Monday, May 31, 2010

Stockton

Stockton
Funny, Smart, Mathletic, Loving
Sibling of Maysen, Jorja and Preston
Lover of Video Games, Computer, Little Brothers
Who feels Smart, Loving and Caring
Who fears Failing, School, and Death
Who would like to see another world, robots,
and his brother grow up
Resident of Villa Rica, Georgia
Smith
--Maysen

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Booked It Again

Mike and I finally bought our tickets for Utah. I am flying out June 29th with all the kids, Mike will come the next day. It was about $100 cheaper a ticket to go on Tuesday, so we decided it would be worth it to have five tickets get the cheaper price. Mike is flying in after work on Wednesday because he doesn't get any paid vacation. We have to go at this time because Mike's family is going to a dude ranch. I am really nervous about this because Mike is allergic to horses. I'm really disappointed about missing Lagoon. So is Maysen. She is very upset about it....but she is excited about the dude ranch, especially archery.

Mike is taking the red eye Monday night and will go straight to work Tuesday morning. I will stay with the kids. Originally I had planned to fly back to Georgia as soon as our trip to the cabin is over. I was disappointed that we would only be able to see Brett and Rachel for two days. We decided to have our flights coincide with Maysen's friend, Rylee. She needed to come to Utah and her parents felt more comfortable with us watching out for her. Rylee needed to come back around the 20th (she is going to California with her cousins), so I decided to stick it out a little longer. It will be better this way anyways. I will get to have a good visit with Brett and Rachel (and Marie!), and the kids will get to see more of their cousins. I'm not looking forward to being away from Mike for so long, or figuring out where to stay for our trip. I'm sure this is the better plan, I'm just nervous about it. I wish we could just move to Utah already and not have to worry about this ever again. Maybe one day.

Preston is super excited to ride a plane again. I told him he was going to see his cousins in Utah. He said, "Skye?!" I'm not sure about that, but maybe. I told him he would see Lincoln, Ella, Baby Abbie, Marie, Erica, Brandon.......etc. Preston looked at me and said, "Is Weston my sister?" What? Where did that come from? No Preston. Weston is not your sister. He is not even a girl. Although we would take him home with us if we could.....

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Stockton's Talk

Stockton gave a talk in primary last week. I missed it because I was in Virginia. I was disappointed. I love hearing Stockton speak, he is a natural. He wrote his talk himself. I showed him how to use the Topical Guide and Bible Dictionary. I asked him to put some scriptures in. The rest he did completely on his own. Mike said he did a really good job, I don't doubt that for a second. Here is the talk he wrote.

I was asked to give a talk on how principles and ordinances of the gospel lead me to Jesus Christ. The 4th Article of Faith clearly states that. It starts off saying:

We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the gospel are, first, Faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ.

In Alma 32:21, it says:

Faith is to hope for things which are not seen, but which are true.

Even thought we can't see Jesus in person right now, we still know he's true. That's faith.

The second principle is repentance. In the bible dictionary, it says:

Repentance is not optional for salvation; it is a commandment of God.

One ordinance of the gospel is baptism by immersion for the remission of sins. John chapter 3 says baptism is not optional if one wishes the fullness of salvation. Jesus said a person must be born of water and of the spirit.

Another ordinance is laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. The bible dictionary says:

The Holy Ghost knows all things.

It's as simple as that, but it also says that it can also lead one to know future events.

This is how principles and ordinances lead me to Jesus Christ. I know this church is true, and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

In other news, Bubs and Ange had a baby today! A little girl named Abigail. We can't wait to meet her!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Perfect Porge

Today was the last day of school! Stockton was so excited. Jorja's excited, but didn't really want this year to end. She's had a great teacher and good friends, especially Cannon. Maysen got in the car and said, "I never have to go back to that school again!"

Jorja brought home her scores from the CRCT today. She scored PERFECT in math and reading. She only missed ONE in Language Arts. I couldn't believe it. My little Porja only missed one on the entire CRCT. Not only that, but her report card came home as well. She had perfect attendance, no tardies, perfect citizenship, and all 3's (the best) in every area the entire school year. She also made it the entire year without signing the notebook once. Now that is very impressive. I'm so proud of you Jorja!
Jorja & Mrs. Latham
I hung out in Stockton's class most of the morning. The room mom's put together a candy bar for the kids. I helped them with that. Mrs. Catlin had the 4th graders write a letter to the 4th graders next year. Stockton's went something like, "Meet your new teacher, Mrs. Catlin. Teacher of the year 2009-2010, superstar of extra recess and champion of cut-and-paste. She will go easy on you at the end of the year. Don't worry about her, she is awesome." He also said, "Summer is over, but don't be glum . . . the year will fly by."

