Stott Sphere

The entire world in one small home.

The One Where the Car Insurance Costs More than the Car March 26, 2016

Filed under: Fun Days — Jen @ 3:59 pm

We bought a new car this week.

And by “new,” of course I mean, 13 years old with 140k miles on it. But in far better condition than the old Nissan.

Don’t get me wrong, the old Nissan has served the measure of its creation, and done it well. We bought that little Nissan from uncle ElRay for $700 some years ago, and well, it looks like a $700 truck. It’s rusty. The starter doesn’t work. The windshield wipers are broken. It has no power steering. The speedometer is eternally stuck at 0, and the odometer has read 165,000 for years now.

But Quinn is happy to inherit it.


We had been searching for a new truck for Robb for some time. It’s tough to find something that is between the $700 variety that we have now, and the $12,000 variety which is really more than we wanted to spend.

Our neighbor had a FOR SALE sign in the window of his green Ranger, and we decided to talk to him about it. A couple days later, the truck was ours. Robb is excited to drive it, but there is just one problem…

One substantial problem…

The cost of the car insurance.  We already thought our $340/month insurance bill was outrageously high, but adding one more vehicle means we now have 4 cars and 4 drivers, 2 of whom are teeneage boys. And when you have 4 cars and 4 drivers, every driver gets listed as a primary on one of the cars. Which is particularly expensive with teenage boys. Especially when one of those boys has a speeding ticket.  (*cough* Ryan *cough*)

When I told Robb that the new car insurance monthly bill would be close to $500, he lamented that, over a year, it would cost almost as much as the car itself. Which is ridiculously expensive.

I asked the insurance guy about it, and he suggested that if we could convince one of the boys to go on a mission or go to college, our insurance costs would decrease dramatically.  Which sort of made me want to scream, “WHAT DO YOU THINK WE HAVE BEEN DOING?!!” because convincing those two to implement a life plan is getting a little frustrating.

And so, until we decide on the cheapest car insurance option, this new baby will be staying in the driveway.

People always told me that teenagers are far more expensive than babies, and I guess I didn’t really appreciate the fact until now. Between the car insurance and Quinn’s upcoming graduation, we’re feeling the sting.

We just keep saying… It’s lucky they’re so cute!



To Brooklyn: It’s imperative we find an appropriate name for the Ranger. Immediately.
To Quinn: He gets to start driving the Nissan, so INDEPENDENCE!!!!! He can barely contain himself.
To Ryan: Maybe he’ll have fewer chauffeuring duties now.
To Robb: He finally doesn’t have to be embarrassed of what he is driving. Also, his knees fit in this truck.
To Jen: Robb is a hard man to take care of. Finding this truck and convincing Robb to buy it basically makes me an awesome wife.


Getting a Black Belt is Like Pregnancy February 22, 2015

Filed under: Fun Days — Jen @ 10:46 pm

Is it wrong for me to find a trip to the emergency room just annoying as all get out?  I feel a little guilty about it.  Perhaps I should be more worried about my poor injured son and less worried about how many doctors we actually need to see and how expensive it will all be.

In my last post, I told you all the tale of Ryan’s face injury.  Today will be the post script to that story.

After the long weekend, I decided we had better get it checked out, and I took Ryan to the pediatrician.  {Side note: I realized that this will probably be his last trip to the pediatrician before his age forces him to seek different medical help.  Gulp.}  The pediatrician told us his own horror story about having a very similar injury, and then he directed us to get a CT scan.

So the next morning, I kept Ryan home from school and took him to get the scan.  I dropped him back at school during his lunch break, and headed off to a friend’s house.  From my experience, I honestly expected not to hear anything about the results of the scan until late in the day.  But before I could make it to the friends house, the doctor’s office called with results.

Drum roll……     Orbital fracture.  A pretty serious one.  The radiologist apparently thought Ryan had been in an ATV accident, judging by the type of fracture it was.  He was surprised that he had been walking around all weekend and not in the ER already, and surmised that he must be a “tough kid.”

Well, he got that part right.  When I told Ryan about this, he heartily agreed.  “I AM a tough kid.”

The nurse went on to say that Ryan was going to need to see an opthamologist, an ENT, and a plastic surgeon.  I’m not going to lie, the words “plastic surgeon” freaked me out a bit.  She said there was no way to coordinate all these doctors on an outpatient basis, and that we would need to go to the ER immediately.  And not just any ER, they want us at Primary Children’s Hospital, which is a good 45 minute drive, past at least 3 other hospitals.


