Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ping Pong

I was in charge of the combined activity today.  The last one for me this year!  Yay!  We went to a ping pong arena to play, you guessed it, ping pong.  This activity turned out easier than I expected.  Luckily Brother Teuscher had connections and set up everything for me.
Stockton and Maysen
 Brother Heward & Brother Newman
Brother Newman is ranked in the top 15 in Utah
 YW leaders: Sisters Heward, Staker & Olsen
 Some of my crazy beehives:
Courtney, Erica, Nicole . . . with Josh behind them
 Courtney & Erica
 I love this picture of Maysen & Katie!
 Brother Heward playing Stockton.  Stockton smoked him!
I wish Stockton would have had a chance to play Brother Newman! That would have been fun for him, although I'm positive Brother Newman would have taken it easy on him!  This was a pretty fun place. It was right next to Bubs' house.  I think both Maysen and Stockton had a great time tonight.  I am glad my last combined activity is now over.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Arizona Complete!

Preston is funny.  He always says things I don't expect.  He also tries to be funny and doesn't always succeed.  Which I find funny.  I remember Grandma Honey telling me that Mike would always try to be funny when he was little, but he wasn't very funny.  Now she thought he was really funny.  She was right.  I look at Preston as a little Mike.  Our family matches up perfectly with Mike's family growing up.  Both families are girl, boy, girl, boy.  Maysen=Lisa, Stockton=Steve, Jorja=Sherry and Preston=Mike.  There is also a big gap between Sherry and Mike.  We have an even bigger gap between Jorja and Preston.  Anyway, Preston reminds me a lot of Mike and I like to imagine Preston is like Mike was when he was little.  I'm not sure if anything I just wrote made sense, so I will just go back to saying Preston is funny.

We played categories for about two hours in the pool tonight.  Maysen chose a category that was ridiculous.  Disney Characters That Begin With The Letter N.  Then she could only think of one.  Nemo.  Stockton and Jorja didn't pick Nemo.  Maysen couldn't think of another character.  We laughed.  Finally she said "Nuka".  What?  When she told us it was in Lion King we laughed so hard.  Lion King is one of Maysen's favorite movies.  Jorja and Stockton's character?  Nala. Maysen couldn't think of Nala but she came up with Nuka.

I tried to pick a category that was States You Have Lived In, but the kids revolted.  I changed it to States You Have Been In.  Both Jorja and Preston made it across the pool without me hearing them.  Jorja's state was Virginia and Preston's state was Arizona.  When Preston made it across he said, "Arizona Complete."  He was so cute!  It is hard to describe his cuteness, but he is, quite frankly, adorable.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cake Batter Rice Krispies

Jorja and I made them.  They were SO good!

Mike took Maysen, Stockton and Jorja to the church to clean it this morning.  Preston was still asleep and I did not want to wake him up. Mike, Maysen, Stockton and I all played racquetball.  I was undefeated! That surprised the kids.  They couldn't believe I could beat their dad. Later Jorja, Preston and I went swimming.  I spent a lot of time vacuuming the pool.  Of course the wind picked up as we got in the pool, so who knows if more came in than I was able to get out.  That was frustrating.

Mike and I have our 20th reunion next week.  I was actually really excited about going.  We haven't been able to go to any of our reunions so far, so I wanted to go to this one.  Much more than Mike wanted to go.  Weird because Mike was very popular and social in high school. Anyway, we finally got around to looking at the information about the reunion.  They are having two activities.  One is at the high school and you can bring your own lunch and walk around the school with your family.  Very casual.  The other is at Noah's.  They will have dinner and a slide show.  When you get your tickets you need to say if you are going to use the paid bar or play poker.  The tickets were $60 a piece!  I couldn't believe it!  That would be $120.  I liked high school alright, but I'm not sure I liked it $120 worth.  Actually I know I didn't like it $120 worth.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Lauren's Wedding

