Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I Am A Dragon Lover

I am a dragon lover
I wonder who else believes in these creatures
I hear their voices in my ears
I see them when I sleep
I want to write stories about them
I am a dragon lover

I pretend I am with the dragons I write
I feel the pain they feel
I touch their hearts one by one
I worry about their fates
I cry when I write another one lost
I am a dragon lover

I understand my dragons
I say it's for their own good
I dream about them almost every night
I try to preserve their home on the pages
I hope the story is right
I am a dragon lover


Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Jorja is in the bumblebee class for the first grade garden. The other classes are frogs, caterpillars, butterflies, etc. Jorja drew this bumblebee herself . . . found the foam herself . . . she is just so, so cute! And sweet!

Today I went and got my fingerprints (finally) taken so I could substitute teach. I had been waiting forever. I have had everything turned in for over three weeks, but the district had to schedule the fingerprint appointment. Very frustrating.

Anyway, I was suppose to bring my drivers licence, SS card and a $40 cashiers check. I got the check yesterday and about an hour before I needed to leave I got the lockbox down so I could get out my SS card. It wasn't there! Mine was the only card missing! I went through the box again and it still wasn't there. I ran downstairs and got Mike to help me. We tore apart the house looking for the card. We looked through all my drawers, the filing cabinet, my purse, my necklace purse . . . it was nowhere to be found. I said several prayers as I was frantically searching for my card. Each time I felt peaceful and calm, but I still didn't have any idea where my card was. I was about to give up and go without it when I remembered Mike reorganized the kitchen while I was at John's wedding. I asked if he remembered where he put the contents of the drawer by the fridge. He pointed to a box in the office that I was suppose to go through. We dove into the box, and low and behold, it was there! I did a little dance and flew out the door! (After saying a very heartfelt prayer of gratitude!)

Prayer is an interesting thing. It is something that is really hard for me. I always have a prayer in my heart, as I say many, many little prayers a day. But the long, deep personal prayers are a real struggle. My problems with prayer begin right after my mom died. The day she died. I didn't say a prayer for 10 years. A real prayer I mean. I would say prayers over food and with our family, but my nightly personal prayers were just, "Please don't take Mike" then soon after they evolved to "Please don't take Mike or Maysen. Please be patient with me." I don't know why this was so hard for me. Maybe because I prayed so hard for my mom to live, and then it hurt when I started praying for her to go. I know I could feel a wall around me that I was terrified to bring down. Now more then 13 years have gone by, and I am getting better. That sounds pathetic, doesn't it? But praying isn't as hard for me as it once was, now my problem is getting back into the habit of consistent personal prayer.

Okay, that was a tangent I didn't mean to go on . . . but, I was thinking . . . prayer is interesting. Recently I have felt Heavenly Father's spirit quite often during prayers. About a month ago, Maysen prayed that Mike would be able to "figure out how to do Tec Lab because it sounds really fun". When she said that, the spirit was so strong. I was pondering on what that meant. Did that mean that Mike's idea for Tec Lab would really work? Or did it just mean that my child is so cute and adorable? Was Heavenly Father letting me know that this is what Mike should be putting his efforts towards? Or was it His way of letting me know that I am loved and valued?

Wow. That was a long post. If you managed to get to the end, I congratulate you.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ticket Muncher

After school today, we went to Sparkles. That is the skating rink $1.00 on Mondays. Maysen and Stockton usually have a great time skating around, but today, they were more interested in finding tokens under the various arcade games. Then you couldn't pull them away from the ticket prize booth. What's up with that? Stockton found a couple of tickets on the floor and he went and asked what he should do with them. The lady told him he could keep them. Stockton then noticed that there was a huge twisted mass of tickets....probably 600 in the garbage can. He pulled them out of the trash and went running towards the ticket counter machine. As he passed the prize redemption booth he shouted, "I found all these tickets in the trash!" He proceeded to untangle the tickets and feed them into the ticket counter machine. When the count was around 80, the manager walked up and asked them where they got the tickets. Stockton told him that he found them in the trash. The manager told him they pulled the tickets out of a broken machine and politely asked for them back. Luckily Stockton was okay with that.

