Sunday, February 28, 2010

Busted Bike

Stockton was playing outside last week with his friends. He came in with a huge scrape on his side and his back. He was riding his friends bike and didn't know the brakes were on the handlebars. He went straight down our hill and crashed at the bottom. Later I found out that the bike is pretty much trashed. The front rim is broken. I had Stockton write a note to apologize for breaking his friends bike. We made cookies and walked to their house (Stockton, Jorja and I). Stockton would not let me see his note until he had it printed up and ready to go. This was what he wrote:

It's weird how a person makes the handlebars have the brakes, but if that one is one you like, I'm terribly sorry I busted your bike.

Luckily this family knows Stockton pretty well, so I'm sure they were able to tell that was a sincere apology from Stockton. He just has his own way of doing things. Hopefully he'll never borrow a bike again . . . it was weird that he did that in the first place, because he has his own bike here.

When we turned onto our street on our walk home, we could see Maysen and Preston walking up the street. Preston had come looking for us. Maysen was doing her best to keep him from running away. I locked the door with the dead bolt before we left, but he has figured out how to open it. NOT GOOD.

Stockton had the lesson for family home evening tonight. He gave everyone a paper and said, "Write down everything you know on this paper...until you fill it up." So, we all started writing. After about five minutes, Stockton asked us to look at our paper. He said, "Look at how much you know. You could probably fill a million papers with stuff you know. So, if you get an answer wrong, don't feel know lots of stuff."

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mischief Maker

Preston is three. He is a very busy three year old. His favorite hobby is getting into mischief. Today he climbed the pantry shelves and started dropping the peach fruit cups down . . . and they promptly exploded all over the floor. He likes to stuff toilet paper in the toilet. He likes to 'clean' the bathroom mirrors with germ-x. He likes to hide under buckets. He likes to turn our electric blankets on. He likes to unlock locked doors with pirate coins, and gets very mad when you won't let him take your picture in the bathroom. He likes to take pictures of Jorja while she is trying to sleep. . . . It seems like there is much more. Hopefully Maysen will add some in the comments.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Super Mario Bros.

The kids are in their beds now. They each have a DS and are playing the Super Mario Bros. game Jorja bought on e-bay. It was coming from China, we were starting to get nervous because it hadn't shown up for three weeks. My children love being spoiled - and we love spoiling them!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Jet Pack

Mike has been working hard on making an audition tape for a website he likes. He made a jet pack - it turned out great. He has spent every spare second making his movie to go along with the jet pack. Hopefully he will finish it tonight. After the kids were in bed, he had me put on a space suit (made out of duct tape) and had me wear the jet pack so he could get a close up of the fan. Then he put dry ice in it . . . I'm thinking, 'I hope he knows what he's doing. This would be hard to explain to the authorities . . . ' Anyway, other than my back being a little cold, it went off without a hitch.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Personal History

Maysen had a Personal History night for Young Womens. It was a pretty fun night. Each girl decorated a table to show a little bit about who they are. Maysen's table is below.
Maysen had her My Twinn doll. Her blankets from Grandma Parry. Heart (her dog she sleeps with every night) from Grandma Honey. Pottery. Family scrapbooks. Portuguese Book of Mormon (she reads that with her dad every night). 11 Birthdays (to signify she loves to read). The green folder is one of the stories she has written - her dream is to be an author one day. Last she has her personal progress book.

I told a story about Maysen when she was three. We were planning on going on a Disney Cruise. About two or three months before the trip, Maysen insisted that Mickey Mouse had come to our door and asked her to watch Pluto for him. Maysen then kept her hand in a fist until our trip. For months. Every night before bed she would tie Pluto up. When we finally saw Mickey Mouse, she ran up to him, handed him her invisible leash and said, "Here's Pluto, I took good care of him." I wonder where she gets her imagination from? Oh right, her dad. When she was little she use to tell me that I had no imagination. She was right.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

Mike had a job interview today. He has had quite a few of those lately. It's amazing how many he has had since his Red Hat certification. The job he had today was for a job in Atlanta. The pros about the job are, he would be good at it, it is interesting to him, it is close to the salary he had at his old job and he would work from home when he isn't travelling. The cons are it is in Atlanta and he would be travelling. Mike has also been going through the interviewing process with a job in Utah, but this job in Atlanta would be more enjoyable and they have been pursuing Mike harder.

