Sunday, May 31, 2015


Maysen and Stockton had seminary graduation today.  Starting this year, in order to graduate seminary you need to take two tests and pass with 70%, have a certain percentage of attendance and read the entire scriptures.....for example, this year was on the D&C, so Maysen and Stockton read the entire D&C.  I wonder if they are going to make the kids read the entire Old Testament, or just pick bits and pieces.... Anyway, because the requirements are harder the kids get to go to seminary graduation.  They get completion certificates.  My kids did not like this idea at all.  They survived anyway.  When we came home there was a bird in the batting cage.  The poor bird got in through a tiny hole and then was flying around frantically to get out.  Mike propped up some of the net with a latter and then Maysen and Mike were able to help the bird find its way out.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


Maysen, Stockton and Preston had a recital today.  I hope they practiced.  I was not good about reminding them.  We are so close to the end of the school year.  I can make it!  Anyway, the kids sounded good and we are done with piano/voice until the fall.  Yay!
You can kind of see Maysen and Stockton in the back.
Preston is in the front with Annabelle's hand on him.
We went to a pizza place afterwards.  I think it is called Smokey Mountain Pizza.  Preston got to make his own pizza.  How cute is that?
Stockton drove us both ways and we lived to tell the tale.  Just kidding. He did a really good job.  He is not as hard to convince to drive as Maysen is!  Hopefully he will like it and feel comfortable doing it.  It would be a hard life to not have this skill!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Overstock Lagoon Day

One of our favorite days of the year is Overstock Lagoon Day.  Three of the kids stayed home from school.  Stockton wanted to go.  He was glad he did.  He had a quiz in Biology and was taking a test in Technology when he was checked out.  He got 3/4 of the way done.  I told him I would have waited for him to finish!  Yikes!  He also had a test in French that he missed.  No wonder he didn't want to miss any school. 
Preston & Maysen
 I don't think I'll ever get tired of seeing my children together.
 Maysen & Preston
 Jorja got on at the last second
 Maysen & Preston
 There was a peacock just walking around . . . a peacock!
 Maysen & the peacock
Preston looks hilarious in this picture.  I wonder how Maysen convinced Jorja to sit on the side?
Preston, Maysen, Jorja
 Maysen & Preston
Preston & Maysen at the saddest place on earth...
The Lagoon Zoo
There were more people at Overstock Lagoon Day then in previous years.  We actually had to wait in lines!  We were getting tired and thought about going home around 8:00.  That was when we noticed the lines disappeared!  So much more fun that way!  Jorja wanted someone to ride the white roller coaster with her.  That ride hurts my head, so I didn't want to do it.  She told me she would ride the Rocket with me if I did.  I took her up on it.  Earlier today we waited in line to ride Blast-Off.  Once we were seated Jorja was so scared.  She was crying in her seat.  I was surprised that she agreed to go on it again.  This time she loved it!  We went on it four times in a row!  We would run from the exit and be able to get on the next time it loaded.  Fun! Fun! Fun!  I then went on the white roller coaster with her.  I discovered that if I raised my hands really high, braced my legs and sat a bit forward that my head wouldn't get so jiggled and I could handle the ride better.  I only went on the ride once though.  Jorja and Preston did it a few more times.  We then had fun riding the Wild Mouse, Spider and Wicked. Jorja refused to ride Wicked.  When I was riding it with Preston and Maysen she had a moment of weakness.  Mike and Stockton pounced and convinced her to ride it.  She was nervous, but she did it.  She went on it with me, Stockton and Preston.  As soon as the ride finished she yelled, "AGAIN!"  Preston was SO happy!  He shouted, "I knew it!" Then he kept giving me the biggest smiles.  Jorja went on Wicked again with Mike & Preston then one more time with Maysen & Preston. The ride closed while they were on it.  Stockton told me he could see this going one of two ways.  Jorja loving it and wanting to ride it like crazy, or being completely scared and screaming like mad.  Glad it turned out this way!  What a fun, fun day!  I was pretty sick on the way home.  Glad Mike was driving.  I got myself a piece of dry toast as soon as we walked in the door.  That seemed to help.  So tired but so much fun.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Violin Concert

Stockton stayed after school for a ping-pong tournament.  Jorja stayed after school for her violin rehearsal.  Stockton texted me that he was ready for me to pick him up.  We went straight to the middle school to wait for Jorja, expecting to only wait a few minutes.  Jorja texted me right after we got there from home.  She forgot to stay after and had taken the bus home.  Stockton and I hurried home.  Jorja was pretty upset.  She also had something she needed me to sign and turn in.  She planned to have me sign it and run it back into the school.  I talked her into going back to the school.  We were able to make it to her teacher's room.  Jorja left it there with a short note.  We saw her orchestra teacher and let him know what happened, so all is well.

