Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Utah - Day 1

Wow! What a day! This might take awhile.

We got to the airport right on time. Made it to our gate without incident. Once there, it was another story. First, they closed the entire airport due to lightening. That put us behind about a half hour. Once that cleared up, they started boarding . . . then stopped. They needed to do maintenance on the engine. Lovely. We waited about an hour before they asked the entire flight to leave gate A18 and begin boarding immediately at gate B33*. We got there as quick as we could, only to wait for another 45 minutes. Finally I decided to take Preston to the bathroom. I told the kids DO NOT GET ON THE PLANE. As I was getting Preston back into his pajamas, someone told me the flight was now boarding. I raced back to the kids and Maysen yelled to me, “Did you see Stockton? He went to find you!” I looked everywhere for him. I ran through the airport holding Preston yelling for Stockton. After awhile I turned around and thought maybe he went to the bathroom. Someone outside the bathroom said, “He’s not here, I went and looked when I saw you calling for him.” Panic now has set in. I turned around and ran again calling his name. Finally I see him way down the hall. He was running to me. He had missed our bathroom and was waiting outside a different bathroom. Finally he decided to give up - thank heavens!
*Gate numbers might or might not be accurate.

Now it is time to board the plane. It is after midnight at this time. We were not suppose to take the red-eye, but that is what we did. I thought I had the seating arrangements perfect. Maysen & Rylee were together. Jorja & I were behind them. Preston & Stockton were behind us (Preston strapped in a car seat). That was not to be. Preston’s seat was pushed forward and taped up. I asked the flight attendant what he wanted me to do. We ended up putting Stockton, Jorja & Preston together and I was in the middle seat behind them. The kids did great and Preston was asleep before the plane took off. I was pretty uncomfortable with that broken seat next to me, but we survived.

Bubs was waiting for us when we got off the plane. Stockton and Bubs raced on the moving walkway. Only Stockton’s walkway was moving the wrong direction. Stockton thought that was so funny. Stockton & I slept in Lincoln’s room. Jorja, Maysen, Preston & Rylee slept in the main downstairs room. I called Mike to let him know I made it. It was 5:00 Georgia time. I was thinking, “Great....this is when the kids usually get up.” Luckily they slept for a few hours.

We started the day by meeting ABIGAIL!!! She’s huge! I can’t believe she is only one month old. Although, as Maysen pointed out, she makes Preston seem really grown up.

After Rylee was picked up, we went and visited Grandma Millburn. We were happily surprised to find my dad there! He had taken Grandma grocery shopping. My dad told me that Phil & Kathy Leatherwood were in a nasty rollover (3 times) accident yesterday. I am so relieved they are okay. Grandma made everyone happy with ice cream. She also showed me a letter my mom wrote her about a month before she died. I copied it down so I can add it to my other letters. We also were able to visit Grandpa’s grave.

Maysen, Stockton, Jorja, Ella, Preston
Jorja, Lincoln, Stockton, Abby, Grandma, Maysen, Ella, PrestonJorja, Stockton, Grandma, Maysen, Preston
Lincoln, Jorja, Preston, Stephanie, Ella, Maysen, Stockton

Bubs, Lincoln & Ella came with us up to Mike’s house. We just relaxed the rest of the day. It was fun hanging out with Bubs and his little ones. We went to dinner at Wendy’s. While we were there, Stockton found out we were staying three days at the dude ranch. He said, “What! We have to sleep there overnight!” Stockton is not a fan of animals. I’m sure he’ll have fun anyway.

Lincoln and Ella were troupers and waited for me to get the kids down before I took them back home. After dropping them off, I went to the airport and picked up MIKE! Yea! And now I am ready for bed.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Packed: check
Car cleaned: check
House cleaned: check
Kids bathed: check
Piano tuned: check
Annoyed with Delta: check
Boarding passes: printing
Dinner: In oven
Mike: Just walked in
Rylee: Picking up in 20 minutes
Excited for Utah: ABSOLUTELY!!!

Don't forget to pick us up Bubs! We'll be in at midnight!

Monday, June 28, 2010


Would you get suspicious that I had a party
if I came to class five minutes tardy?

A second is short and everyone knows
five minutes is only three hundred of those.