When we came home from Christmas, we were 100% sure we were going to be in Utah at the end of the school year. We have met with a realtor, had our house painted, been chowing down on food storage . . . now we are not sure what we want to do. It seems there is more to take into account now.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dinner Dice

Stockton came home from school and started straight on his homework. When I got back from picking up Maysen, he wanted me to read to him and then give him a piano lesson. He was motivated! He told me that Seth was coming over and he wanted to play with him. Seth has come over a couple of times now and Stockton has had fun playing BASEBALL with him! It's been great!

Seth and his brothers brought over a jellybean game called Bean Boozled. There is a good flavor of jellybean and a gross flavor, but you don't know which one you are going to get. I had three dog food jellybeans (gross!) before I finally got chocolate pudding.

Jorja has been after me for awhile now to have dinner dice for dinner. This is how dinner dice works. We have six different foods and we each have a die. We go around the table and roll the die to see what food we need to eat. We go around the table until everyone has had at least one of every food. (Although we finally stopped because Stockton couldn't roll a 2 and I never rolled a 1 - thank goodness!)
1 - Jellybeans
2- rolls
3 - mashed potatoes
4 - pot roast with veggies
5 - peaches
6 - chocolate pudding
I didn't say all the choices were healthy! The kids do have a lot of fun having dinner this way, but we don't do it very often.
Jorja - happy with her roll . . I think
Stockton - chocolate pudding!
Uh-oh . . Jorja rolled a 1
Ooooo. Sorry about that Porge.
Preston rolled a 1 but would not eat his jellybean - smart kid
Mike again - poor guy kept rolling ones

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Green Ribbon

Maysen earned her first ribbon towards her Personal Progress award. There are eight ribbons to earn. The ribbons are to go in her scriptures. The green one is for knowledge. Maysen I'm so proud of you! I love your dedication, desire and commitment to your goals. Congratulations!
Maysen with her knowledge ribbon

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Knowledge #3

Maysen and I went to the Pine Mountain Gold Museum today. I had never been there even though you can practically walk there from my house. We learned that the first gold found in this area was probably found around 1826. Also our town use to be named Hixtown (I think. I know it started with Hix).

Maysen and I had a great time walking around the trails on the outside of the museum. It was a beautiful perfect day.

Stephanie - sitting in an old furnace
Back to Maysen - at a fault line

As part of the Knowledge #3 requirement, we needed to go to a museum. Check. We also needed to memorize the 13th article of faith. I've already said it to Maysen, but I will write it here. I am doing it from memory, so there might be punctuation errors - but hopefully not spelling/wording errors.

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous and in doing good to all men. Indeed we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul. We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy we seek after these things.

Wow. It is much harder to type it then it is to say it! I need to write how I can use this article as a guide for all I do so the Holy Ghost will be my constant companion. I have always tried to live my life as honestly as possible. Probably because my mom praised me for my honesty when I was in 9th grade - I still have the letter she wrote me. I love this article. It is so full of hope and joy. It helps me look on the bright side of life, even when I am in the process of enduring a trial. If I am always able to live by this article - honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, doing good to all - and if I choose virtuous, lovely and praiseworthy activities, how can I not feel the companionship of the Holy Ghost? My favorite time of day is when I hear my children pray. I feel the presence of the Holy Ghost. The love of Christ is so strong - it has amazed me how often I have been able to have that feeling lately.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Today I had to check Maysen and Jorja out of school to take them to the dentist. When I scheduled this appointment six months ago, I made sure to schedule it during their break. But, because of the snow days, they were in school. No cavities again, but I need to take Jorja to the orthodontist. Oh boy. Hope her mouth won't be as bad as Maysen's. Maysen has had metal in her mouth since second grade.

Maysen didn't want me to take her back to school. There was about an hour and a half left. I let her talk me into just dropping her off at home (that is SO unlike me!). Jorja also wanted to stay - she only had 30 minutes left. Jorja was sad because they announced her name as a math maniac and she didn't get to hear it. Maysen was happy she didn't go back because she threw up. She seems fine now. I wonder if she is sick or if it just was the dentist. For years the dentist would only let me bring Stockton in first thing in the morning, and he was not allowed to eat anything before he came. That is because he threw up on them almost every time. Luckily he has outgrown that little trait.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Jorja and Preston found my pez collection. They have been playing with all of my pieces. Today, I showed Preston that candy belonged inside the characters. Boy did he love that! Tonight as we were trying to get him to bed he kept crying, "I need pez!"

