Thursday, April 30, 2009

Freedom

Mike and I went to Jorja's soccer game. Just the three of us. Maysen stayed home and babysat Stockton & Preston. Yesterday she babysat Jorja and Preston while we took Stockton to pack meeting and to be measured for his tuxedo. Maysen did an excellent job both days. Oh the sweet smell of freedom. How great it is to be me!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why?

Why, Preston? Why when you were able to stay dry all the way to Utah, why can you not stay dry now? Why would you go potty on the carpet? Why would you find the corner I stashed my diploma and go potty on it? Why? I love you, but seriously, why?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Day Thomas Lost Two Wheels

I went to a Gifted meeting yesterday. I was hoping someone from Maysen's new middle school would be there. I'm trying to understand in my mind how the gifted program will work. Anyway, while I was there, I saw a display of the winners from the Young Authors Awards. This always bugs me. Maysen wrote an incredible story when she was in first grade. Her teacher submitted her story, only to have someone else win. I was fine with that. If someone wrote a better story, fair is fair. Anyway, come to find out, they didn't believe Maysen wrote the story! They said she saw it on TV and wrote about it. It still infuriates me. This is her talent. Don't throw her story out without looking at any of her other work. I remember her writing this story. She was at Grandma Honey's house playing with trains, she came upstairs and asked for paper. She sat herself down in the big fancy office and started writing. Mike even filmed her because she looked so cute sitting in that big desk. Maysen did win the contest the next year, but this has been one of my favorite stories she as ever written. Here it is:

The Day Thomas Lost Two Wheels

One sunny, spring day, Thomas woke up and tried to move. He couldn't go at all. So he looked down. "Oh no!" he cried. "I lost my two front wheels!" James came rolling as fast and as quickly as his six wheels could carry him. "What's going on?" he asked. Thomas said with lots of expression, "I lost my two front wheels. Can you help me get to the repair shop?" "Sure," said James. "We engines should help each other whatever the weather." So James helped him get to the repair shop, however the repair shop was all out of wheels. Suddenly James had an idea. James asked the repairman to take off two of his red wheels to replace Thomas' blue wheels. James went up, up, up and the workers removed his two front wheels. Thomas thanked James for what he had done for him. Thomas and James now had four wheels. Thomas called his red front wheels his lucky wheels and Thomas never lost any wheels again.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fairy Tales

Once upon a time, there was a magical pink pony.
It slept in a beautiful meadow with magical, glittery flowers.
It lived in a forest of candy canes, lollipops, & fairy dust.
And this lovely, sweet pony had magical powers.

Do you see how boring it is? A magical pony with fur.
Most girls love the stories like this. So boys, be glad you're not a girl!
--Stockton Smith

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Tooth Fairy

My girls are completely different. My boys are pretty similar, but my girls - not at all. Jorja loves dressing up. She loves bows in her hair, rings on her fingers, and loves picking out and matching her clothes.

Maysen judges how good a week it is by how many days in a row she can stay in the same jammies. Her favorite thing to say is, "It doesn't matter what it looks like, it only matters if it's comfortable." Here is a classic Maysen moment. Mike was taking the girls to the reptile show. He had just taken a shower and drove in the jeep, so his hair was quite a mess when he got there. Mike said to Maysen, "I hope I don't embarrass you with my hair looking this way." Maysen scoffed and said, "Hair just covers your head, it doesn't matter what it looks like."

Anyway, Jorja got nine different plastic rings from the tooth fairy. Each ring is a different color. She laid out several dresses with a matching ring on top. Then she wanted help trying on every single dress to decide which dress she wanted to wear to church. Here are her choices.





And the winner is . . . Pink dress with pink ring!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Day of Service

Today our family participated in a 'Day of Service'. We helped clean-up an old graveyard. I was quite pleased with how hard the kids worked . . . especially the girls.
Leaving for the Day of Service
Maysen
Preston loved finding golf balls. There is a golf course on the other side of the trees. Looks like there have been several terrible golfers in these parts!
Mike
Jorja loved her job of gathering the pine cones.
Stockton & Mike
Jorja
Preston
Jorja lost another tooth today. I told her I wanted to get a close look at it, then I yanked down hard. I'm glad she wasn't mad - that tooth was just begging to be yanked! I love this picture and Jorja's new toothless grin!
Look at my boy! He melts my heart! Mike and I took Preston to watch our neighbor play baseball. We were joking that we were living vicarously through the neighbors since Stockton doesn't have the slightest interest in baseball. We rode to the field with the top down. Preston kept his glasses on the entire way! Once we got there, he quickly fell asleep and slept for most of the game. That baby loves me!

