Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Yippee! It's Wednesday and that means I've survived 1/2 the week already. I've taught three seminary lessons and lived. And I have a fresh email from Trambodia. Wednesday rocks! So here is what I LOVE about this week (so far).

I LOVE - the giggle from a 17 year old boy upon discovering that old people (anyone over 25) have BFF's and hang out with friends too! I was leaving seminary and this voice calls out, "Sister Cox?" When I turn around, he says, "Margaret Noble told me to tell you 'hi.'"

He's almost giddy as if he has discovered something secret. "Yeah Margaret told me that you guys talk almost everyday and see each other a few times a week." He is incredulous! He even asked Margaret, "So like what do you guys do?" I think he had images of us down in the basement "hanging out" and playing video games. I love the innocence. I love that in his own teen aged life, it never occurred to him that anyone else in the universe would have/want a friend.

I LOVE that even when it is -2 degrees, the sun shines in the kitchen window onto the soap and lotion dispenser. Do you know how good WARM lotion feels? It makes me smile!

I LOVE school buses/America/teenagers and LET IT ROCK by Kevin Rudolf featuring Lil Wayne (of Course). I know - weird combination. Hang in here with me. I dropped the kids off from seminary at the high school. Just as they hopped out, Let it Rock came on the radio. (I know! Way to maintain that spiritual high.) So I cranked it! Way up!

And then I looked around the parking lot at all the kids getting out of their cars in their hoodies, with back packs, out into the freezing weather. And then buses pull up and I think, "Wow, look at all these kids coming here in the cold, to get an education, to learn, to live. I love them! I don't even know all of them and I love them. I love America and that education is a priority and that we have so many opportunities." You can see where I am going with this. And then I start to cry as I sing Let it Rock at the top of my lungs in my Molly Mormon skirt and tights because I am so grateful for school buses/America/teenagers and Let it Rock.

Lastly, but not, I LOVE the tender mercies of the Lord! When I got out of bed this morning, I seriously thought I would die! But I didn't!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Heart NY!

I am slowly crawling toward normalcy (at least as normal as my normal can get.) Yep, the laundry is done. Nope, I didn't find that missing debit card. But I must have breathed in too many suntan lotion fumes because I'm having a hard time caring.

No one wants to hear about the incredible weather, the powder sugar sand, the warm turquoise ocean or the endless sleeping with black out curtains.

Let's cut to the good stuff: We were able to "share" our vacation with 5 families from New York. Not just New York, New York but BROOKLYN. For some wonderful reason, New York schools were our last week.
The women were beautiful and the men were handsome and between them, they had 3,000 children. I don't know ANY of the adults names but the kids were: Evelyn, Katie, Edmund, Rachel, Victor, Daniel, Rose, Lisa, Eliza, Nicholas, Raymond.....and miscellaneous others.

Raymond might have been one of the dads. I don't really know. All I know is that I know all the kids' names because they were yelled loudly thousands of times a day. The mom's only knew one tone of voice - MAD and LOUD. Even their hissed, "Be QUIET. The baby is sleeping. Do NOT wake the baby." was loud enough to be heard five palapas over. While the mom's ruled with iron lungs, the dad's were exceptionally quiet..............and absent.

While never formally introduced to the group, it wasn't long before I learned that

1) "We hate Katie"

2) Victor owns ever shovel and bucket.

3) "The Nintendo DS' were bought for the plane and were not to be brought to the pool ever again."

4) One DS was broken.

5) "Evelyn is Momma's baby."

6) Rose needs to watch Katie in the hot tub.

7)"We came all this way, put down that DS and go swim."

8) "Has anyone seen Edmund's DS?" (it's blue.)

9) The father's had been kidnapped. "WHERE is your father?"

10) Apparently, lots of people from this group were kidnapped. "Evelyn, go find Edmund!" "Daniel, where is Rose?" "Victor, where have you been?" "Has anybody seen Rachel?"

All of this was communicated with a Jewish/Puerto Rican/New York accent.

