Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Crocs Were a Bad Idea

Okay, when we left the house it wasn't snowing too bad. When we finally got to diving we were in a blizzard! We have rarely had any snow this winter. Crocs are the easiest thing to wear to diving. Boy was Stockton cold walking to and from the pool. The pool is by the Huntsman Center at the U. It's not too far from the parking lot, but when you are wearing crocs and there is a couple of inches of snow on the ground . . . . oh boy.

Jorja had a really hard day today. Her frog Pads died. She fed him crickets and changed his water last night. He looked fine. (Usually when her frogs have died, you could tell they were getting sick. Pads looked as healthy as could be.) Jorja checked on him in the morning - fine. I took Maysen and Stockton to school. When I got back I could hear Jorja screaming. That scream could only mean one thing. Poor little girl. We have got to figure out what we are doing wrong. I think the main thing is touching them. She LOVES to hold her frogs. She has been really good at washing her hands before (without soap) and after (with soap) touching them. She has also tried not to hold them as much as she did before. It just is really hard for her! Anyway, I volunteered in her class today. She was very sad and started crying. Then she was embarrassed that she was crying. So, I took her out to lunch. It was nice to be with her and help her get her mind off her frogs. Luckily she had a packed day today. Achievement days, piano lessons and book club. I love that little Porge!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Country Court House

When I was in middle school, my parents got us a membership to Country Court House. We spent many Saturdays playing racquetball. I loved it! Today Mike and I signed up at a place where we can go as a family to play racquetball. I hope my family I'm raising now will have as many good memories as my family growing up did. Mike took Maysen there yesterday to check it out. She played racquetball for the first time. Tonight Mike and I went there after the kids were in bed. (Another hip-hip hooray for built in babysitters!) I couldn't believe what a difference a half way decent racquet made. I lost the first two games. We switched racquets and I won the next two. I could tell a huge difference. Good to know. Anyway, Mike and I are looking forward to many fond memories with our family.

Monday, February 27, 2012

My Mom's Testimony

I cannot remember when I did not have a testimony, at least in a small measure, of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At first I believed because my parents believed—and I believed everything my parents told me. I found it easy to believe in a loving Father and Mother in Heaven because I had a loving father and mother on earth.

Slowly I gained my own testimony and no longer had to rely on my parents. (Although I must admit that even to this day their unwavering faith is still a strength to my testimony.)

There have been several experiences that have strengthened my testimony. I will mention two.

Before I met my husband, Ron, I was engaged to another young man. One night as I was praying for confirmation of being engaged, I felt such a feeling of emptiness that I broke the engagement the very next day. I know that that was an answer to my prayers.

Another experience that strengthened my testimony was when my mother was sick with cancer. She had just had a series of operations and was still very weak when scar tissue caused an obstruction in her intestines. She was in so much pain that she was admitted to the hospital Saturday night and was going to have to have another operation Monday to clear up the problem. We didn't see how she could survive another operation at this time.

That Sunday our entire ward held a special fast for my mom. It was so heart warming to see many of the deacons stand and say they had never fasted before, but they were fasting that day for Sister Parry. (She had been the Blazer teacher for many years.) That Monday the operation was canceled—there was no need.

I do have a testimony of the Gospel. I know that Jesus is our Savior, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that President Kimball is a prophet today. I also know that this testimony will grow stronger or weaker everyday depending on my willingness to obey the commandments of God.

Harriett Millburn

Crescent 5th

(around 1980)

(Thanks to Kathy Leatherwood for e-mailing me this today. I love it!)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Back Home

We left New Mexico early this morning. I had forgotten to take any pictures the entire day yesterday - surprise . . . so, I pulled out my camera this morning. Christen will probably kill me because usually Skye and Larkin's hair is perfect. I got them straight out of bed. I think they are adorable.
Larkin, Skye, Blake
Mike and I were able to make it home in nine hours this time. We stopped the same amount, so I'm pretty sure the difference was traffic and darkness. We were able to have dinner at Steve & Shannon's house, so that was nice. The kids loved it there. Preston said he wanted to stay until Monday. Shannon took Preston to church with the plan to take him home after sacrament meeting. Preston fell asleep in her arms. She carried him through the rest of church as he slept the entire time. What a sweet little boy - and a wonderful aunt.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mike the Dentist

Skye gave me this card today. Isn't it adorable! I love it! Thank you Skye!!!

