Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Ok, so I was a bad mom and did not take any Halloween pictures. We did have lots of fun over the 3 day celebration of Halloween. The elementary kids had their parties at school. Lots of cute things came home with them - crafts and different stuff. Poor Camryn started throwing up Friday night (McDonalds just loves us:) She chose to be sick to her stomach right after eating her happy meal. We made as far as the front of the bathroom door before it all came out. We are talking walls, floor and bathroom door (although the cashier kept getting our order wrong and then he had to clean up the mess - felt sorry for him but also a little vindictive - not a good thing!) Saturday night was our Ward trunk or treat and carnival and the kids had a great time. They were overloaded with candy.
We decided to take the kids out trick or treating on Sunday just around the block. We went as a family and called it Family Home Evening. It counts - right?? We were all together and having fun.
November is going to be a busy month. I get to go to Utah as a birthday present (short 3 day trip). The week after that I volunteered to be the camp nurse for my 5th graders Outdoor Science School in Payson, AZ. It is a very fun experience for the kids and I get a whole cabin to myself to relax in when no one is sick or injured. I love taking a book up there to read, sit out on the front porch of the cabin and escape into the reading. I also can follow my son's group around and see all the fun things he is doing, like cave studies, animal tracks, fossil dig, hot shot firefighters, team building exercises and so many other fun things.
Then the next week is Thanksgiving. This November will be busy but lots of fun:)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I have been volunteering at school and working every Thursday as a vounteer at a Title 1 A + school( Ishikawa elementary school mean) I get the joy of working in the copy room, making copies and not blowing up the copy machined. If teachers had to make their own copies it would take away time from the classroom and spending time making copies. I have learned so many techniques of making copies. Thankfully there have been those other volunteers helping out or teachers showing me in their spare time! I love being able to volunteer at the school. Prior to this I always just sent in treats or candy as that was the thing I could do. I am having fun at this is and praying every thursday that I will not blow up the machine. Tammy Taylor is in change of it all so having a great friend help me is wonderful!! I have had so much fun meeting teachers whose names I have only known before and now I get to know them. They are such fun loving teachers and you can tell they put their all into it. Volunteering makes me feel as if I am making a difference and hopefully the teachers have had a tad of compassion as I try to figure this complicated machine out - give me a patient or a sick person and I can try to figure it out. Give me a copy machine and I panick!!! But it is getting better every week :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What Does a Mom do When All of Her Kids are at School

Now that I have all this free time during the day you might ask yourself "What does Stephanie do now that no kids are at home?" Besides the basics of laundry, vacuuming and the hated bathrooms, I have come up with a list of strange things I am finding myself doing in an empty house.

  1. Randomly breaking into any song that pops into my mind. Best part, it does not even matter whether I know the entire lyrics or not cause no one is home to tell me!
  2. Randomly breaking into dance when I have music on. My little ones love to dance with me but the older boys always laugh. Now I can bust a move whenever I want :)
  3. Staying in my jammies until noon. Ok, sometimes I did that when the kids were home but now I don't feel guilty!!!
  4. Read a book in peace and quiet and eat ice cream without anyone wanting a bite. Bad for the butt but great for the soul.
  5. Taking a bubble bath by myself in our jacuzzi tub. It has been 15 years since I have bathed or showered by myself. Love it!
  6. Not sharing my drink if I indulge in a Sonic run - best thing ever!
  7. Last but not least, take a nice nap and actually feel rested (who knew working nights as a nurse could take so much energy??)
I do miss my kids and have those moments that I really miss having one at home that almost brings me to tears. Today I worked at the copy room at the school for a few hours in the morning and the best part was getting to see each of my kids as they walked to lunch. I got 2 high fives and one sweet little kiss from my girl:)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First Day of School

Camryn and her Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Kolodny. Colton had her and I just love her!!
Colton in front of his 2nd grade classroom. I love the fact it he is in classroom #2 for the 2nd grade. He is in heaven as 2 of his best friends are in his class:)
The kids right before they took off for school. I am not sure what Dylan was doing during this picture. It makes me laugh everytime I look at it!
Camryn posing for the camera. I cannot believe she is 5 and in kindergarten already.
Best buddies and super excited to start school.
Brandon on his new bike ready to start his new adventure at Mountain View High School!

