Wednesday, November 30, 2016


I had something bother me today that I don't want to write about on here.  As a result I was feeling a little down.  I have a hard time making friends.  Usually it doesn't matter because my family is so awesome, but today I was a little upset.  I took Stockton to diving and stayed to watch Preston.  Mike brought Preston up and took Stockton home. Every once in awhile Adi's mom comes.  We are not always on the same schedule, so I never know when I'm going to see her.  Her name is McKenzie and about a month ago we became quick friends.  I was wearing my Evan McMullin shirt and she came and started talking to me about it.  McKenzie is amazing and I already adore her.  It makes me so happy to see her.  Just what I needed today.  McKenzie's husband is going to medical school in Georgia.  They went there for Thanksgiving.  They are also planning on going for Christmas.  She is so excited.  They have a little girl that is 6 and a boy that just turned 1. McKenzie is staying in Utah while she finished treatment for breast cancer.  She discovered it in July.  She was 29 years old.  She is now 30. I see her a few days after her Taxol chemo treatments and I can't even believe it.  She is having surgery on Friday.  I hope it goes well.  Her last surgery put her in the ICU for four days.  I'm not sure if I'll see her before she goes to Georgia for Christmas.

Anyways, McKenzie had the coolest story.  She flew back from Georgia yesterday.  She had a message from a lady that runs a cancer support group that she joined.  McKenzie called her back while she was at baggage claim.  She was told that Angela Johnson (the sculpture that just finished the pieces for the new Light of the World Garden at Thanksgiving Point) wanted to use her as a model for her next sculpture.  She wants to do a sculpture of a woman with breast cancer and Christ helping her through the process.  She went and sat for Angela that very day.  McKenzie explained what it is going to look like and how she felt.  It was one of the most spiritual experiences she has ever had.  I am so excited to see this new sculpture.  I am so glad McKenzie was at diving today.  Just the pick-me-up I needed.  I am extremely thankful my problems aren't anywhere close to hers.  It is amazing to here her talk about her cancer.  All she talks about is the 'tender mercies' she has seen.  For example, her boy was born premature.  She wanted to get pregnant right away because she has a hard time getting pregnant.  There is a 6 year gap between her two kids. When her boy was premature her doctor told her that she shouldn't have other kids for a year and a half.  I think the doctor wanted this child's immune system to fully develop.  (I had never heard of that before.  My doctor didn't tell me that after Stockton.  Anyways, it is what her doctor told her.)  She followed that advice and found out she had cancer when her baby was about seven months old. She has a super aggressive type of cancer.  If she was pregnant, she would have horrible decisions to make.  McKenzie is such a light in the world.  I hope she can survive the cruel disease.  It was weird though.  I saw a picture of her from a year ago.  She laughed when I gasped, "Look!  You have hair!"  She said, "That's right.  You have never seen me with hair, have you?"  She is beautiful with and without hair.  Some people just are.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sick Day

I woke up at about 3:00 in the morning throwing up.  It all went downhill from there.  I was so sick all day long.  I don't even want to remember anything about today.  Except that Maysen called.  She was able to reserve her exact room for next year.  She had one day to do that.  She has loved living where she is.  We figured it would be easier to change to a different room than to get this one if she changed her mind.  She has until May 1st to change her mind.  Maysen knew I was sick when she talked to me.  She called several hours later and I didn't answer.  Her voice mail was funny.  She wanted to make sure I wasn't dead.  I also talked to Rachel today.  I had called her when I was really sick because I was worried I was going to eat something that would make it worse and I thought Rachel would know the answer.  She called back when I was feeling a bit better so I got to talk to her for awhile. That pretty much sums up my day.  I am so thankful I was sick today when I didn't have to go to diving.  If I was this sick yesterday . . . I can't even imagine.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Tires and Snow

