Monday, October 31, 2016

Wolf and Scritters

Happy Halloween!  I spent today finishing my review for one of Covenant's books.  It is due tomorrow, but I really wanted to send it in today.  I finished it at Stockton's diving.  I sit up in the bleachers.  I had all my notes spread around me while I worked on this.  Different divers and coaches kept coming up the stairs to the bleachers and going behind them.  I didn't know there was anything back there, but I do see the water polo guys bring the cages out from there.  I didn't think about it too much because I was so focused on finishing my review.  On the way home from diving Stockton told me that one of the divers was back there cutting herself.  Lizzy and Micky went looking for her and found her.  They got Tyce back there.  Towards the end of practice I did see her storming out super mad with a fresh bandage on her arm.  She has had this problem for awhile now.

One of the reasons I was super mad with how the counselor handled the situation when Jorja was reported that she was cutting herself. (Totally not true and the councilor did a horrible job handling this.  I don't think I went into detail when this happened because Jorja was so embarrassed.  She's not anymore.  I'm still mad.  They called Jorja out of class.  She walked into her counselor's office.  The counselor said, "You're not in trouble but show me your arms."  Jorja was so scared.  I wish the counselor would have just taken the time to talk to Jorja. While they were talking she could have glanced at her arms. The only scratches on there were from softball.  They did not look like cutting marks at all.  I know because I have been more aware of this sweet divers arms since this incident.  The counselor called me after.  I told her that I hated the way this was handled and I was more worried about the counselor causing emotional damage to Jorja that that Jorja was cutting herself.  If Jorja chose to 'self-harm' herself, this would not be the way.  She is terrified of needles and blood.  Ooooo, I'm still so mad.  At the end of the conversation the counselor told me that her daughter went to elementary school with Jorja and 'something school'. I can't remember what school she mentioned, but it was not Jorja's school.  I told the counselor that Jorja did not go there.  She didn't even know who she was talking too!  So annoyed!  I asked her how Jorja was reported.  They have a new app where they can text about friends they think are in trouble.  Someone texted that they were worried about Jorja.  Jorja said she fell off the bus a few days ago and they found out that was not true.  I told the counselor, "First, Jorja did fall off the bus, she is very clumsy.  Second, Jorja's softball team had been practicing sliding.  Third, Jorja loves bandages and puts them on the teeny tiniest scratch.  Forth, do you realize that an anonymous app can be used as a form of bullying?"  I don't know if the person was a bully or a friend that reported Jorja.  I think they made a big deal about this app in the pe classes.  Can you tell I'm still mad about this?  Didn't need to go off on it.  I'll go back and start a new paragraph.  This is the longest parentheses thing ever, it is going to drive Maysen crazy.)

Okay, new subject.  As Stockton and I pulled up to our house, we saw Jorja and her friends on the lawn.  Katlyn's mom was taking pictures. Jorja had a great time trick-or-treating with them.  I love my neighborhood.  It feels extremely safe.  I love that I didn't worry about Jorja at all while she was gone.  Wait, that is not true.  She didn't come back for a long time.  I tried texting her, but she only has an iPod.  It was getting late and I wanted her home.  Mike and I started to hear voices from our backyard.  Jorja was back there with her friends while they waited to be picked up by their parents.  That was a relief!

Stockton and Preston both dressed up as Scritters.  Scritters are from one of their favorite old computer games called Wonderland Adventures.  They made their hats last night.  Preston made the eyes while we were playing Dominion.  Stockton loves dressing up as obscure things no one will know about.  Preston loved dressing up like Stockton.  Stockton wore his hat to school.  No one knew what he was dressed as.  Stockton loved that.  Side note: Stockton spent a lot of time making Jorja a Wonderland game for her birthday.  It turned out great. Preston appreciates it more than Jorja does though.  Anyways, Stockton took Preston trick-or-treating.  Preston was so excited to go with him.  Jorja and her friends tried to get Preston to come with them but he kept insisting he was going with Stockton.  I'm glad Stockton was okay with this.  They came back super cold because neither one of them wore a coat.  Weirdos.  They had a great time though.
Skritter Stockton and Skritter Preston
Mike and I snuck down to Lisa and Nathan's for their chili and scones. I just had the chili.  We asked the boys to hand out candy while we were gone.  When they were ready to leave, turn out the lights and lock the door.  Worked out perfectly.

Sunday, October 30, 2016


Preston is having a birthday party next Friday.  I will soon be entering Gingerbread Land because that is what he wants to do.  Decorate gingerbread houses.  Preston invited over 30 people.  I'm hoping only half come.  I'm also hoping those that aren't coming will let me know. Anyways, Juliet's mom texted me that Juliet wouldn't be able to come. Friday Preston came home with this adorable card from Juliet.  How sweet!  I just love it.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Holly's Halloween

Mike and I got up early to exercise.  We were there at 6:00 for our 6:15 class, only to find out that our class really starts at 7:15.  Good thing Mike loves me more than his sleep.  I bet we will never make that mistake again!  I took Maysen to her laser appointment.  I was also able to convince the rest of the family to watch the second episode of the Dr. Who we started watching yesterday.  I don't know if convince is the right word.  More like force, but they were good sports.

