Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sick Porge

My Porge is very sick.  She woke up in the middle of the night and crawled into our bed.  She was burning up.  She slept for most of the day today.  She has lost her voice.  I hope she is feeling better tomorrow.  I hate seeing her like this.  Poor little Porgie.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Dinosaurs, Bunker Hill, Golf Carts and Chess

I spent the morning with Jorja at the Natural History Museum for her 4th grade field trip.  I wasn't a chaperone.  It was so nice just to wander around with Jorja and not be in charge of anyone else.  We had lunch at the park.  The weather was beautiful.  I was glad I was able to go with her.
Stephanie and Jorja
Stockton had diving today.  The pool is going to be closed for the next two weeks, so this was his last practice for awhile.  At the end of practice Clark wanted to play with the mat on the water.  I couldn't believe that thing could float!  Not only that, it could hold all of their weight.  That pretty much blew my mind.  Stockton and three high-school boys (Nate, Keegan, Clark) played King of Bunker Hill for quite awhile.  (I'm not sure what the game is called, but we called it King of Bunker Hill when we were little - basically they were trying to be the one standing on the mat and would push everyone else off.)  Needless to say, Stockton loved it.
Stockton sitting on the mat
 So blurry, but Stockton was just pushed off
 Stockton as king
Jorja was so excited when we got home.  Mike got his dad's old golf cart fixed.  Jorja had fun driving around our backyard in it.  Mike also worked on the tree house.  It's kind of cool to have the boards from his childhood deck up there.
Maysen did not want me to take this picture because Stockton is creaming her in chess.  I thought they were cute.  Sorry about the oven mit on the table.
Stockton & Maysen

Sunday, April 28, 2013

New Beehive

I was excited to welcome my new beehive today.  Her name is Carson.  I haven't had a new beehive for 15 months.  Crazy!  I made Carson the value cupcakes today.  I have six beehives coming in this year.  It's going to be exciting!  I'm just not ready to let me other ones leave.  I can't believe they all will be turning 14 this year.
I called up Shannon and asked if we could come over.  How nice of me. The kids loved playing with their cousins.  Jorja wishes we lived close enough that she could ride her bike to their house.  At least we live close enough to visit whenever we want!  I'll take that!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Try Again

Preston was so excited that he got in the tree himself today.  He wanted me to take his picture.  He even had me video him, but I'm not going to put that on here.  He thinks he is pretty hot stuff!
I took Preston with me to a wedding shower.  He was a good sport. Mostly I wanted him with me because I knew Jorja wanted to ride her bike.  Preston always wants to follow Jorja around, but he is a lot slower on his bike than she is.  I didn't want to worry about him chasing Jorja and getting into dangerous situations.  So, he came with me.

I picked Mike up at the airport at 2:30.  Yay!  When he was in Detroit, he got the results of his test.  He didn't pass.  He is so disappointed! Mike scored 200 out of 300 on the first part of his test.  He needed 210 to pass.  He had a perfect score on the second part of his test.  He has no idea what went wrong.  Everything was working when he finished. (It is a hands on test.)  The only thing he can think of is maybe he set up something wrong at the beginning and when the computer was restarted it didn't work.  Although he restarted it several times when he was taking the test.  Maybe he broke something right at the end.  Too bad he has no clue what happened.  Boy oh boy is he disappointed though.  He is going to try to retake the test, but the next time it is offered is in August.  That is a long time to have this hanging over him. Also, it is on the East Coast.  This trip was paid for by Overstock, but to retake the test, we will have to pay for the cost (testing cost, flight and hotel).  So sad.  Mike's first certification expires soon.  He will need to go to California to re-certify.  The company won't pay for that one.  It makes sense.  Mike won't be getting any extra knowledge, the certification is just purely to benefit him. Anyway, maybe we will go as a family and make a trip of it this summer.  I feel so sad for Mike.  I know he studied so hard this week.  He is so disappointed and a little embarrassed.