We had a relaxing morning.  Grandpa made us pancakes and we were able to hang out with them for awhile.  Jorja and Preston were really excited to pick raspberries.  Of course they weren't extremely cooperative in letting me take their pictures.
 Jorja & Preston
Lauren's wedding was this afternoon.  Grandma, Grandpa and I went to the temple while the kids stayed at their house.  Lauren looked so beautiful!  I can't believe I didn't take one picture of her!  After the wedding I picked up the kids and we had a lunch at Steve & Sharon's house.  It was delicious.  Preston's lunch was a plate of croutons. Seriously.
Maysen & Grandma
 Stockton & Grandma
 Jorja & Grandma
 Preston & Grandma
I would have gotten a picture of my kids with Grandpa before we left, but he was too busy socializing.  We headed back to Utah after the lunch. We arrived home around 7:00 tonight.  We got here before Mike did. My dad picked Mike up at the airport and he came home shortly after us.  It was great to see him!  It is nice to have everyone safe at home.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Live in a Picture

That is what Eden told me.  I totally agree.  It is beautiful here. Sometimes I look at the mountains, where they meet the sky.  It looks unreal.  I love it!

Eden came over and did swim lessons with Jorja, Preston & Max, and me.  During my lesson I raced Jorja.  I thought I might be able to beat her in freestyle, but she was about three seconds in front of me.  Then we raced in breast stroke.  I had barely made it to the end of the pool when she had made it there and back.  What?  I can't believe how fast she was!  Eden keeps telling me that she can't wait to watch Jorja compete next year.

This afternoon the kids and I loaded up the car and headed to Idaho. We stopped at Maddox on the way.  I have heard about it, but I don't remember going there myself.  When we got there I realized it was a sit down restaurant.  I was expecting a hamburger joint.  The kids were great and the rolls were fantastic.  Preston loved it and claimed it was his favorite restaurant.  He was really excited about the frisbee he got. The kids meals were served on frisbees.  Anyway, as we were leaving I noticed a different Maddox right next to the restaurant.  That one was a hamburger joint.  Oh well.

My grandpa called me 12 times on my way up to Idaho.  I didn't answer because my phone was on silent.  He was letting me know that Jacks Pack (the family softball team) was playing.  I was disappointed that I didn't get the message.  If I knew that I definitely wouldn't have dilly dallied on my way up to Idaho.  At least we made it safe and sound.  The kids were great.  What more could I ask for?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Preston had a swimming lesson with Eden today.  He did great!  I was so worried.  He didn't want a lesson.  When it came down to it, he did great.  Jorja and I also had a lesson.  My time across the pool and back is now 30 seconds.  I have gotten 9 seconds off in less than a week.  I wish I had timed myself before my first lesson with Eden!  It is so easy to improve when you were so horrible to start with!  Eden is coming back tomorrow.  Preston is going to have a lesson with Max.

I "taught" Jorja and Stockton how to play rummy today.  Stockton was ridiculous through the entire game acting like it was the most boring thing he has ever been asked to do.  I told him this was his boring tolerance training.  He needs it.  Stockton still managed to win the game.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


My family came over today.  Dad brought KFC.  We had a pretty low-key event.  Bubs, his kids, Sam, my dad, Cathy, Max, Grandma and Gayle were all here.  It was relaxing and fun.  After dinner I opened the pool. Stockton jumped in first and shouted, "It's so warm!  I've never been in it so warm!"  I hadn't even turned the heater on.  I wanted to swim with them, but I didn't.  Maysen and I were leaving soon.

