Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Are!

I are! I must have heard that phrase three dozen times today. Anything you say to Preston he answers, "I are". Preston watch out, Preston get down, Preston say please, Preston stop jumping . . . I always reply, "I am. Preston say I am." He responds, "No! I are!" I tell him "I are doesn't make any sense." He screams "I are does make sense!" Lovely.

We had a wonderful Halloween. It was two years ago yesterday that I had my surgery. So glad that is over with! We went to trunk-or-treat at church. They had a cake walk, spider cookies to make, balloon pop, beanbag toss, fishing, hamburgers, hot dogs and of course - trunk or treat. Stockton was very fast and filled up his bucket to the brim. I'm not sure how often he went to every trunk . . .

Tonight we played Mario Kart and Mario Party on the projector downstairs while we hid from the regular trick-or-treaters. We decided not to buy candy this year for obvious reasons. Mike said we should make this a family tradition. Mike also put the projector on in the basement classroom and Preston and Jorja played Webkinz in there. Spoiled, spoiled children.
Preston as a blue puppy
Jorja with her homemade puppy costume
Maysen as a dragon ~ of course
Maysen and Mike have been working on Maysen's dragon costume for awhile now. Mike wanted to get Maysen's wings to be automatic, but then decided against it. He was worried someones fingers would get pinched. When it was time to go, we couldn't find Maysen. We took several trips around the church looking for her. I asked Gina if she had seen her, she said, "No . . . wait, is that her coming through the forest?" Maysen was standing at the edge of the forest with her wings spread daring people to enter. Pretty funny. Mike said that awhile ago he had chased her in there (Mike was a knight) but had assumed she had come out. Maysen had been playing in the forest for ten minutes before we found her. She had been having a great time. Luckily our trunk-or-treat was in the afternoon . . .

Stockton wore his "THIS IS MY HALLOWEEN COSTUME!" shirt. This is the third year in a row with it. Suits him just fine.

Jorja was a witch at school, but wanted to wear her homemade puppy costume today. She was very proud of it.

Preston wanted to be a puppy. I convinced him that his costume was a blue puppy. He was just fine with it - thank heavens!

Another Halloween under our belt. The girls sure love Halloween more than I do. Stockton and I are alike in so many ways.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Rocket Derby

Stockton had a rocket derby for scouts today. They have been working on their rockets at scouts this month. Today they went to a park and launched them. Mike said Stockton had a lot of fun. I stayed home with the kids and let Mike and Stockton have all the fun in the rain. So glad it's Friday

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Loving Angels

Maysen has started working on her Personal Progress for YW. She chose to: “Make your home life better. For two weeks make a special effort to strengthen your relationship with a family member by showing love through your actions. Refrain from criticizing or speaking unkindly, and watch for positive qualities in that person. Write notes of encouragement, ……… etc.” I told Maysen I thought that was a good one to start with, and I thought the family member needed to be Jorja.

So, a few days ago, Maysen left Jorja a note on her bed. She signed it “Your Loving Angel”. Pure innocent Jorja finds the note and shows it to me. She has an expression of complete amazement. Only then did I realize that Jorja would think there was literally an angel leaving her notes. Jorja writes back and asks what her name is, how old is she, what does she look like. Maysen wrote and said that she couldn’t tell her her real name, but Jorja could call her Pippa. Meanwhile, Mike and I are trying to convince Maysen to let Jorja know that she is not literally an angel. This is the note that Maysen left for Jorja this morning: Dear Jorja, I am not a real angel, but I am your good friend. I know you will be nice to your brothers and sister because I can’t write to you if you annoy them. Love, Your Loving Angel.

Yes Maysen, I’m sure you have mastered the spirit of the challenge. Next Family Home Evening lesson should be on how you shouldn’t use acts of charity to get what you want. I love my children! They always surprise me in unexpected ways.

Maysen finished her two weeks today. She left Jorja her last note. At the end she said, "I will always be Your Loving Angel. -Maysen" Jorja was so surprised. We talked about how much her sister loves her. I also asked Jorja if she recognized Maysen's handwriting. Jorja said no, but she thought it looked like Robyn Sparkles (the tooth fairy) handwriting. Jorja ran down to Maysen and thanked her for the notes. They gave each other the sweetest hug. I sure do have two beautiful and loving angels.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm Sticky

I've been sticky for awhile,
In fact, it's been an hour,
I turned the water on and
Found it was a peanut butter shower!

