Monday, September 30, 2013

Smith Family Swim Night

We had the best night tonight!  Mike's family came over for swimming. This is the first time all year we were able to get together.  Almost everyone was able to come.  Taylor wasn't able to come home from college.  Spencer is in China and Aimee is on a mission in Spain.  Other than that, everyone was here.  Even Scoop and Cori!  It was so fun to spend time with family.  Hopefully we can do this once a month next summer.  We really missed our pool!
 Jorja, Michael, Connor
 Nova sucking on licorice.
Her grandpa thought it was awesome.  Her mom did not.  
Preston was in the pool the entire time.  He loved it.  Stockton and Preston were the last ones out.  They would have stayed much longer if we had let them, but school is tomorrow!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Get a Life

Stockton received his Life award in scouts today, along with a ton of other merit badges.  There are so many boys his age in our ward!  It is pretty awesome.  The leaders are just incredible.
Isaac's leg, President Back, Noah, Ryuhei, Darby,
Jordan, Josh, Stockton, Johnny, Logan, James, Josh,
Michael, Joshua, Bro. Masters, Bro. Antonelli
The boys were up in front for a long time while they talked about their campouts and activities.  I whispered to Mike, "Look at Johnny, he looks totally zoned."  Johnny had a vacant look on his face.  President Back started to talk about upcoming activities.  He said, "We are going to have an activity with the Beehives where we will learn to dance with girls."  When he said, "Dance with girls" Johnny threw up everywhere. It was funny and sad at the same time.  Poor Johnny.

When Stockton was getting his merit badges, Brother Masters said, "Now Stockton, he loves camping."  He then looked at Stockton who couldn't help laughing.  Then he said, "Stockton just doesn't know he loves camping."  Haha.  Loved that.
Stockton getting merit badges from Brother Masters
Stockton then received his Life award.  Yay!  He actually earned this way back in June, but today was when he had the Court of Honor for it.
Mike, Stockton, Stephanie
We finished the day by watching the first episode of the new season of Amazing Race.  Stockton LOVES that show!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Regular Saturday

Mike and Matt worked on the pool shed most of the day today.  Jorja and Preston went and asked if Miles and Blake could play.  They spent the entire day here.  Several hours in the pool, and the rest of the time just playing around.  Jorja and Preston had a great time.

Maysen and I watched a French movie today.  She gets extra credit for doing that.  It was weird.  I think it was supposed to be a comedy.  We muddled through it and then rewarded ourselves with an episode of Once Upon a Time.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Orange Bike

Jorja and Mike have spent a lot of time painting Jorja's bike.  She wanted an orange bike.  I think it is adorable.  I love the orange and purple together.  Jorja wants to paint the purple yellow.  I don't want her to do that.  I think it is cute how it is.
Stockton is at a camp out.  He didn't complain about going, so that is good.  I do love it when they are home though.  Maysen and I started watching Once Upon a Time.  We have enjoyed it so far.  It has been fun to watch with her.

We were SO EXCITED to hear we have a new little cousin!  I wish I could hold Grace right now!  She looks adorable.  Man, I miss Marie and Mina.  And their parents too.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

New Diving

Stockton tried out a new diving place today.  It is closer than the U, so that is nice.  The U has changed their program.  Stockton's coach is no longer there.  Also, they wanted Stockton to commit to diving a minimum three days a week and up to five days a week.  While I know he would improve if he worked at it that much, I don't want diving to be the only thing he does!

Mike, Stockton's coach during the summer, teaches at a pool about fifteen/twenty minutes away.  Another bonus is Josh, a boy Stockton's age from our ward, dives here as well.  Stockton and I went with Josh and his mom.  I think Stockton will really like having a friend to dive with.  Josh seemed very happy with it as well.  (Note: This is not the same Josh Stockton does math with.  This is Josh H.  Math is done with Josh Y.)

One thing we will miss about the U is the diving boards.  They are nicer boards and they have two 1-meter boards and two 3-meter boards. Hopefully this place doesn't get crazy crowded.  Stockton will also miss the hot water hose that he liked using at the U.  This place has a hot-tub, but you have to be 18 to go in it.  Stockton doesn't think that is fair at all.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Moving on Up

Maysen has now got her Chemistry grade up to a B+.  One whole grade in a few days time.  Nice.  She also got her French grade up from a B+ to an A-.  This no computer thing has been great.  For me.  Not so much for Maysen.  She hasn't liked it one bit.  She has been a good sport though.  I love how I can trust her.  I woke up in the morning and she will be sitting by her computer, but drawing.  I picked up some note cards for her today, so she will be able to work on story boards.  Now that Maysen has all As, two A-s and one B+ we are allowing her to have one hour of screen time.  Better than a kick in the pants (as my mom would always say).