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Clean Closet

So, Mike is officially awesome. . . but then you all knew that anyway. Mike asked me what room I wanted him to organize. For the record, I HATE to organize! I love it when things are organized, I just can't get it there. I will look at the pantry and have no idea where to start. Mike doesn't have that problem, and he loves to help me out.

Anyway, I told Mike I would love it if he would organize my closet. When he finished, he showed me how he had organized things. He said, "Here are the shirts your husband would like to see you in, over here are shirts that are 'eh comfortable', and here are the shirts to wear only when you are gardening."

Here is a picture of my clean closet. I am so spoiled, this picture doesn't even show how big my closet actually is. If I liked clothes a little more I might be in trouble.

For those of you that are curious, Mike told me to add what I am wearing to the 'comfortable' section.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Graduate

So, Mike has now officially graduated. His commencement exercises were today. We didn't go. But we did record it on BYU-TV. We decided to celebrate at Gabe's. The owner's son is on Jorja's soccer team. Gabe is from Louisiana and his food is delicious. I regret I didn't know about this place when Rachel was here, then she would have added it to her blog. I had the almond catfish. Mike never thought he would see the day I would order fish. It was actually pretty good.

Maysen and Stockton finished their CRCT tests today. Hallelujah! Now we have five weeks left of school where they pretty much waste time. Maysen's teacher is ordering pizza for the class. Stockton's teacher is bringing them all Happy Meals.

Mike and I were starting to run out of Weight Watcher meals. I love them. Especially the pot roast. Jorja and Preston love the pot roast as well. Preston will eat all of the vegetables except the beans. He spits them on the floor. Anyway, today the Weight Watcher meals are 50% off. Time to stack up again! Mike's doing the dirty work this time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Reading Bowl Video

Anyone who has read this blog I'm sure knows about the Reading Bowl. What a wonderful experience this was for Maysen. Mike put together a video for the families of the Reading Bowl team. He finished it today. Here it is! Thanks Mike for working so hard on this! I love you! And Maysen, you were amazing to watch!

video

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Nightmare Clock

I woke up at 8 to get to school that is boring.
Usually I wake up at 6 in the morning.
I rubbed my eyes & looked at my clock.
I was deeply surprised. I sunk into a shock.

It said it was 8. 8:00 in the night!
It was 8 PM such a beautiful sight.
I missed the bus! There's NOT any sorrow.
Then my mother walked in & said, "Have a good Sunday tomorrow."

So I waisted my Saturday sleeping in bed.
When these thoughts of my Saturday fell into my head.
I found it was a nightmare & I exclaimed "Phew!"
Then I glanced at my clock . . . And found out . . . It's true!
--Stockton Smith

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tornado Sirens

The thing about the South is they have tornadoes. They also have tornado sirens. But, what they don't have is someone to explain them to you when you move to the South. Last night, about 12:30, the tornado sirens went off. They weren't really loud, so I was wondering if they were meant for us. I was surprised I even heard them. I wasn't sure what we were to do. Is this a big deal? Does this mean to head for the basement, or does it just mean stay alert in case you need to head to the basement? I finally googled tornado sirens. I decided that I was so nervous I would probably sleep better in the basement anyway. So, Mike ran down stairs and got three air mattresses ready. I started with Maysen and one by one brought all the kids downstairs. I started to get nervous as I was getting Preston. It was raining sideways by then. I kept thinking, "Oh no! My baby's still upstairs!" We all got snuggled pretty well in the basement, but I woke up so tired! And my back is killing me. No damage done, but better safe than sorry.