Preston was funny. In order to go into the playland, he had to have a wrist band on. He kept his hand clenched into a fist almost the entire time he was there. I don't know if he thought the band would fall off if he opened his hand. It was quite funny to see him crawling up in the playland using only one hand.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tithing Years

Last November, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland came and spoke to our stake. It was a wonderful experience to hear him speak in person. He talked about President Gordon B. Hinckley and how he worked hard until the end of his life. President Hinckley died when he was 97 - for the sake of easy math . . . 100. Elder Holland said that he wanted to ask a tithing of our life. He wanted us to spend 10 years focused on Christ. 10 years where every decision we make, we choose to make the same decision the Savior would. "But I want to tell you the years I want. I want you to give the Lord the years from 12-22."

I have always remembered this talk. I wish that talk was transcribed and I could find it somewhere. I would love to read it. Anyway, the point of this is . . . Maysen just finished her LAST Sunday in Primary. She will be turning 12 soon. So, for Family Home Evening tonight, we talked about Elder Holland's talk. We talked about her tithing years and discussed why these years are so important. We also set some goals for the future. It scares me thinking of Maysen growing up. I know she will make wise decisions, but I want to keep her as my little girl.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Rains Came Down and the Floods Came Up

Warning!!!! This entry has a ton of pictures!!!
Mike got up early this morning to do some flood cleanup. He even got a cool yellow shirt for his efforts.

I have been looking forward to my Stake Primary Leadership Meeting for a couple of weeks. I love going to them. I learn a lot, get re-excited, and I get to spend the 45 minute drive to the Stake Center with Amy Caro! It has been raining off and on all day long, but right as I was about to leave, it started pouring buckets! I kept chanting to myself, "I will not drive through standing water, I will not drive through standing water...." and Mike really did not want me to go. And we have another flood advisory... So, Amy and I missed the meeting. Although soon after we got a call that the meeting after ours (Salad With the Sisters) had been cancelled - maybe ours was as well.
Weather right before my meeting
Stephanie & Preston
Here are some pictures of the flood damage. I swiped these from facebook. I thought they were really interesting. . .
Post Road
Paintball fields at I-20
Six Flags
Batman & Mindbender (& parking lot)
Off Thornton Road ~ Those bright colors are cars
Austell (the city where Jorja was born)
Mobley Creek
Post Road
Kings Highway
Banks Mill
This is why most of our ward had to go so long without water
Wow! What a week we have had. When you watch the news and hear Douglas County. That is us. Mike got a call a couple of hours ago. Anyone who can is suppose to get in their work clothes, skip church and help the cleanup tomorrow. Mike will be there about 7:30 in the morning. He will have to come home and stay with Preston (who is not feeling good enough for nursery) so I can take the older three to church. That will give Mike a little while to rest up before he needs to head out again. He is so sore right now. Thursday he spent several hours unloading water. Man is he feeling it today!

Jorja asked me today, "What would happen if there was a tornado so we had to be in the basement, but a flood so we couldn't be there?" I hope I never discover the answer to that question!

Friday, September 25, 2009


Stockton has been working on his Native American project for school. He was assigned the Kwakiutl tribe. Stockton and Mike made a plank house. I helped Stockton with his report. I was the taskmaster. He needed to do 10 questions, after every question I let him have a 10 minute break. It took us most of the day, but he got it done! Now he needs to color it tomorrow.
Stockton wanted a closeup of his house
Now he wants a closeup of himself!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

No More Boiled Water!

The boil alert has been lifted! We no longer have to boil water. It wasn't too bad. The hardest was using pre-boiled water for brushing our teeth. It was just hard to remember (Mike) and when you brush your teeth with cold bottled water it freezes your gums. I can't emphasize enough how lucky we are here. It's like there was devastation all around us, but we were completely fine. I can't believe it. I don't know what we would have done if our basement had flooded - let alone our entire house! Mike has been spending a lot of time getting the basement ready to teach technology/movie classes . . . one flood would have been awful. I feel so sorry for those around us that weren't as lucky as we were.

