Saturday, November 29, 2008

Beauty and the Beast

I promised I would get around to telling the story of my one and only Beauty/Talent Pageant. Well, actually, I don't remember a talent portion, so maybe it was just straight up beauty.

One day, the Federal Express man (it was back in like '80 before there was FEDEX) came to the door with a special delivery for me. I tore into it and lo and behold I had made it as a FINALIST in the Miss United Teen Pageant.
The judges had obviously NEVER seen me in my teenage, stringy hair, gaunt face glory.

Hey, wait a minute! How could I be a finalist when I had NEVER heard of the pageant and NEVER applied for this illustrious award? And then it occured to me that there was only one answer. No! Not that someone had seen me and recurited me! It had to be my friend Dave. Ever since the time I flattened myself in the back seat of the station wagon and spied on him while he made out with his girlfriend, he had been seeking revenge.

Sweet revenge! It would be mine! Dave was working his shift at Dairy Queen and I wanted to share the good news with him. And if I was a beauty contestant, then I needed to look the part. I put on my swimsuit and borrowed the filmy lemon colored robe from my mom's totally modest peignor set. I put on high heals and high tailed it to DQ.

Imagine the look of horror from Dave as I glided through the door: "I WON! I WON! I'm a finalist in the Miss United Teen Pageant." Someone must have ordered a 4 foot ice cream cone, because that was what Dave was squirting out of the machine while pretending not to know me.

But I wouldn't stop until I got his attention and gushed my thankfulness for the kind nomination. I promised I would make him proud.
And I DID! I thought it was only fair that since HE nominated me, HE should write the essay on "What America Means to Me." But then, I didn't want to risk it. So I wrote the dang thing myself.
Thank heavens there wasn't a swimsuit competition. We ONLY had to buy this red, white and blue costume for a group song and dance number and provide our own evenig gown. Oh if only I had a picture of my Little Bo Peep dress!
I told no one. I wouldn't let my parents even come to the competiton. I was the ONLY one there without a stage mother pinching my cheeks and tucking my slip straps in.

And it was WAY FUN! It was way fun because I didn't care!

Those of you who know me, know that I am far from effusive. But what the heck! Since I was acting the part of a beauty contestant, why not act the part of Miss Congeniality. It was pretty easy too because I couldn't care less about winning. I had the most fun being friendly. Maybe I should try it more often!

Anyway, after two days of practicing and primping and performing, we were judged. Wait, it's coming back to me..........there was a talent portion. I don't remember it because I didn't win it!
I did win BEST ESSAY! Yes! I won.....MISS CONGENIALITY and SECOND RUNNER UP. Wouldn't that have been cool if like the winner got arrested or something and then the first runner up died and then I could have driven the white Lincoln that said Miss United Teenager on it? NOT!

But I did come home with a plaque and two three foot tall trophies. I was famous with my little brothers. They fought over those trophies even though they were identical. I wish I could find a picture and scan that in. But that was my short stint as a beauty queen. No one ever nominated me or asked me to participate in another pageant since. I can't understand why!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Black Hole of Estrogen

Our friend Tyler has his cousins in town for Thanksgiving. They arrived last Saturday. When the entire family sat in front of ours in Church, I couldn't help but count the number of girls.

(The following conversations with Garrett were TOTALLY serious. He had a STRAIGHT face the whole time. he sincerely believes that this is a CRISIS of EPIC proportions)

Me: "Garrett...........Tyler has 8 girls at his house ALL WEEK! How can he stand it?"

Garrett: "I know! He can't. We must offer him shelter."

And so, most nights this week, Tyler has spent the night.

The other night I asked Garrett -

"Is Tyler spending the night tonight?"
Garrett: "I'm sure he is. He HAS to get out of there. It's a black hole of ESTROGEN. You get sucked in! It's twelve girls and screaming and yeah....."

Tyler has done some pretty sweet imitations of what it's like to watch all the girls watch The Notebook, Pride & Prejudice and other chick flicks. I can't blame him for crashing at our crib!