But, we DID get to celebrate Evelyn's 9th birthday. After they sang to her three times over the course of 6 hours AND broke a pinata poolside, they went inside. We felt so lucky that they chose a lounge area right outside our room to 1) sing again 2) serve ice cream and cake and 3) yell at the children to BE QUIET.
It was really sad when they left. I didn't even get to exchange email addresses with them!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Here in Body but Not in Spirit

Yeah - so I'm back. But not really.

I'm overwhelmed with STUFF to do AND there is so much to blog about.
So where should I focus my energies?

1. Unpacking the suitcase
2. Blogging about the PEOPLE I saw in the airport. Oh that could fill a book. Seriously, I even took notes!
3. Laundry
4. Writing in my Book Journal about the FOUR books I read in four days. That was luxurious! Just sitting there reading and reading and eating and reading and falling asleep. But I don't have time for that right now. Back to the options.
5. Grocery Shopping
6. Going through the mail
7. Maybe putting away decorations and platters and the punch bowl from the baby shower. Well, I could blog about the baby shower too. It was soooo much fun and there were tons of people and really good food and.........focus!
8. Preparing seminary lessons
9. Blogging about the resort.....nice, I took some pics. It's not the JW Marriott but it's not $400 a night either. There is NO way I would spend that to stay there right now.......but hey, more power to them if they can get it. It is my favorite Cancun hotel.........anyway
10. Blogging about the fact that we FINALLY have winter weather. I'm not complaining. REALLY! After whining for months about the 70 degree weather and wishing for snow. You will not catch me complaining. Seriously, the day we left for Cancun, it was 72 degrees in Denver. Guess what the temperature in Cancun was that day? 74. But they have a beach too! Wait. I don't have time to talk about all of that.
11. Catching up on facebook...........WHAT A WASTE OF TIME! Cross that one off the list.
12. Blogging about the fabulous food. The restaurants were awesome. We went to some of our old favorites and we tried some new places that we have been unable to try in the past because we've been accompanied by.....CHILDREN. Steak, lobster, shrimp, this huge, incredible salad bar.......WAIT! This will all have to wait.
13. Looking for the debit card that I didn't know I was missing but discovered missing earlier today.
14. Watering the plants that are drooping from lack of attention.
15. Taking Parker to the doctor because this is the 5th day he has had chest pain. Do you think I should wait one more day?

So many options. So little time. We all have our priorities!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'll Be Back


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Why I can't have another baby:

It took 7 of us 6 hours to set up the stinkin' Pack n' Play or Play n' Pack or whatever it is now called.

Back in the day, way back in the 90's, we used the original Graco portable crib. It was revolutionary. It was relatively lightweight, it could travel in a car or on a plane and most importantly, no one was killed in setting it up! It took about 12 seconds to assemble. It was so easy that upon arrival at a hotel or at Grandma's house, you could set it up in the dark and not even awaken the baby from a Bendryl induced coma. It was small enough to fit into bathrooms at the Motel 6 (or at least in the space between the closet and the sink) so it was LIKE having TWO rooms. Kinda.
And it was a marked improvement over the wooden guillotine of my younger brothers' youth. One false move, and the whole thing folded up on itself with a slam, sending body parts all over the room. that will mess up a vacation!

Anyway, IF I was having a baby, I would probably want one of these new, super duper Pack n Plays. You do have to plan your trips so that you arrive at your destination by you have enough time to get it all set up by midnight. But once you follow the 23 (I'm NOT exaggerating) easy.......well easy if you have a master's degree in diagram interpretation.....steps, this thing rocks! Literally.

It comes with this: The boys thought it was a space age "cup" and took turns holding it up to themselves. They were close!!!! It's a vibrator! Well it plays music too. It has 8 or 16 songs and white noise and a night light and it vibrates the bed.........without putting quarters in it! Oh AND it comes with a remote control. Crazy!
Lest you think it is just for sleeping, it has a bassinet for babies under 20 pounds, a changing table and a mobile for entertainment. All for the low, low price of a down payment on a car!
Although this Play n Pack is tempting, I'm not going to have any more kids until they come out with the newer version which also feeds te baby, raises it and pays college tuition.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Man Up!