Okay, enough about the flood. I have one funny story I don't want to forget. Yesterday, Preston woke up and came and sat on my lap. As we were cuddling he said in the sweetest voice, "Mommy, I sorry your boob fell off". I was so shocked! I asked him what he said. Again, plain as day he said, "I sorry your boob fell off." And once more. Is this a coincidence? Why would he say that? Does he remember when I had my surgeries? How could he? Did the kids say something about it? Is that how they explained what happened to him? I know I never talked to him about it. I had my surgery 11 days before Preston turned 1 . . . I wonder what he remembers from that time of his life. Does he remember that I couldn't pick him up for two months? Does he remember the various people who would put him to bed? I wonder what goes on in that head of his.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

No School

School has been cancelled for the rest of the week, much to the delight of Stockton and Maysen. Poor Jorja loves school.

Today was a relaxing day. I cleaned the bathrooms and did laundry, read with Stockton, taught piano lessons, worked on the Parry Post, enjoyed Teresa when she came over to do laundry, cooked dinner, pretended I was in a puppy parade with Jorja and Preston. Great day.

In other news, Mike's dad just found out he has prostrate cancer. He is in stage 3. Hopefully everything will go as well as when my dad had prostrate cancer, but feel free to keep him in your prayers.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Six Flags Under Water

We had so much fun with our rain day yesterday that I didn't pay much attention to what was really going on. Man is it crazy out there! We are so lucky!!! Especially since all this is happening all around us, but our house and everyone in it is completely fine. I didn't take any pictures of my own, but I snatched the pictures from others.
Six Flags Over Georgia
My super cute ex-neighbor Weston
The neighborhood where the Tingens live
This photo made me laugh!
The most heartbreaking story is that 9 people have died. One was a little boy from Carrollton named Preston. He was 2 years old. The flood washed away the moble home he was living in and he was ripped from his fathers arms. I can't even imagine.

I am so lucky to have my little Preston all safe and sound upstairs. I was just trying to brush his teeth a few minutes ago and I said, "Do you want to do this the easy way or the hard way?" He said, "Hard way" then he looked right into my eyes and said, "It's okay. You can sit on me mommy". Funny. Much funnier then when I tried to put him in timeout yesterday for throwing blocks at Jorja. I held him on the couch for 2 minutes. All of a sudden he screamed "POTTIES" and he went potty all over me, the couch and his stuffed animal. I love that crazy baby.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Snow Day!

It's a snow day! Well, really it's a rain day. It rained so hard last night. Mike opened the windows so we could listen to the thunder. I started wondering if there would be school this morning. I usually don't have the windows open, so I wasn't sure if the storm was as bad as I thought. About 6 am, I started to sneak downstairs. Maysen was on the stairs watching the storm out of the big window. We sat and watched the rain for awhile. Peaceful.

Anyway, school was closed today. It will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday as well. Several roads washed out and the water lines were damaged. We have to boil our water. We are lucky. We have water from our faucets and our basements didn't flood!

Today was wonderful. The girls, Mike and I played Dragonology. I won - I love that. Maysen and I baked a cake - Maysen loves that. Maysen loves everything about Halloween. She has been wanting to try out our new cake pan. I keep telling her she needs to wait until I finish the Parry Post. The Parry Post isn't done, but today was calling for bonding with my daughter! We had a great time and Maysen did a fantastic job!
Maysen & Stephanie
Mike cutting the cake like it's a Thanksgiving turkey!
Spooky 1/2 house
We decided to watch Marley & Me tonight. I need to preview movies before I let me kids see them. Maysen & Stockton left 1/2 way through. I was proud of them for leaving the movie when they didn't feel comfortable. Mike, Jorja and I finished the movie. Jorja and I took turns putting pillows over our eyes. And some singing in ears was going on as well. It's just not worth the stress watching a movie like that. The movie wasn't terrible, but when you are watching it with your children you are aware of every inappropriate moment.

Last night when I went to check on the boys, they looked so cute I made Mike go get the camera. Stockton was in his own bed when we left them. Preston was probably so scared of the thunder. Stockton is such a great brother. I love how they love each other.
Stockton & Preston

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Primary Program

Today was our Primary Program. I am the secretary in the primary, but I have also been doing the music. I am so glad to have the program over with. I did not feel comfortable or confidant with any of the songs. I know it is because I wasn't the one who originally taught the songs to the children. I am so glad to have it over with!

Stockton was the first one to speak. He was very excited about that. He did great. He spoke clearly and everyone could understand him. He had his entire part memorized. Jorja also memorized her part and did perfect. Maysen was the last to speak. She is the oldest in the primary. She had a two minute talk. While we were waiting for church to start, Maysen realized she left her talk at home. She did great though. Not one person was able to tell she forgot her talk. She is a great speaker.