Tribute to Trambodia

Add Image

It's been awhile since I've shared any pictures or updates from our new favorite country: Trambodia.
Trammell is loving life. His letters express such joy and enthusiasm. He has been blessed with the best 1st companion that we could ever ask for.
His companion is Elder Godfrey from Lindon. He has been out 14 months when Trammell got there. He is a zone leader in Siem Reap. Siem Reap is the second largest city in Cambodia with a population around 180,000. It is located about 6 hours (by bus) from Phnom Penh. There are 4 missionaries serving in Siem Reap and 4 missionaries serving a little further out; so the zone has 8 elders.
There is a church building in Siem Reap and they have one branch. In September, church attendance was around 65. Now it is up over 100. The elders had 31 investigators at church last week.
Trammell's letter are full of miracles, spiritual experiences and things he has learned. His letters are a testimony of how much the Lord loves his children, wherever they are in the world.
We have felt God's hand in our own lives while he has been serving and have many, many examples of the Lord's tender mercies in our lives.
Here is just one. Trammell's p-day is on Wednesday. Because they are 14 hours ahead of us, his emails usually hit our computer around midnight on Tuesday. Sometimes, we can not help ourselves and we stay up late to wait for them. This week, we stayed up and nothing came. We finally gave up and went to bed. Sometimes, their p-day is delayed because they go down to Phnom Penh for zone leader training. So we thought this might be the case.
We stayed up Wednesday night and waited for his email. Nothing! We went to bed. A sound awoke me in the middle of the night and being the compulsive person I am, I checked my email.
No letter from Tram, but there was an email from his companion's mother: "Letter Sharing." I opened it and she explained that because her son had so many kind and positive things to say about Trammell, she thought she would forward his letter to us.
She could have just cut and paste and sent us the parts relative to Trammell. But she forwarded the whole letter which included the miracles they had seen, the investigators and the lessons learned. He even referenced some of the things Trammell was writing in his own letter to us. (The one that is lost in cyberspace) It sounded just like Trammell's writing.
This was the letter we were supposed to receive this week. This letter told us more than Trammell ever could have. Somehow, the Lord had mercy on us and provided word for us. We see this happen over and over as we get emails or pictures from complete strangers who just happen to be in Cambodia and just happen to meet Trammell and just happen to take pictures.
The Lord loves us and knows what we need.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We're Lucky We're Not Dead

So after a month or three weeks or whatever of having to wash all the dishes by hand, what would you do if your dishwasher finally got fixed?

Bingo! Go out to dinner!

That's right! I came home grumpy yesterday afternoon. Who doesn't come home from Walmart grumpy? Why did I even go there. Just for the record, they were out of something I wanted and so I made a note of everything they were out of - whether I wanted it or not. So in order to save you time, here's a list of things you CAN'T get at Walmart.....,which you probably don't need....because it's TWO DAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING!

Do not go to Walmart for Turkeys, TURKEYS! (I wasn't looking for one, but couldn't help but notice row after row of empty refrigerator cases,
CREAM, (and don't ask for cream because the guy stocking the dairy department doesn't know what it is.),
GRAVY mix (I wasn't buying this but I noticed the gaping hole on the shelf), SAUSAGE (I was looking for this for my stuffing),

Produce of any kind (Come on! That produce was picked 2 years ago, embalmed and cryogenically sealed)

Wait...........this isn't about Walmart. I forgot. And I'm getting grumpy again.

So, I come home grumpy and Brian suggests we go to dinner with our friends. It sounds great since there was no food to buy at Walmart anyway.

We should go to the Mexican place we always go to................except...........we now have dangerous information.

My friend works for TriCounty Health doing restaurant inspections. He should NEVER have told me that inspection results were available online. I have checked every restaurant in the Tri State area. I am armed and dangerous.

It's true - the Mexican restaurant has failed, FAILED the last three inspections. It is under civil penalty. That means that it 1) failed an inspection 2) didn't fix what it promised to fix and 3) now has to pay a fine and THEY WILL GET SHUT DOWN if they don't fix their issues.

Now don't freak out! You can get written up for a variety of restaurant sins. Some of them are not that bad (well compared with others): not having handsoap next to the employee handwashing station, letting an employee put his own drink in the walk in cooler, storing cleaning supplies too close to food items. Some are more worrisome: rodent droppings near food. Yeah, that one is gross. Not having food stored at the right temperature; that's probably important to fix. I am pretty proud of my new found knowledge, so I've told pretty much everyone I know. So I tell the kids we're going to the condemned Mexican place and Parker says, "I'm not going." Me: "Fine. Don't go." He goes. We all go. We even sit near the kitchen and I peak in. I examine the floors. I go in the bathroom and look around. But when I go back to the table, I eat every chip in sight and consume my whole meal. We forget all about the failed inspections, the rodents, the cleaning supplies etc. And we've lived to tell! So there!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Dramatic Conclusion!