You may wonder why I decided to blog about this.  I did this for my kids. I need them to know that it is okay to fail at things.  You just pick yourself up and try again.  I need them to know that their dad works hard and isn't always perfect.  The reason they need to know this is they are going to fail at something in life.  When that happens, I need them to know it is okay.  Life will go on.  They are still awesome.  All four of my kids idolize their dad, with good reason.  He is amazing.  I want them to become just like him.  What a blessed life I live!

Friday, April 26, 2013


Maysen and Stockton didn't have school today.  As soon as Jorja and Preston were off to school, we went out for waffles!  I took them to Bruges for the first time.  Delicious!  Maysen got a cinnamon waffle with vanilla ice cream.  Stockton got a torpedo.  2 waffles with chocolate bars between them.  He also had them slathered in chocolate sauce.  He didn't end up liking his.  He didn't like the chocolate sauce, he said Hershey syrup is better.  Next time we'll have to have him try the one Maysen had.
Maysen and Stockton

Mike has been in North Carolina all week.  He is taking his very last Red Hat certification class.  He has five certifications, if he gets this last one he would have a RHCA.  It is really huge accomplishment, and a goal he has had.  He has had a week of classes culminating in the test today.  It is two three hour tests.  Mike texted me this morning and said, "First half of test is done.  Relentless....but I think I got all right except maybe one."  Yay!  Later he texted me that he was done, it was intense, but he thinks he got everything.  What a relief.  Because the test was so long he wasn't able to come home today.  He flies in tomorrow afternoon.  I can't wait to see him!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Kindergarten Zoo

Preston had a field trip to the zoo today.  I was lucky enough to be able to go with him.  I got to ride the bus with him and everything!  Preston was really excited about going, the weather was perfect and he had a great time.  I had a group of four boys.  I was a little nervous when I had no idea how many I was going to need to keep track of.  These boys were great and the day was so much fun!
Preston ~ giraffes
 Knox, Parker, Preston, Ben ~ giraffes
 Knox, Parker, Preston ~ eagle's nest
 Preston ~ peacock
There were lego animals all over the zoo.  The kids loved them!  I did too.  We didn't take pictures by all of them, but we did get a lot!
Preston ~ penguins
 Preston ~ polar bear
 Preston ~ turtles
 Preston & Knox ~ monkeys
I tried to talk Preston into going out to lunch with me, but he just wanted to get home.  I did talk Maysen and Stockton into getting yogurt with me after their parent-teacher conferences.  They both are excellent students and their conferences were great.  I love it when that happens!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Early Run

I have decided to run a relay race with Heather in June.  Not going to lie - I'm scared to death!  I don't run at all, but hanging out with Heather sounds like fun.  I got some running shoes on Monday.  My other shoes I bought before Jorja was born.  Time for some new ones.  I printed up the training schedule Heather suggested.  It is a 20 week schedule and I have 10 weeks.  Well, I'll just hope for the best.  Today was a 25 minute run.  I ran to the church and ran around the track 9 times and then ran home.  I listened to Inkspell while I ran.  I like listening to books much better than music.  Anyway, here's hoping!  (I'm still terrified....)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Swim Sign-Ups

I signed Stockton for diving and Jorja and Preston up for swim team today.  I hope Preston can handle this.  I guess we will just have to wait and see.  The swim meets are long and they have a lot of practices, so I'm just going to hope for the best.  The fun thing about the swim meets for six year olds are as soon as you get out of the pool they give you a ribbon.  I think Preston will really like that.

Preston also got carried away with reading for the first time today.  He was reading a Magic Tree House book.  Tonight on the Titanic. Usually I can only get him to read one chapter a day.  His teacher sent the book home with him yesterday and he finished it today.  Gotta love it.