I blew some bubble gum,
It exploded in my face,
I stepped into the mud,
And tripped on first base.

I attracted the bees
And they swarmed to my side,
I ran home with bee stings
And honey from the hive.

I'm messy, I'm sticky
Now I've told you why,
Can I get back in the shower,
The peanut butter's now dry.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Maysen's Busy Day

Wow! What a day. Run, run, run, run, run. I have been substituting in special ed this week. I will be with the same class all week. It sure is different than what I am use to. It is fun to be at the same school as Stockton and Jorja. During my lunch break today I volunteered in Jorja's class. I give them a math test every Tuesday. Jorja got 100%.

Maysen had her first official babysitting job today. She babysat for two little boys named Jaxson and Harrison. Jaxson is 3 and Harrison is 1. After babysitting I took her straight to pottery lessons. She has been loving that. This was her third lesson. Brooke has been teaching her how to use the pottery wheel. She about fell into bed after her bath. Busy, busy, busy day.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Jorja!

Jorja is now seven years old! She had a great birthday this year. She was able to finally have her best friend come over. Emma rode home from school with us and spent the evening here. Jorja and Emma had the best time together. Jorja loved showing Emma around her house. Jorja ended up with quite a few presents, but her favorite was . . . two frogs! We got her two tiny frogs that she has named Jorja and Emma. Happy birthday to the sweetest, kindest, lovingest girl around. I love you Porge!
Jorja & Stephanie (Maysen made Jorja's necklace)
Emma & Jorja

Happy birthday Lincoln! We love you too!
(And Cameron Molen - miss him!)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jorja's Cake

Despite my best efforts of being prepared, I did not make it. Jorja's birthday is tomorrow. I thought I had everything ready for her cake, but things just kept going wrong. Oh well, there is a frog on it, so she will love it. Now I'm off to wrap presents.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Something's Different

A few days ago, Mrs. McLendon asked Stockton to write a poem for a contest. She needed the poem a few days later. Stockton could choose to write from one of the following themes: "My Wish for the World...", "What My Family Means to Me..." or "The World as I See It..." Stockton chose the last one. This is his poem:

Something's Different

My shirt is white!
The sky is maroon!
But gray is still
the color of the moon!

The grass is purple!
It's stuck in my sight!
Zebras are black
and now are striped white!

The sun is blue!
What I'm trying to say -
Inverted colors
are what I see today


Friday, October 23, 2009

Fall Festival

Finished! We had the fall festival today. It rained all day. We were worried. They ended up doing most of the festival inside. Mike was able to get a prime location and set up in the main office. We were so busy. We took pictures of pirates, princesses, witches, jedis and race car drivers. We charged $1 a photo - mostly so we wouldn't be completely overrun with people. Mike has a lot of work ahead of him, but the pictures look fun. The kids loved it. Here are a few of the example pictures we had up . . . except the one of me, that one I took just for fun.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jorja Loves Frogs

We had the biggest surprise today. Jorja got a package from Grandma Parry. I wasn't expecting anything. Jorja's birthday is on Monday, but I didn't make her wait. When she opened up the box, she found a new blanket waiting for her! The blanket was covered in FROGS! My kids love the blankets from Grandma. When I say they love them, they love them to pieces. Maysen's blanket was in shreds after 12 years of loving. Jorja has several holes just beginning in hers. I had asked Grandma to make Maysen a new blanket, but I never asked for a new one for Jorja. This was a complete surprise. This new blanket is the same pattern as her old one, just with frogs on top. Jorja is in heaven! She thinks it is the coolest thing ever! She has even started to write a story about it.
Jorja's new blankie
Jorja discovered that her new blanket is even personalized! Grandma stitched JORJA LOVES FROGS!!! She loved that!
She also loved the RIB-IT-RIB-IT-IT-IT that Grandma stitched. It was like finding an amazing treasure. She was so happy!
Jorja wanted to pose with some frogs. She grabbed a few handy ones. I told her I was going to put the picture on my blog. She said, "Well, these are not all my frogs, only a couple."