Jorja had her concert tonight.  The entire family came and watched. She did such a great job.  She loves Mr. Cox, her orchestra teacher. They sound great and he lets them do really creative things.  The last song at the concert was pretty cool.  They showed a silent movie. Buster Keaton.  The kids composed music to play along with it.  How fun is that?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Vet Tour

Yesterday Mike, Maysen and I were able to go to the school where Maysen will be doing her Vet program.  We were able to meet her teacher.  I think she is going to really like him.  He seems a little quirky, hopefully it is a good quirky.  We also got to take a tour of the place. Pretty exciting.

Jorja had a softball game.  I asked her if she would rather go to Young Women's.  They were having a big 'camp kick-off' party.  Inflatable slides and the whole nine yards.  Jorja wanted to go to her game. I'm glad that is the choice she made, especially since they were short on players anyway.

It started storming pretty hard around 8:00.  Sure glad Jorja didn't have that game!  No way did it get finished!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Rich's House

Maysen had late start today.  She left for the bus around 8:30.  A few minutes later I got a text from her saying a house was on fire.  Then a few seconds later she told me it was the Rich's house.  NOOOO!!! Sister Rich was Preston's primary teacher last year.  He LOVES her!   They are an older couple.  They served as the assistant temple president/matron in the Draper temple a few years ago.  I think they have lived here for 35 years.

Anyway, Preston hadn't left for school yet.  I was going to volunteer and take Preston with me.  Preston did not want to go to school until he knew Sister Rich was okay.  Sister Rich lives on the street behind us.   I drove to the far end of our street so we could take the secret pathway up to their street.  I saw the Nunes walking toward the smoke looking kind of confused.  I rolled down my window and told her it was the Rich's house.  Brother Nunes took off running as fast as he could. When Preston and I made it through the pathway we could see giant flames.  It was horrible.  I snapped a picture to send to Maysen.  My phone died right after that.  Later when I got home and charged my phone I found out that the picture didn't save.  Maysen and I went back tonight to get another picture.  When I snapped the first one the flames were as high as the tree.  The garage is destroyed.  Originally the garage was as high as the rest of the house.  Only one car was in the garage because Brother Rich had the other car at the church where he was practicing the organ.  Preston was so surprised that the pillars did not burn!
Rich's House
Sister Rich was standing on the street in her pajamas with a blanket and no shoes.  Preston went up to her and hugged her.  It was wonderful to see her not hurt at all.  That made Preston very relieved and happy that she was not hurt.  Heidi and Zane Christensen noticed the burning house first.  Heidi saw the smoke as they were walking to their new house.  She pointed it to her husband and he investigated. He yelled at her to run to the McHenry's and call the fire department. Zane jumped the fence and pushed in the door to the Rich's house.  He yelled over and over while clapping to see if anyone was in there.  Sister Rich was asleep.  He was able to get her up and out of the house.  Their quick acting certainly saved this house.  So glad that he went in and found Sister Rich.  She is a treasure.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Batting Cage

While I was gone to Idaho, Mike finished putting the batting cage up. Saturday he dug six holes and filled them with concrete.  He has been sore for a couple days now.  Steve came over yesterday and helped him with the net.  The kids love it!  (Maysen and I drove home from Idaho this morning.  We were able to wave goodbye to Grandpa before we left.  Nice to see him on Memorial Day, no matter how short.)
Batting Cage
 Safety net/machine
 Jorja's up first
 Jorja also loves catching with the machine
We had my family over today.  We were going to swim, play with the batting cage and have hamburgers and cake.  Too bad our pool didn't want to cooperate.  Our pool pump broke this morning.  It is probably one of the last things that we haven't replaced.  We knew it was on its last leg, just bad timing.  Mike ordered a new one, so it should be up and running soon...just not today.
 Jorja practicing with Mike
 Lincoln and Max pitching
Abby's birthday is on Friday and Ella's is in a few weeks.  Ange brought over a cake.  How fun!
I was watching Bubs and Ange's kids for a few hours before the rest of the family came over.  I decided to take Abby to the book store to pick out her book.  We rode in the jeep.  She had fun with that.
 Ella & Abby
 Stockton & Anne
 Jorja, Stockton, Anne
We played a few games of Dominion before Matt left.  Maysen won the first game.  Matt, Sam and I played one more.  Matt dominated that one.  It wasn't even close.  Still fun though.  I told Maysen she could still be on the trophy because I wouldn't let her play the last game.  She needed to finish her essay.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Visiting Grandpa

Mike and I taught Preston's primary class today.  Well, Mike taught and I watched.  He is such a good teacher and so fun to listen to him explain things.  There were about 8 kids there and he had them wrapped around his finger.  Maysen was supposed to teach her class in Young Womens today.  The only problem was she had no idea.  She ended up improvising a lesson that went really well.  She's awesome like that.  Jorja was put in the beehive presidency today.  She is the new secretary.  She's pretty excited about that.

After church, dinner and scriptures Maysen and I headed up to Idaho. It was great to have her all to myself.  We talked the entire time.  So fun to be with her.  Maysen was assigned a project in AP US History to interview and write a 5 page paper on someone over 80.  She really wanted to write about my Grandpa.  Probably because he is amazing. Maysen interviewed him for about an hour.  I really think she will always look back on the memory and be extremely grateful for this assignment.