The dishwasher is FIXED! It is OPERATIONAL! It can wash dishes. I'm going to go make something just so I can put dishes in the washer and wash them! So it may not seem dramatic to you, but it is! If you recall, my final appointment was for TOMORROW. But the parts came in and I called and rescheduled. They even made me open the box and make sure that all the parts arrived. But all the parts were there. We went through the whole "He will be there between 8 and 12" thing again. I was a witch and said, "No. Not waiting." And then they said they could narrow it down to between 8-10 and he showed up at 8. He took everything apart, put it back together again and left by 8:23. DONE! Now I can go get the Thanksgiving food.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I'm not talking about the Relief Society Super Saturday where you go and make half a craft and stick it in the basement for a decade until you stumble across it and a)see that it is half finished, b) realize you don't have the pieces to finish it and c)it was ugly to begin with.

I don't go to those anymore. I'm old and jaded. I know mine won't be as cute as the sample. I know that when the teacher says, "anyone can do this," she's not talking about me.

I sometimes go to socialize and help others with their crafts. But I couldn't go this year because we had a big wedding that day.

If you know me or have read this blog, you know that around this house - EVERY Saturday is SUPER SATURDAY.

1) My sister in law and I hosted a baby shower this morning. It was for a friend who is having her 6th. She didn't want it to be a big deal so we kept it low key. But the quiche, caramel rolls, mini pumpkin muffins with teeny baby pacifers and fruit tray were yummy!

2) We went to lunch with my aunt and cousin who are in town for the weekend. They gave me a really cute custom calendar that my cousin makes and sells through her Etsy shop - if I knew how to link - I would!

3) We put the Christmas lights up on the house. Brian worked on this during the shower and then after lunch, I assisted in small ways.....pointing and directing, holding the ladder, handing up extra bulbs and fuses, running to the basement to reset the fuses. That could be a whole different post though!

4) In 30 minutes we are going to a wedding reception downtown. Well actually just before I typed that, Brian called me into the office and handed me a second invitation that he had to another reception 45 minutes in the opposite direction of downtown. My question - Why wasn't that taped to the wedding reception invitation wall with all the other wedding invitations? Hmmmmm.... so..enough blogging. I have to go get dressed.

5) But also, back to SUPER SATURDAY. I had a craft of my own! Since I had so much success drilling out baby pumpkins and putting tea lights in them, I decided to expand. Here was todays Harvest Project.
Just like all projects, it looked way cuter in my imagination. I want to live in my imagination! Everything is way cuter there.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanksgiving Thinking

Thinking comes before planning. And I've been doing a lot of thinking. All the way back close to the 1st of November, I passed by a turkey made out of butter at the grocery store.

Butter speaks to me. It inspires me. I went right home and invited the whole family over for Thanksgiving.

Well that about sums up my Thanksgiving PLANS.

I haven't moved beyond that.

I'm thinking about Thanksgiving now though.
Hmmm....what kind of Thanksgiving do I want?
I'm not talking about the food! The menu is set in stone. It's "Americana" all the way. It's not "white trash" or "tacky." It's Americana!

We have the traditional TURKEY with MASHED POTATOES (cream & butter) and GRAVY with STUFFING.
Thanksgiving would not be Thanksgiving without GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE. I know it's made from cans. I know it's loaded with empty calories. That's why it's Thanksgiving food! And please, please, please just make it using the recipe off the can. Some people get fancy and try to add other stuff. NO! we want the recipe off the can!
We also have a "special" family recipe JELLO. This is one of the only times the whole year we even buy jello, much less make it. It's layered with raspberry jello, cream cheese and whipped cream.

And of course there is the RELISH TRAY and CRANBERRY SAUCE
We then start to vary the dishes depending who is coming -

Sweet Potatoes (Make em how ever you want - I'm NOT tasting them, but I will serve them). Broccoli Casserole (double up on the homemade bread cube topping!), Frozen Fruit Salad (It's a lot like a dessert but served with dinner), Green Salad (cuz we're all watching calories).
And of course - PUMPKIN, PECAN, CHOCOLATE CREAM and APPLE PIE with real whipped cream.

Enough about the menu. Like I said, it takes no thought. It's planned. it was planned at my very first Thanksgiving years ago.
The real question is -

Should I add a little Martha Stewart?

I remember the year that I carved out a little mini pumpkin for each place setting and set a tea light in it! I was soooo brilliant. I got out the DeWalt Drill and a large bit. Easy! Except that for some reason, I though the clean up would be easier if I did it in the basement. Hello - pumpkin guts spraying everywhere? What was wrong with doing this project OUTSIDE?

