Wednesday, May 31, 2017

So Cold!

Yesterday when I was tucking Preston into bed he insisted he was so cold! He turned his heated mattress on and wanted me to put 10 blankets on him. TEN! I told him it was way too many and he would kick off his blankets in the middle of the night and end with no blankets. He didn't believe me. This is how I found him in the morning.
Preston
He usually wears long pajamas to bed. This is the first time he has worn this, it used to be Stockton's. I think he was extra complaining because of the shorts. Silly little weirdo.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Random Things

First, while I was in Virginia Trevor kept calling me 'Grandma'. He would catch himself and correct himself, but it was super cute.

Friday night Matt and Sam got their car broken into again. All that was stolen was their temple bags. Both of their temple bags look like laptop bags. My dad was walking on Saturday and stopped to talk to a neighbor who was doing yard work. She told him that they found the craziest thing in their yard. Two temple bags. My dad brought the two bags down to Matt and Sam in triumph while I was there. I guess the thief decided they had no need for those. Luckily they looked inside while they were still in the neighborhood.

Jorja had her first practice for her summer softball team. It is mostly the same team she had in the spring. Same coaches and mostly the same players, with a few additions. She was really excited about this. Her team is going to be named Mia. I don't know why. I don't know if M. I. A. stands for something, or if they just thought Mia sounded cool. Jorja was pretty upset on the way home. She loves playing catcher, but doesn't get much opportunity because they needed her to pitch. Her friend Raina is a great catcher. Jorja is frustrated that Raina always gets to practice being catcher. She wants to improve, but doesn't know how if she is rarely given the opportunity. It makes me sad to see her so upset. I asked her if she talked to her coaches about it. No. Could I? NO! I don't think they have any idea how much she wants to be catcher. I wish she would just ask. She doesn't care about being the first string catcher, she would be fine with being a back-up catcher that gets to improve during practice. Hopefully this summer season turns out to be a good thing. She was so excited about it before today.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Goodbye Hodsons

Today is Memorial Day. The cemetery is always so pretty today. Mike and I picked some flowers to put on our mom's grave. I went home and grabbed my bag on pinwheels. I was in Virginia (and Maryland) on the day my mom died, so I didn't get the pinwheels out then. It's nice because I can leave them here for an entire week. There is one pinwheel for each of my mom's grandchildren. Their names are written on the pinwheels. A nice lady stopped and asked if she could take my picture for me.
 Stephanie
It's so pretty when the wind spins the pinwheels.
video
Mike's family came over for a goodbye swimming party for Lisa and Nathan's family. It's going to be sad when they are all the way gone to California. It was fun to have everyone together. Well, all of the siblings were there, but we were missing Jessica (of course), Aimee (medical school - and her birthday), Michael (on his mission in Russia), Spencer (in Boston), Matt (working), Connor (working) and Take (working). Maysen spent most of her time inside writing because she can't be in the sun right now. Mike spent all morning trying to get the pool ready. (All weekend too.) He used his scuba equipment for several hours cleaning the bottom of the pool. He wasn't 100% sure the pool would be ready, so he wanted to get a slip-in-slide just in case. Preston loved it!
video
The pool turned out great, the weather was perfect and we had such a great time. Mike's dad even came. I think this is the first time he has come to one of our pool parties. Just such a peaceful day.
Nathan and Nova
 I love how Steve, Mike and Sherry are gathered around their dad. Nathan is behind him with a diet coke.
Preston, Nova, Derek, Leo, Melissa
 I think they all loved having their dad here.
 Nathan & Lisa
 Nova, Derek, Xander's friend
Xander, Taylor, Jorja, Erica, Miah, Melissa, Leo
 With Papa!
 Scoop, Sherry, Mike, Steve (Lisa had left by this time)
 Miah and Jorja had a great time together! I loved that!
Xander's friend, Taylor, Erica
Miah, Melissa, Leo, Jorja
 Miah, Taylor, Jorja
Taylor is always a favorite!
Sherry and I thought it would be so fun for Miah and Jorja to go to EFY together. I tried to find an opening, but apparently you need to be a boy if you sign up this late. I'll have to keep my eye on it, maybe we'll get lucky.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Jorja's Talk

Jorja gave a talk in sacrament meeting today. It was about patriarchal blessings. She was supposed to talk about preparing for one and experiences she has had with patriarchal blessings. She had a hard time writing it because she hasn't had her patriarchal blessing yet. She did a great job though. Here is her talk.