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

4 Girls

Yesterday I texted a few of Jorja's friend's moms.  I asked if they could ride the bus home with Jorja to go swimming.  Boy was Jorja excited! Nice that it took the sting out of yesterday a bit.  Four giggly, cute, adorable girls came and spent a few hours swimming out back.  Jazzie, Olivia and Ashley.  It was awesome and Jorja was so happy.  It was so awesome I didn't get one picture.  It is going to be hard on Jorja when these girls split up next year.  They will go to different middle schools and different high schools.  I'm not happy about that.  I wish they would keep all the Chinese kids together.  It makes sense to me to have a few really good Chinese teachers at one school instead of having Chinese teachers at every school.  Most likely Jazzie and Olivia will go to a different school.  At least Jorja will have Ashley.  Although Jazzie lives in the boundaries for our school, so there is a chance she won't get a permit to go to the other one.  Selfishly, I hope that happens. :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bowser Fled the Castle

Jorja fed her frogs this morning.  I guess she forgot to put the lid back on Bowser's cage.  After school she noticed he was missing.  She is devastated.  I can't believe Bowser escaped.  I know she left the lid off the top, but Bowser is a TOAD!  I can't believe he could get out of the cage!  Jorja is so worried about him.  She tore her room apart looking for him.  She made him an area with his water dish, just in case.
Jorja cried herself to sleep tonight.  She says she is a 'horrible pet owner'.  Poor girl.  I sure hope we can find that toad.  She sure loves him.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Rights, Privileges, Responsibilities

Maysen gave a talk in church today.  She didn't want any help with it. Not going to lie, while she was giving the talk, Mike and I were a little nervous.  She pulled everything together in the end and many people came up to me saying it was amazing.  Her topic was Choice and Accountability.  She talked about waking up in a place that was perfect. Perfect skies, perfect grass, you walk down a perfect path, with bushes that are absolutely perfect.  The flowers outside are perfect.  People are standing in perfect rows.  Inside there is a chandelier that is perfect with mirrors that are perfectly clean.  You see people you never thought you would see again.  They are polite and perfect.  Because everything is so perfect, it is not perfect.  Now imagine waking up in a place with skies that are setting and turning the most beautiful colors.  You walk down a curved path.  Children are planting flowers outside randomly, but their colors are strikingly beautiful.  Inside the chandelier is perfect and the mirrors have smudges on them.  The carpets are a bit stained and you can hear laughter everywhere you turn.  You see people you never thought you would see again.  They are so happy that are there. Because everything is imperfect, it is perfect.  Maysen then related this to Satan and Heavenly Father's plan.  I am paraphrasing her entire talk.  She did really well, but not knowing exactly what she was going to say was a little scary for her mom and dad.  While she was talking, it was completely silent.  She really had everyone's attention.  She is quite amazing.

We had a Family Home Evening lesson today on Rights, Privileges and Responsibilities.  We were gathering around the kitchen table and Stockton asked, "Are we getting a new chore system?  We always sit around the kitchen table when you give us new chores."  Oh just wait, Stockton.  Mike gave the lesson.  He always does such a fantastic job at explaining why we are doing what we are doing.  He talked about the children's rights in our family.  They are: Family that loves you, Food to eat, Warm place to sleep and Clothes to wear.  Those are the rights they have by being born into our family.  They are really lucky, because not all children have these rights.  Not all children are born into families that will always love them, have foot to eat, warm places to sleep and clothes to wear.

Mike then talked about privileges they have.  For example: Using the computer, Watching TV, Playing video games, Activities with friends, Hobbies and Interests.  Their privileges are just that.  Privileges.  They are based on the children fulfilling the responsibilities they have.  Their responsibilities are: Obeying the commandments, Make righteous choices, Obey your parents, Do your best in school, Get good grades, Help the family, Fulfill church duties, Participate in family activities, Develop music skills.  (I added that last one.  No one seems to think that is important but me.)  We  emphasized that the most important responsibility they have is obeying the commandments and making righteous choices.  Our kids are great at that.  Thank heavens!  This lesson was specifically geared to the 'get good grades' responsibility.  (It might or might not have been a coincidence that mid-term grades came out on Friday.)  So, long story short, the children's privileges will be taken away unless they have all As.  My kids are fully capable of having all As.  I am really worried about the oldest two.  They have never had to struggle to understand things, so as a result, they don't have a clue how to study!  Jorja studies HARD, and she studies all the time.  Learning Chinese will do that to you.  I feel she is going to be so much more prepared then the others.  How I wish Maysen and Stockton had been given that opportunity!