Monday, April 22, 2013


The pool guy came over to look at our pool today.  It is worse than we thought.  Not good.  Big decisions to make.  We love the pool, so we will get it fixed one way or another.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Trevor's Stocking

I finally finished Trevor's stocking.  It ended up taking me forever, but better late than never - right?
As I was tucking the boys into bed we were talking about VHS tapes. Stockton said, "I remember tapes!"  Preston said he did too.  Stockton doubted him.  Preston said, "Yes I remember tapes!  They were replaced by glue."

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Tender Mercies

I just wanted to write down some tender mercies that Mike and I have experienced in regards to his house.  First, I can't believe the timing they had for the estate sell.  There was one weekend we were in town and that is what was chosen.  The weekend before we were in Idaho, before that we were on our cruise, the weekend after Mike was going to be in North Carolina.  Seriously, last weekend was the only weekend that would possibly work for us.  What a tender mercy!

Another tender mercy was Mike happened to be on-call.  We had no idea he was on-call.  We thought his next one would be towards the end of the summer.  The first day back from work after the cruise was when he found out.  He was actually scheduled a different week, but one of his friends traded him.  Actually he traded him without asking.  (Which was fine.)  Turns out it was such a tender mercy.  That was when everything started happening at the house.  Mike was able to go to his house at 8 in the morning on Friday.  We had no idea we would end up being there all weekend.  There is no way we could have done everything we did if Mike wasn't on call.  Another tender mercy.

There were others and I'm sure I can't remember them all.  But the weather was great and my family was able to come at the spur of the moment.  We just feel watched over, loved and blessed.
Today we had a yummy dinner with Bubs and Ange.  We went to a Japanese steakhouse.  Or as Tage calls it, a 'cook-in-front'.  The kids had pizza at home.  That's what we call a win-win.  Except for Jorja.

Mike took a picture of this framed leaf and sent it to Sherry.  It was one of the things that came to us when Scoop and Cori first moved.  Sherry said it wasn't hers, but she thought Jessica made it.  Mike sent a picture to Lisa.  She wrote back, "Jessi made it.  I would love it!"  We dropped it off to her tonight.  I asked her where the leaf came from.  She said the leaf was just there, what Jessi made was the paper.  She made this in elementary school.  She gave it to Grandma Honey for Mother's Day one year.  How cool is that!  Sharen reframed it.  What a cool memory for Lisa.  Both her mom and her daughter have passed away - this is something that represents both of them.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Preston's Fancy Dinner

Preston looked so cute doing his homework this morning.  I can't believe how fast he is growing up!
 He did not want me to take his picture.
Preston and Mike made dinner tonight.  They made steak and macaroni, cheese, carrots, strawberries and chocolate.  Preston had so much fun setting the table.  He wanted to make it 'fancy'.  He kept saying fancy really funny.  At first he put out a pizza cutter and can opener to make the table fancy.  Mike put those away and talked him into candles instead.  Preston had a piece of paper next to everyone's plate.  He said that made the dinner fancy.  On his he had written what we were eating, but all the others were blank.  Man I sure love that kid!
Maysen, Jorja, Mike, Stockton, Preston

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sharen's Ring

Mike put the office cabinets in our dining room.  Wow do they look good!  Especially with Maysen's pottery everywhere.  I love it!
Mike and I went over to Lisa's today.  She gave us Sharen's 'everyday' dishes.  We now have a place to put them.  Lisa had a hard time this week.  I saw her daughter Melissa up at the house on Saturday.  Melissa said she was supposed to look around and see if her mom could handle coming up there.  Melissa said there was no way she could handle it. She was crying over just the thought of her house coming down, to actually see it would be too much.  We talked to Lisa about it tonight. She said she wanted to remember how it was.  She didn't want to see her mom's life work destroyed.  So sad.