We arrived at church yesterday at our usual time: 8:30, one full half hour before church starts. Since we are on the "early" schedule, we are the first ones in the chapel.

We selected our pew and Parker went off to prepare the sacrament. Garrett went off to set up chairs in the overflow. About ten minutes later, the lady with the programs arrived and Tyler brought one up to me. He opened it and pointed, "Is Garrett ready for this?"

Huh? Oh Gee! There was Garrett's name emblazoned on the program as the second youth speaker.

I snatched the program from Tyler and took it to the back and showed Garrett. He asked in a panic, "What do I do?"

Me: "You have no choice. Grab your scriptures and go to your car and start preparing something."

We didn't waste time discussing it because what was the point now, but we both vaguely remember a member of the bishopric calling during Sunday dinner two weeks ago. Oops!

So Garrett's topic was something about the power of faith. He came in a few minutes before church started and sat on the stand.

He did a good job. He spoke about faith. He had a few scripture references. He then talked about Job and the faith that Job showed in the face of adversity. He even threw in a little humor. He ended by bearing his testimony of his own experiences of relying on faith. For a 17 year old speaking extemporaneously, he did really well. Several people came up to me and said they thought he did well. When I told them that it was impromtu, they upgraded their reviews to "amazing."

Garrett was embarrassed that he forgot. He didn't even hint at it in his talk. But as a result, he wouldn't accept any compliments as legit. He didn't want to talk about it.

But yea for Garrett! That's what we do! It was great preparation for being a missionary. They don't get tons of prep time. So it was a good exercise. I'm proud of him for getting in his car and coming up with a talk......instead of getting in his car and driving away!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pearls of Wisdom from Tiny Baby

I went downstairs to witness the carnage from last night's SNL viewing.

There were wrappers, hot sauce packets and half eaten burritos covering the coffee table.

NOTE: I didn't say I went downstairs to CLEAN up the carnage. I was merely on an information gathering mission so that I would know what tone of voice to use when I spoke with Garrett. "YOU have to clean up all the stuff on the coffee table." or "You HAVE to clean up all the stuff on the coffee table."

Me: "Wow! Look at all these wrappers!"

Parker: "I know! They bought like $15 worth of food."

Me: "Ewww.........they didn't even eat it all. Did you have any?"

Parker: "No, I'm never eating food from there again."

Me: Ignoring his last statement. "You didn't have any? Why didn't you eat any?"
Parker: "Ever since I found out they use Grade D beef, I am never eating food from there again."

Me: Authoriatively, "Nah uh!"

Parker: "Yeah, they use Grade D beef. I looked it up! Grade D beef is used in dog food. I'll never eat food from there again."

Hmmmmmm........interesting! And gross! I'll probably eat there again though....just like I ate at the restaurant that had been condemned. But thanks for the info Parker!
Dear Parker,
Not that I don't believe you but I checked, Wikipedia and about 4 other sites and............
1) Grade D Beef doesn't exist. Beef isn't graded like English reports.
2) Restaurants and school cafeterias are prohibited from using ANY beef that isn't USDA approved.
Long Live Taco Bell!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

An Exercise in Humiliation and Futility

If you have looked at yourself in the mirror and like what you see, or even kind of like what you see.....if you are feeling pretty good about yourself........well I can END all that!

The best way to ruin your self image or get rid of any kind of self confidence is to TRY ON BATHING JANUARY!

Hee Hee, Hah Ha, ooooooooo...........if I wasn't laughing so hard, I'd be crying! WHAT was I thinking?

I think everyone looks good in the winter. They look good because they are layers and layers of clothes. Nothing is hanging out. Nothing is falling out. And those bulges? It's just your cami/thermal/t-shirt all bunched up at your hip. Seriously, everyone is so much more attractive in a skirt and tights or long pants and sweater than short shorts and a tube top. Who looks good in a tube top? Anyway, I'm off topic.

Back to the swimsuit fiasco. I'm going out of town next week and I thought I would add to my swimsuit wardrobe. Let's just say that 1) I will not be sharing pictures and 2) I came home empty handed!