In one of Thomas S. Monson's earliest talks he said, "The same Lord who provided a Liahona provides for you and for me today a rare and valuable gift to give direction to our lives, to mark the hazards to our safety, and to chart the way, even safe passage---not to a promised land, but to our heavenly home. The gift to which I refer is known as your patriarchal blessing. Every worthy member of the Church is entitled to receive such a precious and priceless personal treasure.

Before I can tell you how you can prepare for your blessing, you first need to understand what exactly a patriarchal blessing is. An article from the 2004 New Era says that, "A patriarchal blessing has two main purposes. First, the patriarch will be inspired to declare your lineage---the tribe of Israel to which you belong. Second, guided by the spirit of prophecy, the patriarch will pronounce blessings and may also provide promises, cautions, or admonitions that apply specifically to you. Your patriarchal blessing may point out certain things you are capable of achieving and blessings you can receive if you exercise faith and live righteously."

A patriarchal blessing has the power to tell you about your past, present, and future, but it's important to remember it is not your fortune teller. Wanting to know what your future has in store for you should not be your only reason to want your blessing. And just because your blessing tells of certain things for you, doesn't mean they will be given to you regardless of your actions. A patriarchal blessing is a two-way covenant with God. It is a guideline, but not necessarily a word for word account of your future.

President James E. Faust said that, "A patriarchal blessing from an ordained patriarch can give us a star to follow, which is  personal revelation from God to each individual. If we follow this star, we are less likely to stumble and be misled. Our patriarchal blessing will be an anchor to our should, and if we are worthy, neither death nor the devil can deprive us of the blessings pronounced. They are blessings we can enjoy now and forever."

But what happens when we don't set our blessing as a star to follow?

Many years ago my Grandpa and his friend bought a book at DI, which they soon found contained someone's patriarchal blessing. This was back before it was easy to get another copy of your blessing if you had lost it, so they figured whoever's it was must've been devastated. The blessing contained many wonderful promises, and whoever's it was must have the most amazing life. After searching long and hard, they were able to track down the owner's mother and gave the blessing to her. When she saw it she immediately started crying. She told them it was her son's, and he had recently died from a drug overdose. Looking into the blessing she said her son hadn't made very good choices in life, and not many of these blessings had come true. He didn't stay faithful to the church, or his star, so God could no longer give him these wonderful blessings as he hadn't stayed faithful to his covenants.

In addition to remaining faithful, your blessing should inspire you to make changes in your life. In my mom's patriarchal blessing she was told to keep a journal where she would record her thoughts and feelings of her day to day life. So, she started a blog which she's kept going since 2008.

So, now that you know a little more about patriarchal blessings, how can you in turn prepare for yours?

An article from lds.org says, "You should do everything possible to draw closer to the Lord. Prayer, fasting, scripture study, meditation, and repentance can help. Concerns about worldly things should be left behind for such a sacred occasion." These are all important things you should do, especially while preparing for your blessing. Search and ponder the scriptures and continue to develop your relationship with God.

There is no age requirement and you do not have to be ammeter for a certain amount of time before receiving one. My Great Grandfather got his when he was eight. When you want to receive your blessing is your decision. The article continues to say, "The desire to receive a patriarchal blessing should come from a desire to know and live God's will for you. Curiosity or pressure from others isn't the right reason to get a blessing. The bishop will help determine if you are ready for the blessing."

Another way to prepare is to think of certain questions you have been needing answers to. Part and fast about them. When my sister received her blessing, she wrote five questions on a piece of paper, which she kept in her pocket. She prayed, fasted, and searched the scriptures. All of those questions were answered in her blessing.