Wow!  What a super long day!  I got up early and did some exercising. Leg day.  Ouch!  Mike and I got all the kids out the door to school. They were super excited about it.  Ha!  Mike called the tire store as soon as it opened.  We tried to get snow tires on last week but we needed a new tire and they didn't have one at their store.  They ordered one and said they would call when it arrived.  They never called.  Mike called and they didn't have any record of it.  What!  Plus, we had already paid for it.  Luckily they checked somewhere else and found it. We hurried over to the store and there was already a super long line. Mike waited with me for about thirty minutes.  He talked to the guy and got everything sorted out.  Then he had to go to work.  Cyber Monday and all.  They told me it would be a 2 1/2 hour wait.  I decided to just stay there.  I really wanted the snow tires on.  I didn't want to drive to Provo today without them.  I went over to Black Bear Diner for awhile.  I wish I had brought more to do.  I had about thirty pages of The False Prince to read.  I didn't want to go past that.  We have book club on Friday and I only want to read to where the kids are supposed to read.  That way I won't spoil anything for them.  I have a book I need to evaluate for Covenant.  I really wished I had that with me.  I ended up being at the tire store for four hours.  It was long and boring.  I was really glad to have the snow tires on though.  I had about an hour at home before I needed to pick up Stockton.

The roads were great on the way to diving.  On the way home it was a different story.  I was very thankful for my snow tires.  It took us over two hours to get home!  A few times we were going about 20 miles/hour on the freeway.  Those were the good times.  Many times we were at a crawl.  I slipped twice when we were going super slow.  I can't imagine that trip without snow tires.  It would have been horrible. I started to feel a little sick on the way home.  I just wanted to crawl into bed when we finally arrived.  We were home before Mike.  I texted him and told him traffic was so bad he should consider sleeping over. He ended up coming home around 10:00.  Traffic was better by then luckily.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


Both Stockton and I had lessons to teach today.  Stockton was able to work on his a bit yesterday.  I was watching kids so was unable to work on it.  Things have been so crazy that I haven't had a chance to plan my lesson yet.  I worked on it this morning and found a cute game to play. The game ended up taking longer than I thought.  I thought some of the answers were obvious, but the kids liked to look up every answer in their scriptures.  They had fun though.  Stockton said his lesson went great.  He is glad to have it over with.

Mike, Stockton, Preston and I played a game of Pandemic.  Stockton looked a little bored, but wasn't obnoxious about it.  We ended up barely winning.  Thanks to Stockton seeing a quicker way and Preston remembering a card that hadn't been played that would likely come up during Mike's turn.  Preston was so happy.

I talked to Matt and Sam today.  We have been saving one of the bunk beds from the cabin for them.  I asked them if they were serious about wanting it because if they didn't we were planning on giving them to a refugee family.  Our ward has about thirty refugee families that they are sponsoring.  They encouraged three families to sign up for each family. We signed up with the Anderson family and the Rich family.  Both the Andersons and the Richs are empty nesters.  I talked to Judy today and she asked if we knew anyone with beds.  A few days after we signed up, Marilyn Rich was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She starts chemo this Wednesday.  Yuck!  Anyways, Matt and Sam were planning on using the beds, but were willing to donate them to the refuges.  That was nice of them.  I hope the family will be okay with bunk beds.  We aren't sure if they can be used as single beds.

School starts tomorrow.  No one is ready for this vacation to be over.  It went by too fast.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Beautiful Ballerina

I got up pretty early and tossed and turned enough that I woke up Maysen.  We hung out in her bedroom while the other kids slept.  I peeked outside her door and saw Preston's eyes were open.  I motioned him to come to me.  He jumped into bed with Maysen and played his Pokemon game with her.  He was pretty happy about that.  We packed up once the other kids awoke.  The also drew Christmas names.  We had most of the things packed up when we headed out to lunch.  We went to Angie's.  I wanted to 'Clean the Sink' with the kids.  I thought they would like that.  It is a lot of ice-cream that comes out to you in a kitchen sink.  Lunch was delicious.  After lunch Preston was the only one that wanted to clean the sink.  The rest of us were stuffed.  Jorja didn't want the restaurants ice-cream, she wanted more of the Blue Mint we had yesterday.  We decided to clean the sink another day. Preston was okay after we promised him we wouldn't do it without him.  I stopped by the store and picked up another Blue Mint so we could finish the one we bought yesterday.  When we got back I opened the entire carton.  It reminded me of when my mom would make homemade ice-cream sandwiches.  Anyways, there was no going back after that!  There was also a lot more ice-cream in there than I had anticipated.  Whoops.