PRO's for Swimsuit Shopping in January
1) You have the swimsuit department to yourself. There's not even a sales person in the swimsuit department because what kind of moron comes in the store 2 weeks after holiday gorging and when it's still 40 degrees outside?

Well, that sums up the Pros.

CON's for Swimsuit Shopping in January
1) When you take off your clothes, there are a LOT to take off.
2) Swimsuits never look good with knee high socks!
3) Mmmmm.......white pasty flesh under yellow lights........attractive!
4) Did you know that moles and spider veins and stretch marks show up MORE on white skin? White as in....not tan........not white as in not African American.
5) I think I have jaundice.
6) There are too many mirrors in the dressing room! WHY do I want to see the dimples in my butt at the SAME time as the bulge in my belly? Seriously, I do not NEED to see all of myself at the same time!
6) Most stores don't have swimsuits in January and I know why!
7) When you are swimsuit shopping, your patience for stupid people diminishes that blonde girl with the super tight, "dress up" sweat suit and the BCBG t-shirt with the letters in rhinestones? I'm gonna slap the Juicy Couture bag right off her shoulder if she says, "Oh gee, I wish this suit was available BEFORE my cruise!" about one more slutty lingerie looking Betsey Johnson bikini.
8) There are NO swimsuits in your size. (How do they size these things anyway?)
9) The ones on the rack that are cute are only cute on the hanger!
10) The ones on the rack that are ugly are STILL going to be ugly once you get them on.
11) Trying on swimsuits is like stuffing a sausage into casing.
12) They let ANYONE design swimsuits! Ed Hardy, J-Lo, Betsey Johnson, Juicy Couture should go back to designing what they know.
13) It's expensive to look really bad! The less material, the higher the price and swimsuits are not included in the January White Sale.
14) There really isn't anything miraculous about the "Miracle" suit except that it is the only suit I know that can take 10 pounds off of you and put 10 years on!

Well, that is one hour I will never get back! I don't think I'll look in another mirror for a week.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Finals Week! Eek!

Aren't you so glad you aren't in school anymore? When you are in school, the only thing more stressful than Sunday nights is FiNaLS WeeK! Just like a long weekend, you have plenty of time, you know you should study, you play and play and play, and then reality hits you in the 11th hour.

Today was the first day of finals. Pretty much everyone was freaking out in seminary with reminders to whomever was saying the prayer to pray for miracles.

But who cares? I'm not in high school. So what if it's finals week? I don't have any tests!!!! Na na na na na!

Oh wait! It's 5:59 and who should walk through the door? That's right! It's my CES supervisor! Oh crap - wait - oh my heavens (it's seminary)! Can I real quick group text the entire class and tell them to please, please, please not chat and please, please, please don't just sit there when I ask questions? I am mental telepathying them to MAKE ME LOOK GOOD!

Should I scrap my whole "boring" lesson and suddenly announce that I have a field trip planned? A treasure hunt? A 3 act play? Why couldn't this guy show up when we made our oil lamps or the time we acted out the beheading of John the Baptist. Why did he have to show up on the THIRD day of Crucifixion lessons?

Too late. It is what it is. And besides, what's the worst that can happen? They fire me? Who else is going to be foolish enough to sign a contract they WILL wear hose every day and WON'T grow facial hair? Who else is going to get up at 4:15 and come and spend an hour with 30 crazy teenagers? Who else is going to do it day after day after day for 160 class periods? (Not that I'm counting but it was day 81 today!)

We do our thing. We do what we always do. We sing. We pray. We plead for Heavenly Father to suddenly give us all the knowledge that we should have been striving for the last 18 weeks so we will pass the finals and my "amen" is loudest. We do scripture mastery. We are silly. We laugh. The girl who has forgotten her devotional for the last 9 days actually gets up and does a great one. We have our lesson.

I use tiny head nods, a raised eye brow and eye contact to communicate to the Bonehead brothers and my chatty nieces: "If you chat, I will KILL you." Somehow everyone interprets these gestures correctly.

