Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Maysen was invited to a reflections award ceremony tonight. I didn't think much about it, but let her choose between that and going to Young Women. Tonight they were doing Zumba. Maysen was more than happy to go the the ceremony. Good thing she did. Apparently her story got past district, got past region, and she is now moving on to the state level. There were only 2 of them from our district that moved on to state for writing. Nice work Maysen!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Gift from Grandpa

My dad gave Stockton an awesome birthday gift this year. He made him a little book. It was a poem with pictures. I'm not going to take the time to scan in the pictures because I'm just too lazy, but here is the poem.

Your birthday gift from me this year
Is really kind of fun;
We'll venture out together and
We'll finish when we're done.

I'd like to start by asking you to take a little quiz . . .
Do you like pie? So do I!!
(Pizza pie that is . . . )
(my dad wrote a lot of numbers, but I'm not going to write them all out here . . .
because like I said, I'm lazy.)

And do you like those carts that go?
(Go-Carts I think they're called);
And would you go around the track
With someone going bald?

I bet you'd like a round of golf!
(The smaller type, I mean);
And who will win the other is
Remaining to be seen.

Are you good at arcade games
That make a lot of noise?
There'll be lots of bells and whistles on
Sofisticated toys!!

I spelled sophisticated wrong
To see if you could tell . . .
Among your many talents is
To hear a word and spell.

And Laser Tag is such a blast,
(At least that's what they say);
(Have you, like me, been curious?
Who the heck is "they"?)

In short (but it's too late for that),
I'd really like to say:
Come join me in some random fun
At a place called "Planet Play."

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Yesterday Stockton officially became a deacon. He now needs to be to church at 8:30 to help set up chairs. Mike went with him today. Although the other boys and leaders didn't get there until 8:45. Mike and Stockton pretty much guessed what they needed to do until then.

Stockton was able to pass the sacrament today. The first people he passed the tray to were the Valentines. I wish I had been sitting over there. I wanted to find out where he was passing and then move there, but they were a little confused that Stockton had already been ordained. I had to explain it to Brother Perry, but by then the other seats had filled up.

We had our ward conference today, so the Young Men and Young Women were combined. This meant I was able to go to class with Maysen and Stockton. I enjoyed that. I am looking forward to watching Stockton in this new phase of his life. I hope he always strives to be the incredible person he is today. So far he keeps getting better with age.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Stockton now is officially twelve. This week has been a busy one for him. We had a great day today. My dad, Mike's dad, Bubs & kids, Sam, Cathy, Cori and Max all came over to watch Stockton receive the priesthood. Bishop Valentine also came. I was thankful that he took the time to come over today instead of having us wait until Sunday. Bishop Valentine mentioned how it was cool Stockton was getting the priesthood on his birthday in his house. The reason he thought it was cool was because that was what happened to him. Although he lived in a little town in South America and the mission president flew in to be there, but it was on his birthday.

Scoop told Stockton a story about how he was able to go to a solemn assembly in the Salt Lake Temple. President Kimball was there and taught about the priesthood. He taught you will always be a deacon. Then the first presidency blessed the sacrament and members of the quorum of the twelve passed the sacrament. That would have been quite amazing.
Mike's dad, Mike & Stockton, My dad
Stockton & Mike
Stockton & Bishop Valentine
After Stockton's ordination we had waffles. Stockton specifically asked for grandpa's waffles. My dad was nice enough to make the batter before hand, so it didn't take long to cook. I was upset with myself for not realizing we were almost out of sugar. I made cinnamon syrup and then went to make Stockton's favorite syrup and didn't have enough sugar. Why didn't I make Stockton's favorite first? I was able to make a little so he was still able to have it, but it is annoying that I did that. Whatever....

Anyway, after breakfast Stockton opened presents. Preston gave his a chess game, Jorja gave him some choose your own adventure books (John mentioned they were his favorite books when he was young), Maysen gave him a blanket (so he would stop stealing hers), Mike and I gave him Spellbound (a documentary about spelling bees), and his biggest present was a dictionary. That thing is heavy!
Stockton & Jorja
This afternoon my dad came back over to watch Jorja and Preston while we took Stockton to the temple for the first time. He was really excited to do baptisms on his birthday. He had a gigantic smile on his face the entire time. It was really special. One of the names he had was Shortall. I'm pretty sure that is not how you spell it, but we thought it was funny that it sounded like Short/Tall.
Stockton at the Draper Temple
Maysen, Stockton, Stephanie
We changed clothes and then went to Chuck-A-Rama with my dad and Max. The waiters came and sang to Stockton. I think he had a really great birthday.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Stockton's scout group did a service project today. They have been working on it for a long time. They cooked dinner for some of the widows and widowers in the ward. The did a talent show. Stockton recited a poem he wrote and played a song on the piano. Only three people ended up coming, but I think they loved it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Almost Twelve

