Saturday, March 31, 2012

General Conference

I love conference weekend. I love being surrounded by my family and listening to the words spoken. The kids played bingo and I sewed. Jorja fell asleep during the first session. I knew that she and Maysen were up until around 11 last night. I woke her up when conference was over so we could order glasses. She was a little sleepy, but did great. We stopped by the store next. That was when I realized she wasn't feeling well. She ended up throwing up while the boys were at priesthood session. Poor little girl.

Speaking of priesthood session, it was Stockton's first time going. He did great! Mike said he liked it. Stockton said his favorite talk was by Elder Bednar. After the session they went to Brother Perry's house for banana splits. He said his wife was out of town and they were going to have a pool party. Logan came with his swim suit and towel! Nope, other kind of pool. Good thing Logan is such a good sport. They all thought that was pretty funny.

Steve came and dropped Brandon off so he could sleep over with Stockton. They were going to try to go to the session together, but both of the wards were doing fun things after. Today was Brandon's first priesthood session as well.

Friday, March 30, 2012


My beautiful Porge needs glasses. At the start of the school year she kind of complained that she couldn't see that well. I was wondering if she just wanted glasses like Maysen. They were about to have vision screening at the school, so I waited. I didn't hear anything from the vision screening, so I did nothing. She would complain once in awhile, but nothing I took too seriously. This week she said, "Mom, I can't see the board. I have to walk to the front of the classroom to see." Hmmm. That is a little more specific. I guess it wouldn't hurt to get your eyes checked. Well, my Porge was right. She needs glasses. The doctor said she needs to wear them all the time . . . except when reading or at the computer. He even said, "At this age, sometimes the kids will think glasses are cool and try to trick their parents into getting them. That is not the case here, she needs the glasses." Oops. Sorry that you couldn't see the board all year! On a side note, our vision insurance is a joke. It covered (I'm not kidding) FIVE DOLLARS. That was it. Pathetic.
For Valentine's Day I got Mike tickets to see Zorro at the Hale theater. We took Stockton with us. I was really excited to see it. We had great seats. I thought it was a lot of fun, but it was a little slow moving in parts. There was a lot of dancing and singing. Stockton was a trooper and handled it well. It was fun to have him with us.
Mike, Stockton, Stephanie
The is the only picture I took while we were there. I couldn't see in the view finder, then the flash was so bright . . . oh well.
Mike, Guys Legs, Stockton
One funny thing was Zorro threw his hat and cape to land on the platform right by us. He missed with his cape and it landed on one of the girls front of us. As he was making his exit off stage, he grabbed it and whispered (kind of loud) 'sorry'. I don't know how to explain it, but it was really funny. Louise who was still on stage worked hard to keep a straight face on that one. The Hale Theater is really cool because it is an amphitheater. The stage is really small, which makes it quite fun. I'm excited to see more plays here in the future.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Missed Meeting

Mike took Maysen to pottery today so I could go to a baseball meeting with my dad. He teaches a night class, so he was worried he would need to leave early. I missed the meeting completely. My flyer said 7:00. Earlier today I talked to my dad. As he was hanging up he said, "See you at 6." I guess I should have called him back and asked about that. I just assumed he spoke wrong. Oh well. The meeting was done in plenty of time - luckily. Mike has been enjoying the time at pottery by going to DI and Home Depot. I'm sure he didn't mind that at all!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Book Club With Grandpa

I talked my dad into taking Jorja to her book club. She was excited to go with him. She came home with a cute book/box. Decorated with a frog of course. I took Stockton to diving and Mike had scouts. Maysen has been feeling sick for about a week now. I hope she gets better soon because she looks miserable.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I never thought I might
ever see the sight
of pirate bananas
wearing bandanas
and guess what? I was right.