We study. We share. We look for answers. We testify. They look GREAT! They look awake and sound INTELLIGENT! They even manage to make me look good. My testimony that God performs miracles is expanding. The Spirit is there. We're all learning and having a great time. Maybe I'll invite this guy back! But then I realize: it is what it is. This is how this class is EVERYDAY!
He hands me my evaluation and as I pull out of the church parking lot, I can't help but think: I LOVE these guys! I LOVE this calling! I LOVE the scriptures! We're having a party tomorrow. Well, actually, we can't. We have too much to do! We're talking about the Resurrection. What can get better than that?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday Letters

Tuesdays are the days we all compete for the computers to type Trammell a letter. Cambodia is 14 hours ahead of us. His P-Day is Wednesday. That means that he will usually go to the internet cafe sometime between noon and 3 pm on Wednesday which can be as early as 10 pm Tuesday night.

We have so little self control that we leave our computers on and check them every 15 minutes before we finally receive an email or give up and go to bed. But I have been known to get out of bed at 2 am just to check the computer.

As a Christmas present, Trammell wanted us to read some chapters of the Book of Mormon (they are listed in Chapter 3 of Preach My Gospel) that testify of christ. There are about 35 chapters in the list. He then wanted us to write to him and share our feelings.

I thought I would share the letter I sent him.

Dear Tram -

I have read the Book of Mormon several times. Sometimes, I have read it looking specifically for testimonies of Jesus Christ. I have also read it and underlined characteristics, qualities, and descriptions of the nature of Christ.

First, I bear testimony that no matter how well we live our lives, no matter how hard we strive to live the commandments and no matter how much service we render, we can never be perfect in this life. First we cannot be perfect because we all make mistakes. If we wake up at 6 am and vow to behave perfectly all day and do what Jesus would do and think as he would think, undoubtedly, we have blown it by 6:10. Because we are human, we are imperfect. There is no way we can return to be with Heavenly Father by ourselves.

But Heavenly Father, in all of his wisdom, knows us. He sent his Son as our Savior. Only through the Savior, can we ever come back to Heavenly Father. What a sacrifice both Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ made for us. I cannot comprehend such a sacrifice. But the beautiful part is that the sacrifice was for everyone. In 2 Nephi 2 it is pointed out that Jesus Christ's sacrifice is for all who have a broken heart and contrite spirit. And that he will make an intercession for all who believe and they will be saved. When I think of someone going before the Lord and pleading my case and advocating for me, I would want someone who loves me, someone who knows me AND loves me even though they know me.

The Atonement is amazing to me. Of course, I am grateful that my sins can be swept away. And I am grateful that wrongs can be made right and mistakes can be erased. I am also grateful that no matter what I go through in life, no matter what hurt or disappointment I might face, there is someone who knows exactly how I feel. I am never alone. Jesus Christ knows exactly what it feels like to be betrayed by supposed friends, to be hurt intentionally, to be ignored or spurned. He knows what it feels like to be lonesome or sad. We are never truly alone. We can never say that no one knows what it is like, because someone does. That someone is Jesus Christ. He walked our path.....before we did.

The Gospel is so simple, yet we try to make it hard. We are told over and over again, like in 3 Nephi 9 that if we will come unto him, we will have eternal life. We only have to obey the commandments and be like him and we can enter the kingdom. It is possible. Through God, all things are possible. We are told in Ether, that He can show us all things! He can inspire us as to what to say. He can tell us where to go and what to do. He can help us mend relationships. He can give us the words to say in a foreign language. He bring to our remembrance scriptures we have studied. The greatest thing He can do is lead us back to Him.

The steps are relatively simple. Moroni outlines the steps: Have Faith, Repent, Be Baptized and Be Saved. Of course the hardest part is that this does not happen in one day or even one time! We must have continual faith and endure to the end.

I am so grateful for the gifts of the Spirit that are mine. I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost. I feel the Holy Ghost every day and I recognize the Spirit in my life.

