Friday, February 28, 2014

Skiing with Dad

I took Stockton to the doctors today for his regular check-up.  His doctor loved that I printed out the scouting form for her to fill out while we were there.  (I hope I printed the right one!)  His doctor is awesome. I love how much time she spends talking to each of the kids.  Stockton is in the 5% for weight (85 lbs.) and moved up into the 6% for height! Woohoo!  59.69 inches.  One quarter of an inch away from five feet. He can not wait for that!  Stockton didn't do so well on the eye test.  They are guessing he has 20 X 30 vision.  Not terrible, but not ideal. Stockton did not like the idea of glasses at all, which made him kind of grumpy.  If you asked why he was grumpy that made him REALLY grumpy.  Fun.

Mike came home from work around lunch time and took Preston skiing.  The kids had the day off of school.  What a fun way to spend it! Preston has wanted to go down some hard hills.  Today was his chance! Mike sent me a video of him going down a black diamond. That is something I never, ever want to do.  Preston had a great time.  So glad he is making such wonderful memories!
Jorja's friend Olivia came over.  They had such a fun time.  They played checkers, played in Jorja's room, in the motorhome, rode bikes and baked cookies.  Olivia's dad came to pick her up while the cookies were in the oven.  Too bad.  They did make one giant cookie.  It turned out great!
Preston and Jorja

Thursday, February 27, 2014

More Teachers

I was able to visit with a few more of Maysen's teachers today. Specifically her math and chemistry teachers.  Both said she was an excellent student and to keep doing what she is doing.  Her chemistry teacher said, "I love Maysen.  I really love Maysen.  I hope that is not creepy, but I really really love Maysen."  Glad she is a fan.

Maysen had her last piano lesson today.  She has agreed to take voice lessons instead.  Hopefully we can find a teacher and hopefully she will like it more.

Jorja and Preston slept in the camper with Mike.  They sure love it out there.  I plan on sleeping in a nice cosy bed.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Busy Day

I got up bright and early for my exercise class.  It is almost over, so today was the 'after' picture day.  Good thing I prepared for it by eating a ton of candy last night.  I'm smart like that.  Reese's peanut butter eggs are delicious.  As are robin eggs and chocolate covered almonds. Those were the treats I got for my YW last night.  Anyway, here is how my day went.  I came home and got the kids off to school.  Took a quick shower, ran to the store to buy stamps and then went to Preston's class to volunteer.  I was there for about 45 minutes, then I went to Jorja's class to give her the stamp she needed today.  I asked her teacher if anyone needed help with their math.  They did.  Jorja was in Chinese, so I helped some of the kids in the other class with their math.  The classes then switched and Mrs. VanWagoner asked if I could come back after lunch.  I ran home and ate something and then came straight back.  I re-taught several kids the math until school was over.  They were working on multiplying and dividing fractions.  It is so awesome when the kids finally get it.  A couple really struggled.  One little boy kept putting zeros in his fractions.  When he would reduce things to 1, he would take it a step further and reduce it to 0.  I kept telling him, "Zeros are bad!  We hate zeros.  We love ones.  Stop when you get there."  I also showed him why the answer is one and not zero.  The next problem, he would have zeros all over his fractions.  Oh boy.  A few had such a hard time changing the mixed number to a improper fraction.  They couldn't understand why the denominator would stay the same.  They kept putting a one under it, no matter what the number originally was.  I was telling them that one doesn't belong there.  They said, "I thought you loved ones."  Haha!  More pictures trying to explain why those two numbers don't make sense.  The two who were struggling with this concept were so close to understanding when school ended.  I hope they worked on it at home, because they are almost there....but not quite yet.  Jorja's teacher said, "Wow.  You were here all day.  Wow."  My plan was to do laundry today.  That didn't quite happen.

Soon after I got home, Bubs came over.  We watched their kids so they could go on a late Valentine date.  Bubs & Ange brought Little Caesars pizza.  My kids loved that!  Ange said Millie needed a diaper change, so she was going to do that before she left.  I told her I would change the diaper.  Millie was so sad to see them go.  I laid her down for the diaper change and she threw up everywhere!  Bubs and Ange were still in the driveway.  Oh boy.  I got her in the bathtub and she threw up one more time before I got her in there.  She hated the bath, but I got her all clean.  I put a diaper on her and wrapped her in a towel and held her on the couch.  The doorbell rang a few minutes later.  One of the kids answered the door and let Abel and his mom in.  I stayed where I was on the couch and said, "I'm sorry about the throw up on the floor.  I will be getting to it in a minute."  What a way to make a good impression! Abel is Preston's friend from school and he was dropping off a birthday party invitation.  I don't think Millie was sick.  I think she was so upset about her parents leaving that she threw up.  Ange said this is the second time that has happened.  Also, Millie HATES baths!