Stockton had his birthday party today. I can't believe he is almost 12! His birthday actually is on Saturday, but Stockton really wanted his party at Airborne. (A trampoline arena) When I looked into their birthday party packages I noticed it was A LOT cheaper to have the party on a weekday. So that is what we did. Anyway, Stockton had a great time. He has wanted to play dodge ball here and was able to spend quite a bit of time doing that. Isaac, Logan, Jordan, Will, Ben, Adam, Josh, Darby and Noah were able to come. Stockton's other friend Josh cracked his knee cap two days ago, so he wasn't able to be here. I am glad the party is over with and we can just celebrate as a family on his actual birthday. I put way too many pictures on this post. I guess that is what happens when I actually remember to bring my camera card!
Jorja loved climbing up this ladder to ring the bell. Mike took these pictures from the party room. It was really cool because they had windows that overlooked all three areas of the arena.
Stockton - LOVE this boy!
They had a 'high dive' pit. It was probably about three meters. Preston wanted to jump, but was a little scared. I picked him up and dropped him in (with his permission).
Stockton off the high dive
Jorja - high dive
Maysen after the high dive
The chocolatiest cake he could get from Cold Stone. Delicious.
Isaac, Logan, Stockton, Mike
Preston got some chocolate ice cream on his nose. The boys thought that was really funny. Big mistake! Preston was in heaven with the attention and soon had chocolate ice cream all over his face. I wonder if he will be the class clown when he is in grade school. Ugh!
Preston with Darby, Stockton and Isaac
Now that's mischievous!
The final product.
Luckily Mike got Preston out of that situation before he could make a real mess! Anyway, today turned out to be a success because Stockton had a wonderful time.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Stockton WON his school spelling bee! Talk about nerve-wracking! The bee lasted for about two hours. I am so upset that I remembered to bring my awesome camera, but when Mike went to take a picture he realized there was no camera card in there. Maysen said, "That sounds familiar." Haha. She's right. I always forget the camera card for important events. Stockton had the best facial expressions, I wish I could post a collage of them. At least I had my cell phone, but dang it!

Mike did get this awesome picture below. I love it! Stockton was in shock after it was over. The emotions he went through were crazy! His eyes were all watery and he said, "It feels like I'm going to cry." Stockton loves spelling bees, so to be able to win today was just awesome. I will recap below why his emotions were on a roller coaster ride.
Stephanie and Stockton
The beginning of the bee. Things were fine and dandy for Stockton. His words were: bristle, audience, pristine, syringe, systematic, facade and reminiscent.
When there were about eight students left, they had run out of words. The words they had given the students to practice that is. When they go off the list is when things get scary! Then it's anyone's game. I like to tell Stockton that spelling bees are 33% knowledge, 33% preparation and 34% luck. Stockton's word at this point was orthodontist.
After that round, there were only four students left. This is when things got crazy! In an effort to hurry things along, they decided to give the students crazy words. Stockton's word was exonerate. He spelled it with two n's. Oh man! I was in the very back but was able to mouth the words, "It's okay." He mouthed back, "I know." Still very disappointing. EXCEPT that this round, all four kids spelled their words wrong, so all four kids were back in the contest.

Stockton's next word was virulent. He spelled it wrong. He was out. Everyone spelled their words wrong. He was back in. His next word was perquisite. This one he spelled perfectly! Except he didn't put the last e on there! I couldn't believe it! He is out! Everyone spelled their words wrong. He is back in. The next round boy #1 spelled his word correctly. Pressure! Stockton's word was dromedary. He spelled it wrong. Oh no, he lost. Dang it! Especially frustrating because he knew how to spell the other words. Girl #1 spelled her word wrong. Boy #3 spelled his word wrong. In order for boy #1 to win, he has to spell another word. The spelling bee can't end on a misspelled word. Boy #1 spells the word wrong! The other three are back in!

At this point, the judges decide to go to words that are "really hard" instead of "crazy hard". Stockton's word was acquaintance. When they said this word, he had a huge giant grin on his face. It was so cute! At the end of this round, boy #3 spelled his word wrong, so now there is only three.
Stockton was so lucky in this round! His word was mosaic! He breezed through that word. The other two spelled their words wrong. One word to go! If he spells this word wrong, the other two are back in. His word was alibi. The judges barely got the word out of their mouth before Stockton really loud and really fast said, "A-L-I-B-I". The judge said, "Are you sure? Do you want to think about it?" Stockton said, "No! A-L-I-B-I". Meanwhile I can't even look at him because I was sure he spelled it wrong! I was so sad for him! Haha. What a speller I am! Stockton said that as soon as he heard the word alibi, he instantly thought, "I just won the spelling bee!" Then he made sure he didn't make a silly mistake. I thought it was funny that all those things went through his head, because he sure answered instantaneously!
When they announced that he was right and had won, everyone started cheering for him. He walked around in a daze. It was amazing. You could tell a lot of kids were rooting for him. I think his awesome facial expressions had a lot to do with it. He would put his hands in his hair and stick it up with this completely nervous expression on his face. Man, I'm kicking myself for not bringing my camera card!