Mike and I left about 4:00 to take Maysen back to college.  We hung out in her room for awhile until it was time to go to Holly's party.  Holly was my roommate at Ricks my first year away.  I haven't seen her in over 20 years.  I don't think we've seen each other since we've been married.  Anyways, Holly knew I sometimes come to Logan because of Maysen.  She invited us to her annual Halloween party.  It was so great to see her!  We didn't stay too long.  Holly was the only person we knew, and I was the only one who really knew her.  I reminded Mike that we went on a double date with Holly.  Holly and I came down to Provo.  I went with Mike and Holly went with his roommate Terry. Anyways, Maysen loved the food.  It was all Halloween treats and according to Maysen it tasted really yummy.  Mike and I are trying to stay away from sugar, so we just had fruit and a few meatballs. Demetria can't eat gluten, so she stayed away from everything except the fruit.
Demetria & Maysen
 Mike, Stephanie, Maysen
Holly has an amazing view from her house.  So pretty!  Mike and I took Maysen and Demetria back home, then we headed back as well.  Mike was driving in the carpool lane going a little over the speed limit. Apparently that really annoyed the truck behind us who was tailgating Mike like crazy.  Finally the truck went around us.  Perfectly fine.  The truck then slowed down until he was going 40 miles an hour.  We know they were just doing that to make us mad.  Way to get back at us for not going fast enough.  Wackos.  When the break in the carpool lane came up Mike was about to get over when I told him not to.  I asked him to see how long the truck would play this game.  I was convinced that if we got over the truck would do the same.  That happened on the way home from Ricks when I was in college.  The car I was in let another car in front of us.  That car slowed down and followed us from the front. Every time we would change a lane, the car would as well.  They did this the entire way to Utah.  It got pretty scary and was quite dangerous.  I didn't want to start playing that game with the truck. When we didn't go around at the break in the carpool lane and Mike wasn't tailgating the truck gave up and sped away.  Weirdo.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pirate Preston

I was not expecting Preston's Halloween party to be today.  If I was, I would have not scheduled Jorja's orthodontist appointment.  This is the first year I haven't been at his Halloween parade.  He didn't seem to mind, at least he never said anything about it.  Preston woke up early today to scrounge through the costume box.  We have the most pirate costumes, surprise, surprise.  He does make a cute pirate though.
Jorja picked blue for her elastic band cover and now regrets it.  That's okay though because she was told she gets her braces off next time she comes!  She'll have them off before Christmas!  Stockton told her she was lucky she doesn't need them during high school.

I headed straight for Logan once I dropped Jorja off at school.  This time I remembered Maysen's nacho bowl.  We both keep forgetting. That is one of my favorite pieces Maysen has ever made.  I took Maysen grocery shopping and then we headed home.  Utah State also had a football game today.  The street was partly blocked when I arrived and it was mostly blocked by the time we left.  Too bad Maysen doesn't enjoy football games.  We did run into a linebacker on our way out.  He was very tall and promised me he wouldn't hurt himself tonight.

I told Maysen that we were going to try and see if we could do gingerbread houses with the Smith side of the family on December 18th.  That way finals will be over.  We have five college students and one medical student right now.  Maysen looked at me in shock and said, "Wait.  I'm coming home for Christmas?"  YES!  You are coming home for Christmas!  You've got to be kidding me!  I told her she was coming home for Thanksgiving too.  Maysen ended up talking me out of that one.  She will be staying by herself over Thanksgiving.  She'll probably have macaroni and cheese.  She is pretty excited about that. Maysen hates Thanksgiving.  Mike works long hours after Thanksgiving.  I guess if I need to give in on something, this would be the one.  I'm definitely not giving in on Christmas!

I convinced my family to watch a Doctor Who episode with me tonight. They love it, even if they don't admit it.  This one was a two part episode, so we are going to finish it tomorrow.  I gave Damian the Steve Young book today and then Maysen, Preston, Mike and I played Maysen's 3D version of Settlers of Catan.  Preston won the game. Preston was taking his turn when all of a sudden he looks down and said, "Wait!  I won!"  He was right.  He won when he put down the settlement that blocked me from being able to get the longest road back.  That happened about thirty minutes before we realized he won. We all thought Mike was going to win and kept counting his points. Sneaky Preston!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Eve's Handprints