Maysen and I got Wicked tickets for Christmas.  I have never seen Wicked before, but have heard it was great.  We downloaded the music about a week ago, but that was it.  We had a GREAT time!  I had no idea what to expect, as far as the story goes.  It was opposite than I thought it would be.  We had great seats and both loved it.  Both main characters were super funny.  We laughed the entire way home. Maysen put the Wicked soundtrack on while we were driving.  It was nice to understand what was actually going on while the song was being sung. As we were driving home, listening to the songs, we were able to watch fireworks from all random places.  It was quite cool.
Maysen & Stephanie
 Jorja took these pictures of us before we left.
 Stephanie & Maysen
 Maysen thought this dragon was cool . . . but then who wouldn't?
 It's not the FOX, but it was a great night!
My dad slept over last night.  I didn't want the kids to be alone for this long on the 24th.  He made them milkshakes.  They love it when he makes them milkshakes.  Stockton went to bed when he was asked, but the other three had a hard time.  They ended up coming upstairs and watching fireworks from the front lawn.  Before my dad knew what was happening Jorja brought out a ton of blankets and sleeping bags.  Silly Porge!  She is such a little instigator.  She reminds me so much of Mike. In a good way.  My dad keeps telling me I need to watch Cheaper By the Dozen.  He says I'll know which character reminds him of Jorja.  I should do that.  I bet we would all get a great laugh.  I love that little Porge!

Monday, July 23, 2012

My New Brooke

What a great day!  It started off kind of silly.  Yesterday the kids convinced me to adopt a webkinz.  Jorja and I found some at Seagull Book for $3.  They had 4 tree frogs left, so I bought them . . . thinking they could be used as gifts in the future.  Jorja had a birthday party and gave one to Jazzie, then I adopted one and Maysen and Preston bought the last two.  Jorja is SO happy about this.  Anyway I named my cute little frog Brooke.  Haha!  Now I have my own Brooke since I never get to see my favorite Brooke anymore.

Anyway, I took Stockton to diving and then I played in our pool.  With all the kids.  For a long time.  It was so much fun.  I was quite proud of myself for figuring out how to get the pump to get the water off the pool cover.  (It rained last night.)  I know I should not be proud of this, but I am.  Also, the kids counted my laps as I passed off my goal of swimming ten laps in the pool.  I really thought this was an impossible goal.  I can't believe I did it!  I timed myself on one lap.  I was 34.8. Shaved some seconds off.  That's good for me!  We also spent a lot of time playing categories.  It was so much fun.  Even Preston played and he loved it. 

We got out of the pool in time to get something to eat and take Stockton to his last regular dive meet of the season.  I think he scored around 103.  I know he broke 100.  He dove a one and a half, a double, a reverse and an inward.  This was the first time he competed with a double.  I was so proud of him!  Especially since the board was not bouncy at all!  (We were at a tiny pool up in the avenues.)
We also got a message from Sam today about a manuscript Covenant wanted her to review.  It was due last week.  I about died!  We never got the manuscript, or any communication about it.  Luckily they were able to resend it and give her a new due date.  This is the first time they have asked her, so too bad we didn't start with a good impression.  We are excited though, I would love Maysen to be able to do things like this. It's not a book review exactly, it's an evaluator.  Sounds good to me! What a great thing to do in the summer!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Delta Stinks

Mike had to fly to Texas today.  When he checked in they had changed his flight.  Instead of a short easy flight, they now had him leaving at midnight, flying to Atlanta and arriving in Texas at 8:30 in the morning.  His training starts at 7.  NOT GOOD.  I took Mike to the airport this afternoon and he was able to fly standby and arrive there around midnight.  Ridiculous.  That is twice in two months they have made an obnoxious change to his schedule.  You would think we flew around the country all the time, but no, we hardly fly anywhere anymore.

Anyway, Mike gave me these flowers before he left.  Beautiful.  They are from our backyard as well.  On a side note, it is so hard to take a picture where a mirror is involved without looking like an idiot.  I should have just moved the flowers . . . 
Flowers & Stephanie
When I got back from dropping Mike off at the airport, I got the kids together to go to our ward lemonade night.  The key pad wasn't working on the garage to close the door.  I assumed it was because the light was hitting the sensors weird.  That happened all the time in Georgia.  So, I hit the garage door button from the wall and ran out.  On the way over I thought, "I hope I didn't just lock us all out of the house."  Well . . . . turns out I did.  I was outside with all four kids, no phone, husband out of town.  Great.  I guess our keypad is out of batteries.  I tried for a long time to get the darn thing opened with no success.  My plan was to borrow some batteries from a neighbor.  After about 20 minutes I remembered Preston climbing out of the playroom window.  Okay, that window has no screen on it.  I found the window and started pushing on it.  Luckily it was still unlocked and we were able to crawl in the house.  There are these weird bars in front of the window and I'm sure Maysen and I looked really funny climbing the bars in our skirts, but we survived.  I also quickly learned how to lock the window.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Jacques is broken.  I miss him.  I spent about an hour and a half cleaning the pool.  It wasn't too bad, it was kind of fun.  Only because I don't have to always do it.  Without Jacques I know this job would seem horrible.  Hopefully he will come back to life soon.

