Thursday, December 31, 2009

Arrivederci Mom and Dad!

Last Saturday was an exciting day!
My parents:

received their mission call in the mail.

My parents, my family and my brother's family all gathered around one computer here in Denver, while my two little brothers and their families gathered around their computer in London and we Skyped while my parents opened the big white envelope that would tell them where they would serve, for how long they would serve, and when they would serve.

Before they opened the envelope, we all took a guess. Kalamazoo, Cambodia, Ghana, Italy, and Louisiana all made the list.

My parents were called to serve as full time missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in

for 23 months, starting on June 14, 2010.

In case you are confused by the map, that's ROME, ITALY....not Bosnia, France or Tunisia.
They are beyond excited and we are also so excited for them.
This has been their dream for years and it has taken much blood, sweat and tears to figure out how to make it happen.
Yea for Mom and Dad!!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

ALL I WANT FOR MY BIRTHDAY.... is your love and devotion!

What could be better than having your birthday coincide with Random Thought Tuesday?
Isn't that the best?

Even though it's not YOUR birthday,
I'll let you do your own random and head on over to Keely's at The Unmom and link up.

* This whole year, I have not known how old I am.  I've had to stop and do the math every time.  Who forgets their age?

* Our Christmas phone call with Trammell in Cambodia was awesome!
My favorite part was when he spoke Cambodian.
My least favorite part was when Brian asked about his health - referring to a recent sinus infection and Trammell answered, "Well, I think I got rid of the worms."
I HAD to ask, "How do you know when you have worms?"
He answered delicately, "Well everyone has different symptoms."
You probably don't want to hear about it.
I looked it up.
Do you want to see pictures?

* You know what I don't like (besides worms)?
PILES (not the illness.........well yeah, that too.)
I don't like piles of paper on my desk....
piles of mail,
piles of Christmas presents needing to be put away,
piles of dirty clothes,
piles of clean clothes,
piles of shoes by the door,
piles..... I hate piles.

* Don't you hate the aftermath of Christmas?
How can your  house look like Martha Stewart's on one day and then qualify for condemnation the next?

* Today is trash day.  Don't you LOVE the first trash day after Christmas?
It's so freeing!

I want to invite the trashmen in and say, "Here ya go.  Take it all.  Just shovel the whole place into your truck."

* What should I do for my birthday?
I'm bad at making plans.
By this time in the year/holiday season, I'm pretty partied out.

* I threw the Bonehead's half-completed gingerbread creation away.
Is that mean?
I was sick of the gingerbread all over my kitchen, the blueprints on the walls, the models, the frosting, the talk.
The plan was to build a chateau - not a house, have a competition with a group of girls and then the best part - BLOW the HOUSE UP!  What is it with boys and explosives?
After drawing elaborate plans:

and making 16 batches of gingerbread (40 cups of flour!):

and then making an official full size replica model, the girls dropped out of the competition.
All of the "fun" was gone.
So the boys' excitement died down.
I told them the other day that I was throwing everything out.
They were crestfallen.....but Parker made up for his disappointment by taking the model out on the driveway and blowing it to smithereens with a paintball gun.

* That's all I've got!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Super Duper Super Ball

To My Brother –

On Christmas Eve, more than 30 years ago,
you slept on the floor of my bedroom. We
stayed up late sharing Christmas secrets.

I told you that you were getting a gigantic
superball that could bounce 50 feet in the

The next morning, you opened all of your
presents and you were a little bit dis-
appointed that you didn’t really get the

Super Duper Super Ball.
But I didn’t lie. You just didn’t get it THAT
year. May all your Christmas dreams come
true – if not this year, then eventually!
Your Sister

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Where do you even start?
The only thing more overwhelming than Christmas is blogging about Christmas.

I could tell you about our visit from the cutest Santa ever -

I could tell you about the food, the games, the mini Christmas pageant that somehow ended with a rousing Feliz Navidad.
I could tell you about how we didn't even put any presents out until Christmas day

Or how we didn't even get out of bed until 8:45

Or how we didn't even move from the house.

Or how the family room is still littered with wrapping paper and presents.

Everyone had a great time, Santa came, and we all fell into a food induced coma.