So don't blame me if you think I made up lies,
'cause even an hour can prove that time flies.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cats, ABC's and Arcade

Today was the presentation of our last research projects of the summer. This first picture is a set up of our new classroom.
Maysen: Cats

Sample Question
Mike won
In case of a tie . . .
Jorja's made Preston an ABC game
Stockton made four arcade games
Preston, Stephanie & Stockton ~ the games were hard!
This summer is going way too fast!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Toy Story 3

We went to the movies today with the entire family! We haven't done that since we saw The City of Ember in 2008. We saw Toy Story 3 and loved it! Preston was great. He sat there the entire movie and didn't move. Mike said he put his hands over his ears at a couple of parts, but that was it. Mike got to sit between Preston & Jorja. I sat at the other end of the family . . . next to the lady who smuggled in Corn Nuts. Then she was drinking beer. Do they sell that in the concession stand or did she smuggle that in as well? I say smuggled because she was hugging her backpack the entire movie. Anyway, I could barely breathe it smelled so disgusting.

Stockton informed me today the Thomas Jefferson was wrong. He said we had life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Stockton: "life - check, happiness - check, liberty - neutral" That boy hates to go to bed. Although he is asleep now while Preston & Jorja are wide awake. Preston & Jorja are sleeping in Preston's bed in Stockton's room. Stockton "couldn't take it anymore" and had to leave. Stockton is asleep in Preston's bed in Jorja's room. I wish Preston was asleep in any of his beds.

Stockton made me this chart at the start of the summer. He gives me points when I do something he likes. For example, when Mike and I let him stay up as long as he could - I got points. I am now at the rank of Princess. If I do Stockton's bidding, I can move up to MiracuMom. What Stockton fails to realize is I'm fine just being Mom.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Maysen's New Do

This was the twelth picture I took of Maysen. We could not get one to work. Usually she would close her eyes. First because of the flash, then because she was laughing too hard. She cut about 8 inches off . . . should make combing her hair a lot easier.

We also started putting together the room where Stockton and Maysen are going to go to school. It's pretty cool so far. I think we are really going to enjoy this.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just For the Record

It's HOT here. Boiling hot. Stuffy hot. Uncomfortably hot. Maysen's in heaven.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Laundry and started packing . . . not too exciting.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's a DEAL!

I took the kids to the little water park we tried to go to last week. It was really fun, but CROWDED. Maysen didn't like that. Jorja and Preston loved it. Stockton kept getting whistled at and told not to run. Maysen was begging me to go to Sonic. That is her favorite fast food restaurant and we drive right by it on the way home from the park. I didn't want to go because we have a lot of rib left overs. She didn't like that deal at all. Soon she sent Stockton over to see if he would have better luck. He didn't. As we were leaving, I told them I would go to Sonic on one condition: if they wouldn't complain about dinner the entire time we are in Utah. They agreed. $14 very well spent.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tasters Club

For Stockton's birthday (back in January) he received three cards. One Eaters Club, one tasters club, and one leave the tables club. Basically, this gets him out of eating dinner. Now Stockton is a saver. He HATES spending anything. Today, he used his second card. I spent all afternoon cooking yummy ribs and a lemon pie (both from Missy's blog). He whipped out his card so fast I was a little surprised. He is saving his last card for Thanksgiving. My goal is to get him to spend it before then . . . we'll see who wins.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Playing Opossum

The kids presented their research projects today. Maysen did her project on opossums. Stockton and Jorja both made games on Multimedia Fusion. Stockton was excited when I told him that his project didn't have to be something he would research for school, I just wanted him to learn/create something. He loved that idea and made a mini pac man game for Preston. Preston enjoyed playing it, except the BOSS stages. Then he would run away and ask Stockton to do it for him.

Jorja had her first experience using Multimedia Fusion. She created a game with six levels - one for each of us to play. She spent so much time on this and did really well. I'm so proud of her. Her game was better than something I would have been able to create.

Preston enjoyed being the center of attention.....oh, and happy father's day!
Jorja & Preston

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Computer Takeover

Jorja has been using my computer for the last couple of days. She has been working hard on her presentation for tomorrow. She's making a game. As a result, it is just past eleven and I am working on my sharing time for tomorrow. (And a result of my mad procrastination skills). That is all. Oh, and Maysen went horseback riding today . . . but she stayed up until 3, so I didn't get much info out of her. . . and Preston got bit by a fire ant on his lip in the swimming pool today.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cooking with the Porge

Today Jorja helped me make Missy's oreo cookies. They were yummy! Very, very rich. Jorja is such a good little helper. We decided to make 1/2 the cookies the regular recipe and 1/2 the cookies with mint. I had Jorja 1/2 the recipe as we went along. She loved doing that.
Stephanie & Jorja
The finished product = delicious goodness