I swam laps after everyone went inside.  I surprised myself.  I could actually do it!  I wish I timed myself before my lesson with Eden.  I know I was super slow.  I'm still slow, but I have hope of getting better. I swam from the diving board and back in 39.5 seconds.  Hopefully I will improve, but considering how horrible I was a few weeks ago - I'm very happy about this!

In other news, Stockton looked so cute out mowing the lawn.  (Pay no attention to the sprinkler mess in the background.  It seems like one sprinkler or the other is always leaking.)  I wish I had a picture of Maysen mowing the lawn.  Missed that.
Stockton not humoring me
Mike cut these cute flowers for me.  I love them.  I wish I had a greener thumb and could keep flowers like this around all the time.
Mike humoring me

Friday, July 20, 2012

Where They Crashed

Preston & Jorja
 Preston crashed around 3:00
 Jorja crashed around 4:00
 Maysen made her goal of staying awake until 5:00
 and crashed shortly after
 Stockton . . . he was wide awake in the morning.
Stockton did take a nap for a couple hours around noon.  The kids were mostly happy today.  There were a few ornery moments that wouldn't have happened if they had their sleep, but overall they did great.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Take Two

The kids love to 'stay up all night'.  We usually let them do that the last day of school.  This year Stockton was sick and fell asleep about 5.  He has been begging to have another stay up night.  We decided it wouldn't be fun to stay up all by yourself, so we are letting the kids try again tonight.  Mike told them, "Number 1 rule of 'stay up all night':  DON'T wake me up!"  They are really excited.  I brought home two pizzas so they can eat all night if they like.  Poor Jorja.  Life would be so much easier if she liked pizza.  I will have to take pictures in the morning of all the random places they fell asleep at.

Mike has been trying to make a furnace lately for his new metal making hobby.  I think he decided that he is a Smith so he should act like one. He also mentioned something about Nephi making the tools to make the boat.  That boy and his hobbies!  At least all his hobbies are at home!
 Homemade furnace . . . I think . . .

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Swim Lesson

I had my first swim lesson with Eden today.  Oh man was I terrible! She was nice about it and managed to get through the lesson without laughing!  Jorja on the other hand was a different story - just kidding!

Jorja and I went to her last book club of the year at the library.  We finished her book this morning.  Turtle in Paradise.  A lot of people liked the book.  I thought it was okay, but not my favorite.  Jorja got to make a picture frame and pick two books to take home.  Nice way to end the day.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mayonnaise Sandwiches

Preston was so proud of himself for making his own sandwiches.  He made himself a mayonnaise sandwich - three times today.  Oh boy, that is all he would eat.  This afternoon I came upstairs and found him eating a sandwich.  He had cleaned up his entire mess.  The mayonnaise was even back in the fridge.  What a sweet boy.  Who needs to eat something else tomorrow.  At least he added carrots today too.
Preston cleaning out his mug.  That step-stool has been fantastic! Although he can now get in more mischief than he did before.
Preston and I played a game of Dominion today.  It was the worst game ever!  Preston loved it.  He had a million possession cards.  Pair that with my tactician - over and over again.  I thought it would never end!