I took Stockton to diving today.  Mike brought Preston and took Stockton home while I stayed.  I read Steve Young's book and have almost finished it.  I think it is going to be perfect for Damian.  It was also really interesting.  Sherry texted me while I was at diving and asked if I wanted to pick up Eve's handprints or wait until gingerbread houses.  We decided to pick them up on the way.  Preston had a lot of fun playing with Sherry's dogs.  She let Preston have crazy bread.  The crumbs were all over his shirt and legs.  The dogs loved it.  Preston was so happy!
Preston, Bandit and 1/2 of Sherry
Usually Sherry does two sets of handprints just in case one of them has trouble.  This time Sherry gave me both sets.  She said she liked the pink color of one of them better, but she didn't like the corner.  She was worried that in a few years it would start curling up.  I'm sure Rachel won't mind having two.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Jorja's 14th Birthday

Jorja is 14 years old today.  This is so weird.  She is not suppose to grow up.  Although I want her to grow up.  It's weird that she has been a part of our lives for fourteen years, although it is hard to remember life without her.  The leaders of the young women have been asking for baby pictures.  I finally took a picture of a picture and sent it to them. My little baby.  Isn't she beautiful?
Jorja ~ 6 months I think
She was a beauty then and she still is now.  She has always been kind and caring.  I remember having strep throat when she was 2 weeks old. I was so sick.  I had just fed her and was laying in bed holding her.  I looked down at her and she looked at me with such pity in her eyes. Like she thought she was responsible for how awful I felt.  All I could do was roll my head back and try not to move.  I remember when she was about six months old.  Just how she looks in the picture above.  I was holding her in the library of church and she started patting my back. Like she was taking care of me. It just melted my heart.
Jorja ~ 14 years
I have tried to take the kids a special lunch on their birthdays.  The older the kids get the less they like this tradition.  Jorja asked if I could take her friends to Jamba Juice this morning instead.  That sounded like a great idea to me.  Jorja's friends call her JJ.  Maybe that is why she likes Jamba Juice? Same initials.
Hailey, Kate, Katlyn, Jorja
 I tried for a better picture without weird shadows.
 Jorja, Katlyn, Hailey, Kate
 One of these friends is not like the other....
 My Jorja Instagram picture
I stopped by Matt and Sam's after dropping Jorja off at school.  Sam needed to borrow Matt's laptop cord.  I talked to Matt about the election.  He is outraged.  I went straight from Matt's to my visiting teaching appointment.  I talked to Javita for a LONG time!  It was great though.  She has only lived in North Carolina.  Her boy, Damian, is Maysen's age.  He is an excellent baseball player.  He has been drafted by BYU, but had surgery on his elbow I think.  Depending on how rehabilitation goes he might be in the major league draft this year.  If not he will play at BYU next year.  That is what the plan is now.  She was talking to me about different concerns.  I have never met anyone that completely follows promptings without question.  Months ago she told me how they had just finished their dream house when they were prompted to move.  They don't doubt, they just do it.  She talked about Damian's decision not to serve a mission.  He prayed and fasted and prayed.  He went to the temple many times.  One time he came home and said that he knew he wasn't supposed to serve a mission.  Right now that decision has cost him some relationships that have been painful.  For some reason, I immediately thought of Steve Young's new book.  I decided I needed to get that for them.

I was driving to the store and met Preston walking home from the bus stop.  He hopped in the car and we hurried and got the book I wanted. We were on our way to the grocery store when Jorja texted asking if we could pick her up.  That worked out perfect.  We picked her up and then headed to the store.  She got to pick out her own cake.  She had told me she wanted a mint ice-cream pie.  That is what I was going to look for.  It was nice with Jorja there because she changed her mind. She ended up with a chocolate mousse pie.

Jorja talked a lot about everyone saying 'happy birthday' to her.  First, they pronounced her name right on the announcements.  That hasn't happened for.  A couple of classes sang Happy Birthday to her.  The lunchroom sang to her and Mrs. Vosti sang to her.  Her friends decorated her locker.  Lots of confetti in her math book.  Fun day for a new fourteen year old.
Jorja's pie cake
Jorja asked for homemade spaghetti for dinner.  Then we watched the Goldbergs and Speechless.  Papa came over and gave Jorja a gift card to a clothes store.  Jorja is going to LOVE that!
Jorja and Papa
Anne came over with Matt to return Mike's charging cord for the laptop.  The kids loved playing with her.  A few weeks ago Jorja did Anne's nails.  Anne was trying to convince Stockton to get matching nails with her.  It was so funny!  When Anne came over today Stockton asked her about her fingernails.  She held them up and said 'they melted'.  Anne was walking around weird downstairs.  Stockton asked her if she was drunk.  Anne said, "No, the daddy was drunk.  He crawled like this."  Then she did a weird crawl.  So funny!  The kids were laughing.  When Matt came downstairs and was told the story he informed them she was talking about a movie.  Anne loves movies. Especially the bad guys.
Anne & Jorja
Jorja was given a lot of fingernail stuff for her birthday.  Jordyn helped me pick out a light machine for her.  Preston gave her these cute fingernail clippers and some lip balm.  Stockton made her a computer game.  My dad gave her a beautiful frog from Israel.  I think Jorja was pretty pleased with her birthday this year.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Hey there.  This is Mike.  Steph wanted me to write about my jury duty adventures.