What a wonderful surprise. Thank you grandma! I only cried a little - when no one was watching. Thank you for loving my children. I wish we lived in Idaho and you could teach me how to make these fantastic quilts. I love you more than you could ever know. Just when I think I can't love you anymore, you go and do something like this! Amazing.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Little Pirate Porge

Mike has been working on his booth for the fall festival. He has a cool green screen and the kids have had a great time taking pictures with it. This one of Jorja is my favorite so far. It is suppose to storm on Friday. I hope not, Mike has worked so hard on his booth. He's hoping to drum up interest on his movie making/technology classes. If you have any extra room in your prayers, pray it doesn't rain on our parade!
Pirate Porge
Maysen reminded me about a cute story involving Preston. Maysen brought home her gym clothes and lock because the quarter just ended. I was hoping she wouldn't have gym again (they switch every quarter and you don't find out until you go to school that day -- drives me CRAZY!!!) I even wrote an e-mail to the principal asking Maysen not to have PE. But, she does. So we will try it one more quarter. Anyway, I needed Maysen's lock to send back to school with her. I couldn't find it anywhere. I searched all the logical places. I was about to give up and go to the store to get her a lock when Maysen asked Preston if he knew where a red lock was. He said yes and took Maysen to his car that he rides on. The car has a secret compartment - low and behold it was there! Why don't I ever think to look in Preston's hiding places? When will I learn?

On another note, report cards came out today. Maysen had all A's. Her lowest grade was 94% in Gifted Math. She's pretty hot stuff. Stockton and Jorja did excellent as well.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Substitute Teaching

I have started Substitute Teaching. I started almost two weeks ago. I have been able to sub every day at the school Stockton and Jorja go to. It has been pretty fun, and very busy. It is fun to see Jorja and Stockton during the day. I always managed to keep myself busy before this, but now I have no time at all. I miss Preston. At least Mike is with him so I know he is having a great time. When I come home, Preston will run up to me, give me a big hug and say, "I missed you so much Mom!" He is growing so fast . . . and seems to be growing faster and faster every day. Slow down little baby! - after you're potty trained.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Halloween Party

Every year April & Brooke throw a Halloween party. They had it this past Friday. Maysen babysat and did an excellent job. We've had her watch the kids before, but not for so long. She also got all the kids, including Preston to bed. That is no easy feat. I feel like Mike and I have so much freedom now, although we still rarely go anywhere ~ it's just too dang fun being home.
Mike & Stephanie

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Mike and I have been looking for a saying we could put in Maysen's room with vinyl letters. We were looking for a cool quote, then Mike had an idea to use a quote from one of Maysen's stories. When Maysen showed me this quote she had written for her new book, I knew we had a winner. "Different. There's so much power in that word, it almost scares me." I loved this quote and thought it fit Maysen perfectly. Now we need to get pictures for her frames.
I realized I have never put pictures up of Maysen's finished room. We have a few small things left to do, but it is pretty much done. Maysen loves her calendar on the wall. On the purple board Mike writes her Portuguese words of the week. She loves that.

Maysen's alarm ~ very loud
Maysen just told Mike that she needs to be careful around me. She said, "I left my talk in the car and mom puts it on the blog, I show her my stories and she puts it on my wall!" Well, she is just too amazing to keep to myself. Love you!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Today Jorja decided she wanted to do a store. She decided this after we used all the Clorox wipes on our cleaning day. It was empty, so she thought it would make a good bank. What good is a bank without someplace to spend your money? Maysen & Stockton played along with her. I bought a blue rock, two bookmarks and a pencil eraser. They cost me 6 pirate coins.
Jorja's Store
Stockton's Store

Maysen's Store

Friday, October 16, 2009

He Made It!

Stockton made the Reading Bowl team! He tried out for the Chapter Book team. He did great! In order to get on the team, you had to read the four chapter books they assigned and score 80% or better on the AR tests. Today, everyone that hadn't been eliminated competed in a mini-reading bowl. There were no teams, it was all individual. Stockton was amazing. He actually ended the competition with the highest score: 120. His good friend, Nicholas, made the team as well ~ we are excited about that. Congratulations Stockton! We are so excited for you!
Stephanie & Stockton
Stephanie, Mike & Stockton

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mrs. Peter's Birthday Cake

When Maysen started Kindergarten, Shannon sent her this book. She has always loved it. So, today for dinner we set up a tent in our front room, layed down a tablecloth and I read this book to them. After we all had Mrs. Peter's Birthday Cake. It was actually pretty good.
Story Time
Mrs. Peter's Birthday Cake
Jorja approved
In other exciting news, we also finished the New Testament today! We are starting the Book of Mormon again so that Jorja will be able to finish it before she turns 8. She is really excited to start reading it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Young Women's

