Monday, August 31, 2009


Tonight we played one of our favorite games, Snorta. Jorja won. Jorja and Stockton are amazing at this game. I tried to win, but probably ended up with the most cards. I knew Stockton was very good, but I had no idea how good Jorja was. She has incredible focus. Nice going Porge!
Jorja-sheep, Maysen-donkey, Stockton-cat

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bye-Bye Myers

Our neighbors and really good friends have moved. For the last four years they have lived two doors away from us. Now they are gone. Teresa says they only live twelve minutes away. That is good for us. We will still get to see them at church, but I am going to miss having her boys come over and ask Stockton to play. I'll also miss walking with Teresa late at night or early in the morning. I've loved having them so close.

We did have the Myers over for dinner. They have spent the last week packing, cleaning and moving. Yuck! Mike made No Names. Yummy! He made the tortillas from scratch, it turned out great. Eat your heart out Molens!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Some Things I'd Just Rather Not Know

Some things I don't want to know about. For example, I found out today that when Stockton was in 1st or 2nd grade, he jumped off our balcony onto the couch below. Is he crazy? Well, I know the answer to that one. Why, why, why did he do this? I'm so glad he didn't get hurt. Apparently this was done when I was at the store and Mike was down in the basement. There are so many ways that little stunt could have gone wrong. It makes me sick to my stomach to even think about it. Does Stockton try to think up ways to drive me crazy? He sure is good at it!

I was worried that this would happen when we were building our house. We had them put a railing there instead of the half wall that was in the plan. I thought the half wall was just calling to be climbed on or sat on. I should have just realized that a full wall was the way to go.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Crazy - Part 2

So today was the first day Maysen had to carry her books to her classes without her backpack. We went over the map of her classes before she left and tried to figure out when she could make it back to her locker. She goes to school today, and they mixed up the schedule because of an assembly. Well, not an assembly, a fashion show that you had to pay $2 to attend. Anyway, 6th period was after 3rd. 6th period is Maysen's gym class. She wasn't able to get her backpack, but she needed to bring home her gym clothes. So, what does Maysen do? She puts her clothes over her gym clothes. She stayed like that the rest of the day. Crazy, crazy girl.

Another thing that is weird. They don't let the students go back to their lockers after 7th period. So, they are not allowed to have their backpacks all day, but they have to take them to their 7th period class, or they can't bring them home. Which means she needs to take it to 6th period. I hope she can squeeze it in there after 5th. I think they are just trying to confuse the kids. Some classes NO backpacks. Some classes YES backpacks. Then I was told in a few weeks they are going to switch the schedule every other week. Apparently 'kids learn better in the morning, that is a proven fact'. I wonder if kids learn better if they are completely confused about where to go, and what to bring? Also, they can't choose where they sit at lunch. They have to sit with their class - just like in elementary school Ridiculous!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I'm getting increasingly frustrated with Maysen's school. They got their lockers today (they've been in school 3 weeks already). Now that they have their lockers, they aren't allowed to take their backpacks to class. That's the craziest thing I have ever heard. I also broke the news to Maysen that most likely she will have P.E. all year long. She went to bed in tears.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Stockton ~ The Bear

Stockton received his Bear in Cub Scouts today. He had to tell a Tall Tale before he earned it. He summarized the story of Rip Van Winkle. I'm glad he remembered it, because I had completely forgotten about it. I had good intentions about practicing the story with him, but that never happened.
Stephanie & Stockton
Stockton pinning his mom
Mike wasn't able to go to pack meeting because he has been suffering with a kidney stone all day. Jerome came over early this morning and gave him a blessing. Between that, Motrin, honey & Dr. Pepper he seems to be doing better. Hopefully the stone will pass without us having to take him to the hospital. Last time he had a kidney stone (June of 1999), he suffered with it for two months before they had to take it out manually - think drain snake. It wasn't a pleasant experience, and one he is hoping to avoid this time around.

On a completely unrelated note . . . when I dropped Stockton & Jorja off at school this morning, I noticed the Vice Principal call Stockton over to talk to her. She called him over to tell him that he scored 100% on his math pre-test. I'm not sure if it was a pre-test over all the material for fourth grade or not; all I know is that kid is amazing!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

William Henry Branch, Sr.