About the time Mike came home Maysen mentioned how she thought it was Parent-Teacher conference today.  I have been anxious to go to this conference.  I thought, "No, your parent-teacher conference isn't until the end of February."  Holy cow!  It's the end of February!  I looked up on-line and saw the conference is today and tomorrow.  Mike said he would watch everyone while I head down there and talk to some of the teachers.  I just needed to be back by 7:30.  I was able to talk to Stockton's math teacher.  He said Stockton is doing wonderful.  I then talked to Maysen's psychology teacher.  Maysen loves the class, but has a C+ right now.  When I told him I was Maysen's mom he mentioned what a wonderful student she is and how she loves learning.  I said, "Well, she has a C+ in the class right now."  He said, "You should see the other students grades."  I told him she wasn't allowed to use the computer until she got her grade up.  He said he would hate it if she was being punished for something he is slow to do.  I understand that, but we are also trying to teach Maysen not to let her grade get that low in the first place.  He did tell me that he was sure she would have an A at the end of the term.  That is nice, but it is only three weeks away.

I also talked to Maysen's English teacher.  She was shocked when I told her Maysen was going to take regular English next year.  The only choices for 11th grade are AP and regular.  She does not want to take AP.  Her teacher started shaking her head and said, "She can't.  She just can't.  It will drive her crazy.  I'm going to talk to her counselor and see what I can do about it."  That sounds like fun.  They should just let her take the college class that only 12th graders can take.  I'm pretty sure she would knock that out of the park.

The last teacher I talked to today was Maysen's French/Creative Writing teacher.  She told me how well Maysen is doing in French. Which is weird, because Maysen really struggles.  She was sad that Maysen isn't signed up for French 4.  I'm not going to force Maysen to take it if she really doesn't like it.  Somethings are not negotiable, but she got her two years in - I'm okay with that.  Her teacher also commented on what an amazing writer Maysen is.  She said, "I can teach how to write, but I can't teach ideas.  Maysen has great ones."  Nice.

I arrived home right as Bubs and Ange were leaving.  I also passed Mike on the way out the door.  Morning George.  He was headed to an Elders Quorum meeting.  Once he was home he ended up working until about one in the morning.  What a busy day!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

They Can't All Be Winners

I spent most of the day getting ready for Young Womens.  I wanted the girls to help me make these clipboard things.  I gathered all the materials, bought extra scissors, sticky notes and bobby pins.  As I was leaving Walmart, it dawned on me that I was almost out of the cute chart things I was planning on gluing on the clipboards.  I can get them for free, so no big deal.  I went to the store to pick them up only to find out that someone had gotten them all this morning!  Ahhhhh!  I was now out of time to run to the distribution center.  Dang it!  I ended up only having four girls come.  Ebony and Olivia are my two new beehives.  They were there.  I at least had them pick out the colors they would choose.  We talked about obedience and started the Divine Nature #5 experience.  Not the best activity I have ever put together, but they can't all be winners.  Jacqui (Olivia's mom) didn't come.  This morning her brother's child died in childbirth.  So sad.  They had a little boy.  The mom was a week overdue.  This was her fourth child and they had tried for two years to get pregnant with him.  She labored at home last night and when she got to the hospital they found out the baby was facing up.  They tried to go without a c-section, but the baby started struggling.  They rushed her in for one, but by the time they did it the baby had already died.  So, so sad.