But because patriarchal blessings include things from our future, they can be difficult to understand. As their life goes on, people may get discouraged as they think certain blessings may not have come true, or that they never will.

A friend of my mom's patriarchal blessing told him he would meet his wife on his mission. But as his mission went on, he hadn't met anyone that he felt a connection with. His mission president knew about his blessing, and towards the end of his mission, began putting him in single wards in hopes that he'd meet his future wife. However once his mission was over, he still hadn't found her. He went on with his life, figuring his blessing must've been wrong. Years later, he ended up getting married to someone he did, in fact, meet on his mission.

Now, of course, this doesn't mean your blessing will have something like telling you when you 'll meet your future spouse. But many things in your blessing could be just as confusing to you as this was for him. If you remain faithful, you will receive your blessings, even if it's not in this life.

I'd like to close with a quote from Sister Julie B. Beck. She says, "You are in a season of your life when you are making some of your most important decisions. Because you are being bombarded with so many incorrect messages about who you are, you need some additional guidance. You can learn more about your life and mission on earth and the light that is in you by preparing to receive and then studying your patriarchal blessing. As you get older you will see the prophecies in your blessing taking shape in your life. The Lord has important and exciting things for you to do. This is your time to "arise and shine forth, that your light may be a standard for the nations."

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Ducks

Mike was so happy to find ducks in our small pond. He loved taking pictures and was worried he would scare them away. He would say things like, "I hope they like it. I hope they'll want to come back." Cute.
I saw Lisa and Nathan at Harmon's today. Not going to randomly run into them too much longer. Sad. Jorja had some friends come over to work on an English project. Drew and another boy. I went and got pizza. I think Jorja loved having two boys to herself. Heaven help us these next few years! They worked hard and goofed around a lot. I was so tired and they were still working on their project. They had to make a game with a Hobbit theme. There was lots of making questions, cutting and laminating going on. Finally I told Maysen and Stockton I was going to bed, but to make sure they would go and bother Jorja every few minutes.

After I came home from the store I went and found Stockton lying on the couch. I was asking him about his biology quiz that is due tomorrow. I turned around and noticed his foot was bleeding. What! It had been like that for an hour. WHAT! He dropped the Dominion box on his foot. He still doesn't remember why he was moving it in the first place. Instead of telling one of us, he fixed it himself with a paper towel and scotch tape. Lovely.
Stockton's foot
These two pictures aren't too bad. It was not a pleasant thing to look at. Jorja didn't seem to mind. I'm right when I tell her she would make a great pediatrician. Stockton thinks his scar makes his foot look like the villain Zero from Kirby. Here are the two side by side. I can see the resemblance.
Stockton's Zero foot

Friday, May 26, 2017

Overstock Lagoon Day

We went later to Lagoon day than we usually do. Preston had a class party that he really wanted to go to. Stockton had some big projects to work on, especially in statistic, so that worked out well. I checked Jorja out after second period. She came with me to Preston's class and helped. Jorja helped Mrs. Chung and I helped Mrs. Mickelsen. I bet Mrs. Chung loved having someone helping who could speak Chinese! When I finished with putting Mrs. Mickelsen's folders together, we checked Preston out and headed to Alta. Debbie Romrell was working at the attendance desk. I told her I needed to check out Stockton Smith, etc. etc. After she had called for him I asked her, "Do you recognize me?" She said, "You look familiar, did I know you at Challenger?" I told her no and that my name is Stephanie Millburn. Her hands flew to her face as her chair jerked back. It was pretty funny. She said, "You are old enough to have a high schooler?" I told her I had a child in college too. Later when I was telling this story Stockton said, "Maysen always has to one-up me." Ha!

Anyways, we finally headed to Lagoon in the afternoon. We stopped at Mike's work on the way and picked up Mike's friend Harish. He is from India and has been in the United States for about three years. He wasn't going to go to Lagoon because he didn't have a way to get there. We took care of that. Our first stop was to buy season passes. It's great because Mike was able to get some extra Overstock passes from friends who decided not to go. (Overstock gives two free passes to each employee. Any extra is $50.) We only had to buy one pass this year. Because we are already at Lagoon, season passes are cheaper. They were $60 this year. We already know we will be going in two weeks for my family reunion. Then we only have to go one more time to make this worth it. Jorja is going to 8th grade Lagoon day next week, so hers for sure is paying for itself.