Mike and I got up bright and early to go to Mike's office. He worked on both of our teeth. He spent a lot of time on Mike - partly because (my) Mike couldn't stop laughing. He cracks himself up. It was pretty funny and quite the sight to see (my brother) Mike trying to work on his mouth while (my) Mike kept busting a gut. Mike also got the stains off of my front teeth. I am so grateful for that! I chipped my front tooth when I was seven. When I was in high school I had my front teeth bonded. It made a huge difference. The only problem is, after a few years there stains start to form around the edges. There is nothing I can do about it. I hate it. I have had my teeth filed down and rebonded three other times I think. I can't remember exactly. Anyway, Mike filed down my teeth and got the stains off. He spent a lot more time working on me then my other dentists have done. He tried to file them so the edges won't be sharp - and did a fantastic job. Hopefully it will take the stains longer to form this time. Mike kept teasing him while he was working on me. He would say things like, "You're waterboarding your sister!"

The rest of the day was very relaxing. Mike took us to Firehouse Subs. I've never been there even though there is one close by. It was delicious. I loved it and we talked Mike into going there for dinner again. We are very adventurous eaters. Mike also helped Mike put together some dressers we had brought them from IKEA. They look great in the girls room. Skye and Larkin had fun pretending the different pieces were guitars. They stuck the styrofoam pieces in the back of their shirts when they weren't playing them. It's hard to explain, but it was really funny!

I talked to the kids for a bit today. They seem to be having a wonderful time. Preston has a 101.9 temperature. Dang it! Shannon says he has been great though. Poor little boy!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Road Trip

Mike and I are in New Mexico! We left after the kids got home from school. It took us about 10 hours (traffic and dark!). We got to Mike's house around 1:30 in the morning. I'm a little worried about Preston. He is not 100%. He has been falling asleep during the day - that is my major clue. He does seem warm, but not really sick. I debated about bringing him here, then decided it would be better to have him stay at the cousins. Shannon's youngest is 8 while Mike's youngest is 1. I hope he does okay without us.

I had Mike download a random parenting book to my kindle before we left. Mike hooked up the auto feature and the book was read aloud to us. It was great! It took a little while to get use to the robot voice, but it was nice to have something to listen to. Mike and I really enjoyed the book and talked about how we could implement different suggestions. We joked that the kids will never let us take a road trip again!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pottery Again

Maysen has started taking pottery lessons. They are for two hours every Thursday. Brooke, Maysen's pottery teacher in Georgia recommended him. His name is Mark Petersen and he was great! He spent so much time with Maysen. He said that he has never had a student do so well their first time. (The few months with Brooke really helped!) Maysen was so happy. Half way through the lesson she looked at me and said, "This is so much fun!" At the beginning of the lesson, Mark told her the goal for today was to make one round thing. She had three round things at the end. It is nice to see Maysen enjoying something other than writing! (Writing is good, but it is nice to see her do something else once in awhile!)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


My dad and I went to IKEA today. We picked up a few things for Mike and Christen. Mike and I will be visiting them this weekend. Preston went into their playland for the first time. He was only there for twenty minutes. He did not want to leave. He then informed me that he wants his birthday party at IKEA. Haha! That will go over real well.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

4 Year Plan

Today Maysen and I had a meeting with her school counselor to go over her four year plan. Yikes! When did this happen? The counselor asked Maysen if she was happy with her grades. Maysen kind of shrugged. The counselor then opened Maysen's file and said, "I'd say those grades are very good!" Maysen shrugged and said, "I got a B." (Maysen has all A's this trimester, and all A's last trimester except for a B in math.)