People say that real trials are nothing like what you see on TV.  This case was *exactly* like what you see on TV.  It was a murder case and it had it all.   Defense lawyers grilling detectives and accusing them of sloppy police work.   Witnesses brought in in prison jumpsuits and shackles.  The witness who is in love with the defendant even though he doesn't love her back.  Insect evidence proving the time of death.  Drugs.  Sex.  Alcohol.  Conspiracy.  A robbery-gone-south that turned into murder.  High-speed chases in get away cars.   A gun ditched in the bushes and a criminal coming back for it later.  Accusations of evidence tampering by police.  Tangled webs of text messages and phone records connecting all the participants together.  Plea bargains, video taped confessions....

...and a ruling of "mistrial".

I was disappointed that we didn't get to see the case all the way through, and make a decision one way or the other - even though I admit I was a bit nervous about actually making that decision.

During the case, some of the jury members commented about having to stay so long or about how it was uncomfortable to sit so long.  For me though, seeing the defendant at the table and some of the witness testifying while their hands were cuffed behind them, I was just happy knowing that I would be able to go home at the end of the day.

I was very impressed about the care that the court took to preserve the rights of a defendant accused of murder.  Of how respectful and civil everyone was.  The judge calling defendant and witness alike "sir" even though they were on trial or were wearing a prison jumpsuit.   It's easy to forget how one of the basic tenants of our government is that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.  

In the middle of the political mess of this election season, with candidates saying they may not even accept the results of the election, it was nice to see something working the way the constitution says it should.  I was glad to have the experience but am also glad it's done.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Jury Duty

Mike has jury duty this week.  Last time he had jury duty he had to call every night and find out if he was needed the next day.  This time when he called he found out he had to go in.  I never heard from Mike today, so I was assuming he was there all day.  He was.  He ended up getting picked for the jury.  The trial is supposed to last until Thursday.  Mike can't talk about it.  Matt is jealous.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Nails with Jordyn

My primary lesson went a lot better today, thank goodness!  Stella wasn't there because it was Emily's mission farewell.  Jorja and I went over to Jordyn's this evening.  Jordyn's place is adorable!  She has this tiny town home to herself.  She loves not having a room mate.  Anyway, Jordyn did nails for both Jorja and I.  They are Halloween themed and turned out super cute.  I just realized I didn't take a picture of them, but I'm too tired to fix that now!

It was Johny's birthday today.  Isaac threw a surprise birthday party for him.  Stockton headed over there around 8:00.  Everyone sure loves Johny!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Miranda's Wedding

I have been really excited to go to Miranda's wedding for awhile now.  I knew Miranda in Georgia.  She was in my ward and I remember teaching her in primary.  I wasn't her primary teacher, but I was the music leader when she was in primary.  She has always been beautiful! I should have gotten a picture of her for this blog.  She looked stunning. Miranda's mom, Jennifer, was the primary president when I was the music leader.  It was fun to see her and her husband James. Jennifer took this picture of us.
Jennifer and Stephanie
Miranda's wedding was beautiful.  I think Mike's mom would have approved completely!  She had the wedding reception at the state capitol.  It was funny, because she had it catered by Chick-Fil-A.  They had these cards to explain why they were doing this.  It made me laugh and it was really delicious.  Mike and I joked about how the kids would regret turning this wedding down now!

Friday, October 21, 2016


I was excited to go to Lagoon with the kids today.  It's weird that I have to beg my kids to go to Lagoon with me.  I remember being little and I could not sleep the day before we would go to Lagoon because I was too excited.  That is not what happens to my kids.  I couldn't convince them to go with me during the day, but we decided we would go when Mike got home from work.  In my kids defense, they had homework to do. Anyways, once Mike got home we made our way to Lagoon.  It was so crowded!  Crazy crowded!  I have never seen it so busy before.  The entire parking lot was full.  They had additional parking on the grass and most of that was full.  It didn't look good.  We decided to go inside anyway.  The lines were horribly long.  We walked around the entire park and decided to just go home.  On our way out we ran into Nathan and Bobby and their family.  Hope it worked out for them!

We stopped at Zurchers to look at Halloween stuff and then McDonalds for fun.  Preston thought this was so hilarious.  He had Mike take a picture.  Then he laughed and laughed about it the rest of the night.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Diving and Trapeze

My Evan McMullin shirt came finally!  Larkin told me her Romney shirt came two days after the election.  I told my kids I was going to wear this everyday until the election.  I don't think they believe me.
I took the boys to diving today.  Stockton had been going for awhile when Preston's teacher looked up to us in the bleachers and asked if Preston would like to dive with the Novice kids.  She didn't think any other lesson kids were planning on coming.  This worked out great! Stockton and Preston got to dive together, which was super cute, and we were able to leave more than an hour earlier than we had planned.
Preston & Stockton under the showers
Stockton is on the three meter and Preston is on the one.  I wish I would have captured the other time this happened, because I liked those dives better!
Stockton is on the three meter working on his 2 1/2 pike.  Preston is playing with cones.  He thinks flipping cones is almost as fun as diving and was quite proud that he landed a double cone flip.
Preston almost got landed on twice.  He goes sideways on his back dives.  Once he went right in front of the other board.  Jackson was on it ready to jump backwards into the water.  Luckily he didn't land on him.  The other time Preston came up under the three meter board right as Lauren was going off.  Tyce yelled for her to stop, but she couldn't.  She did some acrobatic move to avoid him.  Yikes.  Hopefully he'll be able to straighten out in the future!

