Hi, I'm Stephanie




  I love Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice so much that I decided to have five daughters and name the second one Elizabeth.  Like a modern-day Mrs. Bennett, I spend my days raising my girls so they will be happy and independent when they grow up – only I prefer that they make their money instead of marry it.  And if my youngest runs away to London with some loser at age 15, I will track her down and haul her home myself.  But I’ll totally do some sightseeing first.




The Guinea Pig.  Gives me hope.  My husband in feminine form, she just gets more fun.




 Energetic, smart, kind, and will argue her convictions to the death. 






My Hallie Priscilla. Unique fashion sense, desperately wants to live in a purple house.  Loves skunks and fruit bats.


 My girly-girl and lone lefty.  Charming, gracious, stubborn, preternaturally practical.  And ya, she and Hallie are identical twins.

Scarlett Bella, Bella-boo.  Becoming a daredevil. Spoiled rotten, practically perfect.

Mr. Man

My intensely private husband.  Hilarious, smart, compassionate, good. 


Joan Rivers on Housekeeping:

I hate housework.  You make the beds, you wash the dishes, and six months later you have to start all over again.

Blog Honor Roll:

CK’s Days

Cozzens Family News

Cranberry Corner

Every Day I Write the Book

Graham Family Adventures

Grandma Honey


Living Waters




"I surely know that there is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood.

"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. Many are able to be “full-time moms,” at least during the most formative years of their children’s lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part-or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else."

Elder M. Russell Ballard, "Daughters of God"


Family History: We Are Doing It

As per the Church's new emphasis, my sweet husband has been bugging me to figure out a way to keep the Sabbath Day even more holy that usual.  It falls on me because he's at meetings all day and usually into the evening.  Since my idea of a good Sabbath is church + nap, it had to be something fun.

Like reviving the ol' blog for the purposes of recording our family history. Naturally, we didn't get around to it yesterday, so it's our family home evening activity, but I think it still counts.

Here goes, Post #1 of The Cozzens Family Bloggity History:

Tuesday Kira celebrated her 17th birthday. (I'll try to fix the sideways thing later.  The troops are restless.)

Two minutes after this picture was taken, a bee flew in her ear and stung her in the middle of gift opening. Ice, Benadryl, and ibuprofen followed, and eventually a few more presents, but the festivities mostly died with that stupid bee. She did go to her Young Women activity, acting a little weird from the Benadryl. The good news is I bet we can easily make her 18th birthday better.


Thursday Lizzy got an early birthday present, her first cell phone. I iphone6. Family policy is that kids don't get phones until they're entering high school, which she will in a month. She is still giddy, and here are her selfie proofs:


Saturday we dragged our chickadees up to the church for our ward's annual pioneer breakfast.  It was excellent, as always.

After that we loaded up and drove to South Pass, Wyoming, a restored gold mining town:

....And the photos won't upload, so we'll work on that tomorrow!


Stuff that Happened Sort of Recently

We have our nursery closet back! As I thought all along, the lock switching was a mistake. Sunday was pretty danged awesome - so easy to entertain little ones when we actually have toys!  We celebrated our grand re-opening with a bubble blowing extravaganza that left all the kids and myself very soapy. We will have to be slightly less extravagant in the future.

 Also, I am sick. I've had a cold since early last week, and I think I'm slowly getting sicker, so therefore it must be some sort of infection, although I do not feel infected anywhere.  Just congested, and hoarse, and like I really really really just need to sleep all day, every day, and all night as well. Therefore, I will go whine to the doctor (or PA) tomorrow, and get myself some antibiotics, which cause their own set of problems but will hopefully help me feel human again.

What else?  Kira went to prom with her young gentleman friend.  I happen to think this young man is a heck of a good kid and have all sorts of Mrs. Bennet-like schemes for their future, but they are JUST FRIENDS.  Even his mother (we've talked) says she can't quite get out of her son if they are more than JUST FRIENDS. (This has been their only date, so probably they really are JUST FRIENDS.)


Six weeks or so ago, we traded in our old unreliable Dodge Grand Caravan for a new Ford Flex.

We researched and test drove and talked it to death for six months before buying it, with this result:  First, my husband has told every person in southwest Wyoming that he thinks it's ridiculously ugly. Second, I really love having something to drive that doesn't creak, smoke, or break down. Or make me think it might break down, which is nearly as bad. Last, my husband and I have vowed never to make another large financial decision together.  From now on, one person is the designated major-decision-maker and the other person just has to suck it up and deal with the consequences.  You can't imagine how many blog posts I've written in my head with titles like "The Bishop and I Fight About Money" and "Why I NEED to be Independently Wealthy."

The decision making process on buying a new vehicle was lengthy but smooth.  The after-purchase hand wringing by my beloved, who is hates risk of any kind, was pure torture.

What else, what else....

... I went through my seasonal after-Christmas "It's dark and cold and I NEED TO BE ON A BEACH SOMEWHERE" winter blues again.  The two years I was camp director and mentally spent January - March in sunny, lovely YW Camp, I didn't go through that little episode of depression, but it was back this year, and it kind of kicked my butt. Theoretically, if I were to immerse myself in something creative, I could again avoid my little SAD [Seasonal Affective Disorder] episode, but I kept telling myself that since it would only be for me, it would be selfish, and what I really needed to do was paint the dining room, or clean/organize the laundry room, etc. Instead I didn't do anything very useful.  Next winter I've gotta figure out something better but I don't know what.