The reason I'm so confused about the tornado sirens is once I took Maysen to a movie in Douglasville. We watched Horton Hears a Who. When we came out, we found out they had shut down the entire mall. Everyone was evacuated to the bottom floor. Tornado sirens were going off. It was hailing pretty bad that most of our neighborhood ended up getting their roofs replaced. Anyway, they evacuated everyone on the top floor except the movie theater! I am sorry, but if a tornado is coming, I could be persuaded to leave a movie! So, if tornado sirens aren't a big enough deal to interrupt a movie, exactly when are they a big deal?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Stake Conference

Today was Stake Conference. We got there right on time, which meant we were sitting in the overflow area. The speakers were broken, so we couldn't hear a thing. It was completely miserable until we went in the primary room. You could hear great in there, and Preston was able to play with blocks. I remember Stake Conference growing up. While the adults had their meeting, we had a Stake Primary class. I loved it. We would get our names pinned on us. I remember being in the pink cupcake class. Plus, I got to see my friends from school that were in the other wards. Here, our ward goes to several different Elementary schools. I'm not sure how many middle schools. At least two different high schools.....

The other item of the day is, Stockton is desperately trying to get on AFV. He keeps asking me to video tape him. He is 'accidentally' crashing over this giant ball. Of course, as we were trying to get the kids to bed, Maysen moved his ball as he was about to do a stunt. Which caused him to do an amazing crash. Which we didn't get on camera. I don't know if he is mad about being hurt or mad about not getting it on tape. He sure is mad about something. By the way, Christen, Stockton tells me at least once a day that you should send your video of Larkin going from happy to crazy into AFV. Now you know.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Temple Bowling

Today Jorja was invited to her best friend's birthday party. She has been so excited about this party for two weeks now. Jorja got Emma a lioness webkinz. She slept with the lioness last night to give it extra love for Emma.

Jorja & Emma
Jorja bowling
Emma's mom made the cake. Pretty amazing.
It tasted as good as it looks.

As we were leaving, a little girl asked me how Jorja spells her name. I said, "J-O-R-J-A". She looked a little confused and said, "I thought it was spelled G-A." Loved it!

In other news, the Stake President called Mike last week. We were a little nervous about why he was calling for a bit. Tomorrow is Stake Conference and he wanted Mike to put a slide show of temples together to the song I Love to See the Temple. Mike found a really cool website at ldschurchtemples.com where people send in temple pictures they have taken. It's nice to find non-standard pictures. I think Matt Molen should send his pictures in, because all his pictures are fantastic!

Anyway, here is the video Mike put together.

video

This reminded me of a funny comment from awhile back. Several years ago when we lived in Washington, the movers were packing up our house. One of them saw this picture and said, "Wow! You got married at Disneyland!"
Mike & Stephanie ~ September 1995

Friday, April 17, 2009

Runt

Runt
When the other fish hatched,
I was the smallest.
I was the runt.
When they played games,
they left me out.
I was the runt.
When the fish raced,
I always lost.
I was the runt.
When they went to school,
I was picked on.
I was the runt.
When we played teams,
I was picked last.
I was the runt.
When they were all caught
and eaten by hungry fishermen,
I was thrown back.
I was the runt.
---Maysen Smith

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Lions

Jorja finally got to play soccer again. She hadn't been able to play for 3 weeks! That is a lot of time for a little girl! Preston shocked me by cheering so loudly for Jorja. She loved it!

Preston cheering for Jorja...don't worry, it's halftime.

video
The Lions

Jorja got her soccer team pictures taken today. The cheapest package was $20. I asked the photographer how much just a team picture would be. $15. I kind of made a face and said, "My husband's out of a job, can I just take a picture when you do?" They let me do that, which was really nice. Later, Jorja's coach came up to me and said he wanted to get Jorja's picture for us. That was super nice! Jorja didn't want to have it done though, I had already made a big deal about how it would be better to only have the team photo. Then the photographer came up and offered to take her picture for free. Again, super nice! Jorja politely declined. How wonderful to have so many people who don't really even know us offer their help if we need it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tool Test

Preston loves tools. Wonder where he gets that from? I got this huge Easter basket full of tools for 1/2 price. Mike broke it out for Preston today. Verdict? He LOVES it!


Here is a picture of me dancing after Preston used the potty. Preston is taking the picture. He is so funny. He aims the camera and then says, "I got you!"


