Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve

Once Mike got home from work we headed up to Steve and Shannon's. The kids love spending New Year's with their cousins.  Stockton mentioned several times how this is his favorite holiday.  The cousins got a giant inflatable ball for Christmas.  That was pretty fun.  I have a few pictures of all of the kids in it, but the pictures all pretty much look the same.  Preston loved hitting the ball with a sword with Mike inside.
Preston and Mike
We had a lot of food and played a lot of games.  It was just a really nice, relaxing night.  While we were here I mentioned to Erica that Maysen is thinking about doing an internship with Sam next year.  Her eyes got so big and she said, "Do you think she would do something like that for me?"  I made sure she was serious before I texted Sam.  Erica was VERY serious.  Haha!  Erica wants to be an editor, so this would be perfect for her.  I got a text back from Sam saying to have her call anytime.  She even said she could call right now.  Erica ran to get her phone.  Then she asked me if I could resend Sam's phone number.  I thought, "That's weird, I guess it didn't come through."  I looked through my messages and realized I sent Erica's number to Sam instead of the other way around.  Whoops!  Anyway, Erica is going to talk to her counselor on Monday to see if this would be a possibility.  I hope it works out for her!
Stockton, getting ready for the final countdown
 Maysen loves to jump into the new year.
She does this every year.
 This year I got a picture and I LOVE it!
 Happy New Year!
Mike, Preston, Maysen, Stephanie, Jorja, Stockton
 Jacob, Erica, Steve, Shannon, Weston, Brandon, Oscar
Weston trying SO HARD not to smile!
 Maysen....that can't be comfortable

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


That is how I spent my day.  Needed to be done.  Stockton had diving today.  He did a reverse double.  I wish I could have seen it!  I hope he will do it again!

Monday, December 29, 2014

My Brother Mike's Family

I have been procrastinating and procrastinating writing this entry.  I have no idea how much I should put down.  I try to use this as my journal, but some things are too personal to have out there for anyone to read.  At the same time, when my children look back and read what I have written, I don't want them to think I was perfect, that everything worked out for me and I never got my feelings hurt. Today my feelings were hurt bad.  I cried all night and all day.  I found out my brother and his family came up from New Mexico for Christmas.  I had no idea they were coming.  If I had known I would have switched my trip to the cabin so I could see them.  At least I would have tried.  Late last night I got a text asking if I was free tomorrow.  I randomly woke up around midnight and saw it.  I wrote back right away because I was worried I would miss my chance to see them.  I told Mike I was free all day and please fit us in.  We would come to them, they didn't need to come to us.  I couldn't sleep all night.  I was so sad that my own brother doesn't bother to let me know when he is in town.  Maybe it wouldn't have hurt so bad if this was the first time, but it's not.  Last time I found out he was in town when he posted a picture of himself at a BYU game.  He didn't even stop to see me then, so I guess I can be grateful that he at least texted me.  I begged him never to do that to me again.  This time hurt so much because I had told him how bad my feelings were hurt last time.  Didn't seem to matter.  I can't imagine traveling to New Mexico to visit family (yes, I realize this is fictional family) and not even let my brother know I was there.  I guess that did happen to us once.  We came to Utah the summer after Sharen died.  We had a family get together the night before we left.  That is when we found out that Lisa didn't even know we were in town.  Sharen had always taken care of that, so we didn't even think about it.  We just assumed she had plans and couldn't make time for us.  The point is, I realize how this can happen but it still hurts not to be important.  There is no way this would ever happen if my mom were alive.  Mike would never do that to my mom.    I guess I just miss being in a family where people want to be.  I came really close to asking Mike if he just wanted to be done with me.  I couldn't do it because I didn't want to hear the answer.  I figured if I just assumed he didn't want to see me unless I travel to New Mexico it wouldn't hurt when this happens, because I assume it is going to happen again.