Then there was the year that I softened butter, rolled it flat, chilled it and cut out way cute leaf shapes. It only took hours to produce 40-50 leaf shaped butter pats. What was I thinking? It's that obsession with butter.
Then there was the year that I cut out some shape on 5 kinds of brown paper, hand drew a basket weave pattern and rolled them into mini cornucopias and stuffed them with candy and chocolate. Why?
Luckily, I've forgotten some of the other projects that seemed like such a good idea at the time - gold sprayed fall leaves, chocolate turkeys, and other assorted disasters. Oh and the time I went down to the basement for a SCRAP of wood and used the jigsaw to cut out a really cute turkey. I painted it with acrylic paint and drilled holes on the top of him so that I could have lollipops pocking out like feathers..........way cute - except that I cut up and painted a piece of OAK. Oops!
So yeah, I'm not planning anything YET. Just thinking!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Continuing Dishwasher Saga

The dishwasher repairman cometh!
Remember, my appointment is scheduled between 8 -10. Same rules apply. He will call before he comes and IF I don't answer, he won't come. I walk the house with BOTH the cordless phone and my cell.

He calls at 7:50 and says he will be here at 8. WooHoo! How hard was that? Why can't it be this easy every time?

Randy/Travis/Phil comes and is friendly, knowledgable guy. with a grin and a laugh, he tells me he can have everything fixed by the holidays. I laugh too.........but I think he is serious.

He fixes the broken spring in the door in 3 1/2 seconds. Cha-ching! That's $100. And the most serious of the dishwasher problems is fixed.

Now on to trivial things - like how to get the dang thing started.

Yes, I was correct. The computer board is fried.

Randy/Travis/Phil - "This is a pretty common problem.....except we don't usually carry this part of our van."

I'm thinking - If it's a COMMON problem, why don't you carry the parts on your van? What do you carry on the van?

I might have said that aloud because he said,

"I'll check my van though.........just in case."

So I watch. I'm waiting for him to go out to the van and check.

He pulls out his computer and tells me he's going to check.

You need a computer to check the parts in your van? I know, how about you go out to the van and open the doors and look around?

Randy/Travis/Phil -"Oh shoot. I can't check. My GPS is down."

Huh? You need a GPS to track down a part in your van? How big is the van?

Randy/Travis/Phil -"I'm gonna have to go out to the van. I'll be right back."

Yeah - this is what I'm talking about. YOU go out to the van and then come BACK with the part. He goes out to the van. He gets in the driver's seat and turns it on. He's not rummaging around the back at all! He's not looking! He LEAVES THE VAN RUNNING and comes back in.

Randy/Travis/Phil - "Yep, I knew it. I called heaquarters and the part in not on my van."

You had to call headquarters? That's it. Open the dang van. What the heck is back there? Illegal immigrants being smuggled? Trash bags of pot? Child slaves being taken to factories? I want to see the dishwasher parts!

Randy/Travis/Phil - "Well, the thing is ....." Oh THIS is going to be good! "Not only is the part not on my van. There isn't one in Colorado. So here's what we'll do. We'll order it and it will be UPSed to you and then I'll come and fix it. You better schedule an appointment for about 9 days out."

He wasn't lying about getting fixed by the holidays. Why was he laughing when he said that? Why did I laugh with him? He's coming NEXT - yeah that's NEXT Tuesday BEFORE Thanksgiving.

My favorite part: His computer starts whirring and magically, even though the GPS part finder is down, it spits out a receipt - $353.00.

Huh? I didn't GET anything. I don't have a cute new outfit. I don't have a designer handbag. I don't have a new chair to sit on or set of dishes for THE HOLIDAYS, in fact, I don't even have a dishwasher that works! I have NOTHING to show for $353!

Pass me a stack of paper plates!

Dishwasher Update

Don't deny it! You're dying to hear what happened with the dishwasher.

So if you remember, I waited from 8 am to noon and the repairman hadn't come. So I called and cancelled. Remember, the lady said that I needed to call back and reschedule?

I called to reschedule. We had to go through the original 39 questions to get the information AGAIN. It was as if they had never heard of me. Except when she got to the part where she asked, "Have you had your dishwasher repaired in last 30 days." I said, "No." She said, "It shows here on my computer than you had a repairman out recently." I WISH I had a repairman out recently! I explained that YES, I had scheduled a repair, but the man never came. Why doesn't it say THAT in your stupid computer?

She asked me what was wrong with the dishwasher:

Me: "Well, the spring is broken on the door. So when you open it, the door just falls open. The conrol panel also has cracks where you push the bottons, so I think water has gotten in there and fried the computer board. So it won't start."

Operator: "So it won't turn on at all? You can't run any cycles?"

Me: "No. It won't turn on at all."

Operator:"Well those are both serious problems..........especially the door. We'll have to get a repairman out right away!"

The door is a serious problem? I say the whole dishwasher not washing dishes is a serious problem! Who cares if when you open the door it falls open with a long as you can shut it and turn it on and wash dishes? Is this lady nuts?

Operator: "Alright, I can schedule for an appointment between 8 am and noon or between 1 and 4."

