Friday, August 29, 2008

It Could Be Worse!

Look how excited they are to have their pictures taken! Okay so these were taken on the first day.....but they were taken AFTER school. So that could be why they are kind of smiling! They moaned and groaned and thought it was ridiculous that I would STILL want to take pics on the first day of school. It's TRADITION. IT COULD BE WORSE! I know a lady who had her kids dress up for school, pack their backpacks, pile into the car and drive over to the school. They took pics of her kids (Senior and Freshman) in front of the school, coming out of the door of the school and with their arms around each other............ON SUNDAY! Yes! Before school even started. Okay so she did it on Sunday so her kids wouldn't be embarrassed. I'd still be embarrassed. I'd be mortified! At least I just had everyone pose by the front door!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Just an Ordinary Day!

Saturday was pretty typical for our household. So here’s a peek at an ordinary day.
6:00 – Brian and Parker get up and stumble around the house to get ready for the scouts' 50 mile bike ride. Parker eats Chinese food for breakfast and then makes a lunch for the ride
6:40 – They go outside to load the bike into the Suburban but see that Garrett has already loaded the 250 pounds of expired food in there to dispose of this morning. They realize that they can’t put the bike in the truck either because someone picked it up yesterday so they can pick up mulch and sod for a landscaping project.
6:50 – They load the bike into the trunk of the Toyota and go off to drop Parker at the scoutmaster’s house. Brian will leave from there and go workout. We decide that he will call me when he gets done and we’ll go for a bagel.
7:00 – I jump in the shower and make the bed so I won’t get back in it and then do a few chores.
8:00 – Brian calls and we decide to meet at the car wash because he needs gas and a car wash and it will save him from coming all the way back home.
8:15 – He’s still not at the car wash
8:25 – He arrives and picks me up. It took longer because when he walked out of his workout, he ran into his business partner and they started talking. He called home to tell me he would be late, but I was gone…… he cuts the conversation short and meets me. We leave a car there and struggle with which place to get the bagel.
8:35 – We get our bagels. The place is really crowded. It’s never this crowded. As soon as we sit down, Brian gets a call from a ward member. I eat my bagel. He listens. He mouths, “Sorry.” I shrug. I’m used to this. I’m just here for the food anyway.
9:00 – We’re back home and decide to leave for the temple a little early so we can stop at the dry cleaners so we don’t have to do it later. We discuss today’s eagle project completion with Garrett and tell him we’ll meet him as close to 12 as possible.
9:25 – Friend calls and asks if she can stay at our house this next week until she moves into her new apartment. I throw the sheets into the wash.
9:35 – Changed and ready for the temple, we take off and hit the dry cleaners.
10:10 – Arrive at the temple for the wedding.
10:35 – Wedding of two young singles (not for long) who were in the ward. It is awesome. They are both returned missionaries. She’s beautiful. The families are thrilled. The sealer does his usual incredible job. It’s fantastic.
11:00 – Hug bride and groom and apologize that we won’t be able to come to their house for lunch because we have to go to the eagle project.
11:05 – Stop in and see Brian’s mom. She’s been sick for nearly a month but she says she is feeling better. She says she’s at 92% ;)
11:45 – We arrive back home to see Garrett has gotten rid of the expired food and packed the Suburban with 800 pounds of food for the food pantry. He too, thought he would use the truck. LOL
12:00 – Change our clothes, throw the sheets into the dryer and head to the food pantry.
12:10 – Help Garrett and others unload food and put it on shelves. The lady who runs the food pantry is so happy because the shelves had been empty and she is THRILLED that Garrett sorted the food before he came. She said that last time, it took 4 hours to sort the food and get it on the shelves. We are cruising. We are working in dog years! Each hour should equal 7 because all of us are running and forming a chain to load food on the shelves. Oh………and there’s no air conditioning. We figured this would take about 3 hours.
3:00 – We’re done and back home! Woohoo! Bonus time! We run to our bed to get on/in it and watch the Olympics. We’re starving so we give Garrett and Tyler money and send them to get us food. I think I’ll take a nap, which I NEVER do. But the room is cool and the bed is inviting. Just as I drift off to sleep, the phone rings. Forget the nap. The phone rings every 10 or 15 minutes and I need to go to the grocery store anyway.
4:00 – Make the bed in the guest room. Blow off the grocery store. We’ll go later (I know this is a mistake). Get ready to leave for the baptism and stake High Priest Group Social.
4:30 – Leave for the Stake Center
5:00 – Baptism – Really COOL! They are baptizing three singles. All have great stories. The mission president is there. The ward is there. Some of the non member families are there supporting their kids. All three new members bear their testimonies after being baptized and they ROCK!
6:15 – Go outside church to call Parker and make sure he survived the bike ride. Garrett had picked him up and taken him to get dinner. Now he can’t find his dialectic journal on the computer that he needs to finish up for the first day of school
6:30 – Go into cultural hall for the dinner portion of the evening.
7:30 – It’s time to go to the chapel for the talk part of the evening. We sneak out.
7:40 – We arrive at the wedding reception. Talk to the parents of the bride and groom, congratulate the bride and groom, talk to ward members, have a glass of punch and skedaddle.
8:00 – Leave reception and go to the grocery store.
8:50 – Get home and visit with our friend who just arrived. Check and see how Parker is getting along with his summer homework. I had told everyone that they had to finish by midnight tonight. J Why does it feel like midnight tonight?
9:30 – Clean kitchen, straighten up a few things and get ready for bed. Parker is still typing.
10:30 – Can’t keep my eyes open any longer. This is a mistake because Garrett will be home in an hour and I’ll wake up, get out of bed to talk to him and not be able to go back to sleep.
11:15 – Garrett calls and they are on their way home from dinner and the Stake Dance. He’s mad because he put the rear passenger window down and now it won’t go back up.
11:23 – Parker is still typing. Garrett and Tyler get home. They had a great night but it was ruined by the whole window thing. I tell them to make absolutely NO noise. I don’t want Brian to wake up. They go downstairs to play pool.
11:30 - Parker literally drags himself upstairs saying he can’t walk. He probably can’t. His 50 mile bike ride was 60. He’s tired. But I can’t deal with noise or drama right now, so I tell him to get up and go to bed. I say it nicely…well kind of.
11:45 – I’m back in bed and can’t sleep. I listen to Brian’s even breathing and finally drift off.
12:23 – I’m awakened by voices outside my bedroom window. They are loud. They sound young. They are throwing rocks. I am mad. I watch them for a second. They are throwing rocks at the big street light on the corner. They hit it, crack a panel and start walking back home. I grab Garrett and tell him we are going to find out who the kids are. I’ll talk to their parents later. We drive around the block. Garrett spies them crouching in someone’s yard. Before I can say anything, he’s out of the car and sprinting. When he finally comes back, he tells me that he passed the two girls who were obviously lagging behind and caught up with the biggest boy. He threw him to the ground (not quite what I had planned) and said, “What are you doing? You woke up my whole family! Go home and go to bed.” The kid evidently asked him, “Who are you?” in a scared voice. Garrett answered, “It doesn’t matter. Go home!” So yeah – we didn’t find out who they were and it’s 12:45 and I’m still not asleep.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Seriously Mom!