We left Maysen and headed home.  Preston does not like leaving her. At least we will get to see her in three weeks.  We watched Anne and Jeff while Matt and Sam went to the late BYU/Utah State game.  It was nice the game was in Provo so Maysen's street didn't get closed.  Anne was so cute.  She started looking for Jorja as soon as she arrived.  She said, "Jorja, my fingers are white!"  Anne loves it when Jorja paints her nails. Jorja's friend Hailey was over.  Jorja painted Anne's nails then Anne wanted Hailey to stamp her nails.  Anne really likes Hailey.  She has met her several times before.  Anne likes to call Hailey 'the Dolphin'.  I guess Hailey used a dolphin filter when she was talking to Jorja once. She talked to Anne as a dolphin for quite awhile.  Anne loves that Hailey is sometimes a dolphin.  Anne was spinning and Hailey told her she was just like a beautiful ballerina.  Anne said she couldn't be a ballerina because she didn't have a beautiful dress.  Mike helped me find this tutu for Anne.  Anne loved it and spun and spun and called herself the 'beautiful ballerina'.
I put Anne and Jeff to bed right as the BYU game was starting.  Anne kept coming out asking to go to the bathroom or for water.  Jeff didn't like going to sleep.  Anne told me Jeff always cries when they are going to sleep.  I wasn't sure how long to let him cry, but he fell asleep right after I texted Sam asking her how long he usually cries.  He woke up around 10:30, it was right as the 3rd quarter was starting.  I got him out of the playpen, found his binky and blanket and cuddled with him while watching the game.  He was so cozy.  He was like that for about 45 minutes when he looked up at me.  He did a double take and started wailing.  I think he thought his mom was holding him the entire time. Haha!  I got Jeff back in the playpen and was able to watch the rest of the football game.  I fell asleep while watching the post game show.  I wanted to be on the couch so I could hear Matt when he came home.  I did sleep through Hailey leaving.  Matt came around 1:30, I think. Can't quite remember.  He bundled up his cute little kids and took them home.  I crawled into bed and slept well.

Friday, November 25, 2016


While Mike was busy with Black Friday I took the kids up to Logan to visit Maysen!  I have been looking forward to this for a LONG time! We didn't leave until the afternoon.  Stockton wanted to finish his homework before we left.  It was nice he didn't have to worry about it while we were gone.  Maysen made us a cake in Demetria's rice cooker. She was pretty excited about that and it was delicious.  Maysen really wanted to see the new Disney movie Moana.  Once the cake was finished we headed out the door.  Too bad everyone else in Logan wanted to see Moana too.  There were only three tickets left for the showing we wanted to go to, and they weren't by each other.  We ended up buying 3D tickets for later that day.  Maysen doesn't really like watching movies in 3D, but it was our only option.  Instead we took Maysen grocery shopping, which is something I wanted to do.  I also splurged and bought her official Aggie ice-cream.  The Blue Mint kind. Maysen's favorite.  We went back to Maysen's apartment, ate cake and ice-cream and played Disney Apples to Apples.  We played once the regular way and then once where we each put two cards in and only one card was picked.  That was surprisingly difficult.  I didn't like it because there were many times you ended up losing two good cards.

We finished the games right as it was time to leave for the movie.  We were able to find our seats before the theater went dark.  I hate looking for seats in the dark.  We were watching the previews when the screen says, "Put on your 3D glasses".  Whoops!  We forgot to get those.  I asked the people next to us where they picked up theirs.  They said the person taking the tickets gave it to them.  Whoops again.  No one took our ticket.  I went out and found glasses for everyone.  At least we had them before the show started.  Maysen really liked the movie.  I thought it was okay.  I don't think I fell asleep, but I might have for just a bit.  I have a hard time staying awake during movies.