We then went and got the free lunch. Jorja and Preston were so full from the pizza (from Preston's school party) that looking at hamburgers made them sick. We went to Cannibal for our first ride. Jeff wanted to ride it with his boy, so he asked Mike if he would hang out with his daughter. Mike was more than happy to do that. Preston decided to wait with him. As we were about to get on we saw Harish finishing the ride. He had checked it out on Youtube and wanted to ride it, but it scared him.

I love that all of my kids are old enough to ride all the rides. They don't like them all, but it's nice to not have to separate unless we want to.
Preston, Stockton, Jorja, Maysen
We pressured Preston to ride Bulgy the Whale. He is almost too tall to ride this ride. The kids kept saying, "You won't ever be able to ride it again!" Perfect time to ride it because he wouldn't have wanted to wait in a line just to ride this one.
Preston
I might have climbed a fence to get this picture.
This day went by so fast. Because we went late it threw off our entire system. We were walking to the swings when Mike realized Bingo was almost over. Jorja and Mike hurried over to play the last few games. I went with the kids on the swings and I tried to ride the Ladybug ride with them. I was annoyed because I was let in and went to get a seat with Stockton. A little kid behind me in line ran in and took my seat! What was super annoying was, he left his little brother waiting in line. He took my seat so he could ride with strangers. I couldn't believe it. I looked at the worker and she said, "You can ride it next time." What? All of my kids are on it now, like I'm going to ride the Ladybug ride by myself and make my kids wait. What an annoying boy. I was even more irritated because while we were waiting in line Mike texted me that Jason Parry was at Bingo. I was hoping I would see him today. I wanted to hurry over, but I knew this is one of Maysen's favorite rides. I should have just caught up with the kids later and tried to find Jason. I never did see him.

Mike found Harish at bingo and he hung out with us for the rest of the day. We got him to go on Wicked. Hahahaha! He did not like that! He screamed so loud! Secretly he liked it though. Although not enough to go on the Spider next. Mike and Harish both sat out on that one. We went to Air Race. Only Maysen and Preston are crazy enough to go on that one.
Jorja & Stockton sitting out Air Race
Mike wanted to get Beavertails. Harish though it was a ride. He pointed out that there is a ride named Spider, so why wouldn't there be a ride named Beavertails? We each had a beavertail partner. Mike & Preston, Stephanie & Jorja, Maysen & Stockton. Maysen got powdered sugar over her face because she kept laughing.
Stockton & Maysen
Maysen has wanted to ride the ferris wheel for awhile because then she will have ridden every ride at Lagoon. Only this year they added two more kiddie rides. Luckily adults could ride them both. One was a simple airplane ride, the other was a flying jeep ride. The jeep ride was so fun! At least as far as kiddie rides go.
Stockton & Jorja (and Preston's back)
 Mike
 Harish & Mike
Overstock Lagoon day is a perfect day to ride the ferris wheel. We were able to walk right on and didn't have to wait for lots of cars to load. We divided the cars up into 'spin and not spin'. The kids all went in spin. Stockton said he would go in spin because there was no way Preston would be able to spin it fast enough to make him sick. Harish, Mike and I went in the non-spin car. Mike hates heights. He is a good sport. He even went on both Rocket rides with me. Those are my favorite.
Harish & Mike
 Mike
 Mike & Stephanie
We went on Cannibal one last time. Harish decided to sit that one out. Then for our very last ride we went back to the flying jeeps. Preston really wanted to ride that one again. It was a good ride to end on.
Maysen
 Jorja, Preston, Stockton
We dropped Harish off at his house. He was funny because he told Mike he could just drop him off at the freeway exit. Ha! Harish was really fun and super nice. He kept saying thank you for letting him hang around and he had a lot of fun. He said he was kind of bored at the beginning and we got him to try more rides than he ever would have. That was nice. The kids liked him, so it made it easy for us to have him around. What a great day.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Webelos