Jorja went with Hailey to Classic roller skating ring and Stockton went with Gavin to a trapeze class. They both had a great time.  Stockton liked it more than he thought he would.  He wants to go again, but he doesn't want to had a specific class.  Basically he wants to do drop in classes where he can just come if he has free time.  I'm glad he tried it and I'm glad he liked it.  Hopefully he will find a time to go back.  The instructor told Stockton to do a toe touch.  Stockton had no idea what he was talking about.  Once the instructor explained it Stockton laughed and said, "A pike?"  He called it a pike for him the rest of the class.

Jorja went with Hailey and they were supposed to have someone else pick them up.  I wanted to watch the BYU/Boise St game.  I guess that fell through and Classic closed.  Hailey's phone ran out of batteries so they walked all the way to the movie theater so they could call us.  I do not like the idea that Jorja was walking down there so late at night.  I don't like that at all.  Mike is frustrated that her plans always change after she leaves our house.  Not sure what the best solution is.

The BYU/Boise State game was frustrating!  I wish Davis would have been able to play.  The defense was amazing, then would give up a huge play.  Fred Warners pick six was one of the best plays I have ever seen. I was joking with my brothers that he knew he had to score or his interception wouldn't have meant anything.  There were so many turnovers that BYU didn't capitalize on.  I randomly saw this tweet that made me laugh.
BYU ended up losing by 1.  With Boise State being undefeated and ranked 14th it is not the worse loss of the season.  BYU really should have lost by a lot more the way they were playing.  At one time the defense had more yards and points than the offense.  Yikes!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Today was the last day of school for the week!  Yay!  I picked up Stockton from school and we went straight to diving.  He told me all about the PSAT test he took today.  He thought it was hilarious that calcium carbonate was mentioned.  So did most of his friends.  Maysen called while we were driving and Stockton talked to her.  Once Stockton finished diving, we hurried to Cocoloco to pick up their new swimsuits. Mike met us there with Jorja and Preston.  Preston really wanted to wear his today.  He was adorable!  He has been wearing his jammers to practice, but they end up riding up his legs and it looks ridiculous.  I was finally able to see why diving usually prefers their divers to wear speedos.
Not the best picture, but he sure is adorable.  He loves his new swimsuit too.  Mike took Jorja and Stockton home after they finished getting the Cougar Dive logo stamped on their swimsuits.

Jorja went with her friend to watch the Alta/Corner Canyon game. They ended up watching it at their friend, Nathan's house.  Alta has been undefeated and Corner Canyon is hoping to make the playoffs. Corner Canyon ended up having a major comeback and winning in the final moments.  Sad for Alta.  This would have been their second time in school history going undefeated during the regular season.  Anyway, I'm not a big fan of rivalry games.  It seems to bring out the worst in people.  I didn't like reading some of the comments from parents of the other team.  Jorja seemed to have fun though.  She had her fingernails and face painted and looked adorable.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Belt Loops

Preston had pack meeting today.  It was the arrow of light ceremony for a few boys.  The last few times they have done this it has been this same guy.  He likes to burn their neckerchiefs to see if they are telling the truth.  I'm not sure why they keep asking him back when we are not supposed to have fire in the building.  He gets after the boys if their shirts are not tucked in.  He also gets on my nerves.  I try not to be irritated, but I am not successful.  I'll just leave it at that because thinking about the things he says just makes me angry.

Anyway, here is a picture of Preston receiving his Duty to God and his Robotics belt loop.  I think Robotics was called something different, but I'm not going to look it up.  The Breens have done a great job and Preston should get his Bear next pack meeting.  It is nice to know if he goes to scouts everything will get taken care of.
Preston, Griffin, Sister Breen, Crew, Burke
Here is a snapshot of the leaderboard of a contest where John managed to break the top 100.  He was ousted out shortly after this.  Too bad I didn't get a picture when Brett was in the top five on one of the contests.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Happy Face