Me: "Oh no, no, no.....I already did that. I already waited 4 hours so I'm going to need a more specific appointment.,"

Operator:"Well.........I could schedule for between 8 and 10. Would that be better."

Okay if you can narrow it down to a 2 hour window, why don't you just do that everytime? My doctor doesn't say, "He come in and sit around between 8 and noon and we'll see if we can get to you."
I didn't want to press my luck. So I took the "between 8 and 10 appointment."

Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Today is one of those bittersweet love em and you hate em. They bring out so many emotions and a lot of tears.

It really started Friday afternoon. I heard some stupid old (as in at LEAST 3 years) hip hop song on the radio. It was from "back in the day" before every song was about sex and strippers. It wasn't a favorite song or a meaningful song. It just took me back a few years to when Trammell was a junior. And of course, I started crying. As I drove through the neighborhood, I reflected on how happy I am that he is serving a mission. I'm so happy that he is so happy. I couldn't ask for more! But I miss his easy smile, his sense of humor, his rational and reasonable approach to life, his testimony, and his friendship.
So having a son on a mission is bittersweet.

Saturday we went to the BYU game. There was a combination of nostalgia and hope for the future. I reflected on the fun and not so fun times I had during my own four years at BYU.........all the things I learned, the friends made, the experiences, etc. And then I thought about the future of my own children as they make their way out of the nest and attempt flight. I hope it will more smooth than painful. I hope they will experience more joy than sorrow.

Being at the Air Force Academy and seeing all the cadets, the flyover, hearing the national anthem made me tear up. I wish I had my sunglasses on. I'm a crybaby this weekend. How can fighter jets flying overhead make me cry? I really am a patriotic person. I am so thankful to live in this country. I am so thankful to all those who serve in any branch of the military and serve in any capacity. I am impressed and filled with automatic love for the cadets who commit and sacrifice for us.

And now it's Sunday: just hours before probably one of the highlights and most bittersweet days so far in our lives. (I know there will be plenty more) And I have to pull it together: weep now so that I can be composed later. Brian is being released as singles ward bishop. We've know for 6 months that this day is coming. He announced it to his ward 2 weeks ago. He's met with the new bishop 3 times. It's not a surprise. But I feel his pain.

Singles Ward Bishops traditionally serve for 3 years. He served for 4 1/2 (longer to get attached!). We attended our 84th wedding a couple of weeks ago and there are 7 more on the books between now and January 1st. Hundreds of people have passed through the ward and left on missions, to go to school, in pursuit of a job or graduated by marriage. These "kids" have been examples of faith, acceptance, Christ like love, willingness to serve, hard work, friendship, and have stood as a testimony to our family. (Okay, and some were examples of what NOT to do..........and that has a place too!)

I will miss the quiet solitude of taking the sacrament where the only sound was the air condtioner. I will miss the pure testimony of the atonement born each fast day. I will miss the infectious enthusiasm and love of life. I will miss going to the temple with those who were receiving their endowments and those who were being sealed. If I will miss all these things, I cannot begin to imagine how Brian feels.

Seriously, I have got to pull myself together!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Just Another Day

Ahhhhh..........the good life!

I woke Parker up at 7:45 and we went to the annual Cub Scout Pancake Breakfast. It's all you can eat McDonalds Pancakes for $1.

I prefer my pancakes with 3 pats of butter per pancake and an ice cold coke chaser. No one has better coke than McDonalds.

By 8:30, we were on the road and hit up the gas station and two grocery stores: the healthy grocery store where I was able to find the only UNHEALTHY items in the whole place - salt water taffy, chili lime corn chips, assorted marinated olives and corn nuts and the normal grocery store for tomorrow's dinner. It's all a part of the special day.........the day we get ready for Sunday.

We also had to stock up with Red Vines, Peanut M&M's, sunflower seeds, Slim Jims, peanuts in the shell and the taffy for the BYU vs. Air Force game.

I packed a backpack with all of our goodies and we hit the road around 11:00. It takes about an hour to get to the Air Force Academy. That gave us plenty of time to get there, park, peruse the mini BYU bookstore set up in the parking lot, chat with friends, make our way to the stadium, get turned away because you can't take any outside food in, send Brian back to the car with the backpack, find our seats and get a hot dog all before the game started. Phew!

The flyover alone was worth the price of admission..........oh and the parachutists too. The game was way fun. We loved the giant turkey leg, nachos, hot dogs, kettle corn and smuggled in sunflower seeds, but were disappointed that we didn't get the funnel cake or giant plate of homemade potatoe chips. I forgot I was at a football game for a second and started looking for the ferris wheel or tilt-a-whirl.