So I went back to the high school and collected Ryan, and we headed to the ER, where we scored the last parking space in the garage, and where the resident that saw us seemed pretty unconcerned.  He did agree that it was a pretty bad break, and got the ENT to come take a look.  The ENT told us that…

1. Ryan had nerve damage to the middle of his face, (half his nose and upper lip are numb) and…
2. There is nothing they can do about it.  In fact, it may take months or years to heal, or may even be permanent.


Both doctors agreed that Ryan’s eyes were fine, and there was no need for him to see an opthamologist or a plastic surgeon.  There is what they call a tripod fracture around his right eye, and yes, it is displaced.  But, guess what?  They can’t do anything about that either.  You just have to let it heal on it’s own.

In fact, the only question I asked that elicited much excitement or remotely useful advice from the staff at the ER was about Ryan’s karate classes.  They advised some solutions that were both ridiculous and expensive, of course.

I left the hospital feeling like I just spent half my day getting a really expensive consult with an ENT resident.  Grrr.

I followed up this fun little foray with a visit to the karate school, where I spoke with the teacher and advised him that no one was to touch Ryan anywhere near his face.  (I mean really, the last thing he needs is for someone to push a piece of that fractured bone into his eye.)  This led the teacher to not only remove him from sparring for 6 weeks, but also remove him from any partner work where a person might even pretend to hit him in the face.  This made me very happy, and made Ryan extremely annoyed.

To be fair, he is getting really close to that black belt, and the teacher at the advanced class has been pushing him really hard.  Ryan’s comment about all of this?  “Getting a black belt is like pregnancy, Mom.  Every week counts.”

It was not a phrase I had ever expected to hear Ryan speak, but he was right.  Every week he gets better and better, and if he is to reach his goal, he really needs to make substantial progress each and every week.  When I spoke with the teacher of the advanced class, he informed me that as recent as a few months ago, they didn’t think there was any way Ryan and Quinn would make it to black belt.  But now, they are looking like black belt material.  {I thought to myself… “That’s, umm… honest.”  I never had any doubts, myself.}

The real bright spot in the day was when Grandma and Grandpa came over with a treat, and took a picture of him for the Roper Famiy “Black Cloud Award.”  He got some ice cream and chocolate syrup.

Which made Brooklyn contemplate breaking her leg again.  *sigh*  They never learn.


Oleson Reunion August 21, 2014

Filed under: Fun Days — Jen @ 10:37 pm

The Wyoming trip was a small but gorgeous one this year.  Here are some highlights:

Oleson-reunion-2014-1 Oleson-reunion-2014-2 Oleson-reunion-2014-6 Oleson-reunion-2014-7 Oleson-reunion-2014-15 Oleson-reunion-2014-14 Oleson-reunion-2014-11 Oleson-reunion-2014-16 Oleson-reunion-2014-10 Oleson-reunion-2014-5 Oleson-reunion-2014-13

The weather and scenery were gorgeous, and it was nice having meals outside by the fire.  Thanks to everyone who made it a good time!



Roper Reunion 2014

Filed under: Fun Days — Jen @ 10:29 pm

My neglect of this blog has been epic.  I’m getting back on the wagon with some family reunion shots.

roper-reunion-2014-2 roper-reunion-2014-6 roper-reunion-2014-1 roper-reunion-2014-9 roper-reunion-2014-11 roper-reunion-2014-7 roper-reunion-2014-8 roper-reunion-2014-17 roper-reunion-2014-16 roper-reunion-2014-15 roper-reunion-2014-10

As my dad says, “A good time was had by all.”

See you in two years, Ropers!



The long awaited day when the braces come off March 16, 2014

Filed under: Fun Days — Jen @ 3:22 pm

It finally happened.

After two rounds of braces, one broken retainer, and years of struggling with brushing and elastic band wearing, the braces are off.  Quinn described it as his bloodiest battle at the orthodontist’s office yet.  (Everything is a battle to Quinn.)  There was quite a bit of blood, actually, and we had to wash it off his face and neck before we left.

We celebrated with Quinn’s favorite hamburger… the double-double at In & Out Burger.


The orthodontist was congratulating himself right and left last week when he determined they could come off.  The assistants all said, “Yes, they look very nice,” and the doctor would respond, “You don’t even know!” and then he would show them the before pictures.  It really is pretty amazing.  I can tell you, that orthodontist will never forget Quinn.