I was a little worried tonight. Preston ran to the toilet and I heard screaming. He banged his arm into the toilet. He wouldn't move it for about ten minutes. I was starting to get a little nervous. I'm thinking, "If you break your arm by crashing into the toilet . . . " Now that would be a story.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ballroom Dancing

Maysen had a combined activity today. They were doing ballroom dancing. Maysen did not want to go. I wouldn't let her get out of it. For several reasons. First, there are more boys than girls, so she had to show. Also, I loved ballroom dancing while I was growing up, so I wanted her to give it a chance.
Maysen & Josh
Joseph & Maysen
Maysen & Brad
Maysen & Payton
Mike has been working on his movie today. He showed me how much he had done. It was so funny to watch Mike watch his movie. He was laughing so hard. He couldn't even see straight - he was cracking himself up. I wish I had my camera for that.

Mike also had two job interviews today. One for a job in Atlanta and another for a job in Texas. I wonder what our life will be like in a few months. We thought for sure we would be in Utah, but now we don't know. We still want to be in Utah. Wonder what will happen.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Knowledge #1

I have been working on my Personal Progress goals with Maysen. For my value project for Knowledge, I am starting a plan to be more physically fit. I'm going to be walking with Maysen every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I also am going to try to learn how to cook a healthy meal . . . we'll see how that one turns out. I'm not against cooking healthy meals, I'm just against cooking altogether. Good thing Mike loves to cook.

Walking with Maysen has been great. She is so sweet and even said, "When we move to Utah, do you think we can still walk like this?" Our walks are a great time to discuss our personal progress goals. Today we talked about knowledge and why it is important to learn while you are young, and to always learn. We talked about how it is important to be 'book smart', but it is also important to be smart in other areas. For example, when I went to college, I didn't have a clue how to do laundry. I just never thought about it. When I was in high school I worked at a dry cleaners. Every time I worked I was able to have two items dry cleaned for free. I just worked up front with the customers and pricing the clothes, so I never actually cleaned them. When I went to college, I realized I didn't know the first thing about doing laundry. The year before I went away, my mom was always in Idaho visiting her sister who was really sick. I think if things had been different, she would have made sure I knew what to expect. Anyway, I wish I had learned how to do everyday things when I was younger, not just school things. I am still trying to learn how to stay organized. That is the hardest thing for me. I love being organized, but it is so hard for my brain to wrap around how to organize anything. When Mike organizes things for me, I can keep it that way for a long time, I just can't get it there to begin with. It's obnoxious how difficult this is for me. Very frustrating.

I know I am going to enjoy the walks with Maysen. I know I am not going to enjoy 'journaling' on my blog.

Stockton finally spent some of his money. He ordered Mario Kart Double Dash. He has wanted this game for years. He had to order a controller as well, and that is what he has been waiting for. When he saw the mailman, he dashed out of the house to meet her. Along with Jorja and Preston. Now Stockton doesn't want to turn it off because it will lose all his data. Mike is going to look for a memory card while he is out tonight.

Earlier today, Mike brought up a fishing pole. He was setting it up so I could pull a laser tag gun off the wall for something he wanted to film. When Mike walked by Preston, Preston immediately pipes up, "I want it!" He has no idea what it is, but he knows he wants it. He followed Mike around for quite awhile saying, "I want it! I want it!" Silly boy.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Parry Post

I spent most of the day today working on the Parry Post. I can't believe I don't have it finished yet. The kids have three days off of school this week, so I'm hoping to get it done. I can get more done when they are here because Preston has someone to play with. I just finished Mike & Christen's entry. For some reason I put tons of pictures of Skye in, and only one of Larkin. I am too tired to change it, so it will stay that way.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Poems

Happy Valentine's Day! We woke up to breakfast in bed. Jorja brought me up oatmeal, and she brought up Mike Cap'n Crunch. What a sweetheart. Stockton came home from church and made this train track. I thought it was so cute.
Preston, Jorja, Stockton

We tried to have the chocolate fountain . . . only the chocolate wasn't cooperating. It was tasty, but it wouldn't flow right. Preston sure didn't mind.

Yep, Preston loved it!
Jorja made me the flower I have in my hair. She got it off of a gift bag, found a barrette and tied the flower on with string. She is so sweet. I love it. I got lots of compliments on it. Thanks Jorja!
Jorja & Stephanie
Maysen & Jorja's bananagram board
Maysen asked everyone to write a poem for Family Home Evening. Stockton said, "You're going to put this on your blog, aren't you." Why yes, yes I am. Here they are:

I love
Puppies, Unicorns, Blankets
And my green one
And a pen and a coin
Maysen, Stockton, Jorja
and you and mommy and daddy.
And Shiver.

Valentines Day
candy, hug, care
loving, caring, sharing
I like Valentines.