Mike and I met with the cabinet people today.  They had a new plan for us.  Last time they wanted us to switch our kitchen and eating areas. We did not like that idea.  This time they said we would need to get rid of our grill.  Haha!  Not going to happen.  They hate our grill!  It is pretty ugly, but we use it all the time!  Anyway, we worked with him for about an hour.  I feel like we are getting closer.  Our kitchen layout is pretty weird, so this has been really hard!  We did learn right now it will take them 14 weeks to get finished.  Around Christmas time it was 8 weeks.  Man, we have got to decide what to do or we are never going to get this done!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dad School

Mike had the lesson for Family Home Evening tonight.  The Amazing Race started last night.  Put these two things together and you have a great lesson.  First, we are so excited about some of the teams that are on the Amazing Race.  This season is an All-Star season.  Dave and Connor get to race again!  They are the father/son team from Utah that had to pull out because Dave ruptured his achilles.  They managed to win two legs of the race while on crutches last time.  Jet and Cord are also back.  Jorja was so happy!  The globetrotters are fun as well.  So many fun teams and a few we don't like at all.

Anyway, Mike had the kids come up with things they would need to do to prepare themselves for if they were in the Amazing Race.  Things like learn to drive a stick shift and conquer your fear of heights.  He talked about how we watch at home and when someone has problems with driving a stick shift we all groan and make comments like, "Come on! You knew this was coming.  Haven't you ever seen the show?"

Mike then talked about what we need to do to prepare ourselves to make it to the Celestial Kingdom. Keeping the commandments, being obedient, loving Heavenly Father and His Son, loving Heavenly Father's children, learning to listen to the Holy Ghost.  Heavenly Father must get so annoyed with us when we stumble in these basic things.  "Come on!  You knew this was coming?  Haven't your parents taught you what you should do?  Why are you trying to do this alone? Don't you know the Holy Ghost will help you know what you should do?"

Mike also talked about the things that need to be done to prepare to go to college or live on their own.  Then we watched the Amazing Race. What a great Family Home Evening!

On Saturday Mike started doing "Dad School" with the kids.  He started teaching them Linux.  They seemed to have a good time and Mike loved doing it.  Jorja and Preston begged for more Dad School today.  Preston especially loves it.  This time Mike taught just Jorja and Preston because this lesson was geared specifically to running Minecraft.  He was teaching them how they can start their own servers.  Mike said they were so good!  It was cute because both of them were taking notes. What a fun thing to do with dad!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Stockton's Eagle Court of Honor

I spent forever this morning trying to find this picture.  It is still one of my favorites.  Stockton has changed so much.  Scout camp was torture for him.  Too much singing.  Too many crowds.  Now he doesn't complain at all.  Well, maybe a little.  But when he was given the choice to go to the Klondike or his diving competition, he chose the Klondike. Wow.  I never would of thought I would live to see the day when Stockton would choose to go to scout camp!
Stockton with his head down next to a beaming Weston
Mike spent a lot of the day working on the video.  It is really great!  We are just going to show it while people are eating cupcakes, so that takes a lot of the pressure off!