We had a combined activity today.  It was a fugitive water balloon activity.  I was SO GLAD I wasn't in charge of this one!  They divided up the group into fugitives and cops.  I was on the cop team.  Because I had a jeep with the top off.  I drove around with Anthony and Johnny and different people as we looked for the fugitives to peg with water balloons.  Anthony got about 7 people, but he really wanted to get Courtney.  He chased her for about 30 minutes, but she was victorious. Our neighborhood has pathways that connect all the streets together. The cars can't follow them their!  Anthony would chase the fugitives down when he found them, but Courtney is fast!  She has super long legs.  She is probably six feet tall, or close to it - and she is one of my Beehives!  I was really glad when she made it to the pavilion.  I was so tired of driving around.  Everyone else had finished, but not Anthony . . he was determined . . . but unsuccessful.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rain Delay

It is so good to have rain!  Our lawn really needed it.  Too bad it had to happen in the middle of Stockton's diving competition.  Thunder was heard right after he started warming up.  I was hoping it would get called before he jumped in the pool, but no such luck.  It rained on us for about twenty minutes then the skies cleared.  The younger kids were able to get their meet in.  Stockton got two dives in before the thunder started again.  Disappointing.

Mike and I went and played racquetball after the kids were in bed.  We went to yogurt afterwards.  While we were there I saw Tenille.  She was one of my friends I grew up dancing with.  It was so great to see her! Mike's mom got to know Tenille really well when she lived in their ward.  She loved her!  I was so happy to run into her again.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Taylor's Farewell

This morning I was lucky enough to be able to go to my cousin Taylor's mission farewell.  I love being around my family.  Even though I don't get to talk to everyone, it is just nice to see them and be around them. Taylor did a great job.  He was so sweet when he talked about his Grandma & Grandpa Roe.  I wish I had been as good about keeping my mothers memory alive as the Roe family has.  (That includes Tammi and Rozie.)

The food at the Roe's was wonderful, but that's no surprise.  I brought up a letter my Uncle Steve wrote to my mom when he was 8.  My mom kept it all these years.  It was so funny!  His spelling was the best.  It's weird realizing how much of a difference in age there is between my mom and some of her siblings.

I got home from Idaho around eight o'clock.  The kids were all super happy.  Mike had hung up lots of pictures and had several rooms spotless.  When I commented on that Preston said, "You should leave home more often."  Haha!  It is true.

Anyway, Maysen finished the blankets she was working on for everyone.  They all seemed to like them and they looked really cute. Plus, they let me take a picture!
Preston, Jorja, Maysen, Stockton
Maysen made crepes for dinner.  Look how cute the fruit looked on the leaf dish that Rachel gave me! Thanks Rachel!  Do you like Stockton's plate in the background?  Also, you can see one of Maysen's new pottery bowls.  She has a cute little butterfly on it.
Here is the matching plate that Rachel gave me.  I love it!  If I was clever I would have gotten them in the same shot!  But I am not clever, so there you go.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Trees and Grass

The kids were such cute little workers today.  No one complained and they got all their jobs done.  Preston looked so cute in his goggles I could hardly stand it.  He rarely lets me take pictures of him anymore, so I love it when I can catch him!
 Trying to hide from the camera
 What a sweet little boy!
Mike taught Jorja how to mow the lawn.  We now have a push mower. He got it from his brother Steve.  The mower wasn't working, so Steve gave it to Mike to use for parts.  Instead, Mike figured out how to get it working again.  It is nice to have a lawn mower that the kids can use.
Jorja & Mike
Mike also recovered these kitchen chairs.  We will probably paint them a dark color at some point, but we are never in a rush with those kinds of things.
I drove up to Idaho Falls tonight and was able to spend this evening with my grandparents.  I love being with them.  We stayed up late talking.  I can't remember what we talked about, but it was great just to be with them.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Maysen and I went shopping for fabric today.  She wants to make the kids fleece blankets.  That is one of her talent goals.  I also got some patterns.  One of my talent goals was to sew something.  I didn't say it had to turn out or be pretty . . . so we will see how this goes.

