Thursday, February 20, 2014


Kyler's Class Valentine's Party
I makes me happy that he still loves for me to help out with parties and field trips. After all the valentines were passed out, Kyler emptied his box into the bag to see all his loot!  (remember when valentines were just valentines....not loaded with candy, glow sticks, pencils, balloons, etc)
 He read every card and took note of all the candy.
Kyler left his Valentine's in the van and when we cleaned out the van on Monday I found a HUGE red heart that a girl had given him.  Kyler looked at it and said, "She went big and didn't go home!"  Audra, I thought of you...Go big or Go home!
Remember Kyler's Valentines from last year....I loved them!
This year he chose Star Wars again....but this time he was the star.  Tony put 3 different backgrounds in, but Kyler chose the death star.  I printed out the photos and then used a hole punch for the top of the flashlight.  Then Kyler put a glow stick through the hole for the lightsaber and taped it to the back of the photo.  I was at a meeting for the Gilbert Temple Cultural Celebration the night these were made (along with 1,500 other people.....yes, it was CRAZY!)  I was thankful that Tony took care of things, but I didn't get a photo of a completed one.  I did ask Kyler to put his name on the back, but he informed me it wasn't necessary since his photo was on it.  I mean, come on!  Who doesn't know Kyler!!!!  Silly mom.

 Back to the party...drawing a halo on the board for a photo op.
That's my Kyler!
 Up next......tasting some really sour candy.

 I really enjoyed that!
 After the party, I realized I had forgotten about my allergy shots.  We raced to the doctors and discovered that "Nemo" was dying.  He wasn't doing too well and kept tipping over.  I don't think I'll see him there next month.  Kyler's response.....
Some Live, Some Die.
 And!  Not just flowers, but flowers that were DELIVERED to my door!  They arrived on Thursday while I was out.  I was so happy to see them and as I took them inside I saw that they were addressed to Anthony Stock.  Yes....for a minute I wondered what foolish woman sent him flowers!  After reading the card, I realized they were sent to me from Anthony.  (thank goodness.....Valentine's Day almost got violent!!!)  I will say that he's consistent with little flowers being addressed to anniversary he brought me chocolates wrapped with a Happy Birthday sticker.....typical Tony ;-) Note: the coral rose was not a part of the bouquet.  We ate at Blue Adobe and they gave me a rose as we left.
Happy 25th Valentine's Day to us!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Life has been pretty busy lately that my mom had to schedule time to go shopping with me. We went on Saturday and had no clue when we set this up that it would be 88 degrees out!!!!  Not fun when you are getting in and out of the hot car!  Summer is on it's way to the Valley of the Sun.  Anyways.....I left my three monkeys and took off to enjoy the day!  
(at Tuesday Mornings)
 We went to several garage sales, then Tuesday Mornings and Garden Ridge.  I did not buy the monkey ???? (what is it.....a side table?) at Tuesday Mornings, but I did pick up a 2.5 inch square punch.  I have visions of making cards with lots of colorful pinwheels, so happy to get that punch.  The shot glasses (6) were found at Garden Ridge and the demitasse set (also 6) were picked up at a garage sale.  I really want to have a taster party.....who's in?
 I picked up this cake plate at another garage sale. 
 I love the flower design!
 I also picked up the four white bowls at that same sale.  It matches the pink bowl (from a sale a long time ago) and the very colorful bowls I picked up at Costco last week.  I'm planning on getting rid of the kiddie plastic ware in our cabinet and transitioning Kyler to real dishes all the time.  As you can imagine, he's not happy with this idea.
 There is a size difference, but it works for me.
 I really do love them!
 After shopping, we headed over to Kneaders for lunch.  I chose the Turkey Bacon Avocado on Focaccia with a tart and Mom chose the French Dip on Baguette with a slice of pie. 
Such a yummy way to finish our shopping!