I am now sleepy and am headed for bed.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cougars Got Creamed!

I was so excited to watch the BYU/Florida St. game tonight. Especially when I discovered we had Versus. I had no idea we had that station. Too bad BYU had such a rough night. Oh well, at least I got a lot done on my Christmas stocking. It would have been torture sitting through that without it! I was thankful I didn't watch that game with my brothers!

Friday, September 18, 2009


Mike had a wonderful plan to take the girls to see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs tonight. We have two different theaters, each are about a half hour away. Mike took the girls to the Carrollton theater. When he got there, they told him their projector wasn't working. Too bad, he could have gone to the theater in Douglasville.

Anyway, instead they stopped at Red Box and got Coraline. Maysen just finished reading the book in her reading class. It was enjoyable, although I would have preferred them leaving out a few choice words..... Stockton and Maysen seemed to like it. Jorja was very scared. Preston jumped up and down on the popcorn bag and caused all sorts of mischief during the movie. Jorja is now sleeping with Preston so she won't be scared. She is such a cute little thing.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tips 4 Life

If your teacher asks a question you don't know, raise your hand, wave it & kinda go "ohh,ohh!" Don't be the first person to raise it, or the teacher might call on you. You just want to look smart, but don't cause too much of a disturbance. You'll probably not get called on for being a little noisy, but if you get called on, tough luck!
---Stockton Smith

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

No Conference For Me

At Maysen's school's open house on Monday, they handed out a paper to sign if you wanted a conference with your child's teachers. I filled out the paper and wrote all of her teachers down. I have always gone to Parent Teacher Conference. Today I received a phone call from two of Maysen's teachers. They were confused as to why I would want a conference. Apparently conferences are only for people who are not doing well. I did talk to them about a couple of concerns I have, and her PE teacher is suppose to be calling me so I can talk about a few things with him.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sponge Skating

I usually try not to blog about what Mike does on his Time with Dad nights. But, this was way too cool to leave to his sorry neglected site. Stockton wanted to put sponges on his shoes and clean the floor. Mike hot glued sponges to his and Stockton's shoes, poured soapy water all over the floor and let the good times roll!

I wrote down a couple of quotes I heard Stockton say:

"You're dumb if you think this is boring!"
"This is where tap dancers would come in handy!"
"This floor is so clean!"
"This is better than school!"

We had a blast and I put up way too many pictures. I couldn't decide which was my favorite.



Mike and Stockton started playing hockey with the mop
Maysen trying to figure out a substitute for sponges
Preston thought my Oobies would work!

Maysen trying out her rag skates. Not the same.
Justin came over and joined in on the fun.
Preston took this picture of Justin
And this picture of Stockton
Fun times!
It's days like this that I am fully aware how much I love my life!

Monday, September 14, 2009

School Pictures

Stockton and Jorja brought home their school pictures today.
Stockton ~ 4th grade
Jorja ~ 1st grade
Looks like I was a little off on the scanner. Oh well, I don't want to redo it.

Maysen had an open house at her school tonight. We were able to go through her schedule with each teacher talking to us for about 10 minutes. Maysen's gifted math teacher caught me as we were leaving and said, "I just wanted to let you know, she is one of the top students I have. Her mind is amazing." and other such wonderful things. Nice job Maysen.

I like Maysen's school, but a lot of things they do are just plain idiotic. Maybe all middle schools are like this, I don't know. Anyway, at her school they have three different schedules. The blue schedule is 1,2,3,4,5,6,7. The silver schedule is 3,5,6,4,7,1,2. The white schedule is 6,7,1,4,2,3,5. They rotate these schedules every week! Not only that, but the students are not allowed to carry their backpacks to their class - unless it is the end of the day and they have to because they are not allowed to go to their locker after 7th period. (or 2nd or 5th depending on the schedule). I'm wondering if they are trying to confuse these kids.

On a side note, another idiotic rule is the boys have to tuck their shirts in their pants at all times. Some of Maysen's poor friends don't need any help looking more nerdy. That is a rule that will cause Stockton a lot of trauma if we are still here! Although, I'm sure when we do move, the new school will have plenty of weird rules that I won't quite agree with......