Monday, March 26, 2012


Mike checked Maysen out of school today and took her skiing. She hasn't been since we moved here. She loves skiing. Mike had today off, so he was determined to take her. It was freezing today! The wind was blowing so hard! They went anyway. Mike said there was hardly anyone there (wonder why). It sounds like they had a great time despite the weather. I'm glad they had a chance to sneak skiing in. Hopefully we will be able to find to do this activity more. It was almost easier to fit it in when we lived in Georgia. Now that we live here everyday, it seems our other responsibilities take our time - then before we know it, winter is over. Still glad we are here though!

Maysen & Mike

Sunday, March 25, 2012

T-Ball Coach

Preston's t-ball coach called today. It's my dad! Preston is going to LOVE that! I'm excited!

We had a fun evening with Lisa & Nathan. They came over for dessert and games with Taylor and Michael. Have I mentioned how much we love living by family? Mike loved showing off his different contraptions he has made around the house. It was a simple, enjoyable evening - made even better because Mike was able to get the Parry Post sent off for me!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Stockton and Mike got back from camping today. It was a success! Yay! Mike said Stockton did great. About twenty minutes before they left he told Mike he was ready to go home. Much better than twenty minutes after arriving! Plus he earned his Rifle Shooting Merit Badge.

Maysen and I made homemade bread today. It was delicious. My dad came over and let Max play with Preston while he graded papers. When he was finished he took Jorja and Preston to Chuck-E-Cheese. They were happy when they came home with their inflatable crayons.

Maysen and I finished up the day by going to the General Young Women meeting. We skipped the dinner and went straight to the broadcast. It's nice having one-on-one time with Maysen.

That's about it for this Saturday. Happy birthday John!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Camping Again

Mike and Stockton are on a camp out. Let's hope this one goes better than the last one. It should. First, Mike is there. Second, it is A LOT warmer than it was last time. Stockton will be working on his rifle shooting merit badge. Young scouts with guns . . . I'm not thinking about it. Mike is coming off his on-call week. He hasn't slept much the last two days, hopefully he will sleep well tonight.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

With The Kids

They love Mike's new contraption too. On a side note, Preston has been taking off his shirt a lot lately. He always says, "I'm sweaty." Short sleeve or long sleeve it doesn't matter. He got mad at me the other day when I wouldn't let him take his shirt off at the dinner table. My brothers would call him a "Joe Cool".

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Computer Treadmill

Mike's on call week = things I never see coming. Mike's brother gave him his old treadmill last year. It was in our garage waiting to be used for robot parts. Today, Mike set it up in his office and duct taped a board on it to use for a desk. A good way to get exercise. We'll see how long this lasts. Right now the treadmill is squeaky. If that doesn't get fixed, I'm guessing it won't last long at all. Life with Mike is always an adventure!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Service Auction

We had a combined Young Women and Relief Society activity today. It was really, really fun. We had a service auction. You earned points if you made your bed, had your homework done, did dishes, even if you had milk in the fridge. One even said, "10 points if you need more points". We turned in our points for pretend money. Then we each had an auction paddle and were able to buy different donated items. Maysen and I donated homemade bread and brownies. The auction started off a little slow. Items were going for about $40. Then came Zoe's cookies. Maysen wanted them. So did Sister Beaudoin. Maysen ended up winning them for around $300. I looked over at Zoe and she was beaming. After that, the auction really took off. I saved all my 'money' for a haircut. I got it! I never get around to cutting my hair. I try to have it cut at least once every other year. The last time it was cut was right after we moved to Utah, but before we moved to this house. I have a ton of split ends that are driving me crazy. Anyway, a free haircut was perfect for me. Maysen and I also came away with a box of delicious cookies (from Zoe's mom....they are awesome cooks), and homemade cinnamon bread that will be delivered to us sometime in the future. Zoe asked Maysen what kind of cookies she wants. We will also get sugar cookies delivered to us. Pretty successful evening. I had a lot of fun with Maysen, she is really fun to be around.