That is true. We have loved Mrs. Catlin and Mrs. Latham. If only Maysen had an amazing year.... Oh well. Hopefully next year will work out. I had Maysen and Stockton pick a foreign language to learn. Stockton picked French and Maysen picked Chinese. (Chinese wasn't offered for Stockton)
Stockton & Mrs. Catlin
Mike had the brilliant idea of letting the kids stay up as long as they wanted today. Preston is asleep, but the others are up and running. Mike just came up and asked me if I wanted to do a three person bobsled with him and Jorja. I am NOT staying up as long as Stockton. I don't even want to try. I don't think he will make it all night though. He will fall asleep somewhere and then think he stayed up all night. Hope they are not cranky in the morning.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Reading Bowl Video

Mike has been working on this year's Reading Bowl video. He has stayed up past midnight the last three nights. He finished it yesterday...just in time for the 5th grade awards. This is it. Enjoy.

video

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Amazing Race

Maysen had such a fun time at her Young Womens today. They did the Amazing Race. Maybe she liked it so much because her team won! She was partnered with Amy and Rylee. First they were given an envelope with a puzzle inside. When they put it together, it was a licence plate. Once they found the car, they also found who was going to be their driver. Heather Nutter was Maysen's driver. The first thing they had to choose was Count It or Down It. Maysen's team chose Down It (Maysen voted for Count It - surprise, surprise) They had to buy a jar of chicken and rice baby food and eat the whole thing (between them). Maysen did it! She ate the baby food! Man - I struggle so much to get her to eat, and there she does it - no problem.

Anyway, after the baby food they were given a map to someones house. When they got there, there they found out they had to ring the doorbell and sing a hymn. (It was Sister Orme's house). The next clue was directions to Andrea Tingen's house. They were mapquest directions, and the girls had to tell Heather how to get there. Once at Andrea's house, they had a bum war on the trampoline with the group that got there at the same time. Rylee won. They ran back to Heather for their getaway. (Heather had boxed in Joyce in case the girls lost...Maysen thought that was funny.)

The girls now had to make it back to the church and find Brother Acker. They found him in the parking lot! They got their picture taken with him and won the game. Maysen was quite proud and now wants to do this as a family. She said she wants it to take at least a couple of hours, if not all day. Yikes. Looks like someone created a monster.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Stockton's 4th Grade Awards

Stockton had his awards day today. They just did a quick thing in the class. Perfect for Stockton.
Stockton
Mrs. Catlin got permission to give awards to those who exceeded on the CRCT. There are five tests: reading, language arts, math, science and social studies. Stockton was so nervous about it. I couldn't help but laugh and try to take pictures.
Nervous Stockton

Here's Stockton getting his award for math. Not only did he exceed in all the categories, but he got a perfect score in math.
Mrs. Catlin was funny. After the awards she was talking to Stockton and asked him, "Are you really that humble? Did you really think you wouldn't exceed?" She was cracking up watching him.
Whatever was he worried about?
Mrs. Catlin has been the absolutely perfect teacher for Stockton. He has thrived this year. I am going to miss her so much. Stockton will too. One of my favorite things about Mrs. Catlin is not only does she understand Stockton completely, but she explains parts of his behavior to me. Things I've never thought about, but when she says them I think, "Wow. You are exactly right." She describes Stockton as a nonconformist. When he has had a hard time with other teachers this year, she says to them, "Do you really want to die on this mountain?" What ever am I going to do without her watching out for him. I hope I can do a tenth of the job she has done. Stockton is really going to miss her. (Mrs. Catlin was Maysen's 4th grade teacher as well and was equally amazing.)