I'm not going to lie.
The BEST part of the day was when the phone rang at 7:20 with a mysterious phone number on caller ID.
We got to spend 45 glorious minutes talking to Trammell.
1. He is awesome.
2. He is happy.
3. He sounds great.
4. He loves Cambodia and his mission.
We can't ask for more than that!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


There is a lot I would like to write about today: the Bonehead Brother's Gingerbread Extravaganza, our Christmas Eve plans, crazy shopping experiences, etc.

But I'll share this message instead:

In Matthew 2, the wisemen followed the star and "they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.  And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh."

"All of us need to follow the example of the Savior in giving these kind of gifts. . . .
This Christmas,
'Mend a quarrel.
Seek out a forgotten friend.
Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust.
Write a letter.
Give a soft answer.
Encourage youth.
Manifest your loyalty in word and deed.
Keep a promise.
Forgo a grudge.
Forgive an enemy.
Try to understand.
Examine your demands on others.
Think first of someone else.
Be kind.
Be gentle.
 Laugh a little more.
Express your gratitude.
Welcome a stranger.
Gladden the heart of a child.
Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth.
Speak your love and then speak it again.'

"Christmas is a celebration, and there is no celebration that compares with the realization of its true meaning---with the sudden stirring of the heart that has extended itself unselfishly in the things that matter most."
President Howard W. Hunter

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


It's weird what we remember from our childhood. And it's funny how sometimes we don't get to pick what becomes tradition.
The ball just starts rolling and we are helpless to stop it!

(No this wasn't the gingerbread house from my youth - our's was way better)
Growing up, my mom we made a gingerbread house every year.
This is way before "kits."  Our house was legit!
We had a template.
My mom made real gingerbread.
Our gingerbread house had a door that opened, real windows, was cool!

The gingerbread house would be "on display" in the center of the dining room table.
The rule was that we couldn't touch or eat the house until it was rock hard and would break all of our teeth off after Christmas.
So we would kneel down on the floor, prop our elbows on the table and stare at the house: ESPing pieces of candy to magically "fall off" so we could eat them.

Building the house was a complex affair.
We were subject to the altitude, humidity, baking conditions and our own lack of patience.

Anything could go wrong at any minute.
But my mom was a pro with the patience of a gnat Job.

My mom's gingerbread house was so good good enough that she and her friend were invited to come teach the rest of the ladies at church how to build the perfect gingerbread house.

Imagine gingerly placing all of the walls, roof, candies, their mixer and other supplies in the cavernous trunk of the Cadillac and hoping that nothing would roll around during the drive to the church. (That's a whole different post)

The day of the "demonstration" was humid and royal icing can be finicky.
My mom's friend piped the royal icing (guaranteed to set rock solid in minutes unless it's humid) while my mom held the walls.
She held the walls and held the walls and held the walls, waiting for the frosting to set up.
Every time she felt like the frosting was set, she would remove her hands and "voila" the walls would fall over.

Three times, Connie piped icing on those walls.
Three times, my mom held the walls patiently.
Connie and my mom kept up a cheerful banter telling their students how easy and fun this was.

Finally, the walls collapsed a third time.
A poor lady in the front row couldn't help herself.
She laughed.  She couldn't stop.
My dear, sweet mom, looked up from the pile of walls and frosting and said,
"It's not funny!  Dammit!"

But it was!
And after that demonstration embodying love, charity and hope, lwho wouldn't incorporate gingerbread house building into their Christ-centered Christmas?

It was funny!  It still is!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


It's Random Thought Tuesday - Christmas Style.
My thoughts are random and my thoughts are all about Christmas.

Really.........what did you expect?

Join in the fun with Keely over at The Unmom.
Post your own randomness and link up!

 I swear I have Christmas ADHD
I cannot start AND complete a single Christmas task -

*I will wrap 3 presents and get bored.
I'll leave the wrapping room and come back 45 minutes later....
but I've got to change wrapping papers frequently!

*I can only hang 10 ornaments on the tree at a time and then have to go do something else and come back.
At least I finished the tree!

*I've made the same shopping list 10 times and left it in random places all over the house.

*I will make a big deal about going to the store to buy picture frames, but not check the sizes of the photos before I go.  As a result, I have returned the frames once already and still have the wrong size.