I could write a whole post on the number of families with small children who were disappointed with the game....the kids not the parents. I know! What 3 year old doesn't love a football game? But let's not let this post get off topic. And besides, enough of the game....we must move on! Saturday is running out and we still have a lot to do!

We left the game with 1 minute and 30 seconds left in the 4th quarter. BYU had sewn up the victory and we wanted to beat the crowd. We seriously RAN to the car. It was 4:30 and we needed to drive the hour+ home and Brian and I needed to be at a black tie function by 6:40.

What was the magic of 6:40? Well, that isn't the time the affair starts, or the time dinner is served, it's the time Brian has to be on stage in front of 1,000 people to receive recognition for putting 3 years of his life into planning said event. If he has been planning it for 3 years, don't we need to be there earlier? Don't ask!

At one point, I remember telling Brian that he probably shouldn't go 90. That was right before telling him to change the radio station because a new Ludacris song came on and it has inappropriate lyrics. Don't ask how I know it has inappropriate lyrics if it's a new song and we were only into it 3 notes.

At 5:30, we pull in the driveway. We ran into our bedroom and changed. Let me just say that until 5:30, I had not given my wardrobe for the evening ONE SINGLE thought. I have four long gowns - all black - all ugly. This is where I turned grumpy.

But I was really good at keeping it to myself until we got in the car at 5:55. Then, it leaked out. "WHY AM I EVEN GOING? I look bad. We're not even getting dinner? I don't know anyone? And you don't even work with these people anymore..................................AND I WISH I HAD A HOT PINK DRESS."
Where did that come from?
I'm not sure if I said that as soon as I got home, I was throwing this dress out or if I just thought that to myself.

We made an illegal turn. Parked and forgot to pay. We RAN - yeah in heels and a long gown to the ceremony.

We got there on time because I predicted in my little mini rant that it wouldn't start on time. Brian did his thing. They gave him a bouquet of fall flowers. We ate dinner watched a few of the 54 awards that would be given out and then we snuck out and came back home. Oh and..............we didn't get a ticket for not paying for parking.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I won! I Won! I WON!

I WON! Wow! Way to make my weekend! I'm positively gushing! Gee...I hardly know what to say (besides "Thank you.") I won a blogging award. I'd like to thank my The Academy and all my fans. I'd like to thank my parents, who don't even know this blog exists. Oh wait............Thank you to Andrea who writes Oh how do you make it cute? Like just a little linky thingy instead of the ugly http address? Shoot, she's going to take back the award cuz I can't blog correctly.
Blogging Mama Oh wait? I think I did it!

Anyway, back to me. The award. There's only 5 people who read this blog (including those who look over my shoulder when I write about them) and so what are the chances that I would be awarded with my very own prize?

I never win anything - well except for runner up, Miss Congeniality, and the best essay in that one teen beauty pageant..........but that's a whole different story. So thanks to Andrea for slogging through silly posts on the exploits of teenagers, cooking, broken appliances and politics. You made my day!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Heard at the Dinner Table

I tuned in part way through this conversation:
Garrett: "So CHIVALRY is not dead."
Parker: "What IS chivalry anyway?"
Garrett: "Come on you're a freshmen. You had to have already studied this in Global Studies this year. There was a time they started worshipping women.
Chivalry is - you know - opening the door for a girl, letting her go in front of you in line, buying her a drank (hip hop reference there) and esquiring her around town."
What the heck is "esquiring" her?
Thank heavens chivalry is not dead!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How Did I KNOW This Would Happen?

It's like I have mystical powers or ESP. I knew what was going to happen before it did!

My dishwasher is broken. Really broken. It doesn't start. And I will admit that I have actually enjoyed doing the dishes by hand. I even enjoyed it more when one night, the boys made me mad and I stomped off to my room and heard Brian say, "You boys can do the dishes!" They did them by hand and they did an awesome job.

But the era of doing the dishes by hand had to come to an end. I called the Dishwasher Repair Man. The friendly lady told me the DRM wouldn't be available until Wednesday (today) but I could pick the time - 8 am to 12 or 1 pm -4 pm. Wow! How convenient since I usually just sit around the house anyway. I could pick - sit around all morning or sit around all afternoon.

I chose morning. She gave me several strict warnings that they meant business. The DRM would call when he was on his way and if I didn't answer, he wouldn't come! Okay. I gave her my cell phone number too..........just in case.

So I sat at my desk and put the house phone and my cell phone just inches from my hands. I didn't want to miss that call. When I left my desk for any reason, I took both phones with me......just in case. I'm pretty sure she was serious.