Later in our conversation, Maysen was asked if she has given any thought into what she wanted to do for a career. Maysen said, "I want to teach French to English kids, or English to French kids." What? I about fell out of my chair. I thought for sure she would say she wanted to be an author. Now I can remember Maysen mentioning something about teaching French, but I didn't realize that would be the first thing to pop into her head. She did say she was also hoping to become an author.

At the end, the counselor showed Maysen her act scores. Not to be confused with the A.C.T. scores. The counselor compared it to a pre-act though, but she wasn't given one final score the way the other test does. When the counselor looked at Maysen's scores she said, "These are really good. Maybe the best I have ever seen." Maysen was above average in every area, but in English she was absolutely awesome! 99% in the US. 100% in Usage/Mechanics. She was quite proud of that. She can't stand it when grammar is used incorrectly. I wonder how she handles reading my blog? Man, sometimes she reminds me so much of Chad! (Hopefully she will test like him too.)

Monday, February 20, 2012


Mike loves to come up with random projects to do on his day off. He spent all morning drilling a hole in our sink. It took forever. I guess it was porcelain and iron. Something like that. Anyway, for valentines day he gave me a faucet that has instant hot water. He got the faucet part finished this morning. He still needs to tap it into the water pipe. Nothing could go wrong there.

The rest of the day he spent making a scoreboard. He hooked buttons to the bottom of his homemade ping pong table. When you score, you push your button. He has one of his signs show the score. It also has arrows pointing to whose serve it is. Game point is also announced. Stockton loves it. He told Mike how cool it was. Mike said, "But I spent way too much time on it." Stockton said, "It was totally worth it." No wonder those two get along.

Stockton also got to go out with my dad for his birthday. My dad took him to Planet Play. Stockton said that it is a mixture between Chuck-A-Rama and Chuck-E-Cheese. I guess they have a buffet, laser tag, go-karts, miniature golf and lots of arcades. It was really crowded, so they did golf and arcades. Stockton LOVED it. He was so proud of his prizes he came home with. Preston was jealous. Not of the prizes, but of going with grandpa.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Spell Pong

Stockton was made second counselor in his Deacons Quorum today. He will do a great job. He has loved being a deacon so far. We have also spent quite a bit of time recently studying for the regional spelling bee. Stockton also loves playing ping pong. Tonight I gave Stockton spelling words while he was playing Mike in a game of ping pong. That was hard! Then Stockton gave Mike spelling words while he was playing me in a game. I almost won! Except when it was game point, Mike played without trying to spell and was able to get six points in a row to win. Oh well.

Stockton also was really excited because Amazing Race started today. He was practically bouncing off the walls while he was waiting. Mike wasn't picked to run the Amazing Race next season. Stockton would have LOVED that! At least he thinks Mike is pretty cool for trying out.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


I'm so happy! Not only because Mike totally cleaned the garage, but because Preston agreed to let me sign him up for t-ball . . . and he is excited about it! We talked to my dad and he is going to sign up Max. They are going to be able to be on the same team. Preston is excited about that as well. I hope he loves it! I would love to spend time with him at the ball park!

Friday, February 17, 2012


I am the current Dominion champion! That is all.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Porgie the Frog

My Porgie loves frogs. Especially red-eye tree frogs. She loves, loves, loves this frog. His name is Pads. I love looking at pictures of Jorja with her frogs. Now here are a billion . . . I couldn't decide on my favorite.
Jorja and Pads

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Malaga, Spain

My niece Aimee received her mission call today! She is going to Malaga, Spain and couldn't be more excited. Her parents had a bunch of people over today to watch Aimee open her mission call. It was really cool. It has been a long time since I have been able to watch a mission call being opened. I think Brett was the last one I was there for. Aimee wanted to go somewhere Spanish speaking. She spent a lot of time last summer in Peru volunteering at a hospital. I am so excited for her. This call is perfect!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Black Light Volleyball

I survived today! I was in charge of the combined activity - black light volleyball. It sounds like it should be easy and simple, but man was there a lot of stress involved! Most of it was just trying to find poles for the volleyball net. Anyway, today went great . . . thanks to my awesome husband. The only thing I wish I had thought about was I wish I had brought a whistle. That would have been helpful. I also wish I would have taken pictures because the room looked great!