Time for a taste test. What do our kids think? Maysen = too rich. Stockton = 'chocolate haven' (not a misprint). Jorja = likes the regular best. Preston = yummy! My favorite was the mint. Mike liked the regular. Stockton had his without the cream, but his favorite was actually the dough.
One recipe down, lots more to try. The recipe can be found on Missy's blog if you want to give it a try! We had the missionaries over for dinner. The Giant missionary loved it. I think I went up to his waist. Maysen is sleeping over at Heather Nutter's house today. They are preparing for Girls' Camp. She is very excited about that.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

No Action

I am currently reading Goose Girl to Maysen. I asked her if she liked it better than Lord of the Rings. She thought about it and said, "I think so. Lord of the Rings was so boring and had no action." WHAT? What am I going to do with such a crazy, crazy girl?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Preston thinks he is so funny when he calls Jorja 'Jorjacakes'. He also calls me 'Mommycakes'. It is pretty cute.

We went swimming again today. Mike met us at the pool. Mike jumped in hoping for cold water (after driving for over an hour with no air conditioning....have I mentioned it's hot here?). The water wasn't cold. It was perfect. We played tag and different diving games. Preston's favorite was the game where he was the ball.

We got back from the pool after bedtime. By the time the kids were bathed, fed and put to bed it was WAY past their bedtime. I told Maysen and Stockton that I didn't want them getting up until 6:00 tomorrow. (I have been letting them get up at 5 - but not before) Stockton was not happy about that at all. What would it be like to have a kid that liked to sleep? I'll never know.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

An Hour Next Door

I decided to surprise the kids and take them to a little water park about a half hour away. This is kind of an old park with only one water slide, but it is a water slide. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays after four it is only $1. So, after slathering everyone in sunscreen and getting everyone in their swimsuits, we headed out the door. I had called ahead to make sure the deal was still valid. When we got there, they were closed! The power had gone out so their pump broke? Something like that. Doesn't really matter because what ever the reason, we had to turn around and drive back home. Since we were all ready for the pool we went to our regular one. So, we drove an hour to go the pool that's practically in our back yard. We were only there for thirty minutes at the most when it started thundering. I got all the kids out and headed home. About five minutes after we got home, it started storming really hard. The lights went out for about an hour, maybe an hour and a half. We lit candles and played games. We played 4-D (invented by Maysen) and then played the Toad game (invented by Jorja). The kids ate ice cream on the pretence that they didn't want it to melt. How selfless of them.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hot! Hot! HOT!

It's pretty hot here today. Uncomfortably hot. Right now in our house it is 85 degrees. Outside is worse. You walk outside, then immediately have the desire to turn around and go back inside. I took the kids to the pool today for a couple of hours. That felt great! The pool was perfect. We had a lazy summer day - and liked it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Puppies, Tapirs, Dolphins and Video Games

We had our first research project presentations of the summer. Preston wanted to get in on the action and talked about puppies. He told us that puppies eat puppy food and dogs eat dog food. He showed us a picture of a puppy, but said not all puppies look like this.
Maysen did her project on Tapirs. I don't know how she finds out about these weird animals, but it was pretty fun and interesting. She made Animal Jeopardy 2 for us to play. (Last year she did an animal jeopardy on Okapi). Jorja and I won! Thank goodness Jorja was on my team because she remembered a lot more than I did.
Jorja did her project on dolphins. I didn't know dolphins had two brains. After her presentation, she had everyone play a pin the tail on the dolphin game.

Stockton did his project on video games. He made this trivia game with crazy questions about the history of video games. We got most of the answers wrong. I think Mike got two right and Jorja got one right. They were super hard. When you got the answer wrong, a big X would appear and say you need to play more video games.
This is the spinner to determine whose turn it was. Stockton would hit the space bar to see where it stopped. Mario got the most turns.
Stockton describing the scoring system
Level Failed. Play more video games.
Can't wait to see what they come up with next week!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Parry Post - DONE!

I have now finished and sent the Parry Post!!! I can now reclaim my life! The Parry Post does eat up a lot of my time, but I absolutely love it. I am always proud of it, but annoyed at little mistakes I find that most people probably wouldn't think twice about. Then I'm double annoyed when I forget something like Travis, Tarek & Thadd's birthdays.....but the worst mistake of all was when I labeled Travis as Tyler! That would have been no big deal, except Travis was with Betsey. I didn't even notice! The crazy thing is, in my mind I never confuse them at all. They are completely different. Maybe it is all the T's that messed me up....who knows. I still can't believe I did that, but why do I keep messing up on Travis?