* Why can't ONE store have EVERYTHING I need?  I don't want to go to Borders AND Barnes & Noble.  Or Costco & Sam's.  Or Target & WalMart.  Well, I don't want to go to WalMart ever.

* Oh and my SIL and coined a phrase a few Christmas' ago and it still comes in handy.  Here's our conversation:
One of us - "Hey, I'm at Target, do you need anything?"
The other - " do they sell handguns there?"
One of us - "Nope, but if they did, I'd get you one.  Because...NOTHING SAYS MERRY CHRISTMAS LIKE A HANDGUN!"

* The hubs was up yakking on a bone last night.
I hope he doesn't have an intestinal virus that he plans on passing around.
But what could he have gotten food poisoning from?
He had a bowl of Super Sugar Crisp and toast for dinner, while the rest of us had greasy tacos with all the toppings.
While everyone else was nestled in their beds with visions of sugarplums,
he wasn't.
2:37, 3:54, 5:15.......
Poor guy!

* It is supposed to snow tonight and into tomorrow!  Yea snow!!!!  Bring it!

* My little brother and his family arrived in London this morning to celebrate Christmas with my other little brother and his family who LIVE there.  I hate them!

* I'm done.  I have to go make a list and misplace it and then go to six stores and buy the wrong stuff.

Happy RaNDoM!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Silent Night Morning's early.  The only sound is the ticking of the clock.
I relish the fact that the entire day is in front of me.

The sun rises
and out my window, I can see the quiet.
No cars drive down the street.
No one jogs by.
A few remaining leaves shiver on the tree.

The WHOLE day lies ahead with promise.

What should I do?
Wrap presents?
Plan the Christmas Eve festivities?
Go to a movie?
Grocery shop?
Make lists of things to do?
Do something fun with the boys?

Last minute Christmas shopping?
Make cookies?

So many options.
Each one worthwhile.

I think I will read the paper and pretend that it's not December 21st and I don't have millions of things to do.
I'll cook up some bacon, arrange some cookies on a plate and crack open an ice cold coke.

But I do know that I'm NOT going to wake the boys.
THAT is sure to start the chaos.

I hope that all of you find a little slice of peace today!

"Without Christ there would be no Christmas, and without Christ there can be no fulness of joy. . . . And now, my beloved brothers and sisters, what must we do this Christmas season--and always? Why, we must do the same as the wise men of old. They sought out the Christ and found him. And so must we. Those who are wise still seek him today."  Ezra Taft Benson - December 1985

Sunday, December 20, 2009


"He whose birth we commemorate this season is more than the symbol of a holiday. He is the Son of God, the Creator of the earth, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, the fulfillment of the Law of Moses, the Redeemer of mankind, the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace. . . .

" 'And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

" 'For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father--
" 'That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.' (D&C 76:22-24)."
"This is our testimony to all mankind. It is our gift and blessing to the world. He is our joy and our salvation, and we will find Christmas of greater meaning in our own lives as we share these truths with others.
Gordon B. Hinckley, December 1983

Friday, December 18, 2009


FINALLY - the Christmas Tree is up in all its glory!

Thanks to Brian who hefted the tree up from the basement.
Thanks to Garrett who put the lights on the top third of the tree this year.
Thanks to Parker who hung seven ornaments.

We have another special tree that is part of a much loved Christmas tradition. The Bonehead Brothers LOVE tradition and Christmas is steeped in them!

Years ago, my mother-in-law made us a lovely advent calendar that became one of the boys' all time favorite Christmas traditions.

It's pretty straight forward.
You take the felt decoration out of the numbered pocket and place it on the tree.

Okay - it's not THAT straight forward.
Because we have three boys - each boy would take a turn every third day.
Part of the tradition includes a lengthy argument as to who went first last year.
Evidently, putting up the last decoration on the 24th is a privilege.  And they have their math down!

Imagine the lovely decorated felt tree with snowmen, candy canes, miniature sleighs, stockings and finally the baby Jesus.

Is THIS what you imagined?

Evidently, putting your decoration at the top of the tree is a privilege.

Really, do you think they are getting to old for this?