Let’s recap what Quinn has experienced, in what he calls “the worst problem ever.”

Q-before-after-first-brace Q-teeth-july-2008

2008, age 9, Quinn has oral surgery to remove 9 teeth.  That would be 4 wisdom teeth, 3 extra teeth, and 2 babies.  I was supremely irritated that they removed one perfectly formed incisor from his face, and left one very ill-formed incisor that would prove to be the bane of Quinn’s existence, probably for the rest of his life.  This tooth is hooked, the root of it is also hooked, and the dentist says it has dens-en-dente, literally a tooth inside a tooth.  It’s quite rare.

2008, age 10, Quinn has his first experience with a retainer.  This simple retainer was designed to push forward the mis-shapen hooked tooth.  Ultimately, the tooth won this battle.  The retainer broke into pieces one day, coincidentally, as we were leaving the orthodontist’s office.  He decided to use braces to pull the tooth forward instead.  Quinn then got to have his first of two rounds of braces.

2010, age 12, the first round come off.  Hallelujah.

2012, age 14, Quinn gets his second round of braces.  This is primarily to straighten the rest of his teeth, but also to continue to work on that one weird tooth.

2014, age 15, Quinn gets the second round of braces removed.  His teeth look PERFECT.  Within one week, before they can even get his retainer made, the weird tooth starts to creep up into it’s old position.  The orthodontist is supremely irritated!  He builds the tooth up so it matches the tooth next to it.  Quinn is devastated to learn that he will have to wear retainers to bed for the rest of his mortal existence.

16March 010b

Then his parents threaten him with serious amounts of bodily harm if he does not take care of this perfect smile we have given him.

How soon can we get his picture taken?


2nd Annual P3 January 20, 2014

Filed under: Fun Days — Jen @ 12:40 am

P3 = Pictionary Pizza Party.

Matthew has been coming to church with us for some time now.  The rest of the family attends the Spanish branch, so when he is at church, he is one of the Stotts.  Today, he spent sacrament meeting drawing pictures on post-it notes.  The rest of the kids spent sacrament meeting hovering over him, watching him draw on post-it notes.  I spent sacrament meeting repeatedly telling the kids that they did not need to be entertained every minute, and using the stink-eye to encourage them to listen to the speakers, with little success.

I saw the note he had been doodling.  Wonder what was on it?  It was the words, Pizza Pictionary Party.

Sufficeth to say, the kids were excited about this get-together.


One of the best things about this family is how well all the kids get along… boys and girls, all ages… it’s a wonderful thing.  Tonight, after the boys won the Pictionary game by the skin of their teeth, they entertained themselves with video games, outside night games, and finally, dancing.

Yes.  Dancing.

They moved the furniture in the family room, played some music through Ryan’s phone, and did the Cupid Shuffle {or something}.  It was no Electric Slide, but it was pretty fun to watch.  All 6 of them were laughing, chatting, dancing and getting along famously.

Robb and I sometimes dream of moving.  He dreams of a home in the country on a large, LARGE piece of property with no neighbors.  I dream of a home someplace where it never snows.  The reality is, I think I would have a hard time leaving this.

Having family around is THE BEST.


Christmas Choir Programs January 4, 2013

Filed under: Fun Days — Jen @ 9:47 am

The choir programs were fun, as always, this Christmas season.  First, we attended Ryan’s Men’s Chorus concert, and they did very well.  His choir teacher does a great job, and always puts on a good show, and this was no exception.  Ryan really enjoys this choir, and the fun songs they are able to sing.  Quinn is excited to join him for the 2nd semester, too.

ryan christmas concert

This year, Ryan’s favorite song was one about liking Christmas, but hating mistletoe.  The words say “keep me away from the mistletoe” and in between verses, the boys held up signs that said, “this song is a lie” and “Please kiss us.”  It was pretty funny!

Brooklyn was in a fun show, too, this year.  Her class sang a couple Christmas songs, and Brooklyn, as usual, showed her enthusiasm in an incredibly understated way.  She absolutely loved wearing her Santa hat to school every day, though!  She also borrowed her brother’s green t-shirt for this concert, and found that she loved that, too!

Brooklyn christmas concertB

Our family just loves how music improves the holiday season.  I was able to take Quinn to the elementary school concert with me this year.  I was glad, because it is our last year of elementary school.  I’m feeling a little bittersweet about that.  We’re also looking forward to more concerts to come this year!