One of the questions on our point sheet was '15 points if you haven't yelled today' - or something like that. When I was tucking Maysen in bed we were telling Jorja about our activity. I mentioned that question and said, "Wait, Maysen have you ever yelled?" I seriously don't remember her ever yelling. She is not perfect, but she rarely loses her temper . . . when she does, she doesn't yell. Maysen laughed and told me a few times when she yelled - she was about five or six. Wow. Wish I had that superpower. Granted, I don't yell now - but that was not the case as I was growing up!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Parry Post

Yesterday I had a frustrating day. It started out great. The kids were great during the entire stake conference, and we got to listen to Russell M. Nelson. After church I tried for the thousandth time to work on the Parry Post. Between computer problems, not having enough time and forgetting how everything is now set up it has been very frustrating. I have had a constant weight on my shoulders for about nine months now. Ridiculous. I can't believe I have had such a hard time getting this issue out. Besides that, the guilt is overwhelming. The Parry Post has been the thing I have been the most proud of (outside of my family of course), now I feel a constant shame every time I think about it . . . which is at least twenty times a day. Jorja knew I was frustrated. I think my tears were a big give away. She made me this beautiful heart. On one side it said: LOVE I love you so much mom. On the other side she drew me a picture of a frog. She wrote: I know I can't make the best gift. But I think the best gift is the love I give to you. So sweet! Thank you Jorja! You sure know how to cheer up your mom.

On the plus side, after working all day long on the Parry Post today, I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. If you can believe it, copying and pasting wasn't working. I was tired of trying to make it work, so I have been typing every entry by hand. Old school. It will get done much quicker this way. I should have just done this from the beginning......
Stephanie & Jorja

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Stake Presidency

We got a new one today. Our new president is named President Hunt. The first counselors last name is Blood. Haha! That is so funny . . . to me. The second counselors last name is Zarbock. Stockton leaned over to me and said, "I wish we had a cool last name." Ours definitely isn't exciting. I told Stockton that I could have had a cooler last name, but then I would have had to marry someone else. Not worth it. He agreed.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Frog Crayons

Mike and Jorja made frog crayons together. She loves them. She wants a black frog now, so they will have to do this again soon.
Bubs and Ange and their family came over for Sloppy Joes today. Preston in a really happy voice said, "Yep. I was right, I don't like Sloppy Joes." Oh well.... Bubs and Ange did have some exciting news about Lincoln. He was accepted into the Spanish Immersion Program! He gets to do the same program as Jorja, except with Spanish! I'm so excited for him! I know Bubs and Ange were hoping he would get in. It is not at their school, so Ange will have to take him there. Now that Lincoln is in, it should be easier to get the rest of their kids in. I am really, really excited about this! Yay Lincoln! (By the way, Lincoln doesn't know yet - so don't spill the beans.) Lincoln if you are reading this . . . ummm, go talk to your parents. :) They have something awesome to tell you!

Mike and I went to the adult session of Stake Conference tonight. Russell M. Nelson was there. We are getting a new Stake President tomorrow. I wanted to jot down a few notes that I took.
  • President Monson is blessed with 2 wonderful counselors and 12 slightly used and willing apostles. President Packer calls them his "used car lot".
  • Elder Nelson also talked about Gideon's army. The Lord got the ratio at 300 to 150,000. That is about 1 to 500. It is also about the same ratio of lds vs. nonlds today. Interesting.
  • "When I was stake president, one thing I would do different is I would put the best teachers in the church in the primary, and I would have them stay there long enough to make a difference."
  • When Elder Nelson was called as an apostle, one of his Jewish friends said, "I don't understand your church. Why would they take you out of heart surgery and make you an apostle? Don't they understand they are losing one of the great tithe payers of their church?"
  • He also talked about being assigned with the task of opening the communist countries of Europe to the church. How overwhelming that was. He testified that the Lord does his work through ordinary people. People with freckles, moles and warts. He went into detail about what happened in Europe, but it would take too long to write and my notes aren't very good . . . .
I enjoyed the evening out with Mike. We left Stockton in charge instead of Maysen (at Maysen's request). He did a great job getting Preston into bed. He told Maysen that he understood why she wanted him to be in charge. Sometimes that Preston can be a wiggly, wiggly little boy!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Chocolate Wrench