Mike helped set the whole thing up. We started yesterday, just to make sure we didn't have any surprises. I was worried because Mike wouldn't be able to come until the end of the activity. Jorja and Preston started swimming lessons today. Good timing on my part. Luckily, everything turned out great. No black lights were broken. Stockton was the only one who got hurt. We think he chipped a tooth. Although this happened with the lights on while he was playing basketball as Mike and I cleaned up. I was proud of Stockton. He served the ball over the net on his first try ever! In his life! I hope the youth had fun. I know Maysen and Stockton didn't like it. I expected that. It is volleyball after all.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Mike and Stockton went to the Globetrotters game with Steve and his boys. Flight Time wasn't there, but Big Easy was. Stockton seemed to have a good time. If he is ever going to go to a basketball game, this is a good one for him.

Today was also diving day. The plan was for Mike to take him and then they would leave early for the game. The only problem was, no one was there. So weird. I don't know if they cancelled practice because the state tournament was last week. (Nate won state for the third year in a row!) Anyway, I was disappointed that Mike wasn't able to watch Stockton dive. Instead they drove all the way back to Steve's house and picked up their family. Too bad this happened, because the day would have been a lot less stressful without worrying about it. Oh well....thems the breaks.

At least the day ended on a high note. Stockton loves his cousins and had a great time tonight. Can't really write much about it because I wasn't there. :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ask a General Authority

We had a really cool fireside today. Elder David F. Evans came to Becky's house and the youth were able to ask him any questions they might have. (Elder Evans is Becky's dad) Right now he is the executive director of the missionary department. I really enjoyed tonight. I loved hearing the youths questions and listening to their answers. When Elder Evans was asked about technology in the mission field he said that it's kind of tricky because there is always the problem of people abusing technology, but that missions will incorporate technology more and more. Then he said that Elder Perry is really pushing technology and says things like, 'just because a store sells beer doesn't mean the missionaries can't go in to buy milk and bread.' I like that.

Elder Evans talked about sitting with Elder Holland as he decided on mission calls a few Saturdays ago. That would be an incredible thing to watch.

One girl asked how she could best support her brother on his mission. He said, "Just be a good girl." He went on to explain that that is the biggest help he could have, to not worry about his family at home. When he found out the girl asking the question was 14, he said, "You have just finished the easy part of your life to be good. From now on it gets harder." Or something like that. Maysen is now 14. Yikes.

Stockton asked why boys had to serve longer than girls. I liked his answer. He said that it doesn't say anywhere in the scriptures the ages and how long someone should serve, so it was just decided. He mentioned other factors that went into that decision, and also mentioned that it could change one day. I like that the answer was simple. Because that is what was decided upon.

I wish I had a better memory. There were many thoughts I had during the meeting. I guess I should have brought something to write with. And my scriptures. Oops.

The meeting did go a little long. The kids were starting to get restless and fidgety. I am glad Maysen and Stockton went. My niece Erica was there as well. I hope they were able to feel the spirit as they were taught by a representative of the Lord. What an amazing opportunity.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Mike made shelves for me today. We are turning our laundry closet into sort of a pantry. Our kitchen is a lot smaller than the one in Georgia! Mike also hung a curtain to separate our bedroom from our bathroom. Just the sinks and stuff. It looks great and makes a huge different. Mike is awesome.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Mike and I took Bubs' kids to watch him ref his last basketball game of the season. My dad was also there. This time, there was a pay table at the door. $5/person. YIKES! We were able to talk them into letting us in for free. Bubs does a really good job. It is fun to see him out there. Plus, when you are rooting for the ref you are not going to be heartbroken if your team doesn't win! This game was a pretty close game, so it was a good one to come to.