It was really late when the movie finished.  I took the kids to Sonic so they could get something to eat.  We headed back to Maysen's apartment so we could go to bed.  Preston was really excited to sleep in Maysen's bed with her, but he fell asleep on the couch.  Stockton and Preston both slept on the couch.  Jorja slept on the beanbag we brought up.  I slept in Maysen's bed with her.  She has a full size bed.  Right as I was falling asleep I remembered I wanted to look out her window to see the Logan Temple at night.  It was beautiful!  I wish I had shown the other kids.  This is where their Grandma Honey and Papa were married.  In the picture you can barely see the temple.  It looks a lot better in person.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Jeff's 1st Birthday

Happy Thanksgiving!  Mike and I started the day bright and early with our last exercise class.  It has been a lot of fun having Mike do this with me.  He hasn't liked it much though.  This was our third class this week. Todays was an hour and fifteen minutes long.  The classes are HARD! We survived, but were so tired when we got home.  We still had a lot to do for Thanksgiving.  Yikes!

Dinner was at our house at 3:00.  My dad was cooking the turkey (and lots of other things).  He told me he would be there at 2:30.  I called him at 3:45 to see if everything was okay.  He was on his way here. Later he told us that he fell on the way to the car.  I don't know how long he was laying there before he was able to get up.  I'm glad nothing serious happened.  Brother Mortenson, in our ward, fell down his stairs on Saturday and needed emergency brain surgery.  He died this morning.

Anyway, on to happier things.  Thanksgiving!  The food was delicious. I made cranberry sauce (actually Mike made that), rolls and a lot of pies for my contribution.  I made a chocolate dairy free pie for Anne.  I got some coconut whipped cream for her too.  She ate all of the whipped cream off of the pie, but didn't touch the pie.  I told Sam next year we should just give her a plate of whipped cream.

We had the adults at the giant table Mike has been making.  That worked great.  We set up a table my dad gave me in the piano room for the kids.  They ate dinner while watching various Thanksgiving cartoons.  My dad brought me my grandma's table from when he was little.  It folds up pretty small.  He has had it in his garage for years, so it is a little beat up.  I'm excited to have it though.  I want to list the people that were here this year.  My dad, Bubs and his family, Matt and his family, Sam's mom, Sam's sister with her husband and five kids.

Today was also Jeff's first birthday.  Anne and Millie helped him open the presents.  All three of the kids seemed to like that arrangement.
Anne & Jeff
Sam brought a cute little cake for Jeff.  It was adorable.  She let Jeff pick at it with his hands.  He was timid at first and kept looking at his mom like, "I can't believe you are letting me get away with this!"  Soon he was banging into the cake with both hands.  I think he liked it!
Jeff's first birthday cake
I wish this last picture wasn't blurry.  It was so funny to see Jeff sitting there with his legs kind of crossed.  "Yep.  I owned that cake!"
We Facetimed Maysen before we went to bed.  She seemed happy.  She spent her Thanksgiving writing and drawing.  She said she wasn't hungry most of the day and finally warmed up some pizza for dinner. Maysen's perfect Thanksgiving.  No people and no food.  Strange little girl.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


I have been anxious for the boys to get haircuts.  Stockton told me that he wanted to wait until Thanksgiving break so he would have it for a few days before he went back to school.  Stockton can't stand people saying things like, "You got a haircut?"  I don't know why.  It's weird. Anyway, the number one thing I wanted to get done today was get the boys haircuts.  Around lunchtime I took the boys down to a new haircut place by Little Caesars.  The lady said their credit card machine wasn't working.  I had only brought a credit card.  I gave her my name and she said she would call.  We went and picked up pizza.  After we came home and ate I decided to go back with my check book.  I brought my debit card just in case.  That was lucky because they don't take checks either.  I left the boys there while I went to Harmon's and got some cash.  Preston was done when I got back and looked so adorable. Stockton finished soon after, although you can't even tell he had a haircut at all.  I let Stockton tell the lady what he wanted done. Apparently nothing.  I wanted Stockton's haircut to look like Preston's. Oh well.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Anne's 3rd Birthday

Stockton, Jorja and Preston all had diving today.  Stockton and his friends just messed around today.  Their coach even left at the beginning of practice, which is why they messed around.  They brought up a mat onto the five meter and were sliding off of it.  It's nice to have silly practices like that every once in awhile.