I saw this cartoon and it made me laugh.  It also made me think of Maysen.
We had a nice relaxing day at home.  Preston didn't have scouts because pack meeting will be tomorrow.  I didn't take Stockton to diving because it is fall break this week.  We aren't going out of town, so Stockton decided to do diving on Wednesday and Thursday when he won't have to worry about school.  By the picture below you can tell Stockton got a lot of studying done.  Just kidding!  He makes me laugh.
Stockton being a goofball
I watched the Blue Jays lose while working on Collin's stocking.  Here is a picture I sent to John showing him my progress.
Collin's stocking
The first inning of the game the Indians' pitcher's finger was gushing blood.  It was so gross!  Apparently when you are pitching you are not allowed to have a bandaid on your finger, or super glue to help the stitches hold.  He injured it a few days before working on a drone.  It was so gross!  Too bad the Indians still managed to win even though their starting pitcher left the game in the first inning!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Teaching Primary

I taught my primary lesson today.  It didn't go too well.  I had a hard time preparing this lesson.  I'm trying to figure out teaching primary.  I haven't taught a class since I was first married . . . besides substituting. I do not like the primary manuals.  They are so boring.  I have a hard time staying awake while preparing my lesson, how am I supposed to teach it?  I didn't prepare as much material today as I did last week because I ran out of time.  Too bad one of the sacrament speakers didn't show up today and sacrament meeting ended ten minutes early. Why couldn't that have happened last week instead?  Oh, last week was fast Sunday.  Anyways, I felt like I was being eaten alive the first half of my lesson.  I feel really self conscious with the other team teacher in there.  I like her and I like having another teacher so I don't need to teach every week, it just kind of stresses me out.  Anyways, I finally stopped caring what the book wanted me to teach and was able to get a dialogue going with the students.  I tried to explain what it might have been like when Jesus asked to bring people who needed to be healed.  I focused on Luke and talked about his brother.  (Luke's brother didn't need to be healed, but we were pretending.)  Finally it worked and we were able to talk about these things.  The kids had a lot of questions and we went way off topic, but it was much better than before. Hopefully I can figure this out.  I'm teaching next week too. Fingers crossed it will go better than today!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Silver Lake

Mike and I started the Body by Banks program today.  It will only be six weeks, but it sure is tough.  I can't believe I let myself get so out of shape, now I feel like I'm starting at the beginning.  I guess that is better than not starting at all.

We had a relief society activity at Becky's cabin.  It is beautiful up here. It was nice and relaxing.  I got to talk to Tiffany Maxfield on the way up.  I had been wanting to talk to her since Youth Conference, but our paths never crossed.  I wanted to thank her for letting Willy come.  She told me that Willy did great and told me about several of his antics.  He had never roasted marshmallows before.  Wow.  She also said that she was surprised how athletic Stockton was.  She wants Landon to convince him to join the track team.  She said he was fast and competitive.  The fast I believe, but the competitive?  With sports?  I asked Stockton about it later.  He said, "Well, you only got one chance in kickball."  That makes more sense.  If he was only going to get one chance to get on the base, you better believe he was getting on the base. I think Stockton would be excellent in pole vault.  He is already used to twisting his body while he is upside down.  He has also gotten super strong recently.  Being fast, strong, not afraid, and use to being upside down?  Those seem all like the perfect qualities for a pole vaulter.  Ha!
I left with the first group to come home.  I had a lot of fun and was still having fun, but I love being home best.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Jorja's Birthday Party

I had a huge mom fail today.  Jorja had her 14th birthday party and I didn't take one picture.  Not even a picture of her cake.  This is the first cake I have ever missed.  At least I can fix that on her real birthday. Jorja did have my cell phone during the party, so I hoped to get something on that, but I should have done something.  Anyways, Jorja seemed to have fun.  She planned the entire thing, thank heavens.  She had about ten girls come over and they went to the mall to do a video scavenger hunt.  Afterwords we had presents, Chick-Fil-A nuggets, fruit platter and a cold stone cake.  I will describe the cake since I did not take pictures.  Jorja picked a red velvet cake with sweet cream ice-cream.  She chose hot fudge and rainbow sprinkles as the mixins.  She had chocolate ganache frosting with strawberries on top.  The words "Happy birthday Jorja" were written in red.  Oh, the cake was rectangle.

The party was ending just as the BYU/Mississippi State game was starting.  That was nice timing.  The double overtime win was quite exciting.  Mike and I are starting a Body by Banks exercise program in the morning, so hopefully the late night won't come back to haunt us!

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Mike and Preston have been making gargoyles and griffins and things like that with the 3D printer.  Mike then puts lights in their eyes.  I think he is turning our storage room into a castle for the wands.  He wants to make the door to the storage room look like the outside of the castle.  The gargoyles are going to guard it, or decorate it.  Something like that.  Mike and Preston have been having a lot of fun.
Jorja went to the Alta football game tonight.  They had another big win. They are undefeated this year.  Jorja has also gone to more football games than Maysen and Stockton combined.  We picked her up at 10:00.  I wonder why they had a football game on a weekday.  At least she has late start tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


I took Preston to diving today.  We left a little early so we could stop by doTerra.  Preston loves the oils.  When I got my bag Preston grabbed it and yelled in a super sweet voice, "Oils!"  Then he dropped to the floor to look what I had picked up.  Several people laughed at him.  He was so cute.