Monday, May 24, 2010

659 Points

Maysen had field day. I didn't know they still did that in middle school. She also received the top 6th grade AR award. She earned 659 AR points. I made her take a picture with her medal and certificate....she was thrilled about that.
Maysen
Preston was up so late last night. He stayed awake the entire plane ride. We didn't get to our car until close to 10. I was hoping he would sleep in, but he was up bright and early. After we dropped Maysen off at school, I started working on laundry. I came downstairs to check on Preston and found this. What a tired baby cakes.
Sleepy Preston
What a sweet face
On Friday, while Preston and I were gone, apparently there was a giant storm. They wouldn't dismiss the kids from school because it was so bad. Mike said he couldn't see anything while he was waiting for them in the carpool lane. Stockton said, "I knew it was bad because there were two kids crying in my class." Both Jorja and Stockton said silent prayers that they would be alright. I'm glad they know how to ask for protection and to get the comfort they need when they are on their own.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Last Day in Virginia

Today was our last day in Virginia. We went to church with Mike and his family. Preston was excited to go to Skye's class. Their teacher told me that Preston sat with his arm around Skye during sharing time. He's going to miss her!

After church, we played at Skye's house. I played webkinz with Skye and Larkin. Larkin was pretty funny and would get the computer to do crazy things. In the picture below, you can see the purple flower I'm wearing in my hair. Skye really wanted me to wear one of her bows. She picked this one out. She also wanted Preston to wear one, but I nicely told her that wasn't going to happen.
Stephanie & Larkin
Preston & Skye
Skye dropped us off at the airport (with Mike). I thought it was funny that they assigned Preston and I different seats again. We got those switched pretty easily. I found it even funnier that I was put in loading group 4 while Preston was put in loading group 5. I can just see me getting on the plane first and telling Preston to come on in a few minutes.
Preston & Skye
Now I am back home and in bed! I sat down to do my blog and was shocked to find out I have Mike and Christen's camera card in my laptop! Oops! Sorry about that. Hope no one wanted to see pictures of your trip across the country.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Day at the Park with Skye

Mike and I took Skye and Preston to the park while Christen and her sisters packed. Those two had a lot of fun together. For the record, Skye is NOT shy around Preston. Too bad we don't live closer, they would probably be the best of friends.
Skye & Preston
Skye & Mike ~ Preston took this picture
Beautiful Skye ~ taken by . . . Skye!
Mike had sharp eyes and spotted a frog. In honor of Jorja we had to stop and play with it for a little while. They have a frozen yogurt shop here that is named Sweet Frog, or something like that. I know frog is in the name. I thought, Jorja would suddenly become a frozen yogurt fan if she saw this store!
Where's Froggie?
Preston

Preston and Skye loved to jump on these circles. They could have done that for hours. Thankfully they didn't. There are some big, colorful fish that swim here. I've never seen anything like it.
Skye & Preston
At the waterfall
When we got home, Mike made yummy steak and hamburgers. Preston ate an entire steak. Jorja would have been proud. While we were there, I got some pictures from Mike. Below are more pictures from yesterday.
Preston & Stephanie ~ nice hat!
Larkin, Preston & Skye
Grandma & her birthday sundae
Larkin, Preston & Skye helping themselves
Preston & Skye
Mike, Skye, Preston & Stephanie ~ hopping away

Friday, May 21, 2010

Dr. Michael Millburn

We got to go see the hooding ceremony for my brother Mike today. It was really neat, but I wish I had brought my video camera. It's probably better that I didn't because I would have recorded it on pause anyway. But, I wish I had them saying "Dr. Michael John Millburn" and parts of his ceremony. It was really good.
Preston, Stephanie, Mike
Skye, Mike, Larkin, Christen
Preston gave Skye and Larkin each an arctic fox webkinz. Skye carried hers around most of the day. Preston brought his webkinz named Skye. Skye decided to name her fox Skye - now there are three Skyes! Larkin named hers Foxie. Christen has some cute pictures of Preston & the girls playing together. I'll have to get them. He is having a blast here!
Larkin, Mike, Skye & SkyeMike and Grandma Millburn
Today is Grandma's 93rd birthday
Mike, Grandma, Dad, Stephanie, Preston
Larkin loved the hat
Mike getting hooded
After the "gradulation ceremony" as Skye would say, we went to California Pizza Kitchen. I ate way too much, but it was delicious. Preston loved it too. They brought out sundaes for Mike's graduation and Grandma's birthday. The kids loved that.