That poor kid thought he lost, then he is back in, then he lost, then he is back in, then he lost, then he is back in, then he really lost, then he is back in, then he might win, then he won! I am so glad it ended up this way. What a crazy, crazy spelling bee!
Stockton getting his trophy from the principal
Jorja, Stockton, Stephanie
This is sure to be a day that Stockton will never ever forget.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Quick Trip

Mike is in New Mexico. He flew down so my brother Mike could put a crown on him. After all of Mike's dental work, we are over our deductible. Mike is awesome enough to help us out. Actually this trip he is just getting a mold for the crown. Mike will need to come back in three weeks to get it on. Hopefully I'll be able to come with him. I can't wait to see where Skye, Larkin and Blake live!

I don't know what my problem is lately. I can't seem to remember anything. I forgot to tell Mike (my brother) Mike's (my husband) flight information. This morning I saw a text from Mike (my brother) asking when the flight was coming in. It had arrived ten minutes before. Whoops. Sorry Mikes. I'll try to get my act together.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Last Words

When Cassie and I were going through my dad's garage, we came across a journal entry of some of my mom's last words, written down by my dad. I love them!

Wakes up . . . "Oh, Darn"
"I keep waking up."
After prayers
"You prayed that dopey would be made happy."
"I did not."
Gave Phil a hug and a kiss
"Kathy wants a hug."
"If I'd known Kathy was here I wouldn't have kissed Phil."
To Kris as she was leaving.
"Thanks for watching me sleep."
Kim leaving to go collect money at a dance.
"I'll tell you what. Kim, you go dancing, and I'll collect the money."
Friday 9:30 pm
"Don't let my house turn into a trash pit. I'm serious! I'll be very angry."
To Margaret: "Oh, here's Margaret. Now we're going to cry."
This last conversation took place the day before my mom died. (While Margaret, Kim, and Ron were in the room, as Margaret was leaving.)

"Stay, I want to tell you people something. One thing I regret that I didn't do. I wish I had paid more attention to the scriptures. I should have been more serious in building my testimony. I wish I had more time."

"You've got to get my boys off of sports more, and more in the scriptures and church."

"I love all of you in this room. Margaret represents my roommates, Kim represents my work."
Then Ron said, "And I represent the family."
"Yes" she said.
"I just want you all to know how much I love you, with a very special love."
Long silence, and then, "I don't know what's gotten into me . . . . The end!! (pause) Contrasting views by responsible authorities will be accepted."
To Margaret, "You can go now."

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Poor, poor Jorja's frog Cricket died today. Cricket was one of her barking tree frogs. She had this frog for almost a year. She loved it. It was weird because he was totally fine last night. Jorja checks on them several times a day. This morning he was starting to look sick. We took him out of the big cage and into a little one, but he just got worse. Once frogs get sick, they die pretty quickly. Jumper got sick a few days ago but seems to be doing better. We moved him away from Cricket because we have read that frog diseases are very contagious (to other frogs). I don't know if he got what Jumper had, but we were kind of wondering if it was Red Leg disease. The only other thing that was different was Mike turned on the fogger and forgot about it. I don't think that would have done anything bad to the frog . . . especially since it was fogging in distilled water. Anyway Jorja is so sad. She hugged me and cried. Then she said, "At least he's with Hopper now."

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Non-Ticketed Escort

That is what I was today. (Actually I can't remember if that was the exact title, because I lost my ticket!) Anyway, early this morning Mike and I took Cassie and Mallory to the airport. Mike dropped us off and went to wait in the car waiting area. I was going to help Cassie until security. When we were checking in, the attendant asked to see my drivers license. I told her I wasn't travelling today. She said that she could give me a non-travelling ticket so I could help Cassie to her gate. WHAT? I was stunned. She said something like, "Yeah, I didn't know you could do this until I had three kids. If you were loitering, they could fine me eleven thousand dollars, but I know she needs your help." I'm not sure if I got the exact wording right because I was still shocked that they would let me go to the gate without a ticket. I was so happy! Also, I was thinking of the many, many, many times I would have loved to have my dad help me to the gate. Not just because I love him, but because I really needed him. Travelling with four small children was so hard. To think he could have helped me to the gate! Now I find out!