I cannot believe I have a sophomore, 7th grader, 5th grader, 2nd grader and kindergartner. I have had a child home for the past 15 years so it was sad for me to send my little buddy to kindergarten. She is loving it!! Brandon was in shock from watching and hearing things from the Seniors. Needless to say, we had a long talk about our expectations of behavior, grades and being careful with who you hang out with. Darin started Jr High and is loving it. The 3 younger are still in elementary school. I love how they can all walk or ride their bike to school. Much easier on Mom! It has been strange to have the house so quiet during the day. I did sign up to work in the copy room at the elementary school for 1 day a week. It is fun to see my kids and to get to know all the teachers. I must say, I am not made out to be a copy machine person! I just hope I do not blow it up. Now if the heat would start to go down but that is just wishful thinking until October:)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sedona 2010

I figured I better get some pictures up of our Sedona family vacation before I forgot! We had a great time meeting my mom and dad, brother Mike and family and our family. Wish my baby brother could have been there but airfare is expensive from VA to AZ. We had fun hiking the West rim of Oak Creak Canyon, swimming, playing cards, game room and eating at the Cowboy Club. There we were treated to rattlesnake, buffalo burgers and cactus fries. They actually were quite tasty! Next year maybe Grand Canyon?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Panic Attack vs. Anxiety

I always thought panic and anxiety were along similar lines. I always thought that a panic attack is the same as an anxiety attack. Similar words, denoted similar meanings - right??
I have been seeing a counselor and it has been great. He asked me if I ever had a panic attack. I made him define the meaning between the panic and anxiety. I mean, I am a nurse right? I should be able to differentiate between the two and diagnose it (that last bit was for my parents:) They think I tend to diagnose myself, which I admit I do:) Anyway, the difference between panic attack and anxiety is that anxiety is the feeling of being anxious, constantly thinking and heart racing. Panic attack is a full blown whole other story. I had the joy of experiencing one while I was driving home from a work meeting. Camryn had went with me and I was strapping her into her seat belt. I started to feel kinda funny and just attributed it to the heat, not having water with me and the misery of being asked to work 9 days in a row:( I stupidly said yes to that one - I just cannot say no to the owner of my company.
I started driving home (30 mile drive) and started to spasm in my neck. Next it went down the whole left side of my body. My muscles kept relaxing and spasming. Next it went to the left side of my mouth and my mouth started to droop. By this point, I was hysterical. Of course, I kept driving. Stupid, yes, but I felt I had to get home. I did not want to pull over on the freeway and be stuck on the side of the road in traffic like that. So I started praying and so did Camryn ( I do believe I freaked her out!). I finally made it home and collapsed on the living room floor. Darin was very worried and called 911. By this time I had stripped off all my clothes, down to my Mormon undies, because I was so hot. It was then the cute firemen showed up. So now the panic went full blown again because I was in my Mormon undies in the middle of the living room surrounded by firemen and police - all male!! My husband came home right after the paramedics showed up. Thankfully, they checked me over and said they did not think it was a stroke but a panic attack. So I decided to stay home and not go to the hospital. Instead, I finally calmed down and went to bed.
The next day I had an appointment with my counselor already. I told him what had happened and he said "yep, that is a full blown panic attack". Downside, having one can trigger others. Upside, I now know what it is and the counselor said if one comes on again, to welcome it, tell myself that is what it is, and he said it will go away very quickly by responding that way to it.
I hope to never have another one but I can now say I experienced it!!

The End

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother's Day Poem from my 10 year old, Dylan

Kind, talkative, loving
I like you like books like a locker
Mom helps with siblings
I need you like humans need oxygen
Cares, sincere
Mom makes the best dinners
She helps with decisions
Cool, carefree
I love you like Snowball likes food

May 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I Am

A poem written by my 12 year old for his 6th grade project.

I am a boy who loves baseball.
I wonder if I will make it to all-stars.
I hear the crowd cheering.
I see the ground ball.
I want to get the out.
I am a boy who loves baseball.

I pretend I am in the MLB.
I feel the seams of the baseball as I pitch the ball.
I touch the ball with my bat.

I worry that I will mess up.
I cry for success.
I am a boy who loves baseball.