Preston has LOVED playing with Skye and Larkin. He is now crashed out on the bed in our hotel room. It's nice that it has free internet, although it was even nicer yesterday having FREE internet on the airplane. Preston played Webkinz the entire time. What a life!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Three Piggy Opera

Jorja's first grade class did a Three Piggy Opera as part of their awards day. Jorja has been singing the songs for a month! I got a seat in the front and video taped the entire thing. I just knew she would love watching it again over the summer. Preston had taken nap and had crawled in my lap. My arm was SO tired from holding the camera. When the performance had finished, I looked down and realized one of the times Preston had jostled me, I accidentally hit the pause button. I only recorded one minute and twenty seconds of the show! I am so annoyed at myself right now. They are putting the show on again tomorrow for their reading buddies, hopefully I can talk Mike into recording it then.
Jorja dressed as the wolf
(she was a narrator, but wanted to try out the wolf costume....
although the knife and fork were her props....)
Jorja received many awards. Perfect attendance (with a medal), top AR points (with a plaque), math maniac, sight words, citizenship . . . I can't remember them all, but we are very proud of her! She did her absolute best in first grade, and it was pretty darn good!
Jorja & Mrs. Latham
Jorja

One of the awards must have been generated by the office because they spelled Jorja's name, Jorga. For some reason the office printed her name like this at the beginning of Kindergarten. I talked to them to have it corrected at the beginning of the year . . . .
Mrs. Latham and her class gave me this beautiful pot for helping with the math tests this year. The kids each made a bee with their thumbprints. Jorja told me that they still need to put wings on the prints, but I kind of like it how it is.
Stephanie, Jorja and Preston's head

Now I just have Maysen's awards night to go to (maybe Mike will post some pictures for me), then it is off to the airport! Preston is so excited!

My mom has now been gone for 14 years today. Miss you mom! At least I get to see her son and two of her grandchildren! I'm also holding out hope that she will get a new grandchild today....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

They're In!

Stockton and Maysen have officially been accepted to GCA. I did reply to the e-mail last night. I had a call on my voice mail this morning saying they were accepted. As I called back to say I wanted the seats, Stockton hovered over my shoulder so excited. I hope I don't let them down.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

GCA

I have been waiting to find out if Maysen and Stockton have made it into GCA. That is the homeschooling program I have been wanting to try out. We are suppose to find out any time this week, but for sure by Wednesday. Yesterday I got a e-mail that said Congratulations! You have been accepted. If you want the spot, reply to this e-mail. Then I got another e-mail that said "Amber Maxwell would like to recall the message 'Georgia Seat Offers'" No other explanation. Nothing came today. Did they accidentally send the e-mail to everyone? Did they send it to the wrong list? I am wondering if I should just reply to the congratulations e-mail. What are they going to do - be upset with me that they made a mistake?

On a completely unrelated note, yesterday at Maysen's school they had some 5th graders come and shadow some 6th graders. The 5th graders were suppose to go back and report to their class. Maysen said that she was welcomed four times by random people. Reminds me of the time I was teaching in a third grade class. I was taking the students outside when another teacher started scolding us and asking, "Where is your teacher?" Come on! I know I'm small, but these were THIRD graders we're talking about!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Uno Attack

We played Uno Attack for the first time with Preston. He LOVED it! He loved pushing the button and thought it was so funny when the cards flew at him. He loved having cards, especially the yellows.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sacrament

I gave a talk in church today. I was really nervous about it. It was the first time I had ever been the concluding speaker, so I wasn't sure if I would have a lot of time, or a little. I was assigned to talk about the sacrament. I actually asked the bishop if I could give a talk. I wanted to give a talk so I could pass off one of my personal progress values. When I was given my topic, I wondered what I was thinking.

I have been able to spend the last two weeks reading everything I could about the sacrament, the last supper and the atonement. I have also been working on memorizing the sacrament prayers, but I don't have that one all the way finished yet.

This talk was a great blessing to me. I learned many ways I can make the sacrament more effective in my life. I also learned how important the sacrament ordinance is. I always knew it was important, but I didn't realize what an effective tool the sacrament could be. The sacrament seemed like the modern day brazen serpent. Because of the simpleness of the ordinance, we don't fully appreciate the blessings associated with it. I don't think I will ever be casual while the sacrament is being passed again. I might not always be able to focus as much as I want (usually I'm focused on keeping Preston quiet), but I know I will be more aware of the purpose and marvelous blessings the sacrament brings. I realized that if I take the sacrament worthily each week, I will be able to stand before the judgement bar of God and not be ashamed. That is miraculous.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Girls Night!