Preston is mad at me right now. Tomorrow is the Language Arts portion of the CRCT for Maysen and Stockton. Preston would not stop crying, so I went in and took him out of his room. I gathered all his things. As I was carrying him out, in the sweetest voice he said, "Thank you Mommy." I walked to his old room and put him in his crib. He is NOT happy with me. He is screaming as I type this...but what was I to do?

Speaking of the CRCT, Maysen and Stockton had the reading portion today. The schools put WAY too much emphasis on this test. It's like it is all they care about. I was stressed out awhile ago because I thought they were going to make Stockton sit there and wait while everyone else finished. Just sit there. His teacher estimated that he would finish at least an hour before the test was finished. Torture! Well, it ended up they divided the test into two parts. After the first part he just had to sit there, after the second part he was able to read a book. They have five days of testing, so I bought five different books - his teacher is going to give him a book after each test. He finished the first book already. I am so relieved that he can read. I know there is no way he could have handled five days of testing otherwise.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Canvas of White Snow

The paper lays before me,
A canvas of white snow,
It can be everything,
It can be nothing,
My canvas of white snow.

It's empty, it's unique,
It's unlike any kind of art
Of which you can think!
I can't imagine what to do with
My canvas of white snow.

I could draw or write,
I could create or fight,
So I wrote this poem
So everyone would know about
My canvas of white snow.
---Maysen Smith

Monday, April 13, 2009

Treasure Box

I had really good behavior
My behavior's big in size
So I get to go to the Treasure Box
& get myself a prize.

But when I got to pick one out
I saw it was unfair!
My opportunity cost is
everything else in there!

---Stockton Smith

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter is Special

Happy Easter! The kids woke to Easter basket's by their bed, and an Easter egg hunt downstairs. Jorja gave a talk in Primary. She did a great job. This is her talk:

Today is a special day. It is Easter. The Easter Bunny left me a basket of yummy things this morning, but that’s not why it is special. I went hunting for Easter eggs this morning, but that’s not why it is special. Easter is special because Jesus was resurrected. Because of Jesus I can be resurrected too. I love Easter and Jesus. I know Jesus loves me.

Beautiful Jorja
Stockton gave the scripture and prayer. I loved how he prayed that 'the 2nd coming will be good for us'. Love him! I never know what he is going to say next. Preston was wild! Between being stuck in a car for two days and having Easter candy for breakfast. . . he was crazy at church. I am so thankful for nursery!
Preston stuffing his face with candy

Stockton had Family Home Evening tonight. He did a lesson on Nephi and Laman. He had different situations and asked one person to act like Nephi and then the next person to act like Laman. For example, you are asked to come to the table for dinner. Nephi says, "Yes, I will go to the table. I know you will not put anything on my plate except you should prepare a way that I can eat it." Laman says, "Dinner is gross! I hate dinner! I will not eat it! You can't make me!" You get the idea. During the week we will point out behavior that is like Nephi vs. behavior that is like Laman. The kids loved the lesson . . . although they all loved being Laman the best.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

We Did It!

We did it! We are home at last! Mike and I drove through the night (we did sleep one hour at a rest stop). Our trip went: Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Georgia, Tennessee & Georgia. We got home about 5:00 Georgia time. It was nice to get home earlier, but I don't think we will ever try that again. Today was hard!

We drove right by the St. Louis Arch. It was enormous! Maysen was sleeping, so I wanted to take a picture. I couldn't find my camera in time. Maybe one day we can stop there. They talk about it in The Lightning Thief, so I thought Maysen would like to see it.
The kids looked so cute eating breakfast at McDonalds.

As we were going through our mail, we noticed an Easter card. It said "You are loved" and it wasn't signed. There was a $50 bill in the card. How nice! Thank you to whoever sent the card. It was wonderful and much appreciated!