I was reading my great-great grandfather's journal as I prepared for my primary sharing time on Sunday. It was fascinating. William Henry Branch was born August 9, 1820. He and his wife were baptized January 16, 1850. After his baptism, he immediately started making plans to go west. He went to visit friends and family assuming he would never see them again. When he visited his father, Elisha, he told him he was now a mormon and was headed west. His father said, "William, I do not expect to see you again on this earth, but if your religion calls you to leave your home and friends, go, and the God of Heaven bless and prosper you that we may meet where parting will be no more. I will not have it to think of on my dying bed that I ever said one word to stop you from serving God according to the dictates of your conscience." Wow. How wonderful.

April 7, 1857 he attended conference in Salt Lake and heard his name called out to serve a mission to the Eastern United States. He served in Connecticut, and while serving there was able to baptize his father. Nicely done.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dizzy, Dizzy, Dizzy

I started taking my hormone pills today. I had been using a patch, but it is so expensive ($60 for one month). The pills cost $10 for 3 months. Much better. I was so dizzy this morning. I hope that gets better. Mike took the kids to and from school so I wouldn't have to drive. But I made it up to him and had cookies waiting for them when they got home.

I'm a little nervous about starting these new pills. I've heard a lot of different things about them. I shouldn't be at a higher risk of breast cancer because of my mastectomy, so that's good. My doctor is worried that my bones will be too brittle when I am older. Especially since I'm so thin. Hopefully the pills do more good than harm. Only time will tell - what a scary thought!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Emergency Preparedness

Jorja was in charge of Family Home Evening today. Her lesson was on Emergency Preparedness. I could tell she was really excited about the lesson because she was about to jump out of her skin waiting for FHE to begin. Mike said, "We have to go somewhere for three days. Gather up everything you need. You have two minutes to get in the car. Go!" Everyone tore up the stairs, laughing their heads off. I raced into my room and grabbed clothes and undergarments for myself, Mike's and my toothbrush, toothpaste, and my pillow. Then I ran to Preston's room and grabbed clothes for him. I threw it in the car, ran back and grabbed my baby ~ because I definitely need him! I strapped him in the car wearing just his underwear. We made it in the car in 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Mike backed out and started driving down the road. He ended up driving to the school and parked there. We discussed what everyone had brought.

Mike grabbed some clothes, a brown cookie box (pop-tarts), and a jug of milk. Gross! That won't stay good long!

Maysen had some clothes, Heart (her dog), her blanket, her pillow and blindfold, and a cup because she saw Mike packing the milk.

Stockton got his toothbrush, clothes, Preston's blanket and was proudly eating the honeybun he snitched out of the pantry.

Jorja was a little more prepared. She had a ton of books, clothes, toothbrush and toothpaste, and her blanket. She had packed up a little in advance.

We drove home and had icecream as Mike talked to the kids about what we forgot. We realized that I forgot pull-ups and wipes, and my hormone pills. Mike wished he brought the lock box with all our important papers. Maysen said we should keep water in the freezer in the garage. Stockton was excited over the fact he got a honeybun and icecream and wasn't even in eaters or tasters club!

We are all suppose to come with a list of things we would like in our 72 hour kit tomorrow. Pretty fun. Jorja, you are full of surprises!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Family Can Be Together Forever Through the Ordinances of the Temple

"Families can be together forever, through Heavenly Father's plan." These words are part of the chorus of one of the more known church songs. But what is Heavenly Father's plan? It's simple. Come to earth. Get a body. Live your life. Die and return to Heaven. Families can be together in the celestial kingdom. They can also be together on earth. Sealing your family is a good way to do that.

When we were in Utah visiting our cousins this summer, my family visited the opening of the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. We visited many rooms, including the baptismal font, the sealing room, and the celestial room. The baptismal font was lovely. The water looked so clear. I could imagine being baptized for the dead in the water on the backs of the twelve oxen. The sealing room was also lovely. A rectangular pillar rose in the center of the room, for people to kneel beside. A mirror behind each person reflected everyone. You could almost see forever. The celestial room was my favorite. It was beautiful, and the spirit was strong. It's hard to describe, but I felt happy in that moment. I was sad to have to leave it. A temple is not just a beautiful building. It is the house of the Lord. Your body is a temple too. The temple of your spirit. D&C 88:119 says, "Organize yourselves, prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God." Amen.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sleepover Stockton

Stockton is at a sleep over for one of his good friends right now. Preston is really missing him and is having a hard time going to sleep without him. (He's still awake and it is 10:00). Bret is a huge University of Georgia fan. Stockton and Mike worked on a simple computer game for his present. He can play as the Georgia Bulldog trying to catch more footballs then the Yellowjacket guy. (The footballs randomly fall from the sky). Stockton was so proud of his gift. Such a sweet, sweet boy.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

First Grade Parent Meeting

There was a parent meeting after school for the first graders. I decided to go even though I know the ropes pretty well. One of the teachers mentioned that they have a chart this year that the kids can put stickers on to mark their progress. After the meeting, I moseyed on over to the back of the room to look at Jorja's chart. Yep, she had stickers. She has already met the end of the year goals for site words and fluency. Way to go Porge!