I understand how good I am.
I say that I am not that good.
I dream of the MLB.
I try my hardest to be the best.
I hope I will make it to the MLB.
I am a boy who loves baseball.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Depression Sucks

Ok, I know that is not a fun name for a blog title but it is the only one that truly expresses how I feel about it. I have been dealing with depression and anxiety for the last 5 years, with the last year being the absolute worst. I do not tell people this or even let on this is happening. I still laugh, can still have fun, and yes lie that it is even happening. I mean, what Mormon mom is supposed to have depression with 5 kids, a husband, work full time and be 41? Shouldn't this be the time in my life when I have this all figured out and can just deal with it?
I finally decided to seek professional help for it and this time actually stick with it. That is one of the fun things of being a nurse. We tend to think we know better than the Dr. It did not help that my primary care Dr is a good friend and I would go in with studies on information on new medications and talk him into changing my meds. This time I have picked a psychiatrist (oh heaven help me:)) who does not know me, I totally trust and he will not let me dictate to him what I think I need to be on. Darn it!
There are other parts to this story that I am not going to go into but I am very thankful for parents that have not given up on me or a husband that has not given up with me. I think I would have walked out on myself due to some of the behaviors. I am sure some of the people at church think I am either stuck up or just don't care to interact with them. Neither is true. Depression can be a very selfish disease and there are days I can barely get thru my duties of being a mom, wife and working. At times I just cannot carry on a conversation with someone at church due to the anxiety kicking into full gear or the fear of being judged for not having my food storage or the gazillion other things it seems at times we Mormon women should be doing. Sometimes Relief Society feels like a big guilt trip and I know it is not meant to be that way, again just my twisted perception at this time.
I am very thankful for my kids who do not afford me the luxury of spending all day in bed even though there are days I want too. They have needs and I am the one who needs to be there for them. My five year old daughter, Camryn, loves to pull the blanket off me in the morning and have me play games with her. Once the boys get home from school, we talk about what went on at school, I have to get dinner started and then either get ready for work ( depending on the week) or get ready for baseball games. Did I mention I have 4 boys playing baseball on 4 different teams? Crazy!!
I know this is a trial that I am meant to go thru at this time. I am also very impatient and wish that it would just hurry up and get over with! But I guess that Heavenly Father is not going to just hurry it up just because I am impatient - again Darn it!!
The next post will not be as serious as I want to blog about my now 7 year olds birthday- just a few days late:)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Valentine's Baby

This was my best Valentine's gift in the world. Dylan Austin was born at 2:14 pm on 02/14/2000. I wanted to have a millennium baby so that I would never forget his age:) After 3 weeks of bedrest (and going crazy with two other little ones) he was born 3 weeks early weighing 6 lbs 4oz. What a cutie he was with his peach fuzz on top of his head and a great set of lungs. He was hospitalized for 4 days following his birth due to jaundice. I have type O blood and he has type A blood, thus I transfer over antibodies at birth which broke down his blood cells and caused jaundice (called ABO incompatibility). He got to stay in the NICU and wear cool shades while he was under the baking lamps.
He is my child that loves to give me hugs and is very affectionate. Now that he is 10, he is a rock solid kid and if he gives me a running hug it knocks me over! He is quiet at school - he loves to take out a book and read it when he is really supposed to be doing math or something else. Thankfully he does this after he has completed his other work! He is the king of one word answers. Just ask my mom and dad! At home, he is not so quiet... He is such a fun child to have and I am so glad my Heavenly Father trusted me and my husband to raise him.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Funny Poem

Cleaning Poem

I asked the Lord to tell me
Why my house is such a mess.
He asked if I'd been 'Computering',
And I had to answer 'yes'.
He told me to get off my fanny
And tidy up the house
And so I started cleaning up....
The smudges off my mouse.
I wiped and shined the topside.
That really did the trick...
I was just admiring my work...
I didn't mean to 'click'.
But click, I did, and oops I found
A real absorbing site
That I got SO way into.
I was into it all night.
Nothing's changed except my mouse
It's very, very shiny.
I guess my house will stay a mess...
While I sit here on my hiney.

Found this poem and thought it was hilarious (and maybe slightly true:)

Friday, February 5, 2010


Today I am thankful that my kids have great friends. I am also thankful that they live very close by and can walk back and forth to each others house. I am also thankful for friends that trade play dates so that my daughter (who is the lone one at home during school hours) has something to look forward to each week. Every day Camryn asks "Is it Phoebe day yet?"
And to my sweet friends who are being dumped on by 20 inches of snow today in Virginia, I have to say that I can honestly say I am thankful for living in Arizona;)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Camryn!!!