The hours were ticking by and then I remembered...........there were other things I wanted to do...........outside my house! But I wasn't willing to risk the chance. Finally, I noticed it was 11:08. Don't you hate that when they tell you this 30 day window (like Visiting Teaching) and then come on the last day? I mean, why didn't they tell me it would be between 9 and 12, or between 10 and 12 or maybe between 11:08 and 12?

Suddenly, I looked up and it was 12:15. That's it! I had the two phones by my side all morning. Where was this guy. Plus you know that when he gets here, it's not like he only needs 2 1/1 seconds and then will be on his way. Plus, I'd put money down that he wouldn't have the necessary part on his truck. Do they even have parts in their vans? I bet if you followed the DRP to the van and watched him swing the doors open wide -THERE'S NOTHING IN THERE!

So I called the repair place and said, "Yeah, I had the 8 am to 12 window and it's 12:15 and the guy never showed." She offered to SEND HIM A MESSAGE. What is "send him a message?" You can't call him? You can't radio him? You can't text him? How do you send a message? Morse code? Carrier pigeon.

Me: " I've already dedicated four hours of my day to this project so I have things to do now and I'm going to cancel." Okay, I know that is short sighted. Why not let the guy come? But seriously, I had a craft show to go to and it opened at 10, so I was late enough!

The lady said, "Well I certainly understand. I'll cancel your appointment. I'll need you to call back to reschedule."

Was I being punished? Like being grounded from contacting the repair place?

"I can't just set up a new appointment now?

"No, because you are already in the computer as having a tech assigned to you. We'll have to wait for the cancellation to go through and you'll have to call back."

What kind of place am I dealing with? I'll show you how to cancel my appointment! You push "delete." Oh wow! Your name disappears and you schedule a new date. Maybe this function is also handled by carrier pigeon too. the dishwasher is still broken. I don't have a new appointment. I kind of hope the boys misbehave tonight. Or I could just say, "Hey guys, do the dishes."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Is this Love?

Parker fell asleep on the couch while the other boys were playing video games. What would be the kind and loving thing to do?
Why take a picture of course............and doctor it up!
Thank heavens for brothers with IPhones. Who wouldn't want this picture of themselves posted on facebook?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

This Time, I'm Really Thankful!

These people are the BEST! I LOVE MY CALLING! It used to be a job, not a calling. We used to have to sign a contract that we wouldn't grow a beard (I didn't) and that we would wear pantyhose (I did most of the time). Teaching seminary is the best calling in the whole world. Don't get me wrong, it's a brutal calling but it is so so so rewarding. I've been teaching seminary for 5 years. (I don't count the year I taught 20 years ago when I was pregnant with Trammell.) And just so you know, it DOESN'T get easier. NO! I am NOT a morning person! NO! It's not easy to get uup. NO! I am not a scriptorian. I have taught for five years and I have no knowledge to show for it. My alarm is set for 4:25. I wake up on my own between 4 and 4:15. Every morning is the same. I wake up. I stumble to the bathroom. As I walk by the mirror, I look into it and say, "I'm going to die." Cuz it really feels that way. I start my morning prayer in the shower. It starts off with alternating please to let me die and then the reverse, "please let me survive." I'm not really in a brgaing position so survival is the best I can hope for. By the time I am rubbing shampoo in my hair, I can tell that the Lord is going to keep me on earth a while longer and I have no choice but to continue forward. So I continue my prayer and ask for the Spirit to be in our class and to help me know what to say and more importantly what NOT to say. By the time I get out of the shower, I am on to praying for the individual members of our class. As I finish drying my hair and about the time I am putting on mascara, I am back to pleading for my own cause. It never changes. It's not exactly a rote prayer because it just sounds so desperate. By the time seminary starts, I feel half human. By the time it's over, I am so, so, so grateful that I GET to teach/learn from them. I love each and every person in the class. I love the scriptures. We laugh. We cry. We play games. We do skits. We bear testimony. The Spirit is always in attendance. I and I won't lie! I LOVE the forced scripture study. I don't think that I would normally spend 2 hours a day studying the scriptures in addition to the one hour of teaching. I just wish I could remember the stuff I study. But I will say that studying the scriptures brings such peace to my heart. Teaching seminary is a priviledge. It doesn't get any better than this! I am truly thankful for this calling.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Who is in Charge?

8:45 pm - The boys arrive home from mutual with Tyler in tow and head down to the basement for a few games of pool and FIFA.

Garrett - "Mom, since we don't have seminary tomorrow and don't have to be at school until 9:15, can Tyler spend the night?"
Me - "No." I don't know why I said no because really I didn't care. I was just wishing Garrett would be reasonable and think an adult! A reasonable person would use the extra three hours between 5:30 and 8:30 to sleep. But everyone knows that 17 year olds aren't reasonable.