Today was Tiny Baby's first day of high school. Well, not officially. Today was freshman orientation. Garrett left the house at 6:15 to go get ready. He was one of the group leaders. Parker reluctantly got up at 6:30. He asked if I would wake him up, knowing full well what the answer would be.
Here he is enjoying a nutrious breakfast and setting the pattern for his high school career. NOT! Right.......there's nothing! He refused cereal, eggs, bacon. toast, donuts, ice cream, chinese food, a ham sandwich, cookies, chips, last night's microwve popcorn, juice and all other foods.

Not only did he refuse breakfast, but he refused to have his picture taken. How ridiculous is it that a mom would want to take your picture before some stupid milestone in your life?

Moms! They're so demanding!

Garrett's Eagle Project

Garrett is midway through his Eagle project. Well, he's midway if you consider that just the "project" part of the project. Or to be optimistic, you could say he is almost finished with his Eagle project; if you are counting the project proposal and approval aspect. Or realistically, you could say he's barely dented it; if you are counting the project write-up, which is probably the most painful part of the whole project.

But, I say, let's be optimistic and celebrate! Garrett is collecting food for a local elementary school food pantry. There are 20-30 families in the school who rely on the food pantry to supplement their groceries every month. That's a lot of food! He's put a lot of work into it. He and his troop delivered grocery bags to neighborhoods. The bags had flyers telling them about the project and requesting specific food and asking them to contribute. The flyer also had a date that they scouts would come back and pick up the bag.