Monday, February 10, 2014


We took our family on January 31st for a tour and loved every minute of it.  It was a beautiful, cool and overcast day (my favorite!), which made waiting outside very pleasant. 
Beginning of Tour
  End of Tour
 We were able to take the boys through to look at the baptismal font, instruction room, celestial room, and a sealing room.  It is so beautiful with all the agave design in the stained glass, moldings, light fixtures, vases, carpet, etc. 
 I was really happy to have my family together in the temple, but I couldn't stop thinking about this summer.  Colton plans to enter the temple for his own endowments this summer.  Like in 4 months......FOUR MONTHS!!!!!!!!!!  Needless to say, I was quite emotional....excited, thrilled, grateful, and so scared at how quickly my kids are growing up.
 I'm shrinking!  That's what it feels like standing next to my 6'3" son.  Even Kyler's almost too tall for me to stand behind him in photos.  The next week, Tony and I took Colton and Asher to work at the open house.  The boys were busy cleaning wheelchair wheels and putting shoe coverings on peoples feet.  Tony was directing people outside the temple and I was just outside the sealing room.  We all had a wonderful time serving and even enjoyed a dinner out together.
The open house runs through this Saturday.  Then we will countdown to the Gilbert Temple Cultural Celebration on March 1st.  The youth from 25 stakes (around 12,000 twelve to eighteen year olds) will be performing for the prophet and other leaders.  Our youth have been working hard to learn the dance, songs and sign language for this event.  As a mom and youth leader, I'm so happy excited for this once in a lifetime opportunity for these kids.  Then the following day, Sunday, March 2nd, the temple will be dedicated.  So many great opportunities, so many blessings!

Thursday, January 30, 2014


I've generally had a routine, maybe a better word would be flow, to my day and even week.  Kids changed things up a lot and my whole life existed to take care of these little creatures.  Their routine was my routine.  I loved having little ones, especially before we had to leave the house on a regular basis.  Then school started and life became busy!  Over the years, the kids have been involved in soccer, flag football, basketball, track, wrestling, piano lessons, school orchestra, battle of the books, Metropolitan Youth Symphony, cub scouts, boy scouts and a variety of summer camps.  We've been members of the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona Science Center, Arizona Museum for Youth and the Arizona Museum of Natural History (aka The Dinosaur Museum).  I've carted boys to their scheduled visits to the pediatrician, pediatric opthamologist, dentist, pediatric orthopedist, orthodontist, podiatrist and dermatologist. (I've also taken them to many urgent care and ER visits....but thankfully that isn't too routine!)  My days have been happily filled with their appointments, events and homework.  So.....where is this going?  Well, I'm finding that I have more time lately and the boys are more and more independent.  While that is great (dare I say, fantastic......wonderful.......exhilarating!) I've realized that I need to find my own routine again. (my afternoons/evenings are still taken up with the's not like they've moved out or anything!)  It's a work in progress, but that's the great part - It is progressing!!!  This week I was really pushing forward with my new routine.  This is how it's gone so far:
Cleaned the house, tons of laundry and plans to run a couple of errands.  Get in the van and it doesn't start!  Plans altered.
Van in the shop all day (but it was fixed without spending too much - yeah!)  Tony helped with the van and even stayed home in the morning so I could go to my institute class.  Again, plans altered.
Van is back and running well.  After taking care of my morning routine, it was time for shopping and errands.  First stop, Ranch Market (10 miles away) and after shopping, I went to check out.  That's when I discovered Colton had my debit card from the night before and hadn't returned it!  I won't even finish with the whole story, except to say that I did finally end up with my groceries (1 hour and 15 minutes later) and was able to get to two others stores before calling it a day.  Plans altered for the third day! 
While it hasn't been the ideal week, it has been a great experience.  I find that when I am more focused with my day, I'm able to deal with the little alterations to my time and relax a little more. And that is priceless.
Here's a little glimpse of what January has seen at the House of Steve.  Kyler had his haircut.  What makes this news is the fact that he didn't get a buzz cut!  I let him get a real haircut.......I regretted it the second I saw him!!!!!!  He looks too grown up.  Bring back my baby in the buzz cut, STAT!
 Asher and his magnets!!!  I get that we have science fair every year, but why must this boy need super strong keep-away-from-your-TV-and-all-electronics magnets!  Thankfully, science fair is over!  (Colton's really thankful he's completed his last one!)
 Normally, I pick Kyler up in the back parking lot.  I prefer the back, the front is a mad house!  Last Friday I was teaching Art Masterpiece for two 6th grade classes.  Unfortunately, I had to park in the front.  Can you see what I's crazy!  On top of that, no one would let me get out!  CRAZY and RUDE.  While I had the time, I did have to capture these two cute boys. Before you know it, they'll be in high school.  (that's how it feels)
 Once they realized I had the camera out, this is all I saw.
 Until I caught Andrew!
We've also been very busy preparing for our Gilbert Temple Cultural Celebration.  The Gilbert Temple open house is going on now until February 15th.  We are taking our family tomorrow - can't wait.  Next week, Tony, Colton and Asher will join me in serving during the open house - really can't wait for that.  This was from our first practice on the 8th.  Colton is in the black shirt.  He and Brianna were learning the first moves to the Cha Cha.
 Asher getting ready to dance.
 Rockin' the sombrero!!!
And finally....this is my first "chalkboard" creation.  It didn't turn out like I pictured in my mind, but it's growing on me.  This is our 2014 mutual theme at church.  I will share this (and our Young Women's birthday gift) soon as a printable. 
Now, back to my routine.....
write on the blog - CHECK