And now we're hurtling toward the end of the school year.  Piano recital, band concert, activity banquets, finals, festivals, etc. 

Our Hawaiian family, who are shortly to become our Upstate New Yorker family, will be stopping to visit us on the way to their new assignment. Yay!!!!

The temperature is slowly creeping up and things are starting to turn green - Yay!!!!

And life is slowly starting to feel good again.  Maybe that's part of why I took such a long break from blogging, and why I'm inclined to start again. Here's to hoping the upward trend continues!


Please don't arrest me... I just want my bubbles back.

The saga of the locked nursery door continues - we hear whisperings that some people think someone in our ward changed the lock... and didn't tell anyone in the bishopric/primary presidency/nursery. That would mean that someone really did change the lock with malicious intentions, but I think it was an honest mistake by someone else. Unfortunately I don't think we'll ever know, and that's sad, because I REALLY want to know what happened - just to satisfy my curiosity!


BUT, meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out how to pick the lock or jimmy the door open before nursery on Sunday.  Last week I packed up a rolling suitcase full of toys from home, as well as snacks and lesson materials, but it still wasn't enough.  We have church rather late in the day, and our little ones are all tired and cranky from missing their naps (for that matter, so am I).

So, if somehow word gets out that I've been learning all about lock picking and bump keys, etc., and get accused of nefarious and illegal deeds, all four of you who still read my blog are my witnesses:  I just want my toys back.  And my bubbles, and the goldfish crackers.

Thank you for your support.


Nursery Sabotage

Church was just "off" yesterday.  My first clue that they day would not go as planned came when my girls were all ready early.  That NEVER happens - what would Sunday be without a couple of lost shoes?

Well, we arrived to find our favorite bench unoccupied - weird.

Kira, who splits ward chorister duty with a young man, didn't think it was her turn to conduct, but I insisted it was, so she reluctantly went to the stand and sat down (her co-chorister didn't relieve her of duty, so I think I was right). She felt weird.

The brother who had been asked to give the opening prayer scooted up to the stand only after an enormous pause and a bishopric counselor getting up to say it.

The bishop asked for an extra sacrament hymn, seemingly on a whim - weird.

(We all understood the delay when the missing bishopric counselor rushed in on the third verse of the second sacrament hymn with half a loaf of bread.  I think the opening-prayer-sayer, who is in the YM presidency, was delayed because of the same reason. Later my husband/bishop told me he'd called the young man who was supposed to bring the bread - and talked to his mother - but the young man arrived at church without the bread.)

The ward organist was busy coloring with her small son and forgot to go play the intermediate hymn (until another lengthy, awkward pause).  Not weird - cute.

And then, weirdest and weirdest of all...

I got to nursery to discover that someone had changed the locks on our ward's nursery closet, and nobody in our ward knew a thing about it or had the key.

Unfortunately, it's not the first time someone's sabotaged our nursery.  Intentional?  Unintentional?  I cannot tell you.  About six weeks ago we arrived to find that someone had removed all of the large communal toys from the closet all four wards in our building use. Eventually it was discovered that the building's self-designated germophobe/neatfreak had removed the communal toys (after her ward was done for the day, but not ours) to clean them.  The toys were disinfected and returned.

But who, WHO on earth changes the lock on a nursery closet and doesn't tell anybody?  And are our toys and snacks still inside? We'll know soon, 'cuz I got connections.  That lock-changer picked on the wrong nursery leader.

Yesterday, though, it was "make it work" time, and my lovely assistant and I sweated through an unusual, difficult, but ultimately successful hour and forty-five minutes with only a few large toys.  No snacks.  No matchbox cars. No blocks, or kitchen toys, or floppy frisbees (the kids can't throw them but they like watching me).  We didn't blow bubbles or turn off the lights and play with our flashing bouncy balls, because they were locked up.

My guess is that somewhere else in the building, maybe even in the nusery room, a lock needed changing, and somebody picked the wrong one.  Since our door is labelled, this is still unlikely, but I can't imagine someone really has it in for our nursery kids.

What do you think? Have you ever heard of such a thing?


Keeping the Faith (and keep blogging????)

I told my husband I was going to stop blogging.

I felt I'd said what I needed to say, was glad I did it, but that it just wasn't something I wanted to keep doing anymore (or feel guilty about not doing).

Then I YET ANOTHER blog today announcing that the blogger has left the Church.  The LDS Church. My church.

That's her decision, and while I appreciate the nice-as-possible way she announced her decision, my heart sank to see another voice on the internet - a real tell-it-like-it-is voice - lose the faith. And then I thought that maybe, if I want someone out there talking about what it's like to be a stalwart member of the LDS Church, someone who believes with all her heart but is still willing to share the hard parts of life, that maybe I still had something to say.

So I'm not quitting, at least not right now. Realistically, I know I've been such a slacker blogger that half of my six regular readers have given up on me, so even if I resume regular posts it might not matter much. The only benefit might be that all those rants in my head, the ones about "Man, I wish I could tell people how much sleep the bishop loses over their problems!" and "You feel like you don't fit in at church?  Nobody feels like they fit in!  The notion that we all have to fit into some kind of mold or we don't belong is one of Satan's great lies!" might get exorcised in The Mount Laundry News.

That's a worthy reason to write, right?