Trammell, there are so many gems in these scriptures that testify of Christ, but even more important than the testimony of Nephi, Helaman, the brother of Jared, or Moroni: hear this. I KNOW THAT JESUS CHRIST LIVES. HE IS MY PERSONAL SAVIOR. Without his supreme sacrifice, I could never return to Heavenly Father. I could never live with my family for eternity. I know that he can right all wrongs. He can cure our physical and our spiritual ailments. I have felt his healing power in my life. I have seen unexplainable miracles as he has healed my heart and helped me forgive others. By his grace, I have been forgiven and I have been able to forgive and move forward and progress in the gospel. I cannot put a price or a value on the Atonement for me. Only through the Atonement will I be able to be with my parents, my brothers and their families and my children and their families. This is my fondest desire. If I began today and worked toward that end all the days of my life, it would not be enough. Only through the Savior can we all be together again.

As the days and years come and go, both happy and sad, both hopeful and discouraging, know that one thing will never change: I KNOW THAT JESUS CHRIST IS OUR LORD AND SAVIOR AND I WOULD BE NOTHING WITHOUT HIM. All my gifts, all my talents, all my blessings are from him. I will love the Lord and serve the Lord forever. Please know that your mother has always had and will always have a growing appreciation and testimony of the Savior! This cannot be taken away.

I am humbled to be His sister. I am humbled to be your mother. I cannot adequately express my love for you and because of my great love for you, have a mere inkling of how much Heavenly Father must love each of us.

Merry Christmas! I love you!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Bonehead Brothers Call the White House

Garrett and Tyler come home from school all excited and not just because it's Friday.

Garrett: "Yeah we have the phone number to the White House....the real number!"

Tyler: "Yeah it's not the stupid number posted on the internet that just sends you to a recording. It's legit. Watch, I'll call it."
Me: "No....don't."
For some reason (maybe it's my age ot maybe my IQ), I'm not thinking that calling the White House is a good idea. For one, I can't think of anything a 17 year old would have to say that they want to hear. And secondly, I can't see how this will benefits anyone. Oh an third, these guys are idiots, so there is no telling what they will say.

Tyler turns puts his phone on speaker and dials away.

Receptionist: "White House."
Me: hissing "Hang up! Hang up!"
Tyler: "Yeah, I'd like to speak to the President."
Receptionist: "He's not available to the phone" (There are no typos in that last sentence. That is what she said.)

Tyler: "What? That didn't make sense."
Receptionist: "He's not available to the phone."
Tyler: "What you are saying doesn't even make sense."
Receptionist: "HE is NOT available to come to the phone and talk to YOU! Did that make sense?"

Me: Oh Geez...........I knew this wasn't a good idea. I'm still hissing "Hang up!" But then I grab the phone and close it. Unfortunately, this doesn't disconnect the call. I'm glad Garrett is laughing quietly at the end of the bar and not contributing to this delinquency.

Tyler: "I don't like your attitude."
Receptionist: "Well, I don't like your attitude."
Tyler: "Let me speak to your manager."
Receptionist: "I don't have a manager."
Tyler: "Well let me talk to the person above you."
Receptionist: "There isn't anyone above me."

I'm listening now for the whip whip whip of helicopter blades and the rapelling of black ops guys onto my roof. We're all dead!

Tyler: "Yes there is someone above you......the President."
Receptionist: "And I already told you he isn't going to speak to you."
Tyler: "Well, then how about the Vice President?"

The conversation ended after one or two more super intelligent exchanges. And now I'm sure Tyler has an open file with the FBI. Thank heavens Tweedle Dum didn't say anything since he really does want a career in the FBI or CIA. I suggest he doesn't mention this little call in any future interviews.

What happened to those phone calls we used to make 30 years ago, "Is your refrigerator running?" I told them that if they ever called the White House again, I'd kill them. But I don't think I'm the only one who has a contract out on them!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Moral Dilemma

I’m a pretty organized person. I like to look ahead and make contingency plans for things that could possibly happen.

So I’m hoping that you can help me.

Here is the situation:
I drive fast. It’s not because I am running late. I always leave with plenty of time. For example, under normal conditions – like a sane person driving on dry pavement at the prescribed speed - it takes 9 minutes to get to church. It takes me about 7. I leave at 5:25 and seminary starts at 6:00. So who cares if I get there at 5:31 or 5:34?