The bug-eyed aliens from Pluto
have a horrible project to do.
They're big-headed, small-brained,
and their skin is permanent blue!

They have to give a Valentine
to the alien they love most.
This project is complete torture
because EVERYBODY'S gross!

Love the Lord, for he is there
He felt your joy, he heard your prayer
He will always answer what you say,
Listen, listen, learn, and pray.
The Lord your God will always care,
You must be clean to feel him there.
When at last you die one day,
The Lord you love will guide the way.
Love the Lord, he's always there.
Listen, learn, and speak in prayer.

Stephanie -
This year I love you more than last
Just like each year that has gone past

I love you more as time goes by
And can not count numbers so high

I'm lucky that you are my wife
And that you're stuck with me for life!

Thanks for marring me - I love you

I love my family
I love my home
I love the Savior
I hope you like my poem.

Tonight before bed, we were reading about Abinadi in the scriptures - although we were only able to read 9 verses because Preston was not cooperating. Mike started telling the kids about Elijah. They loved the stories about Elijah calling fire down from heaven to destroy the armies that were sent to get him. Maysen and Stockton were laughing so hard. It was cute to see them giggling about an Old Testament prophet.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Red Hat Certified!

Mike took his Red Hat Certified Engineer exam yesterday and got his score today. He scored in the 90s on both parts of the test. You need to get a 70 to pass. Most people don't pass this test the first time. What a smarty pants.

The kids enjoyed the snow again today. It is melting fast though. Stockton went and got the mail in bare feet. He said he had never been so cold before. Shocking.
Maysen helping Preston with his garbage bag sled
I went on a walk to the grocery store with Maysen this morning. It was pretty fun. We are going to do that more often. Mike made a yummy Japanese dinner tonight. We ate by candlelight while we watched the Olympics.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Stockton's Prayers Were Answered

Last night Stockton prayed that school would be cancelled. He thought it was funny. This morning we woke up to find out school was indeed cancelled. For the eighth time this year. Five days for flooding and three days for snow. The snow didn't come until 1:30. I wish they could have got a half day in, then they wouldn't have to make it up.

Mike took his Red Hat test today. He feels he did really well, so that is good. He is very anxious to see his results though. After Mike came back from his test, I took Maysen, Cameron & Jorja to see The Lightning Thief. Cameron is staying at our house a couple of days while his parents are in California looking for an area to move to. Anyway, we went to the 2:30 show and were able to get back by 5:00. Before the ice set in thank goodness.

I have never seen so much snow at our house before. It is gorgeous. We probably had 3 or 4 inches. Too bad we leave all our snow clothes in Utah. I was able to find some stuff, but not much. And what I did find was too small. That's okay, they had fun anyway.
Our backyard

Preston wanted to water the snow
Crazy Maysen
Bare feet ~ what a loon!
Sledding Georgia style: Cookie sheets and garbage bags
Preston & Maysen
Mike had another job interview today. Things are moving, slowly but moving.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It Goes BOOM!

This morning I got a phone call from Stockton. He asked me to come to school and sign a paper for Mrs. Catlin. I was pretty sure it was for the Young Authors writing contest. I was so happy to find out I was right. Mrs. Catlin said she asked Stockton yesterday to write a poem about anything. He kept looking at her trying to figure out what the catch was. She had him write the poem during math. He asked if it had to be about something real. She said no, it can be about anything you want, but I want it to be a poem. That was all it took. In about fifteen minutes, this is the poem he handed to her.

It goes BOOM!

A new restaurant just opened at the end of the street!
The Atomical Diner claims they make a treat!
They have mashed potatoes that flop all over the place,
and every so often they splat in your face!
If they get in your mouth,
they'll bring you to doom!
It goes BOOM!

A side item choice is uneatable goop!
A topping would be a horrible scoop
of nightmarish peppers and a few pinches of gloom!
It goes BOOM!

A dessert you can have is an assassinate shake!
You earn it for free if you survive the raw steak!
One sip of the poison
and you're sure to die soon!
It goes BOOM!

You'd think that they'd go out of business when they opened!
Surprisingly, the answer is nope, and
I'll give you advice while you're by my side . . .
Come here if you want to commit suicide!

That is a classic Stockton poem. Stockton has asked a lot of questions about suicide ever since reading Secret, Lies and Algebra for the Reading Bowl this year. As Mrs. Catlin says, "Stockton loves to go for the shock value." That is true. She also said that Stockton finished his math, even though she told him he didn't need to do it. He said, "I just kept looking at it." That boy is amazing. He is super sweet. Extremely honest. Mostly hard working. Very concerned about justice and fairness. He has a heart of gold. I am so proud to be his mom . . . even if he did pray that school would be cancelled tomorrow.