Mike and I picked up pizza for the kids on the way home. Then we went to a pizza party across the street. Yummy. My dad had dinner club tonight, so he dropped off Max for Maysen to watch. He is pretty easy to watch now because he and Preston play really well together.

Mike and I have spent a lot of time this past week trying to figure out my youth activity. I am in charge of a glow-in-the-dark volleyball game on Tuesday. It wasn't until this week that it dawned on my to check if the ward had a volleyball net. Yesterday I was told they didn't. So, we ordered a net and ball from Amazon that should come Saturday. Then I get an e-mail that says there is a net and poles in the mechanical closet and that a member of the bishopric should have a key. So I borrowed one of the counselors keys. Nope. Doesn't open. I knew I would see the other counselor tonight. He said for the last three weeks the bishop has been trying to figure out how to open that door . . . . they have no idea. Great. He gave me a name of the facilities person to call, but I'm kind of tired of calling people about this. Hopefully Mike can help me figure out everything. I'm lucky I married a genius.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

It isn't often that I like a movie more than the book. That was not the case today. For book club this month we read. Extremely Loud and Incredible Close. I hated it. Tonight our book club went to see the movie. I was actually hoping it wouldn't be like the book. One of the previews I saw wasn't in the book. The movie was so much better! The gross parts of the book were taken out. The characters were more sympathetic. The ending was better. I was very pleasantly surprised. Which is good because the movie is incredibly sad. One thing I thought was funny was that they took out completely the part of the book where the title comes from. Before I read the book, I assumed the title came from the World Trade Center disaster. Nope. It comes from a flock of birds. One character hears for the first time in twenty years . . . they pretty much took that out of the book. That's okay. I thought this adaptation was great.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Wednesdays are our busiest day. At the same time, even though they are busy - I love them! First, I take Maysen and Stockton to school. I get home about ten minutes before Jorja needs to leave. I have about thirty minutes before I take Preston to my dad's house. Then I go to the middle school and wait for Stockton and Josh. I drop Stockton off at his school, then Josh off at his. I then drive back to Stockton's school and I volunteer in Jorja's class. Usually I end up doing recess duty for Ms. Wu. Jorja loves it when I do that. If my dad doesn't need me right away I am able to stay and help Mrs. Redd. Jorja loves it when I do that also.

Once finished I drive to my dad's house and spend the next thirty minutes convincing Preston that it is time to go. Today my dad, Max and Preston had made a giant train track that went through a couple of rooms. Every time I go pick up Preston from my dad's house he says, "No! I don't want to leave!" as soon as he sees me.

Preston and I then go home where we have a couple of hours before the craziness begins again. Maysen gets home around 3:30, Stockton and Jorja around 3:40. I try to convince Stockton to do homework right when he gets home. Their piano teacher arrives at 4:10. Stockton goes first because as soon as he is done, we head out the door to go to diving. Now I am able to watch Stockton dive while I read a book or work on my sewing. I love it! Stockton did awesome today. I couldn't believe it. Even just his regular flips were perfect. They started him on front flips, half twists....he did them perfectly. Seriously. When he would do these during the summer he always kind of looked out of control, these were so different I couldn't believe it! Although Monica and Jessica (his coaches) go a lot slower then Mike (his coach during the summer), they concentrate on all the little details. It makes a BIG difference. (Mike was just coaching a neighborhood league, so I think that is why he didn't focus on the little things.) Anyway, Stockton looked awesome today.

While I am at diving, Mike has scouts. Stockton and I usually get home around 8:45. Stockton goes straight to bed and is usually asleep before I get the chance to tuck him in. Even though Wednesdays are a lot of fun, I am glad every day isn't as hectic!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Frozen Dinners

For Young Womens today we made frozen dinners for the Larsen family. They are the family in our ward that lost their mom in December. My dad did a lot of the cooking for us when I was growing up. Especially after my mom went back to work. Dad was funny because he would cook all day long on a Saturday and make meals for the entire month. I just looked at his frozen meals list and picked a couple. We made Sloppy Joes (my brother's favorite) and Cowboy Spuds. It turned out great. The girls were wonderful. It was a pleasant way to spend an evening. Although it would also be great to spend it in California like Ashley or in Cancun like Zoe. Zoe also spent a week in Costa Rica in January. She sure has it rough!