Friday, January 10, 2014


Doesn't Asher look handsome in his new school shirt and sweater! Back to school time and both Colton and Asher wore their new shirts.  I'm so glad that they liked them!
 Why is it so difficult to get him to pose for me?
 Not everyone went back to school.  Poor Kyler woke up sick and spent all day in bed.  By Tuesday evening, he wasn't any better.   When we went to bed.....and he was so restless and we were up most of the night.  The silver lining: with Kyler being home I was able to clean out my scrap room.  It's been fun to actually create in there today!
 Thankfully, he was able to go back to school yesterday.  I finally had the house to myself.  Now if I could just catch up on my sleep!
And favorite, Arizona sunsets! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014


It was about 10am on Monday when we heard a knock on the door. (OK, let's be honest.....we heard our dogs FREAKING OUT first.  Man, they are crazy!)  To our surprise, Johnny also had the day off of school and these two friends were able to spend the whole day together.  They were so happy!!!  Johnny even invited Kyler to watch his hockey game that night.  Non-stop friend fun! (and yes, they were spoiled with McDonald's)
 If the little boys were spoiled.....we had to spoil the big boys!  Colton and Asher were thrilled for the Capriotti's lunch.  (so were Tony and I)
 Even after such a big lunch, Colton and Asher had no problem eating all the Texas Hash.  It is their all-time favorite comfort food. 
  The best part of this day......they all go back to school tomorrow! 


It was great to end 2013 with Austin and Reagan visiting.  For such a short visit we were able to pack a lot in - Tony, Austin and Uncle Dan went golfing, we visited the Temple Lights, Reagan and I went shopping and out to lunch at Liberty Market.  We spent New Year's Eve with a very competitive game of Dutch Blitz.  Reagan and I tried to get pedicures......did you know most pedicure places are CLOSED on New Year's Day?!?  We visited about 9 of them......unfortunately, the first 8 were closed and we found the 9th too late to get the pedicure!  Reagan, next time we're together - we're heading straight to the nail salon.
What a great start to a New Year...
Family Picnic!!!
 All 9 Arizona grandkids and 3 of the siblings together!
 Michael, Colton, Austin, Ruslan, Reagan, Sofia, Kyler, Asher, Joseph, Sariah and Jean-Jacques
 Their true characters!
Austin and Reagan started their drive to California after this shot.  We miss you already, but are so excited for you to fly to Spain next week!  With Austin and Reagan studying abroad in Spain......I will officially be the only sibling who hasn't been to Europe. 
Quelle Horreur!