Quick story about my other beautiful boy. I was upstairs working on the Parry Post this morning, when in walks Preston with a block of cheese. He had taken a bite out of it and said, "Mom, I want a cheese sandwich." I had to laugh. I said, "Sure Lynn, I'll make you a cheese sandwich." I came downstairs and found a bar stool propping the fridge door open. Oh boy, that kid sure loves his mischief!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Running Faucet

My friend, Teresa, wanted to go to breakfast today. We went to Chick-fil-a (indoor playground). It was really fun and nice to sit and talk with her. Preston LOVED his yogurt with strawberries. He also loved to go to the bathroom. He has been so good lately. I think he has been dry for over a week now. He is so good that while we were at Chick-fil-a, he went to the bathroom SIX times! I couldn't believe it! And he went every time as well. I didn't mind taking him that often, I am so proud of him.

Speaking of Preston and potty adventures, this morning he needed to go potty. He was in his feet jammies, so I helped him get unziped, I sat him on the toilet, and I sat on the edge of the tub to wait for him. All of a sudden, I'm getting sprayed! I jumped up, ran to the other side of the room and watched while a giant stream hit the top of the shower. I was saying, "Preston! Stop!" But he was laughing too hard. I'm not sure what happened there. He was positioned correctly and everything. He thought it was so funny and talked about it the rest of the day.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Back to Basics

Now that the Reading Bowl competition is over, I am starting to get everyone back into our old routines. We started back up with the piano today. I try to sit with them Monday, Wednesday & Fridays. The other days they just need to play for five minutes right now. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays I read to them a book of my choosing. They love that! They never complain. I think they just want to be last so they can savor the time with their mom. I'm sure that's it. Right now I'm reading Elijah of Buxton to Maysen. We are also reading Huckleberry Finn, but Elijah is a Reading Bowl book and I'd like to finish it. Stockton and I are reading Deep and Dark and Dangerous. Also a Reading Bowl book, but I still want to read it. Jorja and I are reading The Return of Meteor Boy? Sometimes Mike reads that one to her . . . it is a pretty fun book.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Just Like the Old Days

Mike is starting a week long Red Hat certification class. He has class all day, and a test at the end of the week. The test is suppose to be pretty hard, so hopefully he'll be able to pass. Anyway, this week is going to feel like what life was like before Mike was laid off a year ago. Preston so far is not a fan. Mike called during his lunch break. Preston spent the time on the phone saying, "I miss you so much." The kids were crazy when he came home. Jumping all over him and acting like a bunch of loons. I enjoyed myself today. In order to keep Preston awake during the car pool lane, I brought two DS' and we played Mario Party. He loved that. Once Jorja was in the car, I had her play for awhile. Preston stayed awake, and now he is asleep! Yay!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Colts Didn't Win

I had to bribe my kids to watch the Super Bowl with me. I just had them watch the second quarter. Mike thought it was funny when I was cheering, and the kids would do a half hearted cheer and look at me like I was a loon. After putting the kids to bed, I watched the second half. I was starting to get nervous and said, "There is only two and a half minutes and the Colts are down by 14!" Mike says, "Cool". I strongly informed him, "Not cool . . . wrong answer!"

Mike has spent the Super Bowl working on a robot. Preston has had fun working his arms. Preston thinks it is pretty cool. Have I mentioned that I hate it when Preston has a nap! At least his nap was during sacrament meeting, so it wasn't all bad.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

And Third Place Goes to . . .

Stockton competed in the Reading Bowl competition at the University of West Georgia today. Two weeks ago, his team placed first out of our district, so they were here competing against other first and second place teams. Stockton's team placed third! They don't get to move on, but they did get a huge trophy! Stockton is more than okay with third place. He is excited to take a break from Reading Bowl. He loved it, but it is a lot of work!

Stockton did really well. Every question he answered was right except one. That one might have been a good one to challenge, because Stockton's answer was right as well, just not the answer they had down on the paper. I was so proud of him. He is so good at this!
Not the best picture,
but the only good one of him with the buzzers
Stockton & Stephanie
The coaches:
Diereshe Collins, Melanie Bearden, Natalie Benton

Stockton has the best Reading Bowl coaches. They put in a ton of time to help the team be successful. For example, the team met after school until 4:30 twice this week, then on the other days they met during lunch. They have definitely made the Reading Bowl a fun, positive experience. I am going to miss this when we move to Utah!