Also, I have to say Mike is awesome.  When I came home from girls camp, he had the kitchen sparkling.  Also the playroom was the best I had seen it in ages!  Love it!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Mike and I took the van to get the brakes fixed today.  We picked it up later this afternoon after paying the piper.  Now they sound horrible!  Mike is going to have to take the van back tomorrow.  Thanks for the help car place!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Bear

Last night the leaders spent a long time laughing about all the ways they could use the bear suit.  They wanted to wake up the girls with it, have the bear cook breakfast, do arts and crafts, paddle a canoe. Random things.  They also wanted a different leader to dress up as the bear for different activities.  Bryce wore the bear suit to wake up the girls.  I laughed and asked Becky how hard she had to talk him into doing that.  She just laughed.  I knew she wouldn't have to talk him into it.  Waking up people while wearing a bear suit would be right up his alley.

Anyway, I agreed to wear the bear costume while paddling a canoe. The other leaders claimed they didn't know how to paddle a canoe.  The plan was they would take the girls on a planned 3 mile hike.  On their way back, they would text me to get in the canoe.  As they were leaving I yelled out to Jaime with a little terror in my voice, "Look how many people are on the lake!"  She laughed hard!  It was easy for me to stay behind because I spent a long time last night trying to fix a flat tire on our van with Brother Liu.  Mike was going to come pick up the car today and get the tire fixed.  Instead, Brother Liu got up at 5:30 this morning, drove to his house, got a tire repair kit and came back to help me for a long time before he went to work.  Talk about going beyond what is required.  He said that he didn't want Mike to have to come up and back.  I thought - isn't that what you just did?  Mike and Brother Liu worked as primary teachers in the same class for over a year.

Anyway, we were able to get the tire repaired.  I helped Anna Marie clean the cabin while we waited for a text.  When it came, Anna Marie helped me push the canoe into the lake.  She took a few pictures for me. It was SO HARD to see out of the mask!  The next time I paddle a canoe in a bear costume I'm going to make sure I'm in the front of the canoe! When I could see, most of the time I could only see the inside of the canoe.  Not too helpful!  In a lot of the pictures it looks like the bear has its head down.  What a sad bear.  In reality, I had my head up so high - the mask just wouldn't stay up for me!

I paddled around that lake for about an hour!  Seriously!  The leaders told me later that they were trying to hurry down, but they kept laughing imaging me on the lake.  I just kept paddling around, taking pictures with random people . . . waving, blowing kisses . . . the whole nine yards.  After awhile I started thinking, "Did they just tell me to paddle in a bear costume for the girls when in reality they are seeing how long I will stay out here?"  

Finally I heard Camee yell, "Someone stole our canoe!"  I was SO HAPPY!  I started working my way over to where I heard the voice. Everyone was laughing so hard.  Especially the leaders.  Becky said, "It was even greater than I imagined!" and "Whenever I am sad, I'm going to remember this image.  It will be the little happy place in my mind."

Maysen got in the canoe with me.  She even put on the mask and gloves, which looked pretty cool because she was wearing all black.  I don't have a picture of that though because all the pictures on my camera were at the beginning of the adventure.  I'll have to get some of her somehow.
 Stephanie the bear
I wish I had brought more props, because paddling got old after awhile. Like maybe a book and I could pretend I was reading.  Anyway, when we got back to the cabin I decided to put the mask back on as I walked in.  I climbed up the deck stairs and knocked on the back sliding glass door.  I heard Bishop Valentine scream!  That was so funny!  We then talked Jaime into getting in the bear costume.  It was Bishop and Sister Valentine's anniversary.  The beehives had set up a cute lunch table for them.  Athena serenaded them on the guitar.  Jaime came up in the bear costume carrying flowers and bringing dessert.  Bishop wanted to scare Brother Riddle with the bear costume, but he wasn't too surprised.
Jaime the bear
 Ashley, Jaime bear, Eden
 Athena & Kelsee ~ those two became great friends
I was so tired when I got home!  I picked up Stockton, Jorja and Preston and we got free slurpees and Little Caesars' pizza.  Jorja was a little sad. Mike pulled out a package that had arrived while I was gone.  I asked him not to show her until I was there.  She got a new frog shirt.  She loves it!  That perked her up right away!  Perfect timing.
As far as girls camp goes, I think this was the easiest one around!  I am very tired though and very glad to be home.