I spent the entire day doing laundry. Not too exciting, but needed to be done. I wish I would have gotten a picture of Stockton today. He went to school wearing a Burger King crown he made. It was for his skit in theater. He came home with a goose egg near his eyebrow. Stockton and Gavin were ad-libbing during the performance. Gavin, the court jester, knelt down and bowed himself to Stockton, the king. Gavin had never done that before. Stockton knelt down to him gently and then yelled, "Get out of my kingdom!" Gavin jumped up and his forehead knocked Stockton's eye. Stockton seemed to think it was pretty funny. Stockton also took a rowboat to school that he had made with Mike. He 3D printed the rowboat and had syringes and tubes hooked to it so it could be rowed using a hydraulic system, or something like that.

Stockton and Jorja went to put flags on veterans graves for the stake activity. Mike and I took Preston to pack meeting where he received his Webelos award. There were very few people from our ward at both activities. The state soccer match was being played at the same time. Alta ended up winning state, so I bet several people in our ward are very happy tonight. Anyways, Preston had a pretty fun pack meeting. They had a football coach come and talk to the boys he set up an obstacle course full of football drills. The boys loved it.
Preston, Stephanie, Mike
 Preston dropped the mom pin
Preston
I wish Preston was wearing tennis shoes instead of crocs that are a little too big, oh well. He managed.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Founding Farmers

Rachel let Marie and Mina play hookie today. That was fun! We did get home super late last night and the school nurse did call Rachel and make her pick up Marie and Mina with five minutes left of school . . . so hookie today seemed reasonable. I helped the girls set up a new Webkinz account. My kids loved that website when they were growing up. Brett came home for lunch. We played this crazy balance game that I can't remember the name of. We also played a game of Dominion before we headed out to lunch. We went to Founding Farmers. It was delicious! Marie really wanted the turkey. She was excited about it. Although when she ordered it we were told they were out of turkey. Marie handled it like a champ and immediately picked something else. She picked Chicken Pot Pie, which was what I was planning on ordering. I leaned over to Marie and asked if we could split it. I then ordered chicken and donuts. Yummy, yummy lunch and the kids were great at this super nice restaurant. Marie does want to come back later and try their turkey.
Marie
 Eve, Brett, Mina
 Stephanie & Marie
 Mina by a wall I thought was beautiful.
Reminded me of the cherry blossoms in Japan.
 Stephanie & Mina
Brett called his work and was able to take off for the rest of the day. He said it was the perfect time to come because he had just finished up a big project and they don't really want to give him anything new since he will be leaving in a month. Works for me! We went back home and were able to get one more game of Dominion in. Sad to leave these guys, but at least I know I'll get to play with them this summer!
Stephanie & Brett
 Random picture Rachel took of me when I first got here.
Eve, Grace, Stephanie, Mina
 Grace, Rachel, Marie, Eve, Mina, Stephanie
I got to the airport in plenty of time. They had a couple of lanes of freeway devoted entirely to the airport. That was great! The non-airport traffic was moving pretty slow. My flight ended up being delayed a couple of hours. I knew there was no way I was going to make my connecting flight. Before we boarded they made an announcement that if you were going to Salt Lake City not to worry, they would hold the flight for us. Wow! I couldn't believe it. That made me very happy because I was not looking forward to sleeping on the Denver airport floor. I didn't pay extra money to be able to choose my seat. On the first leg I got an isle seat right at the front. There was a lot more leg room up there! Plus, I was able to get off the plane fast. They made an announcement when we landed asking to let all the Salt Lake City passengers off first. I don't think anyone listened. Luckily, front of the plane came in handy. I hustled to the next gate. All the passengers were on the plane. I'm so glad they held it! There were over twenty of us heading to Salt Lake, so that made it nice. Mike picked me up and we arrived home around 1:00 in the morning, 3:00 Virginia time. Today was a long day.Virginia was fun and it is nice to be home. All those things.