Melissa also said that her mom had mentioned several times how she wished she had some of her mom's jewelry.  Somehow she didn't end up with any.  I asked her about it at the shower.  She said that she was out of town when they had the draft.  Aimee got a jade necklace that she wears sometime.  I have no idea obviously because I lived in Georgia at the time.  When we came in the summer after Sharen died, Scoop had me look through her jewelry box to see if there was anything I wanted. He assured me that everyone had already picked out things and this is what was left.  I picked out some simple bracelets and pins.  She had a couple of frog pins, so I thought that was cool because Jorja kind of liked frogs.  I had no idea she would turn out to LOVE frogs!  I have a feeling Jorja is going to love those pins!

Anyway, one of the things I found was a necklace with a diamond on it. Scoop told me it was Sharen's original wedding ring.  When Scoop gave her a new ring she had this necklace made.  Wow.  I now had that necklace.  I couldn't believe I had both my mom's and Sharen's wedding ring.  I loved knowing I had such amazing things to pass down to my children.

Today I gave Lisa the necklace with Sharen's wedding ring.  I just felt that I should.  Lisa really appreciated it.  She said she didn't want to take it from me.  I told her she wasn't taking it, I was giving it to her.  I told her it meant a lot to me, but it would probably mean more to her. Thinking about it later, that was the wrong choice of words.  I don't think it means more to Lisa, I just think Lisa needed it more than I did. It was super hard to let go, but I know it was the right thing to do.  I feel good about it, even though it hurts my heart.  I just wish I had taken a picture of the necklace before I let it go.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dining Room

Jorja was still hurting this morning.  She wanted to go to school anyway.  On Mondays and Wednesdays she has violin before school.  I dropped Maysen and Stockton off at school and headed to Jorja's school.  She looked horrible as I was driving over.  On the way she decided she couldn't do it.  I can't imagine anything worse than going to an elementary school beginning orchestra class while having a migraine.  I took Jorja home and got Preston sent off to school.  Mike and I were planning on going back to his house this morning.  We gave Jorja the option of coming, but she decided to lay on the couch with the lights off.  I did get a movie going for her, so she was all set.  Jorja had her ipod next to her so she could text me if she needed to.  That made me feel better.

Mike worked on getting the ceiling off of the dining room/living room area.  I worked on getting screws out of the deck.  That was HARD!  It didn't help that it was freezing outside.  Even with Mike's giant coat. Matt was coming over to our house to do laundry.  When he called I convinced him to help Mike and I would do his laundry.  Matt's awesome.
Mike - living room/dining room
Dining room walls
I absolutely loved this!  It was so cool to see Sharen's handwriting 7 years after she died.  I know this was written a LONG time ago because they had a desk in front of this by the time I came around.  This just makes me happy, I don't know why.
 Although it's pretty sad when you take a step back.
Jorja came with me to pick up Preston at the bus stop.  She is feeling a little better.  Hopefully the migraine has passed and will not come back ever again!  Preston was so excited to see Jorja.  He loved riding his bike home with her.
Jorja and Preston
Mike and Matt worked pretty hard for the next several hours.  I was so thankful Matt came and helped Mike.  My family is such a blessing!
Matt working on the deck
Look at those windows!  Man we loved this place.
 Didn't get much from the deck.
Mike is hoping to use some of the boards for a treehouse.
 I don't think I'll be parking in the garage for awhile.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Our stake twice a year does a combined activity with the Teachers & Miamaids on Tuesday and the Laurels & Priests on Wednesday.  I have no idea why they don't do anything for the Deacons and Beehives. Sometimes the kids are really annoyed by this.  Knowing this was coming, I set up an activity for just the Deacons and Beehives of our ward.  We played glow-in-the-dark volleyball.  I have 9 beehives.  8 that come regularly.  They all LOVE volleyball.  Courtney is almost 6 feet tall and plays on a competitive volleyball team.  Anyway, Mike set up the black lights for me.  We put glowing bracelets all over the net.  The kids loved it.  I bet they had more fun then they would have at the stake activity.  We had a great turnout as well.  8 of my beehives and 13 deacons.  It was the perfect amount of people.  I did this as a combined activity last year.  When all the youth were there it was a little too crowded.  I made Stockton's favorite brownies for him.  Maysen doesn't like them.  Stockton was at my activity and Maysen wasn't, so it was perfect timing.  I sure love my calling.
Jorja was complaining of a headache before bed.  Also half of her body felt numb, and she was seeing spots.  We're pretty sure she was having a migraine.  Her first one.  Not good.  Mike was plagued with migraines all growing up.  I sure hope this doesn't happen to Jorja.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Mike and I had planned on going back up to the house today, but when we woke up there was snow.  A lot of it.  No way did we want to drive up that driveway with all the chaos going on - giant trucks and tractors everywhere.  It was good to let Mike's back rest anyway.