Thursday, December 17, 2009


The other night around 10 o'clock, I was winding down by reading on my bed.
In comes Garrett whining <- literally, about how hungry he is.

I've been through this about 40 million times.  I know better that to suggest something as minute as a bowl of ice cream or a bowl of cereal, but I'll play along.

Garrett: "I'm ssstttaarrvvving.  I need food!"
Me: Without even looking up from my book, "Have an apple. Have a burrito.  Have some salami and cheese and crackers.  Have some popcorn...."
Garrett: "No, I need something big.  I need a meal."
Me: " Make a sandwich.  Make some bacon. Have a noodle bowl."
Garrett: "I'm going to die."
I continue to read and ignore his pleas.
He gives up and leaves.

Not two minutees later, the phone rings.
In the 1/2 second it takes me to pick it up and answer, I think I see Garrett's cell phone number on caller ID.

Me: "Hello?"
Caller: "Yes, this is Jeffrey from Social Services.  It has come to our attention that you have an underfed child in your house."

I start laughing so hard that I have to hand the phone to Brian.

Brian: "Hello?"
Caller: "Yes, this is Jeffrey from Social Services."
Brian: Going along with the little charade - "Yes?"

Caller: "Evidently, you have a starving child in your house.  We have recieved several complaints from his teachers that he is malnourished and needs to be fed."
Brian: "Really?"
Caller: "Yes, it's cruel to starve him. You should take him to Wendy's."
Brian: "Mmm...hmmm..?"
Caller: "This is a very serious situation and if you and your wife don't rectify it right away, we will have to remove HER from the house."
Brian: "You'll remove my WIFE from the house?"
Caller: "Yes."
Brian: " Ahhh...well, we'll see if we can work something out."

Where does Garrett come up with this?
Why can't he put this kind of effort toward his homework?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Any self-respecting blogger would insist on some recompense.
What does that say about me?

But I don't care!
I'm throwing pride to the wind!

I am sooooo excited, I just have to tell you about this fantastic product that will change your life and make you thinner, sexier and richer look around the house for things to clean.

I’m NOT lying. Anyone who has stopped by my house in the last few weeks has been tortured by treated to a demonstration. And everyone I’ve talked to on the phone has been privileged to hear about it.

When I first saw the commercial, I immediately thought, “I gotta get me some of that.”

It is sooooo cool! You spray out this way cool neon blue foam and as it works, it turns white….letting you know that it is done and you can rinse it off. All you have to do is rinse it off. No scrubbing.

I ran right out to get some. I looked at four stores and couldn’t find it. I’m so ahead of my time. It’s BRAND NEW. It’s not in stores yet. I finally found it at Target.

I snatched up a can (sorry – didn’t notice the price in my excitement) and hurried home to try it out on my worst cleaning nightmare: Garrett’s shower!

Now, I’m not so stupid as to believe that it would require NO effort on my part.

I sprayed and immediately fell in love with the cool blue foam. Who wouldn’t? It has a really strong, clean odor….like you may want to spray just a mist in the bathroom and make people THINK you cleaned. But then, people might slip on the foam.

Anyway, I seriously was pretty impressed by the job it did on Garrett’s tub. I think he cleaned it semi recently, but he cleaned it like a boy would, a teen boy………a half assed job. I sprayed, waited for it to turn white and then wiped it off with a paper towel. Amazing!

For fun, I resprayed and waited and then scrubbed and the tub looks new! I was so excited and having sooo much fun with the blue foam and sniffing the clean, chemically smell in close quarters that I sprayed down all the walls of his shower and had a hey dey.

Just typing this, I’m wondering if his shower is dirty again and I can go play in the blue foam. I guess I could do my own shower, but it’s not nearly as dirty and I’ll just get “great” results, not “miraculous.”

Well, I’m so excited just writing about it, I’m going to go find something to clean!

Go get your own can at a store near you!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Christmas, Christmas, Christmas and Random Thoughts!

Don't you love RTT?
If you've never played, go on over and see Keely at The Unmom, grab her button and link up.

*I’m starting to get excited.
I will really be excited when school gets out on Friday.
School really gets in the way of fun
And life really should be all about fun and sleeping, and eating, and doing nothing.