Anyway, enough about me. At least I was able to help Cassie. I helped her get through security and walked with her to the end of the terminal. I had Cassie sit while I took Mallory on a little walk. We walked up to the candy nut guy and got Cassie a treat for the trip. That was quite mean of me because there is no way Mallory would be getting that treat! I think she enjoyed the walk. I didn't mean to go so far and left my shoes with Cassie. I ended up walking through most of the airport in bare feet. Mallory didn't mind, so that is all that matters. Once we got back, they were starting to board. I watched until Mallory and Cassie boarded and then hurried as fast as I could to poor Mike! He had been waiting for an hour and a half! If only I had known it would have been that long we could have been better prepared. I wish he had a blanket so he could have slept better. Instead he was so cold. He didn't even have a coat. In the car waiting area, there are signs that you need to turn off your car, so the heater wasn't even on. Mike is so great. He wasn't upset about me. He understood what had happened and wasn't angry a bit. That is because he is just awesome.

Once we arrived home, we were able to hang out with Bubs and Ange for a little while. Lincoln is so funny. He was awake before we left. He said, "I need to get up at 6:00." I told him that today was Saturday so he could sleep longer. He said, "When I was 5 I got up at 7. Now that I am 6 I get up at 6." As if that was so obvious. It was pretty funny. It was also funny yesterday when I picked him up from Kindergarten. He was talking a mile a minute. Then all of a sudden he said, "Stephanie, we need to be quiet now. Okay? We need to be quiet." Haha! I loved it! I also loved listening to him and Preston talk as they were going to bed. Once I opened up the door. Lincoln was sitting up and I had been listening to him chat for a few minutes. When he saw me he said, "Stephanie, Preston is keeping me up. He won't stop talking." I laughed about that. He is so cute, especially because he is so serious when he says it!

I did get to see them again this afternoon. Ange had left their coat and they had left their black toothbrush bag . . . that also had glasses in it. They were only here for a few minutes. When Ella came in I cried, "Ella! I missed you so much! I haven't seen you forever!" She gave me a huge hug. It was cute. Love it. Now I'm going to bed.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Farewell Dinner

The kids were out of school today - thank goodness! We had a busy, busy day! I even forgot to send them to their piano lessons. In my defense, the lessons are usually at my house, they are usually on Wednesday, and the kids didn't have school today! They weren't too disappointed.

Stockton had a sleep over party at Isaac's cabin. That place is amazing. Maysen had young women/young men iceskating activity. Luckily my advisers were able to attend that one for me. I spent my time at home soaking up every last second of Cassie and Mallory. We had dinner for them tonight. Cassie made pot roast and I made rolls. Bubs & Ange, Sam, my dad, Cathy, Max, Michelle (Ian's wife) and Hailey came. Oh, we also watched Bubs and Ange's kids while they went to the temple to see Ange's brother sealed to his wife.

Anyway, we had a full house and it was great. Bubs & Ange slept over. After everyone else had left, we spent the time separating old family photos we had found in my dad's garage. We were trying to figure out who should get each picture. It took awhile, but I'm glad we were able to figure out something. I'll need to get a box for Brett, Mike and Matt so I can save some things for them. They have almost nothing from their childhood, so this is a real treasure. I think John said that he didn't even know what he looked like when he was little. Sad. Maybe I just imagined that because I haven't kept my whits completely about me lately.

After Cassie finished packing she went to bed. She was kind of nervous of her long flight home tomorrow. Bubs, Ange, Mike and I stayed up and played Settlers Trails and Rails. I had a major come from behind victory. It was awesome. I hope we can have more game nights like this. Maybe their kids can sleep over from time to time. Would be fun. Mike and I ended up getting to bed at three in the morning. I need to get up at six so I can take Cassie and Mallory to the airport. I'm predicting I will be tired tomorrow!
Mallory trying to interact with Pads
Mallory with her Grandpa
She really enjoyed trying to pick at something on Dad's face
Abbs loved trying to kiss Hailey
Cassie was giving Mallory a bath. Sam poked her head in to say goodbye. Mallory did not want her to leave. She was devastated. Sam picked her up out of the bathtub and held her. Sam shirt was drenched, but Mallory was in heaven. When Sam finally put her down her heart about broke. Can't wait until she can see Sam at her wedding! Whenever that is!
Mallory & Sam
Cassie, Mallory, Abbs
Mallory and Abigail

Thursday, January 19, 2012


The snow has all melted, so we thought it would be a good idea to let Mallory play in the jeep. Jorja was nice enough to agree to drive her around. Mallory loved it. She is so stinking cute! I couldn't decide on my favorite, so I chose a ton. On a side note, the deer are no longer my friend. There was way too much deer poop in the backyard. Luckily Mallory was able to spend her time IN the jeep. Hopefully they won't come back here again.
Jorja & Mallory
Mallory & Cassie
I had parent teacher conference with Maysen today. She is doing great. Stockton also is doing very well in his math class.

For dinner we had fajitas. They were delicious! I love food!