Now that I am done with the Parry Post, I am excited to try out things on Missy's cooking blog. She always has the most delicious looking things and I have been anxious to try her lemon cream pie. It will be good to have this extra time, because then I can try to figure out all the ways to enter her contest. One way was to blog about her website. It is I'm hoping Maysen will want to cook with me. Once school starts, we will call this home ec. Awesome that I can count it as school. Now the only trick will be to get Maysen to eat it! Maysen has the weirdest goals. Example: she has a goal never to eat popcorn, and another goal never to try rice krispie treats. That is right. She has never tried either of those in her entire life. It seems almost as hard as Stockton's goal not to see Hannah Montana for an entire year. I'm not talking about the show, I'm talking about her image - anywhere. I think to pull that one off he would have to stay completely out of Wal-Mart.

Speaking of Stockton, when I went to check on him tonight his right side of his face was completely covered in blood. It had dried, so Mike told me to let him sleep and we would clean him up in the morning. I noticed him mouth was bleeding a little when I did his therapy right before bed. I asked him if he wanted a tea bag to put on it - that is what stops the bleeding best. He didn't, but it looks like I should have made him do that anyway. I wonder what he is going to think when he looks in the mirror tomorrow. Stockton, if you are reading this before you have looked in the mirror, why don't you take a moment and wash your face. Thanks! Love you - Mom.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Today is my family reunion at Lagoon. I wish I could be there. This is the fourth year I have missed it. I was hoping to have the Parry Post done today, but I didn't make it. I am so, so close though! Hopefully the weather was great for my family.....oh and Happy Birthday Ella Bean!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mike Got Mail

Mike & TEC got indy mogul shirts today in the mail. He was pretty excited about it. He also got a note from Erik Beck, so that was pretty nice. Mike also just finished a 4th of July build with TEC. I had him put the video below. That is all.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Diving Board

Maysen had her Young Women's activity today over at Sister Nutter's house. They have a swimming pool in their backyard - with a diving board! Stockton is going to be jealous! I don't know where to go here to find a diving board. There are tons of swimming pools, but that is it . . . just pools. When I went to pick up Maysen I said to Brother Nutter, "Stockton is going to be jealous!" He said, "He'll get his turn." YES! Brother Nutter is Stockton's webelos leader. Stockton loves diving boards. I just have a hard time watching him because he has no fear - and I do. Maysen did do a flip of the diving board, but I didn't get to see her because lightening started. Now it is raining pretty hard.....of course.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I took Stockton to the doctor today to get his mouth looked at. He threw up on the way there. I need to start stocking car sick bags like they do in the airplanes. Too bad he got it all over one of the reading bowl books, Savvy.

Once we were at the doctor's office, they showed Stockton the 'therapy' that he would need to do four times a day for three weeks. He has to pull his lip down to his chin 30 times, then rub his finger over his scars for two minutes. They told him to numb his lip first with the 'magic mouthwash' because it would really hurt. Sounds like fun.

When Stockton's bandaid fell off yesterday he was really worried. He thought he would have to have the surgery all over again. He thought the bandaid (which kind of puffed up his lip and made him talk funny) was permanent. That would be horrible.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Preston Swims!

One thing I will NEVER do again is forget to put the page numbers in on the Parry Post. I was over ten pages in when I realized. I went back and fixed it, but it messed everything up and took forever to fix. I was so annoyed with myself!

I took the kids swimming today. Stockton sneezed his band-aid off. The doctor said I needed to bring him back in if his bandage fell off. I guess we'll find out about that tomorrow. Maysen got Preston to swim! Before he has mainly played on the steps. When I did coax him out he would hold on for dear life and completely freak out if I even mentioned letting go (he was wearing a swim jacket). Today Maysen got in the pool, turned around and said, "Jump to me Preston!" He did! I couldn't believe it! He then rode around on her back while she swam. Soon she told him he could float if he let go. He did! He kicked around the entire pool. Wow! I don't know why I Maysen has more influence on him than I do, but I'm glad she showed him that swimming is fun.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Backup Meat

Today we had pork for dinner. It was pretty delicious. Mike had the pork in one of the dishes from our wedding. We then put the dish in the refrigerator when we cleaned up. A few hours later, Mike noticed he still had the crock pot on, and there was still pork inside. Right as he noticed this, I went to get some milk out of the fridge. The dish crashed on the floor. What does Mike say? "At least we have backup meat." He was totally serious too. I looked at him and said I wasn't worried about the meat, but the dish that is now in pieces. He just laughed.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Maysen's grades came today, along with her CRCT scores. Maysen exceeded the standard in all the categories. Her best areas were Language Arts and Science. Maysen always tells me that she is good at science, but she doesn't like it very much. Maysen barely exceeded the standard in Social Studies. "No surprise there." according to Maysen. She doesn't like social studies at all.