Friday, April 10, 2009

New Van

So, Shannon & Steve gave us their van. Thank you! It is so nice! It is a Honda Odyssey. It drives very well. We should know, we are driving across the country in it! We went from Utah, to Wyoming, then spent FOREVER in Nebraska! (As long as Nebraska was, I would take that over New Mexico any day!) We just left Nebraska and are in Iowa. We are toying with the idea of not staying in a hotel. We figure we can take turns sleeping. We will get home faster and save at least $50!
Stockton, Maysen & Jorja all give the new van a thumbs up! Thanks again Steve & Shan!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tage's Day

Today we Mike and I played racquetball with Steve and Shannon. We lost. Maysen and Erica babysat. That was great! Mike made another DI run with the kids. Jorja came back with a new horse. Of course.

We went to Jake's baseball game. He won and stole a lot of bases. After the game we met the Hardy's, Scoop and Cori up at Tepanyaki. Tage turned 11 today. The kids were pretty good. Jorja even ate some of her food. We dropped Maysen & Stockton's food off at my dad's house.
Preston entertaining himself at Tepanyaki

Mike and I are just packing up and hoping to leave bright and early tomorrow morning for the drive home.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fraidy Kites

It was windy today! Mike and Maysen took advantage of the wind and spent a lot of time flying kites. The dragon kite didn't fare so well, but the next kite they tried did lots better.

Mike, Maysen, Steve, Erica & Scoop all went to D.I. Maysen found a game called Fraidy Cats. It was a big hit. Preston loved it. Well worth the 2 bucks.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Scones

Today was another fun today. Stockton and I went to lunch with Brandon at his school. Stockton was very impressed. He thought it was so cool that they don't have red cups that tell you you can't talk. And he loved that you can go outside when you are done eating. At Stockton's school, they just have to sit there when they are done.

When we came home, Mike made homemade bread. Delicious! We then went to my dad's house and had scones. I wish I would have taken a picture of my dad making scones with Jorja. So cute! We played games with my family. It was so fun. We played Would You Rather... and Infection. It was fun to get to know Cassie better.

Cassie bought Preston this handsome suit. He looks so grown up. He wasn't acting grown up, but at least he looks the part.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Grandma Honey

Today was Grandma Honey's 70th birthday! We took the kids to Larkin where we have several family members buried. It was perfect weather, but by the end the kids were tired.

Jorja got to put the flower on Grandma Honey's grave
Maysen and her cousin had fun in the tree right beside Grandma Honey's grave. I guess whenever Shannon's family comes to visit, they hide a penny in the tree. The girls are looking for the penny. They never found it.
Here are the kids in front of their Great-Grandma & Grandpa Smith's grave. Their Great-Grandpa died before Mike was born. Mike is named after him. Their Great-Grandma died when Mike was a baby.
We looked the longest for Great-Grandma & Grandpa Hirschi's grave. Jorja~the Superfinder found it. Grandpa Hirschi died about 6 years ago. Grandma Hirschi died 4 years ago. One year before Sharen.
Preston Hirschi in front of G&G Hirschi's grave.
Here we are at my mom's grave.
My niece, Jessica, doesn't have her headstone yet.

After the cemetery, Lisa & Sherry's families came over. We had KFC, Junior Mints, cracked wheat, and talked about FHE growing up. Steve read what Sharen had written before she died. Wayne and I have always been active in our church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We believe it with all our hearts and have received many blessings in our lives because of it. If I could have one wish, I would wish that all our family would remain close to the Church and that we could all be an eternal family.

It is now really late and I need to go to bed. I miss Sharen so much. I hope she is happy. Happy Birthday Grandma Honey!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

John & Cassie's Apartment

I love Utah. It is so nice to be down here. We watched conference, which was great. I'm looking forward to watching it again when we get home. After conference, Ange picked me up and we went to see John & Cassie's new place. Cassie just got the keys on Wednesday, so she is still setting things up. I'm putting tons of pictures on here because I know Rachel and Christen will be interested. . .
I love these mountains! I miss these mountains!
John & Cassie in front of their new home!
Front room
Huge picture! I really like it.
Kitchen
Cassie's excited about this mini-dishwasher. I didn't even know these existed.
Bathroom
Extra bedroom
Ange & I trying out the bed. Very comfy!
John & Cassie have this weird storage area. It's pretty cool.
Their washer/dryer is down in the storage area. Cassie was excited that she got the washer & dryer for $250.

It was pretty fun hanging out with Ange and seeing where John & Cassie are going to be living. I need to start paying attention to Settlers now, so I will end.