Mike decided he wanted to make molds. He made Preston this chocolate wrench. Preston thought it was about the coolest thing ever. Mike heated up some plastic in the oven and put it over a wrench. He then had a mold to poor chocolate into. Today Mike is starting his on-call week. I wonder what other adventures he has in store?
wrench mold . . . obviously
Final product = yummy

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I Survived

Book club that is. Not a big deal, but I'm glad it is over with and that it went well. Mike took Maysen to pottery. That was nice. We had book club late because of the caucuses. It worked out great because I had the rest of the kids in bed. When my friends arrived I had several, "Your house is so quiet" comments. Next month we are reading The Blessing of a Skinned Knee - or something like that. It is a parenting book . . . I think. I hear it is interesting - hope so!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Wednesdays are our crazy day. We couldn't celebrate pi day properly, but we did manage to have pizza (pie) for dinner and chocolate pie for dessert.
Notice how the oranges counteract the delicious goodness below?
Stockton & Preston
Tomorrow book club is at my house. I'm not sure if I need to lead the discussion or anything, but I wanted to be prepared. We are reading Out of My Mind. The book Maysen gave me and I totally love. Anyway, I was looking at random questions about the book when I started browsing Sharon Draper's website. I thought, I should tell her how much my family enjoyed her book. I have never written to an author before, but I decided to anyway. This was my e-mail.

Ms. Draper,

My 8th grade daughter asked me to read Out of My Mind. I am so grateful she did because I loved it! I then gave the book to my 6th grade son to read. He hates reading but needs to do a small book report each week. He is asked to rate the books from 1 to 10 as part of his reports. Stockton usually rates his books between 2-3. Imagine my surprise when he gave your book a 10 out of 10. Wow. Thank you for writing. Our family has sure enjoyed it.


Stephanie Smith

Well . . . she wrote back! Today! The same day I sent the e-mail. I couldn't believe it. When I opened the mail, I was sure it was going to be a form letter, but it wasn't. Here is her reply:

Dear Ms. Smith,
Your letter made me smile! :-)
Tell Stockton I said hello, and tell your daughter I said thanks!
All the best--Sharon Draper

ps--Tell him to try the books of Mike Lupica and Matt Christopher. Great for boys--lots of sports stories. Also--No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman.

Now that was COOL! Her e-mail made me smile!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Stockton is getting really good. Mike, Stockton and I went and played for an hour this afternoon. I love it!

Preston and I went to lunch with Mike today. We went to Firehouse Subs. I had no idea how delicious they were until my brother Mike took me there. Anyway, Preston was in love with the drink machine. He kept saying, "Too bad you can't make something that awesome Dad." Haha! Gotta love him!

Monday, March 12, 2012

I Am Thankful For Pokemon

Yes. Truly I am. Weird, I know. I never even saw it coming. My kids never had much interest in Pokemon. Maybe because it was popular. For some reason, my kids tend not to like anything if everyone likes it. Over Christmas this changed. Maysen and Jorja started learning about Pokemon. Stockton will have nothing to do with it. What this has done for my family has been awesome. Maysen and Jorja now finally have something to bond over. Previously all the bonding has been with Maysen and Stockton, Jorja and Preston, and Stockton and Preston. How I wanted my girls to enjoy each other! Now, thanks to Pokemon, I have my wish. I love hearing them giggle in their room as they battle each other playing Pokemon. Each in bed with their own DS. I love hearing Jorja ask Maysen to watch Pokemon with her - and that the answer usually is yes! I hope this bond that they are forming will last forever! For now, I'm just enjoying them enjoying each other.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Letter From Marie

Stockton got a letter from Marie today. Well, late last night I checked the mail - so today was when Stockton actually received it. The letter was practically in pieces. It was in another envelope that basically said 'sorry we ruined your letter...we really do care about it so we got it to you fast.' Which wasn't fast at all because Brett thought the letter would have gotten to us a long time ago!