*Today, Margaret and I are putting together the teacher gifts –
All 300 of them.
Tomorrow, we will take them to the school and distribute our holiday cheer.

*I’ve been making cookies.
Saturday, I made Pecan Tassies – little miniature pecan tarts.
Yesterday, I made those peanut butter blossoms…….you know, the ones with the Hershey Kiss on top. Except Margaret wouldn’t let me make them with the kisses.
She insisted on driving over with a bag of these

So they would be prettier.

And they are prettier and life is all about prettier.

*The tree is about 1/3 decorated.
The coffee table is about 110% decorated with a couple hundred ornaments.

*I am going to Brian’s office today to address his business Christmas cards.
This is the reason I can’t send our own personal Christmas cards.
Not really, but it sounds like a good excuse.
So don’t stand by your mailbox waiting, but do send me one of your cards! ;)

Should I start wrapping presents yet?

I should probably finish shopping.

* Every single year about this time, I find myself saying, "If I only had ONE MORE WEEK, I could be totally organized and ready.  EVERY YEAR!

Oh well.
Happy Random Tuesday!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Merry Christmas to all - even the losers!

I'm not sure who the winners are in this BESTEST EVER FAUX GIVEAWAY: the people who "win" the wonderful prizes and have to go buy them back from the Goodwill or those "poor souls" who go away empty handed!?!

So without further ado - let the gift giving begin.
I am soooo charitable!

To Melissa at The Howell Herald:
You asked for it, you got it - the 238 empty CD cases.

And because I love you -
The much sought after lyrics to "Come on Eileen."

"Poor old Johnny Ray
Sounded sad upon the radio, he moved a million hearts in mono.
Our mothers cried and sang along and who'd blame them.
Now you're grown, so grown, now I must say more than ever.
Go Toora Loora Toora Loo-Rye-Aye
and we can sing just like our fathers.
Come on Eileen,
I swear (well he means) At this moment you mean everything,
With you in that dress my thoughts I confess verge on dirty
Ah come on Eileen.

These people round here wear beaten down eyes,
Sunk in smoke dried faces they're so resigned to what their fate is,
But not us, no not us we are far too young and clever.
Remember Toora Loora Toora Loo-Rye-Aye
Eileen I'll hum this tune forever.
Come on Eileen, I swear, well he means
Ah come on let's take off everything,
That pretty red dress Eileen (Tell him yes)
Ah come on let's, ah come on Eileen, please.

To McMom at Mom Outnumbered

She says she is using them for a Donny & Marie costume.
Don't be shy!
We all know she is wearing them to a New Year's Eve Party.

To Marty at The Easters
The wonderful incomplete set of Encyclopedia Brittanica.

Marty just bought a house and doesn't have lot of spare cash for presents.
His brother is graduating from high school and would LOVE these as a gift!
And you know what?
It wasn't even ON the list of possible gifts........
but once again, because it is the season of giving,
I will go down to my freezer and give him one of my 24 pounds of butter.
He gets the Sam's Club brand because it is awful for baking.

To Valerie at Let's Be Frank (a private blog)
I bestow the Kabob-It.

She may keep it OR give it away to a deserving relative IF they promise to invite her to their Kabob Party!
Oh..........and I have to be invited to!  It's all a part of my unconditional gift giving.

To Andrea at Blogging Mama
Okay, she didn't even enter, but her Blackberry is her ONLY phone.
It is the only way ANYONE can get a hold of her.
So I will gift her the box of broken CELL PHONES!

No one can have to many.
And besides, her sister, Valerie (above) will be calling her soon to let her know that she is sending her a Kabob- It.
I don't want her to miss the call.

To Margaret at Facts from a Fact Woman,
I will not gift the Springform Pan BOTTOM
because she sounds like she will seriously use it.

And to Diane at "Life's a Pitch"
She was too bashful to ask, but I KNOW she wants it...........
the leopard print THONG.

Also, to H.K. Everyday, who could not believe that anyonewould donate lingerie to a Boy Scout Garage Sale,I will give the entire shoe box of panties and bras that someone donated.
They were teeny tiny, so A LOT could be shoved into that small box.

I love you all: winners and losers alike!
Thanks for playing!