Today is my baby's birthday (as she sits here screaming thru the house with enjoyment of her very cool mermaid bathtub toy from Grandma!!). My only girl is now 5 years old. I remember the exact moment she was born - 4:23 am. Half a push and she was out! I guess having 5 kids should allow me to have a last labor that only required half a push:) She was bald with just red fuzzies on her head and looked just like her 4 older brothers. My husband and I always laugh that couldn't one of them look the tiniest bit different at birth?? Of course, I think they all have their own unique look now but everyone says when they see them all together they know they are Rhotons.
She was taken from me about 3 hours after her birth as she was jaundiced and had to spend 5 days under the baking lamps to bring her levels back down to where they needed to be. I still have the little sunglasses they put on her and the nurses in the NICU were sweet enough to make her name and post it right above her bed. I still have her paper made name hanging up over her dresser. It was the worst feeling to come home without her and then leave the 4 boys every day to go feed her and hold her for the few minutes I was allowed to take her out of the baking lamps.
Now she is a fiesty, redheaded girl that is also so sweet and loving. I sign her up for kindergarten this Friday - bittersweet as I admit it will be nice to have all 5 children in school but will miss having someone at home during the day. Of course, that does mean that I will actually be able to take a real nap after working nights as a nurse!!
Happy Birthday baby girl:)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Ward

I grew up in Ohio and Virginia and with being Mormon that meant that our stake and our ward boundaries were huge. In Virginia, I believe our stake boundaries were 50 miles (I could be off a mile or two:)) When I moved to Mesa, AZ almost 18 years ago I found out that I lived in a mini Utah. By that, I mean that ward and stake boundaries tend to be a lot more smaller and compact. Our family can actually walk to our ward building and it is not that far of a walk.
Our Stake was split 2 years ago and with that came changing ward boundaries and just plain old change. We thought that we would remain within the same boundaries for at least a few more years. To our surprise (and many others), our ward boundaries were realigned again a week ago. Our family (and our street) now belong to the brand new Lehi Crossing Ward. Our ward boundaries are the largest but probably contain the fewest homes. We also lost 2 housing developments that have lots of young families with younger kids and babies (which I love!). It was very strange to go to church on Sunday and not see those beloved faces. Our bishop remained the same and the best part is we got our 8:30 am starting time back. It was very interesting for those 2 weeks previous to figure out how to keep our 5 kids in the Sunday mode until 1 pm.
I have faith that it is going to be a great ward and that with time many new friendships will be made. It is always interesting for the first few weeks as callings are put forth and we all learn how to mesh as a new ward. I also forgot to mention that those who are no longer in my ward only live a few miles away, so it is not like I am never going to see them again (just feels that way right now!) I am amazed how the youth handled it. For my kids, it was all ok and it probably helps that they attend school with those who are no longer in our ward. Here is to hoping that these ward boundaries will stay the same for at least another 2 years!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I have decided, and it has been confirmed, that nurses make not so good patients.
We tend to think that we know best and that we can go what we want. Unfortunately, that is not too good to do on my part. Supposed to be in bed but I am blogging. Thank goodness my parents are here to help out and remind me to get my butt back in bed. Soon I will be recovered from this surgery and I can get out of bed without sneaking:)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Trashing Out the House

Where have we accumulated so much stuff (toys, clothes, etc) from? It is a good thing my parents are stopping in Sedona, AZ (one of the most beautiful places in AZ) before they come to stay here. I told myself I would spend each day on a separate room and then the house should look somewhat clean and dejunked by the time my folks arrive. I am hitting a snag in my plans though as it took 2 days to do the youngest kids rooms (and their room is not that bad).
I am afraid for Wednesday. That is the day I have told myself I am going into the middle 2 boys room. If I had any guts, I would take a picture and post it. But I don't want the blogging world to see just how bad their room is! I kept asking and pleading with them all of Christmas break to please start picking up their stuff and clean the room. They would make a little progress forward and then about 5 steps back! This morning I gave them the speech that if Mom is cleaning it, then you better not complain if you cannot find something or if something goes missing. My goal is to shock them tomorrow with how well their room can sparkle and how much better it really looks decluttered!
That is one of the best parts of having my parents come down is that the house gets thoroughly cleaned and dejunked. Now if I could just motivate myself to keep the kids helping with this on a weekly basis instead of yearly......

Monday, January 4, 2010

Goodbye Christmas Decorations

I finally did it. I took down the Christmas Decorations today. The house looks pretty bare without them but I seemed to have found more room!! Always a plus. My parents are on there way down from Sandy, Utah to sunny Mesa, AZ for a visit and to help take care of me after having lithotripsy (where they use a laser to blast your kidney stones into small fragments). This will be the 4th procedure in a year and a half and I am hoping that we can find out why I am producing so many kidney stones and what I can to do get healthy and remain there!! That is my New Year's Resolution - pretty simple I am hoping. It has been a nice quiet day here at the house so far as 4 of the 5 have returned to school. They were grumbling about going but I know that they will have had a great day (and yay for some peace and quiet at the house:))