I guess that's not the point. I just like to drive fast. And it doesn't matter if I am driving an SUV or a sportscar.
I drive like a bat out of hell. It's way more fun!

I guess I just figure that if you know where you are going, why not hurry up and get there? I don’t like to waste time. Plus, I just like to drive fast with blatant disregard for the law....only speed related laws though. I don't weave or make illegal turns and I always stop behind school buses.

My fantasy is that all the streets are closed to normal people and I get to drive as fast as I want.....with a great song like Dusturbia or My Life CRANKED on the radio!

Driving to seminary at 5:25 am is a little bit like this fantasy because no one in their right mind is on the road except for the newspaper delivery man………and he pulls over now to let me go by.

But here’s the thing. I think the police are on to me.
Not to be paranoid, but I’ve noticed police sitting in strategic locations on the way to seminary....places they wouldn't normall sit, lying in wait. Who are they trying to catch? Then, yesterday, I was sitting at my desk and saw a policeman going down my street. I have NEVER seen a policeman just cruise down my street. It’s difficult to explain but we live on a quiet circle in the back of a large neighborhood. Our street goes nowhere. You only come down our street to go to a house on our street. So, I see the police drive by. A few minutes later, I leave and I see the policeman sitting down the street…..just sitting. I know he’s not there for me. He’s not close to my house and when I see him, his back (or the back of his car) is to me. But it got me thinking.

One of these days, I AM GOING TO GET PULLED OVER. I’m planning for that eventuality. I’m analyzing my options.
1) I could slow down. Then I wouldn’t get pulled over. But that’s not fun. That’s not living on the edge! Besides, I don’t like driving under 40. And it will take longer to get to seminary.
2) I could pull over politely………but THAT will really waste time.
3) I could speed up and outrun the police. This kind of appeals to me, but if my goal is not to waste time or be late, won’t I be late to seminary if I’m weaving off my normal course, going through neighborhoods and jumping curbs…..even if I’m going 80?

I'm just trying to be practical here and plan for eventualities like illness, death and getting pulled over by the cops.

I do know that if I get pulled over, I should NOT say what my sister-in-law said. She was going 47 in a 40 when she was pulled over. The officer asked her if she knew how fast she was going. She said, “No.” He said, “47.” She said, “What is the speed limit here ANYWAY?” Yeah, that didn’t illicit much sympathy.

I could be like my brother. He was speeding to the airport. He came around a corner and was flying over a hill when he passed a policeman. He knew he was busted. He slammed on the brakes and the car skidded just a tiny bit to prove his guilt. So he didn’t even wait for the policeman to turn on his lights. He just calmly pulled over, rolled his window half way down and placed his hands out the window – like he was ready to be cuffed. The officer was actually laughing when he got to the car. I can’t remember if my brother got a ticket. I’m gonna say yes.

So what do you think? 1) Convert to being a law abiding citizen 2) Take my lumps 3) Pretend I’m in Fast & Furious Part 5. Don't respond: "Well Gina, what would Jesus do?" because Jesus never drove a car.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Oil Spill Wreaks Havoc on Pantry

Yesterday was going pretty smoothly, well smoothly as in only most of the rooms had shoes, clothes, and Christmas decorations strewn all over. But my seminary lesson was prepared. I did my visiting teaching and I knew what I was going to make for dinner. (That is huge!)

So, I decided to get a little snack out of the pantry. I grabbed something and as I stepped away from the food, my foot slid across the floor like it was an ice rink. Weird! I looked at the bottom of my slipper and it was wet. Hmmmm.... Odd....Where did that water come from?
Wait.........that's not water!