Anyway, I cried all morning knowing Mike was in town but not knowing if I could see him.  Finally around noon I sent a text asking if he decided if he had time for me.  He called me about thirty minutes later and said he would try to make it down.  A couple of hours later he texted me and said he was planning to come around 6 and wanted to know if he could invite a few friends.  I asked him if I could get the rest of the family over to see him.  He was okay with that.  I called my dad and asked if he could do dinner.  My house was still out of control from Christmas and traveling.  I worked my tail off getting it half way decent. Luckily my dad and my other two brothers and their families dropped whatever they were doing so they could come and see Mike.  Mike's friend, Terry, and his family came up.  I told Mike that was okay and it was, but at the same time it was annoying.  We only got to see Mike and his family for a couple of hours and we had to share it with someone.  I would love to have time to catch up with both Mike and Christen, but with a friend there who didn't know the rest of us....I didn't feel like I could.  Instead I went downstairs and played with the kids.  That was really fun.  Mike's kids are adorable and I don't get to see them often.
 Larkin and Ella
 Millie and Jorja
Stockton made a Wheel of Doom game in the movie room.  He put everyone who was in the room on a wheel and then would spin it.  The name that came up first was out.  Abby lost first.
 Preston (Jorja just lost)
Millie won!  Everyone was going nuts cheering for her.  It was so funny!
Ange and Millie
The next wheel Stockton made he put everyone in the entire house on it and also Mr. Potatohead.  The kids were cheering like crazy.  I was laughing pretty hard.
Everyone was upset when Mr. Potatohead lost.  
 The final two.  It came down to Blake and Mike Smith
Blake told me that he was controlling it through the GameCube controller.  He took it very seriously. These kids are sure competitive!
Blake and Jorja
 Look at that concentration!  Favorite picture right here.
 Boo!  Blake lost, but Jorja made him happy
when she picked him up and twirled him around.
Two of Bubs' kids had Blake and Parker for Christmas.  One of Mike's kids also had Abby.  Perfect place to exchange.
Mike and Parker
 Christen and Blake
 Blake loved the basketball
 Abby LOVED her book!
 It came with Disney princess pets
Time for them to leave.  I don't want them to go!  Mike said that Larkin asked Santa for an Expos hat.  He laughed and said, "She wasted a Santa gift on an Expos hat!  She could have just asked her Dad and he would have loved to get that for her!"  What a sweet girl.  She sure knows what would make her dad happy!
Larkin and Stephanie
 Stephanie and Blake
Blake didn't want to get his picture taken with me until Mike said, "They want a picture of second place!"  Then he was all smiles.  Haha!
He held up a number 1 first
 Mike corrected him and told him to hold up number 2
 Bubs had already left before this picture was taken.  I love my family.
Matt, Mike, Stephanie
Tonight was a lot of fun.  I'm glad that Mike was able to come and see us.  The roads ended up being terrible and they were caught in traffic for a long time.  Too bad.  That is what they will probably remember about the night.  I hope they don't hold that against us.  I had wanted everything to be perfect so they would want to see us again.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Back Home

We spent the morning cleaning up the cabin.  We really tried to leave it spotless.  I hope we were successful.  It was a little tricky getting out of the parking lot, but luckily we managed.  It is always sad driving away from the cabin.  I sure do love it there.  I love that my kids love it there too.  We made it to Grandpa's house about 3:30, but he wasn't there. He was at church.  Too bad.  The roads were a little dicey on the way home.  I think they were okay until I took over driving.  I started a little before Malad.  The weather was quite snowy and it was really hard to see.  We saw a major four car accident and we're grateful we weren't involved in it.  As much as I love the cabin it was so nice to be home!  It will be nice to have an entire week with the kids before they need to go back to school.  I need to spend the next week trying to get back under control!  It sure has been crazy around here!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Stephanie's 41st Birthday

Another successful birthday at the cabin complete.  I got up pretty early and took a shower.  I was able to read for a bit before the next person awoke.  It was Abby.  She likes to talk!  She told me all about her pretty Hello Kitty nightgown.  It is pink and sparkly.  She loves pink.  In the middle of talking to me she all of a sudden got tears in her eyes and said, "If Jesus took my mom away I would be sad.  If my mom died I would be really sad."  Then immediately the tears were gone and she started talking about her nightgown again.