There is a lot of noise coming out of the boys room right now. They both had naps, so this will be interesting. They are a couple of giggling geese right now. Sure do love them.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jorja's Black Eye

Poor Porge got a black eye today. Well, her eye is not all black as Stockton pointed out, but she has a nasty bruise around it. She fell in p.e. today. She said, "My eye crashed into the floor". Hopefully it will be gone tomorrow. Especially since it's picture day.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Today is my mom's birthday. She would have been 62. Wow! She's old. Maysen and Jorja helped me decorate cupcakes for her. Preston even helped, his version of helped that is. We made yellow cupcakes for mom and one blue cupcake for Percy Jackson. Happy Birthday Mom! We love you and miss you!
Maysen, Stockton, Preston, Jorja
While I was in the carpool line, I was reading The Last Olympian. This is what I read today: "Hey." Annabeth slid next to me on the bench. "Happy birthday." She was holding a huge misshapen cupcake with blue icing. I stared at her. "What?" "It's August 18th," she said. "Your birthday, right?"

How cool is that? I thought it myself, "Yes, it is August 18th". I have never read a book and had it be the date they were talking about. That is why Percy got a cupcake as well. Maysen even iced a trident on it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Car Pool Lanes

Right now my life consists of car pool lanes, homework helping, dish washing, Preston chasing, bed put-downing, and Primary stuffing. Not very exciting to blog about, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I want this part of my life to last forever. In summary, nothing to write about, but we were very busy.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Second Coming

When the 2nd coming comes
If you're a nephew or niece.
It really doesn't matter,
but if you climb the ladder
there will be 1,000 years of peace.

I will act like Jesus did
I will live with family.
My life is pure perfection,
Oh, what a great exception,
I'll live with God for eternity.

In the Celestial Kingdom
It's a pretty sight, thus we...
know there's only 1 talent
that we need but we haven't
need to lose. Let's all live righteously.

After 1,000 years pass
There might be a final feast
If you've been good, unfurled,
you'll find you own a world
and so then Satan will be unleashed


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Invisible Air Bridge

I'm makin' a bridge across the Atlantic Ocean
& I'm not using wood or a magic potion.
Just don't freak out, it'll be peculiar,
It'll be very weird, I'll be using air, Mr.
What? You don't think it's strong? It'll be husky
It's gonna be very strong, I know I'll be lucky!

If ya don't think it's strong, ya too late
'cause I've already used 108
zillion 407 trillion 011 . . .
Well I know it's a lot, but I think smart

I've finally finished! I'll divulge, tell my secret. It'll act
right 'cause the air will touch. It'll keep contact.
On T.V. I will test it, don't think pessimistic
Don't think the worst, I know I'll live
I won't listen to your omen
What you think what'll happen
in the future.
I'll do my best.


I'll reverberate when I win, ya see?
I'll echo loudly over & over, 'cause I'll have victory!
I'm testing it now, & I will not flinch
I'll avoid all my obstacles, I'll step inch by inch!
Wow! It looks I'm hovering over the ground,
This is really fun! I'm flying around!
The reporter speaks 1 language, he's monolingual,
He only speaks Pig Latin, & I'm almost done!
My last step! I made no errors!
Then it did mutilate, it got damaged
& I fell to a closet of nightmare of horrors & terrors!

Stockton had an assignment last year to write a rap song out of his vocabulary words. He had to put the words in and be able to have others understand their meaning (if they didn't already know) through the context. He got to preform it for the class. I wish I could have seen that. His teacher said it was hilarious!

Friday, August 14, 2009


Maysen has the sniffles. And a cough. And she feels hot. I hope this doesn't last. I hope she feels better by Monday. She is suppose to give a talk in primary on Sunday. She doesn't have very many Sundays left in primary anymore. I know she is anxious to leave, but I hate to see her go. I wish I could stop time right now. I feel my family is at a perfect spot. Except that Preston will never go to bed, but other than that it's perfect.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Preston is still up. Nights are so hard on days that Preston has a nap. I love it when he takes a nap and I hate it when he takes a nap.