Maysen had her very first Young Women's activity tonight. Of course I had to document the occasion.
Maysen and the other Beehive, Amy
Sister Massey (Beehive advisor) & Maysen
Sister Prillaman taught the girls how to make bracelet's for today's activity. Sister Prillaman was Maysen's Activity Days leader for about three years. Today felt just like old times.
Maysen & Sister Prillaman
Amy is about six months older than Maysen. I am so happy to have Maysen with her again! I was thrilled when they moved into our ward. Not only does Maysen have someone to be with, but Amy is the type of person you hope your children will want as their friend. Plus Amy and Maysen just get each other.
Maysen & Amy
Sister Nutter & Maysen
Heather Nutter is the Young Woman's leader. She wasn't thrilled I was putting this picture on my blog, so I buried it deep down here. Funny story about Heather. A couple of years ago we served together in the Primary Presidency. (She was also my pianist while I was the primary chorister, so we have worked together a lot). My cousin, Heather Nielson, was pregnant with her third child and I was waiting to hear her ultrasound results. My cell phone rang and I saw Heather flash. I grabbed the phone and said, "Is it a boy or a girl?" The response was, "what?" Again I asked, "Is your baby a boy or a girl". Heather NUTTER started laughing. Whoops. Guess I should be more careful.....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

To IB or Not IB

I went to an International Baccalaureate meeting today. I have had mixed feelings about this program. The meeting was very good and calmed some of my most pressing fears. If we are still here in Georgia we definitely want Maysen to participate. The school she would be going to scares me, but if she is in the IB program a lot of my fears would be eased. I wonder how the IB program works in Utah? I don't think she would have the issues of me being scared for her if she is not in the program . . . So many decisions to make . . . Maybe I can talk her into not getting any older - wonder how that would work out?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Greed and Jealousy

Each of the kids take turns giving a Family Home Evening lesson. Usually we have them pick a topic out of the bucket. Sometimes they want to give their lesson on a specific topic. Sometimes we have very interesting/unusual lessons. Stockton gave our FHE lesson this week. He picked his own topic. This is his lesson:

My lesson is about greed and jealousy. I've written a short story about this topic. At the end, explain who was the better example and why:

Bobby and Moe were playing with a toy robot. Moe was winding it up. He was about to let it go when Bobby snatched it from Moe's hands. "I want it, so it's MINE!" "Bobby!" Said Moe, "Wait your turn!" Bobby shouted "NO!" Moe looked on the ground and saw the robot on the floor. He looked up and saw Bobby's arms folded and his head turned away from him. So Moe took the robot off the floor casually like if his pencil had dropped. "HEY, YOU GREEDY MORON! I DIDN'T SAY MY TURN WAS UP! GIVE IT TO ME RIGHT NOW!" Bobby tried to take it from Moe's hands but Bobby pulled a little too hard . . . Normally, both of the boys would have gripped and pulled intensely and the robot would snap in half and break. But this time, Bobby pulled it from Moe easily, but without much grip. It flung behind him and headed toward the wall at 40 MPH. And I bet you can guess what happened next . . . You got it! The toy robot suddenly stopped heading toward the wall and instantly fell straight downward at the floor. And then it landed on the floor unharmed. Bobby and Moe looked at each other. They both tried to grab it. "STEP ASIDE BOZO, I'M A FEROCIOUS VAMPIRE WITH DEADLY FANGS!" But before Bobby could even tough it, the toy robot suddenly opened up it's body and sent a flash of light at him. He was suddenly warped to the 18th dimension.

It was a little hard to understand Stockton because of his constant giggling. He could barely get the words out. Plus, Preston was jumping up and down and jabbering about something or the other. I think he wanted us to sing the B-I-N-G-O song again. We sang that for the opening song along with ABC's and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. But, as Elder Bednar pointed out, it is the consistency that truly matters.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Maysen had to give a talk in Sacrament Meeting today. Her topic was Faith. She wrote the entire thing herself. This is her talk:

Hello everyone. I'm Maysen Smith and I just turned twelve. I was asked to give a talk today about Faith. We all know what Faith is, believing in something you can't see.

I was reading Portuguese scriptures with my dad the other day, and I asked him about the brother of Jared. I remembered the boats that were shaped like watermelons, and how he got the stones lit by having faith in God. What I asked was, "What was Jared doing in all of this?" He replied, "He was trying to convince his brother to go pray and figure out the lights somewhere else."