I'm not sure what Stockton was showing these girls to have them all mesmerized, but he sure has a way with little kids!  They all seem to flock to him.
Abby, Stockton, Millie, Anne
Bubs made the food today.  He had scrambled eggs with sausage for breakfast and hamburgers for dinner.  Matt made Reese's.  We had my cake around lunchtime.  It was so good!  Except for the fact that the brownie part was hard to cut.  (Brownies with mint ice-cream on top.) Still plenty yummy.  My dad sent me up with a birthday present.  I was unable to guilt him into coming up this year.  He gave me jammies that both Maysen and Jorja were jealous of.  They were feet jammies without the feet.  Jorja liked that because her feet are getting so big that regular feet jammies sometimes bother her.  Maysen liked them because she liked the pattern.
I only had one present to open this year.  The one from my dad.  For Mike's present I talked him into exercising with me.  He is so thrilled. The kids gave me different street pass games for the ds.

We spent a lot of time outside today.  Because it was my birthday I was able to get some family pictures of us in the snow.  We also spent a lot of time up at the Springs.  My toes were so cold when we left to go to the Springs.  By the time we finished they felt like ice.  It was pretty fun though.  I'm so glad we brought up sleds.  (Brought up sleds to the cabin, obviously you need sleds at the Springs.)  Jorja's is completely destroyed though.  Stockton's also has a pretty big crack.  At least we got a few old days of sledding with them though.  I didn't anticipate Mike and my sled to be one of the favorites.  It is big, giant and black. Jorja loved it.  She loved taking different cousins down on it. Usually Abby or Ella.  I'm glad it worked out so well.  I was pretty sure it would be a bust when we were buying it.
 I love this picture!
 Stephanie, Stockton, Maysen, Mike
Preston, Jorja
 Stephanie, Mike, Preston, Maysen, Jorja, Stockton
 Preston spent a lot of time working on a snow fort
 Ella and Preston
 Jorja and Millie
 Millie & Jorja
 I got Jorja a new frog hat for Christmas.
Found it on e-bay.  I might have been more excited than her!
 Preston and Abby
 Abby, Jorja, Millie
 Uh-oh, I don't think Millie's very happy.
 Dad's make everything better.
 Abby and Jorja
 Abby, Bubs, Millie
I played many games of Dominion today.  I didn't do very well, even when I tried to convince the pirates that it was my birthday so they should let me keep my gold.  They showed no mercy.  Yesterday I did great though.  We had a giant pingpong tournament.  Double elimination.  Stockton ended up winning the entire thing.  He was pretty excited.  It was fun to watch him.
Stockton, Preston, Lincoln
 First championship game victory complete
We played two games to 11.  One game on each side of the net because one side is clearly better than the other.  I lost to Mike and then to Matt.  I did defeat Preston and Ella.  Mike lost to Stockton and then to Matt in double overtime.
About to start game two of the Championship
 He was playing Bubs.
 Stockton and Abby
 Stockton makes funny faces while he plays
 Well, I love the smile here.
 The champion!  Stockton (and Mike with the cute photobomb)
 Matt helping Stockton celebrate
 Millie and Preston
We watched a lot of home movies that my dad gave us for Christmas. The kids thought they were so funny.  Especially anything with Matt. Matt dressed up as Abraham Lincoln was hilarious.
Abraham Lincoln played by Matt
One of our favorite lines, "One time my mom died."
Also Matt narrating a basketball contest was so funny.  This will be great to watch on the way home from Idaho.  The kids can watch the video of my dad driving to Idaho while we are on the way home.  Last night Sam took a video of us at the cabin watching a video of us watching a video of us at the cabin.  We are easily amused.
Maysen and Jorja
I had fun putting Stockton to bed tonight.   He was all tucked in, but I didn't want to turn off the lights until Jorja got to bed.  Usually Jorja takes forever to get to bed.  No exception tonight.  I told Stockton that this was the last time he would see me on this birthday.  Then I left and jumped back into the room, then I left again and did another silly thing back into the room, over and over again.  He loved it!  It didn't annoy him at all.  He laughed while thinking, "I've got the greatest mom in the world!"  Yep, she's pretty awesome.