Stockton is so wonderful with him. Even when Preston screams, Stockton uses the sweetest voice to talk to him. Stockton doesn't complain about listening to Twinkle-Twinkle Little Star over and over every night. Stockton usually climbs into Preston's bed to cuddle with him. Mike always moves him back after he is asleep.

Stockton always tells me "it was worth it to have Preston". I love how much my boys love each other.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fruit Pizza

Preston and I had lunch with Maysen today. He was very excited to see her at school. He burst into tears when I dropped Stockton and Jorja off. Then was so upset when Maysen was dropped off. As we were leaving lunch, he gave Maysen a hug and said, "Maysen come home". I guess school has been the hardest on Preston.

Jorja had her first day of P.C. She LOVED it! She is so excited that Emma is in her class. I hope she will always be this excited to learn.

Maysen had a better day in PE. I hope she likes it more. They only do PE for nine weeks, and I think it's required. They are going to do basketball, flag football, ultimate frisbee and running. Maysen is excited about none of it. At least she is loving her art class.

I cooked dinner today and made a fruit pizza. It's not as beautiful as Rachel's creations, but at least it was tasty! Well, Mike and I thought it was tasty. The kids did not.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


As I sat wondering what to blog about today, Mike walked in and said, "I love having junk around the house". Then he proceeded to show me his camera stabilizer he has made from junk lying around his workshop.

Mike is hoping to teach classes on how to make movies and robots and stuff. He's been working on that in between job interviews. Almost all his job options have ended the same way. Right for the job but we decided to hire internally, or not at all.

We're still doing fine though. I think I'm going to start substituting again. I'm starting to get that ball rolling. The last time I substituted, I swore I wouldn't do it again. My mom had just died. I remember because I was transcribing her funeral during my lunch break. I was asked to sub in a 5th grade class for 2 days.

When I got there, the teacher left these lovely instructions: Clean and return the popcorn machine, put the desks where they belong, have the students punch a hole in the top right corner of the notecards. He left me a gigantic stack of notecards. That is what he wanted his class to do for two days. It was torture.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Car Wash

Mike and the kids washed our cars today. The plan was to wash the cars and go swimming. When we arrived at the pool, it was closed! Rotten surprise! Preston was NOT HAPPY.
Mike & Maysen

Sunday, August 9, 2009


The beginning of school comes with way too much paperwork. Yuck!

In Sacrament Meeting, a speaker gave a talk on the importance of family history work. She said that keeping a journal is family history. Mike looked at me and said, "Blog, blog, bloggidy blog". I'm glad I'm doing this, even some days it's a pain and I have nothing to say. It will be nice in the future. I wish I had done better journaling when Maysen was a baby. There are so many wonderful things I have forgotten. I also know how happy I was when I found the letters my mom wrote home. I'm so happy my mom spent the time to write them, and even more happy my grandma had the foresight to keep them! Those letters have become priceless to me. I was so worried driving home from Utah that we would get in a car accident and the letters would be destroyed before my brothers had a chance to read them.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Jakob's Twelve

Maysen went to her friend, Jakob's party today. They bowled. Maysen looked pretty miserable by the end. She told me later that she was upset she couldn't eat the pizza. She wanted the pizza, but her mouth hurt too much.

Maysen gave Jakob three presents. The first one was a giant Hershey bar. She took off the wrapper and labeled it Ambrosia. The second was a can of nectar. The 3rd was a ball point pen. That one was accompanied by a card that said, "Warning - This pen slays monsters" Jakob thought it was pretty funny.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Today Stockton took us to the balloon festival. He had to plan an evening out for one of his scout requirements. Everyone had a great time. The girls got their face painted and the kids each got a balloon animal. They played on jumpy things and watched the hot air balloons inflate. We didn't wait in line to get a ride because it was too long! And they only took you up ten feet. Tomorrow they are balloon races and other such nonsense.

When we got home, I tied a super long string onto the balloons (not the balloon animals). Now, when they go to the top of the vaulted ceilings, it is no problem. Why didn't I think of this years ago?
Mike & Preston



Thursday, August 6, 2009

First Day of School

Wow! Today we sent the kids back to school. Maysen and I dropped Jorja and Stockton off at Elementary School, then we headed to Middle School. What? My baby's in middle school? I think I'm having a panic attack about now.

I met Maysen at lunch today to give her some more medicine. It was nice to talk to her during the day because I was so curious as to what was going on! She has been placed in gifted reading and gifted math, but they didn't put her in band. I'm struggling with what to do on that one. I think I'm not going to transfer her into band. I really want her to experience it, but I don't know if the positives at this point outweigh the negatives.