This morning Mike, Preston and I went to get the licence plate for the van. I was so happy! At the window, we quickly learned that there was still another paper that we needed. The title was from the Smith Family Partnership. They need a notarized paper that said Mike is authorized to sign for this. I couldn't believe it. There was no way this could be done today since it couldn't be faxed. I was thinking to myself, "Well, I'm not walking away from here without a way to drive the van. I'll cry if I have to." I knew it wouldn't be hard to start to cry, all I had to do was think about picking up the kids the last two weeks. The thought of doing that even one more day was enough. Anyway, Mike asked if they could give us a temporary plate so we could drive the car while we were waiting for the papers - especially since this is the second time we have tried, so they know we are working on it. She said no, there was nothing she could do. So, I started crying. I told her I had been driving a jeep with no air conditioner, and I couldn't bare the thought of sitting in the carpool lane for two hours with my baby again. She told me she would get us a 30 day temporary plate. Now, was that so hard? I hate feeling like a criminal because we can't figure out the hoops they want us to jump through. Mike asked what papers he needed, she said, "I don't know what you need, but I know you need something." I am so glad I can drive the van again. When I picked up Maysen she said, "Mom you look so happy." That I was.

Mike took Stockton and Preston camping for Fathers and Sons. Preston was so excited. It was thundering pretty loud tonight so I hope they're okay.

After the boys left, I took the girls shopping. We went to School Box and let Jorja pick out some silly bands. Then we looked at books at Borders. We were there until the mall closed. As we were leaving Hallmark, the gate was almost all the way down. Maysen exclaimed, "Ninja roll!" and both the girls crawled under the gate. I waited for a worker to lift it up.

I took the girls to IHOP next. Maysen had crepes and Jorja had a silly face pancake. They both split a milkshake. Maysen declared this a "really good day". She especially liked the part of the day where her partner didn't show up in math class. Her partner hasn't liked any of Maysen's ideas. They had to turn in their ideas of what they are going to work on today, so Maysen changed them to what she wanted to do. She was quite happy about that.

It was pretty fun to have just the girls to myself. Maysen and Jorja were so cute together. It makes me so happy when they get along. I hope Mike had just as much fun with the boys.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mike's Happy Birthday

Mike is now as old as me. Maysen really wanted to make him a TEC the Robot cake. The kids were great helpers. Jorja got the table ready, Maysen frosted the cake and brought TEC upstairs, Stockton did a lot of cleaning, and Preston walked around practicing 'Happy Birthday!'
Maysen, Preston, Jorja
TEC, Mike & Stockton
I really wanted to have bacon arms on TEC. I knew Mike would think it was funny. In the show The Middle, the mom made a donut dad with bacon arms for Father's Day.

I decided I didn't want to have 36 candles, so I thought I would get one color to represent 10's and one color to represent 1's. I said to myself, "I will need 7 candles." The white represent the ones and the black the 10's. Too bad I got the age wrong. No wonder Maysen was confused when I told her how I wanted the candles. The weird thing is, I know he's 36. How did I keep coming up with 34 on the candles. I guess I'm not too good at math. Good luck next year with homeschool Maysen!
Silly faces
Preston & freaky Jorja
We let Maysen light the candles for the first time. Preston was a little nervous about that.
Maysen, Preston, Jorja
TEC enjoying his bacon arm
The kids each gave Mike a popcorn bucket filled with a computer part. I got him a MiniMac. I thought we needed one more computer in our house.

After we got the kids to bed, Mike and I went out to dinner. Mike wanted to go to a new Italian restaurant near our house. We got there about 8:40. The restaurant closes at 9. It was pretty funny. I asked if my meal came with the bread and salad, it did. I ordered my salad dressing on the side. The watress brings our salads out and the dressing is on it. She was nervous saying, "Sorry, we are close to closing and they were hurrying on your salad...I'll make you a new one if you want." I told her it wasn't a problem. Soon she was back saying, "They don't want to make any more rolls, but next time you come in you can have a lot of rolls." We thought that was pretty funny. Then we see the hostess leaving. Then the lights in the restaurant turn off (we were outside). Mike said soon she was going to say, "I'm sorry, I would have cooked your chicken, but we were in a hurry to leave." I'm glad we weren't the only ones there. We were the last ones by about three minutes. The waitress had her purse on as we walked out. It was funny in an odd sort of way.

Now we are about to watch a movie. Star Trek. Hopefully I don't fall asleep. At least Mike gets to stay home tomorrow!