Anyway, we are lucky that we can see the kids grades anytime we want. So, if Maysen gets her C+ up in Chemistry, she will be able to get back to her computer.  Chemistry is scored almost entirely on tests, they have only had one test and Maysen messed up on the scientific notation, which caused her to get a C.  She is retaking the test tomorrow, so hopefully she won't have this C+ for long.  At the same time, we kind of feel that school should be the first priority, and right now it is not.  I know these next few days are not going to be fun.  Maysen specifically was not excited about this new plan.  Hopefully it will help us in the long run.  It is so hard to be a parent!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

5th Ward

Matt and Mike have spent many hours working on the pool shed.  They have almost all of the walls up, and have started working on the roof.  It is much easier to pick our pears and apples now.  Still, they are up unreasonably high.
My dad brought Max over to swim.  It was really windy the entire day. Our neighbor Audrey also came over.  After awhile it was just my dad, Preston and Audrey in the pool.  Audrey didn't want to get out and was disappointed that Jorja wanted to leave so soon.  My dad was a good sport and played the dragon game with Audrey and Preston.
Preston, Audrey, Max 'falling', My dad and Jorja in the pool
 Jorja attacking my dad while Audrey throws a ball at his head
 My dad throwing the ball at Jorja and Audrey
 Poor dad being attacked by Jorja, Audrey & Preston in the background
 Preston, Audrey, Jorja, Dad
 Preston jumping in!  Audrey attacking my dad with a bucket
I spent most of the day baking cookies.  I need to bring five dozen cookies to church tomorrow.  It is hard not to snack while you are making cookies.  I am failing.

Tonight we went to a reunion of the ward I grew up in.  Crescent 5th Ward.  I guess they were having a 40th anniversary party.  We only stayed for just a bit.  It was cool to see pictures of my mom.  I wanted to show my kids, but they weren't really impressed.  They said they knew what she looked like.

We hurried home to meet Steve and Shannon and their family.  We had the pool open so those that wanted to could go night swimming.  The water was pretty warm.  It was awesome.  We watched the first half of the BYU/Utah game.  It was not pretty.  Steve and Shannon took their kids home and we got our kids to bed.  After dishes and some laundry we watched the rest of the game.  At least BYU scored, but again it was not pretty.  Definitely not worth staying up for!  It was not a good game to introduce my kids to football.  They could not understand why anyone would want to watch this . . . on purpose!  Mike doesn't understand either.

Friday, September 20, 2013


At the end of the day, Mike and I decided to take the kids on a quick trip to Lagoon.  We had Maysen drive so she could get more driving hours in.  Our kids get bored of Lagoon easy.  They didn't even want to stay until it closed.  We didn't even get there until after 7!  Crazy!  They did have to wait around a lot because we let Preston go on a lot of the little kid rides.  It also had a lot of hay for decorations.  That didn't go so well for Mike.  Plus there was a strong animal smell in the air.  We are starting to wonder if Jorja is going to have the same problems with hay/animals/allergies that Mike has.

Today was also the first day of Frightmares.  We saw some Haunted Houses.  We waited in line for one before we realized it is the scariest one of all.  Maybe not good to take Preston to that.  Then Stockton saw a line for the 'Fun House of Terror'.  He wanted to go in it. Maysen and Jorja didn't want to.  It was right next to Maysen's favorite ride, the obnoxious ride that makes me sick for hours.  Mike took the boys in the haunted house (they LOVED it!).  Jorja and I waited for Maysen and then went on tilt-a-whirl.  Maysen then drove us all home. I think this is a great way for Maysen to get her driving hours in!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

So Hard!