Many people have faith in the scriptures. Nephi and Lehi had faith. Laman and Lemuel did not. Joesph and Hiram Smith had faith. They were killed because of it. But they never denied God. The Savior promised, "if ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me." Moroni 7:33.

Faith is a gift from God, but we must care for it. If exercised, it grows strong. If left alone, it becomes weak. One way to exercise our faith is by prayer. Another is fasting. Another, keeping the commandments. And reading the scriptures.

My family is almost finished with reading the New Testament in the bible from Matthew to Revelation. We will finish next week if we read a chapter each school day. Then we will once again start the Book of Mormon, this time with my sister, so we can finish it before she turns eight.

Baptism is important to be able to return to God. In some churches, babies are baptized quickly, because apparently "because they are descendants of Adam and have come into the world with sin." We do not believe that, though. According to the second article of faith, "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam's transgression."

My favorite prophet is Abinidi. He had faith, even as he was burning in the fire. He was able to convince one of the kings advisers, Alma, about the church. Alma had faith that Abinidi's words were true. He ran away to a grove and started preaching about the church. He was able to convince and baptize many people.

Having faith in Jesus Christ means relying completely on Him; trusting his infinite power, intelligence and love. We must express our faith through our actions. Jeffery R. Holland spoke of Tithing Years once, specifically the decade from 12 years to 22. I have entered that decade.

This past week, I've been practicing, doing my best to show kindness and not speak harsh words. To help others and put their feelings first, and not my own. I am sure that's what Jesus would do.

I hope that when I die one day, I can be in the celestial kingdom. I will be able to see my grandmothers, and all other family members. I will see Heavenly Father and Jesus. I have faith that I will. I know They love us. We love Them. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Maysen did such a good job. She surprised the daylights out of Mike and I when she decided to quote Moroni 7:33 in Portuguese. We weren't expecting that at all! I'm proud of you Maysen. It is such a joy to watch you grow!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Maysen!

Maysen turned 12 years old today. Crazy, I know. We had a long, enjoyable, sunny, day. Maysen decorated her cake first thing this morning. I put her hair in a pony tail to keep it out of the way. She told me to take a picture because I might not ever see her with a pony tail again. I obliged.
Maysen ~ 12 years old

Several years ago, we told our kids they could have a birthday party when they had an even number birthday. Maysen decided she wanted to have a vegetable car race party. The kids all brought different vegetables. Mike helped them carve them, and then they raced them down a track. I took a lot of pictures, but I'm unable to access them right now. . . .

Maysen had a great time at her party and let us know over and over how happy she was with it. After cake and presents they played a squirt bottle game, then 'Do You Love Your Neighbor'. Even Preston got in the action.
Maysen & Jorja
After the party, we had a few more gifts to give Maysen. Things I had been collecting all year. We got her an alarm clock I picked up when I was with Ange & Rachel in May. I'm excited to have this small, cute clock instead of the obnoxious pirate clock she loves. Maysen had been hinting for a long time that she wanted birthday jammies. She loves the Carters feet jammies. She fits into their biggest size, so this is the last year for them. That is right . . . Maysen is now 12 and she fits into a Carters size 7. I had to get the jammies at an outlet mall . . . about an hour away. When I was there, I noticed a croc outlet. $5 crocs. I picked up some for the kids, along with croc church shoes for Maysen.
Stockton & Maysen
Notice Maysen is wrapped in her new blanket!
She also loves the new Webkinz Dragon Evan gave her: Volcano
Birthday Jammies
Maysen's biggest present was pottery lessons. One of my friends in our ward teaches pottery lessons. She will most likely be moving at the end of the year. Her husband will have finished graduate school. I couldn't pass up this opportunity for her. Maysen is so excited.

Quick Maysen story. Maysen was talking about her new alarm clock. She was excited that it snoozed for 5 minutes. She has it set for 5:55. There is a rule in our house that no one is allowed up before 6. All morning kids here! Maysen said, "This will be good. It will give me time to stretch and rub the sleep from my eyes." Mike started laughing and said, "Rub the sleep from your eyes?" She stomped away laughing and said, "Well, I'm an author!"

Okay, another quick Maysen story. Tito, Jakob's mom, told me she had been after Jakob to find out what Maysen would want for a present. Jakob came home and told his mom that Maysen wanted an editor for her birthday. Nice.

I am so lucky to have Maysen in my life. She has brought me unimaginable joy. I love you Maysen! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!