I did think of one thing I forgot to write about.  Friday when we were up at the house my dad fell off a ladder.  Luckily he was like a cat and landed on his feet.  It did make a loud sound that caused all the workers to come running and check on him.

On Friday I left before Mike and my dad.  Preston was being watched by Liz who nannies for a family down the street.  She was able to watch him until 2:00.  Mike and my dad stayed another couple of hours. Anyway, when Mike came home his head was totally bleeding and he had a lot of dried blood on his clothes and down his face.  He said he was prying up rock and his crowbar slipped.  It made a huge gash in the top of his head.  All the water had been turned off at the house, so there was nothing to wash it with.  It looked so gross.

Saturday when we came back to the house Reece asked me if I could get my family to sign waivers.  Haha.  That made me laugh.  They had everybody sign waivers, not just my family - but it was my family that made them realize they needed the waivers!

We had been so busy all day that we hadn't watched the news or been on the Internet.  When I got to the U with Stockton we learned about the bombing at the Boston marathon.  How sad. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cabinets are Heavy

Mike and I were back up at his house by 8:00.  We started working on the kitchen cabinets.  It took FOREVER to get them out.  They were wedged in there pretty good.  It's almost like they were made for this house.  Mike tried knocking out the ceiling to get them out.  As he was hitting the ceiling he said, "Sorry Mom".  That made me laugh because I was just thinking, "Your mom would be so mad at you!"  Anyway, busting the ceiling didn't work.  Finally Mike tried cutting the tile in front.  He had to cut a huge piece in order to drag the cabinets out.  He totally hurt his back while he was doing this.  We were only able to get one cabinet out before church.  It took almost two hours of hard, hard work.  Poor Mike.

This morning we saw Matt (not my brother, my brother-in-law) up here.  He was picking up the rock Sherry got the other day.  They are adding onto their house over their garage.  Two more rooms and changing the bathrooms up a bit.  I can't wait to see it when it is done. The work starts tomorrow.  He thinks it will be finished by summer.

Mike and I came back after church.  We got the second kitchen cabinet out.  We thought it would be easier since Mike had cut all the tile.  It was easier, but not by much.  It didn't help that Mike's back was killing him!  After we loaded the second cabinet we got to work on the ceiling. We weren't having much luck.  Mike wanted to quit.  I asked if I could try.  I didn't get anything done, but I looked so pathetic up there that some other people came and talked to us.  They had been getting the shingles from the outside.  He said that it was really hard and seemed that all the nails were facing the wrong direction - something that we had definitely noticed.  He told us to start from the top and work down. We did and decided that he was a genius.  It worked a ton better and we were able to get a lot of wood from the loft area.
Mike on the bridge with no railings anymore.
 View from the loft.
 Out side the loft.  The railings were taken down there as well.
 Mike - Finally got the ceiling to work!
 Mike - a little too close to the edge for my comfort
 View from the hallway looking into the loft.
 View of the front door from the bridge.
I didn't like being at church today.  Only because then I had time to sit and think about what was going on.  As long as we keep busy it doesn't seem to sink in.  Believe me, we have kept busy!  I'm thankful we had this opportunity to bring some of our memories into our home, at the same time it is incredibly hard.  It will be worth it though . . . just need to power through the heavy emotions.