Exercise class was so hard today!  Michael Banks kept saying things like, "I'm going to take you where you want to go, you just need to let me, you can't get there by yourself."  All I wanted to do was sit down and cry.  I am such a wimp.  Sometimes during class he asks us to give '5' to our neighbor.  The person in front of me turned around to give me five. It was Malone's owner!  I didn't expect that!  She really is my neighbor. It is 'Talk Like a Pirate Day'.  It would have been funny if Banks talked like a pirate during the entire class.  Maybe it wouldn't have hurt so bad then.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Get Your Own

Maysen had an appointment with Holly today.  I had her drive to the appointment.  When it was our turn, Holly had me come back first so she could talk to me.  We talked for several minutes.  When I came out of the room Maysen said, "Get your own therapist, Holly's my therapist".  It was so funny!  Maysen is such a crack-up.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Food Bank

We went and worked at the Food Bank tonight for our youth activity.  I actually got separated from Maysen and Stockton.  I was putting food in boxes.  I teamed up with Johnny.  It took a long time!  We finished a little before the other group.  They were sorting bread.  Making sure it wasn't moldy, etc.  I didn't get many pictures, but at least I got one with Maysen and Stockton!  Too bad it is only their backs!  This activity took 2 1/2 hours.  That is the exact amount of time Maysen had left to finish her service hours for World Civ.  She is required to do 6 hours of service a quarter.
Stockton & Maysen with several ward members
 Riley, Maysen, Brother Trost......Zoe

Monday, September 16, 2013

Swimming with the Bradleys

There was such a beautiful rainbow outside this morning!  Double rainbow.  It looks like nothing special in this picture, but it was stunning!
We had our backyard neighbors over for Family Home Evening tonight. Mike gave a short lesson and we spent the rest of the time swimming! With smores for dessert.  It was perfect.
Zoe, Georgia, Quinn, Stockton, Seth, Mike, Preston, Jorja
Maysen, Andi, Alex & Megan
Maysen and I made an executive decision on which one was Alex and which one was Andi.  Maybe we should inform Seth and Megan.
Megan, Alex, Andi
 Olivia, Quinn at the bottom
 I love these slide pictures of Georgia
The twins loved the slide.  They went non-stop.  Megan was so surprised!
 Zoe catching Andi
 Olivia and Zoe catching Alex
This evolution of pictures is so funny.  Maysen took all these pictures.
Seth bouncing Alex
 Alex isn't so sure about Olivia holding her
 Seth is getting nervous, Zoe and Olivia are trying to help Alex
 Seth is in the water.  Alex & Andi are ready to do it again!
 Mike and Stockton
 Andi & Alex on the board
Olivia, Zoe, Preston & Quinn in the water
Such a fun night!  Wish we would have been able to enjoy the pool all summer!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Camille's Farewell

So I managed to be up in Idaho for two days with my cute nieces and nephews and didn't get one picture!  Abby looked so adorable all dressed up.  I sat on the same bench as Bubs.  For some reason all of his kids wanted to sit by me.  So, I had Ella on one side, Lincoln on the other and Abby on my lap!

Camille did a great job.  I wish I had Maysen with me so she could have heard her.  I loved listening to her relate Peter going back to fishing after Jesus died to her deciding to go on a mission.  I remember her saying that when she prayed about where to go to college her answer was, "Do you love me?"  Just like Peter's.  She listed off every reason why she didn't want to go, what she would miss and said something along the lines of, "The only person I would be willing to leave all this behind for is Christ." It was really good and I am totally not doing her talk justice at all.  She will be a great missionary!  I can't believe she just graduated high school!

It was nice to spend a few minutes with family members.  I cornered Chelsea and asked her if she would be willing to travel to Utah to paint the girls' room.  That would be awesome.

Bubs and I made it back with no problems.  I dropped Bubs off and headed home.  I called Mike and asked him to be ready as soon as I got home because we would need to leave to my dad's.  I walked into my house and couldn't believe it!  The entire kitchen was sparkling!  Even the oven which has been stained since we moved in.  It was so awesome, I started to cry.  I had been mentally making lists as to how to tackle the house to get it back under control.  Mike is amazing.

My dad had a chocolate party for his 70th birthday.  Lots and lots of chocolate.  I think I just undid everything I good I had done during my first week of workouts.  Whoops.
Preston and Grandpa
The funniest was Preston riding around on Gayle's walker.  He was moving it with his feet on the wheels.  He kept saying, "How do you work this thing?"

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Always Busy

Mike and I got up early to exercise.  It was a killer on the arms.  I was so glad to be done!  We then went to the ward clean-up project.  We pulled weeds on the baseball diamond.  Stockton met us there.  He slept overnight in President Back's backyard.  I was so tired when I got home!  Matt and Sam were there.  I talked to Sam for just a bit before she went to the fair.  Matt was helping Mike build the pool shed in the back.  This afternoon I packed up and went to Lagoon to pick up Bubs and three of his kids.  I was about an hour late; but if they have to wait for me, at least they had a great place to wait.  As I was leaving to Idaho Mike was pulling out of the driveway to go to the Bradley's.  Their basement flooded.  So glad that wasn't us!  We got to Grandma's house around bedtime.  Bubs mowed Grandpa's yard.  I picked up apples with the kids so Bubs could finish the backyard.  Grandpa made yummy fish and potatoes for dinner.  It was a really good day.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Swimming in the Rain