Everyone seemed to have a good day. I spent a lot of time in the car pool line. I guess we will just wait and see what the year has in store for us!
First day of school!
Jorja ~ 1st grade
Maysen ~ 6th grade
Stockton ~ 4th grade

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Today was a day of dental work. We started off with Maysen and Jorja going to the dentist. We dropped Jorja off and headed to the orthodontist. Maysen got her appliance out. She has had that in since December 6, 2005. It's easy to remember because it was the day Grandma Honey died.

Anyway, I talked to the orthodontist and he wanted to put braces on her. I told him we are hoping to move, but we decided to do it anyway. I would hate to put it off especially if we are not able to move. She will need to have her braces on for about 15-18 months. 12 if we everything goes perfect.

School starts tomorrow. What a lucky, lucky girl. When we left the orthodontist's office, Maysen said to me, "Never do that to me again!"

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

We Met the Teachers

Today was the open house at the schools. We were able to find out who will be teaching Jorja and Stockton. I am so happy with them! Jorja has Mrs. Latham and Stockton has Mrs. Catlin. I was really hoping for both of them. I am so excited for Stockton to have Mrs. Catlin this year. I know she is the kind of teacher he desperately needs.
Mrs. Latham & Jorja
Mike & Stephanie (and my extra 10 pounds! -Ugh)
Jorja & Stockton
Stockton & Mrs. Catlin
Maysen went to her school, it seemed a little disorganized. I couldn't figure out what was going on. Maysen and her very good friends are all in the same homeroom class, but they said that it would change in a few weeks. Drat. She doesn't get her schedule until the first day of school! I think that's nuts!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Gateway Arch

On the way home, we stopped by the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. It took longer than we expected, but I'm glad we stopped by.
Jorja loved this hat
In order to get to the top of the arch, you have to ride these little space age looking elevator tubes. It seats five, so our entire family was able to get in. (Preston was on my lap). At the top, there are tiny windows that you can look out of. The ride up was so funny because Mike did not like it! I didn't realize how much he didn't like heights. Maysen and I got such a kick out of it.

At the top by the windows
Jorja took this picture

We got home at 5:30 in the morning. Tough, tough, tough.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Lincoln, Nebraska

Three little ones are asleep in the room as I type. Jorja is still awake. She had a long nap in the car. We left Steve & Shannon's about 9:30 in the morning. Now we are in Lincoln, Nebraska. Preston had a rough trip this time. He wanted to sit on my lap and didn't understand why I wouldn't let him. I am so tired, so now I am going to bed.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

My Dad Is Retired!

This morning we got up early and went through the Salt Lake Temple with John & Cassie and my dad and Cathy. The temple was amazingly beautiful. We loved hanging out in the Celestial Room. My dad knew a guy who was working there. He took us around to different parts of the temple that you don't usually get to see. It was very interesting.
Stephanie & Mike
Cathy, Dad, Stephanie, Cassie & John
After the temple, we picked up the kids and went to the park for a little retirement party for my dad. We (the six kids and their spouses) gave my dad a laptop. He really liked it. Cathy and her kids gave him software to put on it and my grandma gave us $50. My dad spent it on a presentation remote. My dad's going to need that when he gives his classes at BYU's education week.
Dad, Maysen, Bubs, Grandma
Preston at the park
A whole bunch of Millburns
Between the park and my dad's house, we ran up to the cemetery. We have never seen Jessica's tombstone before. It was hard to get a picture of it because the sprinklers were on. We stopped by our moms graves as well. I love how they are all buried at the same cemetery.

Two scary things happened today. While we were at the temple, Preston got out of Steve & Shannon's house. He went out the back door and someone had left the gate opened. Shannon heard him crying outside. He has a gigantic goose egg on the back of his head. We think he followed a dog into the neighbors garage. I'm glad he found his way back.

When we were at my dad's house, Jorja was playing in the back yard. Preston needed a diaper change, so I went outside to get the diaper bag. I see Kenny (my dad's dog) running around like crazy. I get him back in the house. I'm changing Preston when Kenny starts barking like mad. Some people knocked on the door and asked if we knew who this little girl was. Jorja had chased after Kenny and had gotten lost. She didn't recognize the front of my dad's house at all.

I can't believe that happened twice on the same day. I hate dogs. Sorry dog lovers out there, but they just creep me out. I don't have a lot of good dog memories . . . gross.