Preston had a super busy day.  He went to piano straight from school. Mike picked him up from piano and took him and Jorja to diving. Mike then took Stockton home.  Jorja and Preston had a great practice.  I got a short video of Jorja doing a dive off of the three meter. It's super quick because I didn't start it fast enough.  Jorja was over rotating on her three meter dives.  Her coach asked her to look at her hands while she was going in the water.  I couldn't believe the difference it made.
Jorja, Preston and I went straight to Anne's house from diving.  Mike and Stockton met us there.  My dad and Cathy were there along with Sam's best friend, Candace, and her kids.  We watched Anne open presents and had cake.  Anne was so excited about her presents this year.  Last year she was not.  Anne was happy about everything.  It was adorable.
 Anne with her pink cake and pink frosting
Sam is not a fan of pink.  Anne loves it.  So funny.  Now we start Thanksgiving break!  We are all ready for a little relaxation!

Monday, November 21, 2016


Today was Preston's first day as a Webelos.  He loves Judy, she did Wolves with me when I was in scouts.  Webelos will also be at Judy's house, which is only a few doors away from us.  Preston is excited that he won't have to walk as far.  I was gone before Preston came home from school and left to scouts.  Stockton had diving today.  It is nice that Preston always remembers scouts, even though I am never home. He does have a better memory than me.

Sunday, November 20, 2016


I love gingerbread houses.  I love the smell.  I love the candy.  I love seeing what everyone makes.  I love the chaos.  It is so much fun.  We did gingerbread houses for my family today, except Bubs and his family were unable to make it.  Hopefully we can get him later.  Maybe when John and Cassie are here.  Anyway, here is the product from todays fun.
 I always love Mike's houses.  I wish I were as creative as him.
Preston was so funny.  He built Trump's wall out of sugar cubes.  That is Trump on the top.  He is holding a whip.  The cinnamon Santa's are "Mexican's" climbing over the wall.  One is scaling the wall with a candy cane.  Definitely not politically correct, but it was funny listening to Preston while he was decorating.
Preston's puppy sleigh was really cute.  You can't see it here very well, but I love how he was able to get icing tying all the puppies together.
 Max & Preston
 I wanted one with her smiling.  She doesn't like the elastic
on her braces.  She gets her braces off soon, so she can deal with it!
Katlyn's parents dropped her off and headed to the hospital.  Katlyn's mom had surgery awhile ago.  One of her staples became infected and she ended up needing surgery tonight.  Katlyn slept over at our house and both Jorja and Katlyn were thrilled with that surprising turn of events.  Katlyn had never had a sleepover before, besides with family. Making lemon aid out of lemons.
Jorja & Katlyn
I put all of Matt's houses on circle plates.  That is because this gingerbread is made without dairy.  I asked Anne when she came in if she wanted a scary gingerbread house or a not-scary gingerbread house.  She said she wanted a not-scary one.  Her little voice is so cute! Sam wanted them to only use dairy free candy.  It worked well until Matt forgot and put kitkats on his house.  He was trying to make it look like his house was boarded up.
Anne, Matt, Sam
 With Jeff
My dad made such a cool house,
but the pictures don't do it justice at all!
 Jeff wanted my dad's house
 Cathy, Max, Dad
Here are my Instagram pictures.  I liked how they turned out, so you get to see these same pictures again.
Matt, Sam, Anne
Max, Dad, Cathy
 Mike, Stephanie, Stockton
Jorja & Katlyn, Preston
I took Jorja and Katlyn to Katlyn's house so she could pick up clothes for tomorrow.  Then I fell exhaustedly into bed.  What a great day!