Jorja had the best day today!  Jazzie's mom had asked me a few days ago if Jazzie could ride the bus home with Jorja and stay at our house while they were at a family wedding.  Of course we were more than excited about that plan.  Jazzie put her swimming suit in her backpack and those girls had a GREAT time!  Jorja, Preston and Jazzie spent probably 2 1/2 hours in the pool.  Almost the entire time it was pouring rain!  They loved it though.  There was no lightening or thunder involved, so I let them stay out there.  I managed to get one picture of them, but I was not about to go outside!
Jorja and Jazzie

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My New Hobby

I have thought about writing this post for a long time, but put it off because I didn't want to look like I was crazy!  Anyway, I have a new hobby.  Way back in April I started playing with essential oils.  I started with a few and have collected many doTERRA oils over the past months.  I have really enjoyed myself, which I find strange because usually I don't like things like this at all.  Mike has tolerated me pretty well.  I annoy Maysen and Stockton with them, but they are pretty good sports.  Jorja doesn't complain, but Preston?  Wow!  He LOVES them! It is so funny!  He loves it when I get a new oil.  He loves asking about what it is supposed to help with.  He loves smelling them.  He loves letting me put the different oils on him.  It is awesome.  
If I could only choose one oil to keep, it would probably be lavender. Last month, Jorja burned herself while cooking.  I put the lavender on it and her pain stopped immediately!  I couldn't believe it!  She was quite surprised herself.  It would start hurting every fifteen minutes, but we would put on the lavender and the pain would instantly go away.  I was quite impressed.  I also like the lavender because it is so versatile.  It has so many uses.  It helps the kids sleep, helps with itching and bug bites, helps with teething (you would think I would be out of this stage by now!), and it is gentle on the skin so I can put it straight on without using coconut oil.  I pretty much love it. 
My second favorite oil would be peppermint.  I love the smell, but my older kids think it is too strong.  I used this on Preston when he was sick to get his fever down.  I was able to get it down a half a degree every thirty minutes.  Preston LOVED that!  The good thing about using oils instead of tylenol is it is so much easier to get my kids to do it!  I have had to fight them for years when they are sick.  We are talking 'sitting on them, holding their head with my knees while forcing them to open their mouth'.  Then I would get most of the medicine spit back up all over me.  YUCK!  The bad thing about using the oil instead of medicine is you have to be more vigilant.  I needed to apply this every fifteen minutes.  It wasn't a big deal though and Preston was a good sport. Although when Jorja got sick this same approach wasn't as effective for her.  Her temperature didn't go down as fast, it pretty much held steady. I also was in the middle of a crazy day, so I wasn't able to apply the oil every fifteen minutes.  I'm not sure if that would have made a difference, but I love having a different option than tylenol or advil.
I also tried this crazy concoction for my sore throat.  Warm water in a shot glass with two drops of on guard and two drops of lemon.  Gargle as long as possible and then swallow.  It was so gross!  I can't believe I did that!  But, it did work.  I did it twice about fifteen minutes apart.  At the end of the second time my throat didn't hurt at all.  That was pretty great for me.  I got a sore throat on our cruise this spring and it lasted the entire trip.  I was supposed to repeat that for the next two days, but I didn't want to.  My sore throat did come back, but not as strong.
Mike told me that if I wanted to really test if the oils work, I should get some that might make me more amorous.  Oh jeez.  Anyway I decided to humor him and had three different oils in a diffuser.  I put the oils away. They were driving me crazy and I found them quite annoying.  Maybe I'll get them out when I'm not so busy!  Mike was not happy with me when he found out why I put those away.  Haha.  I keep wondering when I'm going to get my life completely together.  Probably won't ever happen.  At least I have a good one to muddle through!  Luckily my family is more than patient with me.

In conclusion, I have been having quite a good time with these.  I don't think that they will replace doctors or modern medicine by any stretch of the imagination.  I have just loved having another option when my almost always healthy family gets under the weather.

I will end with a swimming picture.  I love our light!  So glad Mike didn't take no for an answer.  Mike and I went to Walmart and bought 20 forty pound bags of pool salt.  We dropped about half of the bags in the pool when we got home.  Mike had fun swimming around with the salt.  I just watched.  The pool was so warm!  How I have missed my warm, awesome pool!