Maysen received an excellent report card. 98 - Language Arts, 96 - Gifted Reading, 98 - Gifted Math, 100 - Career Exploration (waste of time), 98 - Science, 95 - Social Studies, 96 - French. Pretty smart kid. Especially since in my opinion, she didn't try at all. She just showed up. Although she is excellent at using her time wisely and would always have her homework done before she came home from school. Both of us are glad her time at that middle school has ended.

I'm starting to get really excited about teaching the kids. I hope I do a good job. I hope they enjoy it and I hope Maysen will have a better school year. The kids have been bugging me about starting their summer research projects. I told them I wanted them to take a week off before we started. I wonder what they will come up with this time.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Maysen and I have been baking cookies all week long. The Young Women are having a yard sell tomorrow to raise money for girls camp. Maysen wanted to sell cookies there as well. I am really annoyed that I have gained 2 pounds this week! I have hardly snitched at all, but it is just impossible to make sugar cookies without snitching a little of the dough. Maysen decided that the universe was against us making cookies. We had been waiting for the cookie paddles Mike ordered. (Mother's Day present) After spending all week making cookies, the minute I put the last batch in the oven the UPS guy was at the door. Cookie paddles delivered. Maysen and I decided we needed to test them out, so we made another two batches. Sugar cookie overload.

Anyway, as we were getting into the car to take our things to the garage sell, Maysen came out with an entire bucket filled with books. What? I told her I needed to okay all the books. I ended up only letting her take three. I tried to explain that although she has read these books, we still have the others. Plus, they were awesome. Treasure Island, The Thief Lord, Hatchet, Charlotte's Web, the Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane......I am not giving those up yet. Plus, Edward Tulane is the next book I'm going to read Jorja.

I let the three older kids stay up late tonight and watch the spelling bee. We were rooting for the girl that looked like Aunt Ange. She came in third I think. I liked listening to Stockton guess how the words were spelled before they showed up on the television screen. Now I'm tired and ready for bed.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Stockton's Surgery

Okay, so it was a minor surgery. On his gums. He had a gum graft. Maysen had to have this done when she was in 4th grade also. I have been sick to my stomach about this. Especially when I got the prescriptions/notes from the doctor in advance of the procedure. I could barely even think about it. I just remember thinking it was no big deal for Maysen, then watching this poor little girl in a lot of pain. I wasn't looking forward to watching Stockton go through this experience.

Stockton did great during the surgery. Dr. Tomaselli said he was wonderful and laughing through most of the procedure. The rest of the day we spent putting ice packs on for 20 minutes, then off for 20 minutes. Stockton took his first medicine (Tylenol with codeine) and then refused to have any more pain killers. He said he would rather tough it out then take the medicine. I begged and begged him to take it, especially when I would hear him whimpering . . . but he would not give in.

I gave Stockton pudding, popsicles and a chocolate milkshake, all things on the easy to eat list. Without thinking I gave him a piece of cookie dough. Big mistake. When he was eating the dough, it knocked off the bandage at the top of him mouth. He sat at the sink and spit up blood for about 15 minutes. I finally got a tea bag and held it on the roof of his mouth. That seemed to help, but it sure smelled bad (and probably tasted horrible).

Stockton is now asleep. I hope he has a better day tomorrow. We put an extra bed in Jorja's room for Preston. We thought he might like to sleep there during the summer. He is calling for me right now. I hate naps!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

False Alarm

We woke up with Jorja in our bed. I don't remember her coming into our room. Both Mike and I were surprised....we both slept well. Usually if one of them is in our bed we toss and turn all night. This was much better than last night when Preston slept with us. We snuck out in the morning to read scriptures before Mike went to work. After he left, Preston started screaming. I ran upstairs and he had blood running down the side of his head. He had fallen off our bed and hit his head on the corner of our night stand. Ouch.

Today while Maysen, Preston and I were eating lunch, the tornado siren went off. It was so random because it wasn't raining at all. The trees weren't blowing or anything. Maysen and I looked at each other quite confused. When it didn't go off again Maysen decided that someone had followed through on a dare to push the button. Then I got to listen to her reenactment of how the scene most likely played out. She's pretty funny.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


It is raining hard now. It has been raining off and on for about a week. It is suppose to rain all of this week. I often wonder why people say it always rains in Washington. It sure rains a ton more out here. Hard rain too. In the five years I lived in Washington, I don't think I ever saw lightening. The weather there is perfect. Not too hot, not too cold. I miss the curls Washington weather gave my little girl. I'm sure she would have grown out of her curls anyway if we hadn't moved..... Now the rain is getting harder. Hope the kids sleep through this. Hope it doesn't get worse.