Last night was that date! They collected about 800 lbs of food. Way to go Garrett! Way to go Troop 453!
Thanks to the scouts who helped! Thanks to the scout leaders who drove! Thanks to the really generous and kind people who donated. Really! You would be amazed how people filled these bags with food and donated $20-$30 worth of food in each bag. Very, very generous.
Last of all, thank you to the people who thought we wanted taco shells that expired in September of 2007! Without you, I wouldn't really have humor in my life. Also, thanks to the people who donated cans of koolaid. It wasn't just any koolaid but koolaid with the label ripped off and expired. When you are hungry and down on your luck, the thing you crave most is expired, open koolaid.

Now really, most people read the flyer and donated what was specifically listed on there: pastas, sauces, dinner mixes, canned meats, cereals and canned vegetables and fruits.

What was NOT on there and for some reason the food pantry doesn't really need is bottles of tea, sample packs of splenda, a mini bag of microwave popcorn, and I kid you not, Kikkoman soy sauce packets! Really! I know. I know. We're being ungrateful and not very creative.

Anyway, we're sorting and organizing and getting everything ready to take to the school to stock their pantry.
Seriously, thanks to everyone who has supported Garrett!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Nominate Me for Mother of the Year!

Brian and I walked in last Friday night and saw Parker's bike helmet in the middle of the kitchen floor.

Me: Parker why is your helmet here?

Parker: Oh, I was going to ride my bike and I got it off the shelf in the garage and it had this big spider web in it.

Me: And?

Parker: No mom, it was one of those crackly webs. So I knew it was a black widow web.

I pick the helmet up and it is soaking wet.

Me: Ahhhh...and so....

Parker: Well, I didn't really want to touch it because I was afraid the black widow was in there. So I brought it in and washed it out.

Me: Oh, for heavens sakes! There's no black widow in there. If there was, it's gone now. So go put your helmet awa................wait!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wedding Hang Ups - Part 1

I have hang-ups......specifically wedding hang-ups. Or at least that's all we're going to focus on right now. And we're only going to focus on ONE wedding issue at a time.
Now, before people get all offended and whine that I am making fun of THEIR wedding, let me put this disclaimer out there: I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT YOUR WEDDING! You would not have done any of these things at your wedding. Most of these things are nightmares I have....made up things I worry about happening.
1) I am allergic to invitations with the Cinderella coach meandering it's way across the front to the cute saying inside, "Today, I marry my prince...yada, yada."
I've thought long and hard about this. I have invitation phobias. So, while I'm trying to get over it and thank heavens I don't have any of my own sons becoming grooms or someone's Prince Charming real soon, I have come up with several ideas. Just so you know, I've been thinking of a suitable solution to this problem since Trammell was in 4th grade.
So if a future daughter-in-law suggests the Princess invitations and then comes to me and asks how many our side would like, I can
a) Say, "No thank you. I'll just do my own invitations.
b) Tell her to go ahead and send me 100 and then accidentally throw them in the fireplace and secretly send out my own invitations.
c) Demand that my son find a new "princess."
or d) Grit my teeth and in the name of good relations, send out the tacky invites.
I'm thinking that really, as much as I like a, b, and c, my options are limited to d. This is why it continues to be a hang up for me!
Wait! There is always option e.
e) Ban my children from ever getting married.
Hmmm............this would eliminate the stress of dealing with a lot of my wedding hang-ups!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Happy Anniversary Baby, Got You on My Mind!

Thank you Little River Band.

Today is our 24th Anniversary. Or as Brian likes to say, “We’ve been married 17 wonderful years.” When people look at him quizzically, he grins and says, “Yeah 17 were wonderful, 4 were pretty good and ……” You get the idea.

It really has been 24 wonderful years. Every day is an adventure and I’m glad I get to go on the adventure with my best friend.

You ARE Blessed!

Okay today’s entry is not about me. Wait! Don’t click out of it! It’s about us. You and me!

Someone posed a question; “Are you blessed? So blessed?” Now this was in reference to the name of someone elses’ blog. But many people didn’t know that and they took the question literally and answered.

Well, their answers got me thinking.