Anyway, Stockton loved it. He smiled the entire time he was reading it and then asked me to keep it. I hope Marie doesn't mind, but this is what her letter says:

Dear Stockton,

I'm (Brett) transcribing for Marie. -- I want to show my rhymes to you. I like to write. I like to fly in the air forever. I like to play all games. I like to push my baby in the toy stroller. I like to sell things. I don't know any more rhymes. Here are some rhymes: fine, tine, pine, gine, ringing, binging, danging, banging.

--That's all she said, but she wanted to send you a rhyme. We did it together and it's her first poem. We were having family home evening, talking about family and Marie is always talking about Stockton, and a video she likes to watch when Stockton is making her laugh.

Here's our great poem:
I got a video of you jumping on the bed
and falling on your head
It was lots of fun
laughing at Stockton
Sometimes you'd smack
Your head and your back
I think your poems are fun
So I wanted to try one.

That's all we got. Thanks for being a great cousin.

P.S. Marie says she wants to say: Playing games is lots of fun for you to do.

I LOVE MARIE!!! (That was Stephanie by the way) She is so adorable! Three more months until I can see her again! I wonder if she still has that way cute Minnie Mouse voice? I can't wait to see Mina walking too!!! Thanks for the letter Marie. We LOVED it!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Artist

Mike and I went to see The Artist tonight. I was really excited to see it, but came away disappointed. I guess it didn't live up to my expectations. I love silent movies, but now that I think about it I might just love Buster Keaton movies. It was nice to be on a date with Mike anyway!

Friday, March 9, 2012


Maysen and I went and watched Erica in Cinderella. We enjoyed ourselves a lot. Erica was so cute passing out flowers to everyone. Maysen got a kick out of the wicked stepsisters. One of them was a boy dressed as a girl. He was a crack up! After the play, Shannon, Erica, Maysen and I went to Arctic Circle. Yummy!
Maysen & Erica
Erica's bio.
In other news . . . We bought tickets to Japan! I'm so excited!!! Mike, Maysen and I are going to visit Brett & Rachel in June. For all you robbers out there planning to rob our house while we are gone . . . not going to happen. My dad is going to stay here. I'm pretty sure Max and Cathy are too. Hopefully they will have a good time. I think they will enjoy the pool out back!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Stockton's Conference

As I was headed out the door to Stockton's conference I heard, "If she wants a new goal, tell her I will try to get my work in!" Oh boy. Stockton did really well. His scores are super high. His level of skill in math and reading is listed as "well above average" with "consider need for individualized instruction". His lexile score is 1220. Pretty good for a kid who doesn't like to read. I told his teacher that he signed up for regular English next year. He didn't want to do Honors. She about fell out of her chair. She said, "I wonder if they'll move him." Anyway, Stockton did great . . . except in Social Studies. That's where the 'turn my work in' goal will come in handy.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Jorja's Conference

I had Jorja's parent teacher conference today. She is doing great! She scored perfect in English. Her lexile score is 885 - that's pretty high for a third grader. I am really proud of her Chinese report card. It is not perfect, but she is definitely getting better. She earned 3 C's (Can do independently) the rest were WH (Can do with help). Her reading was 98 and writing was 88 - IN CHINESE!

Jorja's teacher wrote, "Jorja is a very smart girl. She is coming out of her shell and is making a lot of friends. She has no problem getting all her work in and is a highly motivated student." Great job Porge!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Preston's Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for this day. Please bless that everyone will be happy and healthy and peaceful. Bless that Brother McKenry will get better and bless all men that are sick.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

That was Preston's super sweet prayer. After he was done he looked at me and said, "You can tell the kids. I know it was cute." Then he decided he would like me to put it on the blog. I was so surprised he remembered Brother McHenry. As a family we talked about how Brother McHenry needed our prayers. That was a few days ago. I had no idea he remembered. Love him!