10:30 pm - I'm wrapping up the night and getting in bed because even though there is no seminary, I still have to get up and go to inservice. Of all the injustice!
Garrett - "Hey Mom, when you get up in the morning to go to inservice, pretend you don't see Tyler's car in front of our house."

Hmmm.........guess whose car I saw in front of our house at 5:15, and 7:15 and 8:15. I tell you, I run this house with an iron fist!!!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm Kinda Thankful but Then Again Not

So I am posting about what I am THANKFUL for this month.

Really, I should just back away from the blog.
I'm a poor loser.

But then, did I really lose? I need to get perspective here.
I am sorry to drag you through my ramblings.

The Election:
I LOVE the United States. There is NO WHERE I would rather live! I am truly thankful to live in a democracy where I can voice my opinion and participate in choosing people to run our government. I am totally grateful to live in America. I do believe that it was founded on inspiration and that our forefathers were literally led here and inspired to write the Constitution. So see, I am thankful for something!!!!

I am disappointed. I'm not disappointed that McCain didn't win. I didn't like him. He's old. He's uninspiring. He's not who we needed. I am sad that we have intelligent, smart, experienced, adjective, superlative, adjective people and Obama and McCain are the BEST we can come up with? I didn't like my choices!!!!! I've wanted a redo since the primaries.
Maybe something good will come out of my adversity! Maybe next time I'll get more involved and help find and support a good candidate instead of sitting back and waiting to see who is presented to me. Maybe I'll get more involved in politics and the process. Maybe I'll pay more attention to Congress and bills and issues and spend less time on ..........blogging. Maybe I'll run for office! Now that's inspiring!
Plus, there might be a silver lining! This is perfect timing for Obama's redistribution of wealth. Since Brian is building his business right now and isn't making money, I no longer fit into the category of people who will be taxed! Woohoo! Redistribute the me!
Yeah! I'm seeing a lot of free stuff in my future! Free lunch, federal aid, Medicaid, smaller class sizes, interest free loans, free socialized medicine, free 7 For All Mankind Jeans, free Nike's for my kids, and free Coach and Louis Vuitton bags. Seriously, this just might work for me. I know I'm being bratty..........but...........

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We Had So Much Fun!

Margaret invited me to be Dave. Their accountant had invited them to a special night at a cooking school and Dave couldn't go. So I got to! Thanks Dave!

We were a little bit skeptical about the night. We didn't know where we were going, who would be there or what we would be making.
We had the BEST time!
The menu included
Asparagus with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli
Toasted Walnut and Beet Salad
Halibut with Braised Fennel, Grilled Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes
and this luscious Chocolate Dessert
Margaret and I decided to work on the appetizer and hooked up with a fun new friend - Debbie. We were three peas in a pod. Although there were two chefs and several assistants there to help, they stayed out of our way. For some reason............they just let us have at it. We did have the recipe. We didn't exactly follow it. We had a wonderful time not measuring anything and doing whatever we wanted. When the chef came over to check on us, he did taste it and thought it was delicious. We did too!

We may have overstepped our bounds when the chef was showing us how to plate the asparagus and we told him it would look much better at a 45 degree angle running diagonal on the plate. But it did! See for yourself!

The food was awesome. Our dining buddies were awesome. I hope Dave continues to use this accountant!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

An Attitude of Gratitude

It's Thanksgiving time! Luckily, we have four more weeks until the actual day of turkey, mashed potatoes and pie. But it's never to early to count our blessings. I have been working at recognizing God's hand in my life and noticing life's miracles and the Lord's tender mercies.

Today, I am THANKFUL for................


These people ROCK! They make my life! Every person in this little group means the world to me. They make me laugh. They make me cry. They make me a better person. They make me laugh. They make me worry. They make me pray. They make me laugh. They make me thankful. They totally entertain me!

Five things I love about them -
Brian -
Loves the Lord
Loves Me
Gives his all to our family
Calm in a crisis
My best friend

Loves the Lord
Always does the right thing
Compassionate and caring
Reasonable and level headed
Fun to be with

Honors his priesthood
Serves without complaint
Deep thinking
Multi talented and creative
So so so funny

Always helpful
Easygoing and happy
Diligent and obedient
Confident and secure
Always willing to hug and cuddle

These guys are everything I am not! Good thing I have them to balance me out. I learn so much more from them than they wil ever learn from me. They teach me through their example. They teach me through their patience. And they teach me through their kind words. "Mom, really, is it necessary to swear?" Thanks Tram! "Umm.........can I help you Mom?" Thanks Garrett!

So to all my boys........who will never see this or read this..........I love you! You are the best!