Monday, February 6, 2012


Darby dropped this card off the day Stockton won the spelling bee. I thought that was really nice of him. I have wanted to put it up here for awhile, but I never got around to it. Finally I talked Maysen into scanning it for me. Although now I have to type on her obnoxious keyboard. I can't believe she likes this thing!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl

What a great game! I loved it! It is nice when the Super Bowl isn't a blow out. I love it when it comes down to the last play. Especially since I really didn't care who won, but I was kind of rooting for the Giants.

Today was Stockton's first day doing Fast Offerings. He went out with Isaac. They were gone for two hours! I had no idea it would take him that long. He was a good sport about it. Fast Offerings aren't his favorite, but he does love passing the sacrament.

Bubs, Lincoln, Ella, Dad, Cathy, Max, Grandma and Gayle came over for dinner. My dad brought Kentucky Fried Chicken. He picked it up yesterday and we warmed it up. Dinner was fun and delicious. Although I became sick to my stomach when Bubs told me about Josh Powell blowing up his house with his two kids inside. What an evil, evil father.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Warm Bed

Stockton is home and is now sleeping downstairs in his warm cozy bed. Thank heavens. He arrived home around two in the afternoon. The doorbell rang and I opened it to see my sweet boy with the saddest look on his face. Plus he was covered in throw-up. I guess he threw-up in the car right as it was pulling into our driveway. I did warn the driver that he gets car sick really easy.

Mike, Stockton and I looked up what merit badges you need to get an Eagle. Mike had told Stockton that camping is a required badge. We wanted to see how many camps he will need to attend. The answer is 20 . . . well, 20 days and 20 nights. As I was putting Stockton to bed he said, "I can't believe I have to go on 20 campouts." This will definitely be the hardest merit badge for Stockton to earn. Stockton says that he likes scouts, he just doesn't like scout camp. I wish he could just go camping with us, but it specifically says these need to be taken at a scout camp. Oh boy.

Friday, February 3, 2012


That is where Stockton is right now. Mike wasn't able to go with him because he is on call. First of all, Stockton HATES scout camp. Absolutely hates it. Mike told him how much fun the Klondike is. He compared it to the Amazing Race. Mike said he always loved the Klondike, and he hated scout camp as well. Anyway, I guess Stockton is having a terrible time. We called to check on him and he is not doing so well. He has already shut down. Stockton in shut down mode is not a pretty site. There are a few people Stockton automatically shuts down around. Looks like the scout leader might be added to the list. Great. This will be fun. I am so worried about him right now. I hope he stays in his tent tonight and doesn't wander off. I don't think he would, but Stockton does have a really hard time when there are a lot of people around. Even people he likes and who like him. Hopefully in the morning he will restart and let himself have a good time. The girls both prayed for him before they went to bed. Mike and I will as well. Actually that is what I seem to be doing every second I am not talking. I know I'm not going to sleep well tonight. I hope he is okay.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


I was trying to figure out something to write about today. I asked Preston what we did. He said, "Homeschool? Webkinz? Dominion! I scored 117 points, I don't remember your points. You scored less, you know that." That is true. He did dominate me in Dominion today. He bought three action cards, all torturer. That was a long game.

Preston has been very clingy lately. I use to be able to get things done and he would happily play in random places. Today especially he followed me everywhere (and talked NONSTOP!). I usually don't mind, but I do have things I need to clean and lessons I need to prepare. Oh well, I will just enjoy it. I know I'm going to miss this next year!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Jorja Loves . . .

1. frogs
2. frogs
3. frogs
4. frogs
5. frogs
6. family
7. frogs
8. frogs
9. my frogs
10. more frogs
11. every single frog.

Yep. That is the list Jorja came home with from achievement days. Although we are number 6, I'm glad we made the list!