Stockton and Mike are skiing with the scouts. I really, really, really hope Stockton has a good time. I hope it is not cold and the wind isn't blowing hard. I wish the weather was as beautiful as it was yesterday!

Monday, March 5, 2012

All A's

Maysen received all A's and all H's this report card. Pretty perfect. This trimester she no longer has science and history. Instead she has health and PE. She's going to love that.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

2nd Class/1st Class

Stockton had a court of honor today. He received his 2nd class and 1st class award. I forgot the camera. I am lame.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Stockton's Regional Spelling Bee was today. I was so nervous for him. My legs were shaking almost the entire four hours! I couldn't get them to stop! I knew he was prepared, but all it takes is one word . . .

Stockton was contestant 11. Contestant 12 ended up winning. Her name is Vismaya Kharkar. She also won last year. This will be her second time competing in Washington D.C. - lucky! She was really nice, as was her family.

Anyway, here is a run down of his competition.

Round 1. 79 contestants. Stockton's word: interrupt
Round 2. 47 contestants. Stockton's word: quell
Round 3. 38 contestants. Stockton's word: nemesis - haha!
Round 4. 28 contestants. Stockton's word: zucchini
Round 5. 20 contestants. Stockton's word: punctilio
Round 6. 15 contestants. Stockton's word: comandante
Round 7. 11 contestants. Stockton's word: fantoccini
Round 8. 9 contestants. Stockton's word: melange - thank goodness he asked for alternate pronunciations! The second pronunciation was easier. The first sounded like melaj. Silent letters can be annoying! Thankfully he answered correctly.
Round 9. Final 9 contestants. Stockton is now first.
Round 9. 4 contestants left. Stockton's word: iambist. He spelled it iambyst. He said he was trying to decide between y, i, or e. He decided to go with y when they said it was from Greek.

Vismaya's word was ebola. She got it right. Stockton knew that one as well. Girl #14 spelled her word lenative and girl #22 spelled hers moritorium. Vismaya was the only one left. She needed to spell her next word right, or the others were back in. Her word was aberrant. She did it perfectly. Hopefully she'll do great in Washington. We would love to watch her on TV!
Final Four
Stockton's teacher Mrs. Marre came!
Mike and Stockton
Mike, Stockton, Stephanie
My dad watched Preston during the bee. Maysen and Jorja came. I also texted my brothers (except Brett), my dad, Shannon and Teresa during the bee . . . . giving them a play-by-play. Hope I didn't annoy them. Today was really exciting and pretty exhausting. To celebrate, we picked up Little Caesars on the way home. Stockton's choice. Stockton said, "I'm as happy as if I had won the bee, and now I don't have to study!" What a good little attitude. I am so proud of him. I love being his mom! (On a side note, spell check is funny. It tells me several of Stockton's words are spelled wrong. Haha!)

Friday, March 2, 2012


The kids didn't have school today. That worked out nicely. Stockton and I studied spelling all day. His regional bee is tomorrow. He is pretty excited/nervous. He really is good enough to win it all . . . or he can get out on the first word. I hope luck will be with him tomorrow!

My dad invited my family to go bowling today for Max's birthday. We haven't been for a long time. Stockton loved it! It was a welcomed distraction.

Today is also my grandma's 89th birthday. Love her! I am so thankful I can see her more often now that I have moved home. I don't know how I would have survived the first years after my mom's death without her. I'm stronger now, but I still enjoy every second I am able to be with her or talk to her. I talked to her on the phone today. As she said goodbye it sounded so much like my mom. I have never realized that before. I love you grandma! More than you will ever understand. Thank you for loving me.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Maysen found out today that she received 100% on the science portion of the CRT. Awesome!