Mike took Stockton and Jorja to Stake Standards Night.  I got a text while I was at the pool from Mike.  It said, "I think very few things annoy Stockton more than being on stake youth council."  Oh boy.  This is going to be a very long year.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Just Diving

I took Stockton to diving again today.  He didn't have Young Mens tonight because they are having a stake standards night tomorrow.  By getting Stockton's two days over with I will just take Preston the rest of the week.  Then Mike doesn't need to come down at all.  See how nice I am?

Monday, October 10, 2016

Maysen's 19th Birthday

It's weird that I didn't see Maysen on her birthday today.  First one ever.  I don't like that.  I did talk to her though.  I asked her when would be the best time to call.  I didn't want to bother her and I know Mondays are a really busy day.  We made plans for me to call at noon.  I had my eye on the clock the entire day.  Then the countdown began. 11:11.  11:24.  11:45.  12:15.  Wait, what?  I was busy doing laundry I couldn't believe I missed calling her at exactly 12:00.  I dropped all of Stockton's clothes I had and grabbed my phone frantically trying to get to her.  While I was doing that I got a call from Maysen.  She had been waiting for me.  I felt so bad!  It was nice to talk to her for just a bit though.

I took Stockton to diving today.  Preston had a field trip with scouts.  I reminded him of scouts before I left, but I had no way of knowing if he remembered when he got home.  I guess it wasn't really a field trip. They just walked around the neighborhood asking for food for the food bank.  I had to stop and sign a permission slip for him though.  Weird. Not that the scout leaders are weird, just the new rules are.

I asked Jorja to sleep in her own room today.  She wasn't too happy about that.  Tuesday is late start, so she needs to get up earlier than the boys.  I thought this would be easier, plus she needs to start sleeping in her room by herself one day.  Preston was sad when he went to sleep. He wanted to play a game.  It was too late to do that, Preston didn't understand.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Old Pictures

We had dinner over at Steve and Shannon's today.  Scoop was in town. It was nice to see him.  He gave Mike his baby book and some random pictures.  Everyone got a great laugh at one of his student body pictures.  This is not the picture they chose to hand up in the halls at Alta, or the one chosen for the yearbook.
Mike, Matt, Heath, Shandon, Bryce
Emily, Sheena

Dinner was nice.  Sherry and her family were there.  Lisa and her family came later.  Stockton had fun playing ping pong with any willing opponent.  Steve made hamburgers.  We watched the presidential debate.  I can't believe that these are the two main candidates.  Sure hope Evan McMullin pulls off a miracle.  I missed the awesome Blue Jays game.  I accidentally left my phone home, so I missed all of my brothers messages talking about it.  It was fun to read when we got home though.

Jorja is still sleeping in the boys' room.  I wonder how long she is going to do that.  She does not like sleeping in her room without Maysen. These guys sure miss their sister.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Empty Jar

Nothing too exciting.  Just cleaning, watching the BYU game (which was great!), shopping with Jorja for her birthday party and preparing for my lesson on Sunday.  I called and talked to Maysen this morning. I wondered if she would like Mike and I to come and take her out to lunch for her birthday on Monday.  She didn't think that was necessary. I asked her about conference.  She had a nice relaxing conference at her apartment.  We listened to conference upstairs, which is different than normal.  I told her that the kids asked where the treats were.  We usually play conference bingo with lots and lots of treats.  I answered that I didn't get any this time.  Stockton brought a jar and asked me if I knew what it was.  He said it was a jar filled with all of our family traditions.  Maysen laughed at that story and asked why I didn't put it on the blog.  I am just too forgetful.  I did pull out some of my gingerbread candy for them so they are no longer deprived.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Jorja's Friday

Today was Preston's short day.  The best part of short day is Preston always is willing to play with me when he gets home.  We played a game of Dominion, of course.  Jorja's friend Hailey came over.  Jorja did her nails and then they went to a dessert shop called Create.  They ended up at Alta's football game.  Alta had a huge win for their homecoming game.  I picked her up from the football field around 10:00.  I was pretty tired.  I'm not use to these late nights anymore!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Pep Rally

I actually made dinner today.  This is the first time I tried 'dinner in a pumpkin'.  It was my cousin Jana's recipe.  Except I added some squash.  The only thing that wasn't delicious was the squash.
A few weeks ago, Ashley asked Mike and I if we could come to Alta's Homecoming Pep Rally to be introduced as alumni.  I thought we were going to have to play weird relays and I had been dreading it.  I convinced Sherry and Shannon to come too.  Turns out they just introduced us.  It was funny because Ashley asked for an accomplishment she could mention about us.  I texted back, "Oh boy. Mike was Student Body Attorney General, on the wrestling team and on the Academic Decathlon team.  I just went to class."  When Ashley introduced me she said, "Stephanie Smith.  She went to class and married her high school sweetheart."  I guess I did that too.  When Shannon was introduced she did a summersault.  Sherry then one-uped her and did a roundoff.  I don't think she did a backhand spring, but I didn't get a perfect view.  It was super funny.  Sherry was on the gymnastic team.  She was also MORP queen.  Haha!