Tammi and Frank came over for a bit.  It was fun to talk to them.  That was nice that they came over to visit with us when they knew we were there.  Tammi texted while we were driving and said, "Grandpa has on his calendar that you are coming here between 5-6?  I told him you were back east?  He is feeling confused."  Maysen texted back that we would be there in 30 minutes.  I could see why Tammi thought he was confused.  I had been posting pictures of my New York trip once a day on Instagram, and I just got back last night!  It's been a crazy week!
Grandpa & Maysen
 I love this!
Maysen and I slept downstairs.  We are leaving before Grandpa wakes up, so we said our good-byes tonight.  It was a quick trip, but worth it!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

We Finished the OLD TESTAMENT!

Today we visited the John Johnson farm.  This is where Matt lost his 'I'm impressed' button years ago.  More importantly, a lot of revelations were given here, including the revelation of the three degrees of glory. That one took hours.  My dad said that Joseph Smith leaned against one of the windows in this room.  This room was called the Revelation Room.  This was the Johnson's bedroom, but when Joseph and Emma needed a place to stay they gave their bedroom to Joseph to use as a study.
Revelation Room
This house was beautiful and has the most amazing colors.  I definitely never pictured such bright, fun colors in a pioneer house.  They were able to strip the wood down and match the original paint.  Everything was so cheerful.  I loved it!
They had many visitors, especially when the prophet was staying with them.  They converted their attic into a bedroom.  There were four beds squished in here.
This door and mantel were painted like this when Joseph Smith lived here.  How cool is that?
The inside of this cupboard was left to show how the wood looked when it was stripped down.  That is how they knew what swirls went where. Kind of fun.
This is the room that Joseph slept in when the mob burst in and took him to be tarred and feathered.  His little boy was sleeping in the pull out bed.
 My dad in Joseph Smith's room
 Joseph Smith was most likely tarred and feathered around this spot.
Joseph spent the entire night getting the tar scraped off him.  He still went and preached the next day.  He didn't mention anything about the night before, even though he looked pretty beat up.  Joseph Smith stood on these very steps to give his sermon.  I made my dad pretend to preach on those steps for the picture.  It made me laugh and laugh.
When I got to my seat on the bus I found this little surprise.  Dan had gone bike riding and bought this for me and my dad.  We had been talking about maple syrup before.  Dan has maple trees in his yard.  He makes his own syrup.  He learned how to do it because his children are homeschooled.  They love it and do it every year.  He didn't like it when my dad explained he makes his syrup with mapleine.  My dad had Dan sing before we went in the John Johnson house.  He sang I Need Thee Every Hour.  Wow.  He sure has an amazing voice!
We had lunch at Mary Yoder's Amish Kitchen.  it was so good!  It was a nice way to end our trip.  Our next stop was the Cleveland Airport.  We parked and had a prayer given by Dave before we got off the bus.  Dave sat by me while he gave the prayer so he could use the microphone.  He wasn't able to get back to his seat because people were getting off the bus.  He waited with me and we chatted for a bit.  His wife walked by carrying everything and he said, "Oh no!  She has all my stuff!  I need to help her!"  I looked out the window and saw his wife carrying his cane.  Dave got off the bus and I started gathering my things.  Next thing I know, Dave is on the ground!  He looked white as a sheet and his head was all bloody.  It was horrible.  I have always heard people make the comment 'a goose egg as large as a golf ball'.  I had never really seen it.  This was definitely as large as a golf ball, maybe larger on the right side of his head.  The left side of his head had blood gushing out.  The ambulance was called.  A nurse had been walking by and was helping him.  She shined a flashlight in his eyes and was asking him questions.  The first one was what day is it?  He answered Friday.  He laughed when she told him it was Saturday.  I was thinking, 'That's not a fair question.  None of us know what day it is!'  Anyway, he ended up being taken by an ambulance to the hospital.  He kept telling them he was fine.  They finally told him that there was no way they would let him on an airplane looking like that.  My dad and I tried to work with Patty to get him another ticket.  By the time we landed we found out that he had an MRI and everything was fine.  He needed stitches, but all is well.  That is such a relief!  They are staying in a hotel tonight and will get home tomorrow afternoon.

After all the excitement I managed to get a picture of my dad and Dan before Dan drove his bus away.  My dad does several tours.  When he does his New York tour Dan is always the bus driver.  I asked Dan what church he goes to.  He goes to a non-denominational church.  I asked if they meet on Wednesdays.  In Georgia it was a big deal to most churches to have meetings on Sundays and Wednesdays.  Dan said they usually got to church for three hours Sunday morning, then a couple more hours Sunday night.  Mondays they have off.  They do something Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.  Fridays the youth usually does some service projects for a couple of hours.  Saturdays they spend a few hours proselyting.  Wow!  We think we spend a lot of time at church!
Ron & Dan
Mike picked us up at the airport.  My kids were waiting for me when we got home.  Preston and Jorja gave me big jumping hugs.  We read scriptures before bed.  Malachi 4.  The last book in the Old Testament! We finished!  Hallelujah!  That sure took forever, but we did it.  Read every word.