1) Are we blessed or lucky?
That all depends. If you are gambling and win: that’s lucky. If you are crossing a street and a car almost hits you and you narrowly escape death: you are blessed. Do you see the difference? If you get the last tickets to a concert: that’s lucky. If the grocery clerk charges you the wrong amount and you “save” $5: that’s not lucky. That’s dishonest. But that’s coming from a girl who forges her husbands name…….so we won’t talk about that. But if you are looking for something that you lost and you find it: that’s a blessing.

I think blessings come from God. That’s my definition. And God doesn’t care about you winning at Bingo or the lottery……..even if you say you’ll give all the money to the church or go on a mission. A blessing is a gift from God. Blessings can be deserved; like we are blessed because of obedience or service. When we do what God asks, he is bound to bless us (scripture mastery! D&C 82:10). And then we sometimes receive undeserved blessings. We didn’t really do anything to earn them. The Lord loves us and he gives us blessings to help us, teach us, encourage us, and lift us. Blessings can also be called tender mercies of the Lord (see Elder Oaks Conference Talk).

2) What are some of our blessings?
This is still about us………not just me. I might list something that you don’t think of as a blessing but think hard about how it CAN be a blessing or how it just might BE a blessing in disguise.
In no particular order:
The Gospel of Jesus Christ
The Atonement
A Modern-day Prophet
The Scriptures
Gifts of the Spirit
Our faith – even if it’s the size of a mustard seed.
Our testimony
Our Family – yeah I know we all have crazy families. They are nuts. But without our parents, we wouldn’t even be here. And they made us what we are (look for the good qualities here, not the psychoses).
Our spouses
Our kids
Our homes – no matter how big or small, it’s a roof over our head.
All material blessings – whether it’s two dresses and one pair of shoes or 20 dresses and 100 pairs of shoes
Our talents – and don’t say you don’t have any!
Our friends
Our education – whatever level you have obtained.
Our jobs
Transportation – even though gas is expensive and it cost me $2700 to register two cars yesterday.
Food – you all know I love food!
Life’s experiences – I’ve had some wonderful experiences and I’ve had some awful experiences but I wouldn’t trade one
Challenges – I know some of you are going to disagree, but just think about it.
Each and every day is a blessing!

I hope you are getting the idea. I am. I could go on and on. Just listen to a small child’s prayer, “Heavenly Father, thank you for all of our blessings. Thank you for the sun, for lady bugs, for our teachers, and for candy.”
Well, this was really for me. It was not intended to be a lecture…..except to myself. It’s easy for me to get caught up in the minutiae of the day and forget my blessings.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

$2,700 Not Including Bail

I had an assignment today: go to the county clerk and register two cars. Well actually I was supposed to do it yesterday and was headed down with all the required paperwork when I reached in the glovebox to get the proof of insurance and WHOA..........I hadn't insured that car. So I turned around and went to the pool.

I left early this morning to beat the crowd. I waited my turn. When I went up to the window, I handed her 1 stack of paper for 1 car. I wanted to keep this as simple as possible. She went over the stack and then made a clicking sound and shook her head. "Oooohhhh.........mmmmmm......." What? What? Speak to me! She said that since Brian's name is the only one on the title, HE has to come in OR...............well, there is an affadavit and if he signs it, my name will be added to the title and I can come back and register the cars.

I am evil. So it didn't take me long to concoct my plot. I smiled sweetly and told her we were so lucky because my husband works really, really close by. She was very excited and said that when I came back later today, I wouldn't have to wait in line. I could just come right back to her desk. So......I gathered my stacks of paper and went out to the car. I drove around the building, put the car in park, signed the affadavit and read a couple of chapters in my book. Then I returned to the clerk's office. She was so excited that it had only taken me 20 minutes to track down my husband and get the papers signed. I smiled and told her he would much rather sign than come in himself (not a lie).

We completed the paperwork and I wrote a check for $2,700! WHAT? I could buy a whole new car for that. But then I would have to insure it and register it and I'd be right back where I was. $2,700 is highway robbery. But I didn't dare cause a scene because they aren't going to adjust the price and I felt lucky that I wasn't in jail calling Brian to stop by the ATM for bail money. I got out of there with my license plates and titles as fast as possible!

In case, you are a blog stalker, work for the DMV or one of my friends who isn't really a friend and want to turn me in, I've since checked. It actually wasn't illegal to sign my husbands name.........well not if he knew I was doing it. I told him when he got home from work. So he did know! Just a little late!