Bubs and his family came, Matt and his family came, Steve and his family came, Lisa and her family came (well, just Michael.  He is the only one home now.), Scoop and Cori also came.  So many people to support Stockton!  It was awesome!
Anne Marie
The boys were each supposed to decorate a table.  That was my lowest on my priority list.  Stockton brought his hamburger carving, his useless machine and drew a comic on the way over.  Logan's mom felt bad because she brought a ton of stuff.  (Stockton and Logan were sharing a table.)  I told her not to worry.  It was awesome because it looked like Stockton brought it!  I should have gotten a picture of the entire table, but I just took a one of Stockton's comic.
 Padz, Jorja and Maysen
Logan's mom arranged for a lady to bring an eagle.  It was pretty cool. She did a great job.  This eagle is about four years old.  You can tell because his head isn't completely white.  I learned that from the eagle lady.
Jordan, Isaac, Logan, Stockton
 Stockton with the eagle and the eagle lady
I gave the camera to Jorja.  She had it the rest of the night.  It was so cute to see her taking pictures with the giant camera.  She loved it! Some of the pictures ended up blurry, but we got a lot more pictures than we would have without her!  Thank you Porge! 
Mike, Stockton giving me the MOM pin
 Mike, Stockton, Stephanie
 Brandon and Bubs in the Eagle's Nest
 Brandon, Bubs, Mike, Matt, Steve
 Logan and Stockton taking the Eagle's oath
All four of these boys finished their Eagle at 13.  Wow.  Isaac and Stockton turned 14 in January, Jordan had his birthday on Friday and Logan will turn 14 in a few days.  Pretty impressive!
 Jordan, Isaac, Logan, Stockton
 Brandon welcoming Stockton into the Eagle's Nest
Bubs welcoming Jordan
 Brandon, Bubs, Stockton, Mike, Jordan, Matt
 Logan, Jordan, Isaac, Steve
 Isaac and Jordan talking to Nathan
 Nathan welcoming Stockton
 Logan, Isaac, Jordan, Stockton - the newest Eagles
President Beck, the General Young Men's President was the speaker. He told the boys he wanted to make an example of them.  President Back said they are thinking of putting something in the Church News. He's trying to get them to hold off a few months because three more 13 year olds are almost finished with their Eagle.  Josh, Josh and Darby.
President Beck
 Abby and Stephanie - I can't stand how cute Jorja is with the camera!
 Stockton, President Beck, Mike
 Scoop, Stockton, President Beck, Mike
 Anne Marie & Matt
 Stockton, Jordan, President Beck, Logan, Isaac
Poor Jordan was SO SICK!  I'm glad he made it, there are a couple of pictures where you can tell he really doesn't feel well.
All four boys gave President Back their mentor pin.  It was really cool! He was embarrassed, but he deserves it!  They each had one more mentor pin to give away.  Stockton and Isaac are giving theirs to Brother Masters.  He couldn't come tonight.  Jordan gave his to his dad (and the 11-year old scout leader) Brother Covington.  Logan gave his to his step-dad Brother Trost.
Brother Trost, President Back, Stockton
Jordan, and President Beck's shoulder
 President Beck's other shoulder, Logan, Isaac
Taylor has turned in his mission papers!  Nathan was taking predictions.  We are supposed to give two.  Foreign and domestic.  I choose Alaska and New Zealand.  Maysen picked Kentucky and Argentina.  Jorja picked Taiwan and Michigan.  Michigan would be cool.  He lived there for the first part of his life.  I can't remember what anyone else picked.  Except Mike picked Kentucky.  Pretty exciting! They announced in church today that Tripp Affleck has received his mission call.  Tripp is the Senior Class President at Alta.  He was also Preston's swimming coach this summer.  He will be going to Russia. He leaves in July, one month after graduating high school.  Wow!
 Haha!  He loved pulling faces at Jorja
I asked Bryce to come over when I was talking to Steve.  Bryce went to graduate school at UCBerkley.  That is where Spencer did his undergraduate.  Bryce said, "Stephanie, is this your dad?" Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! I said, "No!  This is Mike's brother!"  Bryce said, "I haven't seen your dad in a long time."  I guess Steve is the same age as Bryce would have known my dad when we were in high school.  That is crazy!
My family was walking to the car when I heard Karen (Logan's mom) calling for me.  I answered her twice, but she didn't hear me, she just kept calling after my family.  I walked up to her and said, "Yes?"  She looked confused and looked at my family who was now pretty far away. I said, "That's Maysen."  She couldn't believe it!  She was one of Maysen's Young Women leaders when Maysen was a Mia-Maid. People are funny today!  I am so glad Stockton's court of honor is over with. Everything turned out great.  I love being to hang on other people's coattails!

Matt and Sam came over for just a bit.  Matt showed us his new Dominion case, but we didn't have time to play.  How nice to have all the cards in one box!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Baby Kittens

We worked pretty hard this morning.  Besides the regular chores we managed to get the playroom under control.  I spent a lot of time going through a box that had been in my dad's garage.  There were a lot of letters in there.  I'll have to get back to the Letter's From Harriett blog. Also, my mom's hair was in there.  A lot of it.  I thought it was one of her wigs, but when I pulled it out it was just plain hair.  I think it was from before she was married. Wow.  Not sure what I should do with it. There is probably enough for Locks of Love.  That was surprising.  I also found her junior high year book.  I could not stop laughing!  Their mascot was the kittens!  The pictures of the basketball team with Baby Kittens on their uniforms are hilarious!  Hahahahahaha!  Bubs, how would you keep a straight face if you were reffing this team?
Baby Kittens
We finished the evening by taking Mike's toy down to Walmart.  We parked in the parking lot and left Maysen, Stockton and Preston playing games.  Mike, Jorja and I picked up some groceries for the week.  We also got some Cafe Rio and ate in the camper.  Then we drove home.  The kids loved it.

Mike and I picked out some music for the slideshow.  Hope Mike can pull it together tomorrow!  Good thing we have 1:00 church!