Mike has started making a door and a window for the playhouse.  He sure has fun with his projects.
 Mike & Preston

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


I spent a lot of time at BYU today.  I picked up Stockton from school and went straight to Provo.  He worked on his back doubles.  I do love watching him dive.
I like this video because it has his reverse double from Monday on top and the back double from today on the bottom.  It would be cool if I could get a front and inward double and have them all go at the same time, I don't think I have enough talent for that though.

Stockton and I waited for Preston and Mike to come.  They were a bit late because traffic was horrible.  They did shut down both lanes of I-15 this morning, but Mike and Preston were caught in a different mess. Once they arrived we traded Stockton and Preston.  Mike took Stockton home, after stopping at Firehouse Subs.  I stayed and watched Preston be adorable.  We stopped at 7-11 for pizza and slurpees on the way home.  Well, Preston got those things, I am trying to get back on the wagon with my eating habits.

Jorja was going to start diving today.  She brought a swimming suit to school.  She texted me at the end of the day saying she was having a bad day and didn't want to go to diving.  I was a bit frustrated because I had already written the check and she had told me she wanted to go. Luckily I brought my checkbook with me, so I got a new check in the binder.  Then she texted me saying she wanted to go. Okay.  I told Mike so he could pick her up.  I decided not to switch the checks until she was in the jeep.  Good thing because she texted me again and said she decided she didn't want to go.  This was my reply back to her.  "Okay. You really need to get better about making a decision and sticking with it.  It is driving me insane.  Make good use of your time so I don't regret this.  Love you."  She claims she wants to start diving in November. We'll see.

Jorja and Katlyn did finish their video project for their English class.  It is due on Friday and they were a bit worried about getting it done. While Jorja was showing me the video on her iPod, she got kind of a mean text from a boy at her school.  I tried to talk to her about it, but she downplayed it and didn't want to discuss it with me.  I hope she is okay.  She takes social things too hard.  I need her to be more like Maysen and I need Maysen to be a bit more like Jorja.  Those girls are so incredibly different!  I love them both to pieces.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Jorja's Last Game

Jorja had her last softball game of the season today.  Her team finished in first place.  Jorja played left field, pitcher and catcher today.
After the game, Jorja and I went to Chick-Fil-A.  One of her teammates, Emily, was there.  She loved that.  Jorja was still wearing her catchers gear while she ate.  I guess she was not ready for this season to end.

Stockton had an American Ninja Warrior activity for Young Mens today.  He enjoyed it except the pogo stick party.  Johny told me he won first place.  Stockton didn't confirm that though.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Preston's Principal's Pride

Preston received a Principal's Pride award today.  Once a month teachers pick one student out of their class that exemplifies the theme for the month.  This month's theme was bully free.  I'm not sure how I feel about their principal yet.  This is her second year here.  The last principal was amazing.  This one seems a bit of an airhead.  The weirdest thing was she would say, "These are the bully-free kids for fourth grade!"  Or things like that, which seems to imply that all the other kids are bullys.  It was weird.  I'm glad Preston was noticed for being bully-free though, he is such a sweet boy.  I talked to him and said, "Now, you know you will not be picked for a Principal's Pride award for the rest of the year.  When the Principal says 'these are the respectful students' don't thing that means you are not respectful." Anyway, I thought it was a bit odd.
Preston in the orange jacket
We had a long diving day today.  Stockton now has to be at BYU at 3:00.  He gets out of school at 2:25.  I waited for him in the carpool lane and we headed straight to Provo.  Traffic is tons better at this time though.  We were shocked to see we got there at 3:10.  Stockton learned his reverse double, which was awesome.
Stockton Reverse Double
Mike brought Preston to diving at his regular time.  Stockton and I had left about twenty minutes before.  Preston was a bit late because I got a text from his piano teacher saying he had lessons today in stead of Tuesday.  She had talked to me earlier about needing to switch, but I thought she was going to call and let me know the final plan.  I left Preston a message and hoped he saw it.  He did, but didn't get home from piano right on time.  Jorja was planning on starting this week, but she has been going on Mondays to a pitching clinic with her friend. The pitchers need to bring their own catchers.  Anyway, today the friend never showed up.  I was annoyed.

Katlyn came over to work on a video project with Jorja.  They portrayed themselves as bullys in the video.  Maybe Preston needs to give them some lessons on how to behave.
When they finished Jorja wanted to play 'bigger or better'.  They started with a piece of gum and ended with a chest full of chocolate coins and candy, a bag of pirate booty and a flower arrangement of candy.  Quite the accomplishment.
Katlyn & Jorja
Apparently Jorja did most of the talking at the houses.  Katlyn told her she was good talking to people.  Jorja said, "Those are words I never thought I would hear."  Jorja has really come out of her shell lately.