on an extra raft really quick so we could come. I knew that would take at least an hour, so I didn't want to slow them down. Plus, Mike and Steve were on the lake with kayaks.
Walking down from the Springs
 If you look really, really close you can see Mike and Steve on the lake in their kayaks.
Shannon and I walked down there, but they were in the truck leaving when we arrived. They were taking the kayak from the garage back. We didn't know if it worked. Mike said it needed to be thrown away. It took on a lot of water. They left Steve's kayak on the shore because they were coming back with Mike's sailboat. When they got back the kayak was gone. They weren't gone that long either. That stinks.

We played some games. The weird slapping game that Stockton likes and Exploding Kittens. That was even weirder than the slapping game. It was fun though. Jorja and Weston explored on the 4 wheelers before they turned them over to Stockton and Brandon. I held my breath the entire time. I am such a scaredy cat! Steve and Shannon packed up and left around dinner time. Stockton and Preston made this lovely bananagram with the theme being Oregon Trail.
I talked to Brett today. He now has a date for deployment. He also isn't going to Kuwait like he originally thought. He is going to UAE. He will be stationed at Al Dhafra Air Force Base. I hope he likes it there. I hope this deployment isn't too hard on his girls.

Mike, Stockton, Jorja, Preston and I played The Farming Game until midnight. It was pretty fun. Preston loved the game. He loves all games. Stockton hit Spring Planting every year. That doubles his corn harvest at the end of the year. Every single time he hit the square halfway through the year that would send him to the second week of February. He never got to try for corn or cows! It was super funny. Jorja ended up winning the game, despite doing her Chinese homework at the same time. Preston was a close second.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Palisades

Yay! Today was a lot of fun! I went on a walk with Steve and Shannon. After awhile Mike and Jorja found us on the 4 wheelers. Dang it! I just realized all the pictures are on Mike's phone. I'll have to add them tomorrow, because I just finished loading these and I'm not going to start over! Anyways, I hopped on the back of Jorja's 4 wheeler and thought I was going to die. Just kidding. I just hate not being in control.

We spent most of the day on the lake. The water was great. It wasn't too cold, and there were hardly any other boats using it. So much fun! Maysen did the knee board. She loves that.
Preston watching Maysen
 Maysen teaching Preston how to knee board
 Preston loved it!
 What a goofball
 Mike sent Preston a licorice down the rope. He almost got it!
video
video
I got on the knee board after Preston. I was able to catch the licorice Mike sent me. It was really hard to chew though. Maysen warmed up Preston and fed him. Those two are adorable together.
Preston
Preston & Maysen
 Maysen feeding Preston ~ what a spoiled little boy!
 Stockton
 Mike
video
Jorja tried the surf board, but couldn't figure it out
 She likes the wakeboard better right now
video
Stockton continued his streak of domination on Bananagrams
Maysen, Stockton and Preston all got to ride the tube again. They had some pretty awesome crashes. Brandon, Weston and Jorja didn't get to go. It looked like a storm was coming, so we booked it out of there. We had just docked and Steve was hooking up the boat when it started pouring. Talk about timing!

I took Jorja to the grocery store. We sat in the car and chatted for awhile, which was really nice. I love it when she will actually talk to me about what is going on in her life. Usually she doesn't want to think about the things she is upset about, so she won't let me talk to her about it. It was nice she finally opened up to me.

Mike fixed spaghetti and then got tired. He went to bed early. Boating really wears you out, which is weird because we didn't do anything except sit all day. Except Steve the driver. Anyways, no super late night games tonight.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Smith Family Parrydise

We packed up and headed to the cabin this morning. We stopped by the UPS store on the way and sent back Stockton's film textbook. Luckily I thought of that. It was due back today. We arrived at the cabin about a half hour before Steve and Shannon did. The weather and lake looked nice, so we decided to get on it today. It was actually perfect. Hardly any other boats around and the lake was so calm.
Jorja wearing Weston's glasses & Stockton
 Jorja
 I don't know what she is doing here
 Jorja, Preston & Stockton
 Stockton & Preston
 Preston
Weston and Brandon did the wake board. Stockton and Jorja both tried it after. They both got up for awhile. They haven't been on a boat for three years I think, so I thought that was great!
Brandon
 Mike & Steve sent this picture to Lisa to wish her a happy birthday
I put this next picture on Instagram. I love seeing my kids get along with their cousins. Jorja's friend Katlyn saw this picture and started texting Jorja for Weston's phone number. It was pretty funny.
Weston, Jorja, Preston
 Stockton
 Mike teaching the Porge, Stockton's face
 Jorja
 Weston & Jorja
 Jorja
Steve was nice enough to get the tube out for us. It takes a long time to blow up the tube, so that was really nice of him to do! Especially since we knew we could only do two runs with it. We wanted to get in before the sun went down.
Maysen, Stockton, Preston
 Not sure what Stockton was doing with his leg
Jorja, Brandon and Weston went on the tube next, but my camera was out of batteries. When we got back to the cabin Jorja's friend Katlyn started texting her asking for Weston's number. Then she Facetimed Jorja. Right as she did that another girl Facetimed Weston. Jorja and Weston had the girls talk to each other. What goofballs.
Jorja & Weston
 Weston & Jorja
 I love it here
Steve wanted to play a game. He brought out Banangrams. He went to his room and said he would be out in five minutes. He never came out. He fell asleep back there. We played without him. Stockton won. This was Stockton's words. Can you tell he likes Oregon Trail?