I open the pantry and there on the floor is a puddle:

What is that? Before I can really SEE what it is, I hear the slow drip, drip and look at the shelves.
It's coming from the "Snack Shelf." And there behind the potato chips, the tortilla chips, the cookies, and the cashews is a bottle of OIL.........on it's side. Do I ask, "Why is the bottle on it's side?" Do I ask, "Why did the person who used it last not put the lid on tight?" NO! These are stupid time wasting questions. I ask, "Why is the oil on the snack shelf?"
I would be grossly exaggerating if I said the entire bottle had leaked out all over the pantry. Only 90 of 96 Tablespoon sized servings had leaked out and dripped, dripped, dripped down through the snacks, the boxed foods, the staples and onto the ward party sized bottle of chocolate syrup.
Someone would have to pay for the damage and like Exxon, I decided it would be the environment. I used an entire roll of paper towels before bringing out the hot soapy water.
All is well, the oil did seep into a box of Parker's Rice-A-Roni, (he and I are the only ones who love that processed, chemical laden crap) so I made it for breakfast.
I mentioned the environmental accident to the family, but I never did ask the burning question: "Seriously, who put the oil on the snack shelf?"

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Resolution Recision

THIS is why I DON't make New Year's Resolutions!!!! And what was I thinking when I wrote my non resolutions down???? See, it's 6 days into the year and I'm rescinding #1.

I thought it would be a good idea to entertain MORE. What is MORE? We were already entertaining large crowds, small groups and overnighters on a regular basis. Realizing that, I changed the focus of my goal to not so much MORE but different.

Now, I would like to TAKE IT ALL BACK!

Here's a little peak into my calendar:

Friday, January 2 -2 Weddings, 1 Ring Ceremony, 2 Receptions. We missed one of the receptions. Just couldn't get there.

Saturday, January 3 - 2 Weddings, 2 Receptions, 1 visit to friend in hospital

So last weekend was almost 4 Weddings and a Funeral. And, okay, I admit, "I" wasn't entertaining. I was going to other people's parties. But how can I THROW a party if I'm AT a party???? Don't answer that!

And that was just last weekend. This weekend is another wedding and a shower. But once again, these events are NOT at my house.

Coming up AT MY HOUSE in the next TWO weeks:

All YM/YW coming here after their ice blocking activity for cookies and hot chocolate

A small breakfast for a class presidency

A family of four (who I've never met in my life) coming from out of town for the night. They are coming to get sealed in the temple! Way cool!

A baby shower for 65. Okay, I DID volunteer for this one! I'm excited about this one! And it is entertaining by choice which does fit into my non-goal. Yay for SIL having a baby!!!!

But I'm left with a few questions:

Why did I marry such a charitable guy?

Did Brian read my blog and volunteer me because he wants to help me with my non-resolution?

Should I have nipped his "inviting" behavior in the bud when he was a bishop?
Is he intentionally trying to send me to the loony bin? Oh wait, I live here! Just wondering???

So, step away from your mailboxes! There will be no inviations issued THIS month to small intimate dinners at my house. Maybe February....or maybe not.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Art Appreciation with the Bonehead Brothers

Lest you think that Christmas break was just idle time full of sleeping in, video games and playing, Garrett and Tyler, affectionately referred to as the Bonehead Brothers by Brian, received a lesson in art/life.
Garrett asked if anybody was using the truck on Saturday. "No. Why?" His reply, "Oh, Tyler and I are going to go buy some art."

"What do you mean you're going to buy some art?"

Hours later they returned: disappointed, slightly angry, feeling a little taken advantage of, but wiser to the ways of the world.

An advertisement on TV had piqued their interest: Art Liquidators at XYZ Hotel this Saturday!

What struck them was "Sofa Sized Paintings for $20."

They waited until Garrett got off work, got their $20 together, and set off in the truck determined to come home with a sofa sized painting.

Garrett: "So we walked in and looked around. We started looking at the larger paintings and cheapest one was like $60."

Tyler: "Yeah, so we asked the guy. So where are the $20 paintings? And he showed us these 5 X 7's"?"

Me: "feet or inches?"

Garrett and Tyler: "Inches!"

Tyler: "And we're like, 'Where are the $20 sofa sized paintings?'"
Garrett: "And the guy's like, 'Oh these are all we have.' "

Tyler: "It was a total rip off! They weren't even pillow size!"

Garrett: "We were so disappointed!"

Me: "Wait! What kind of painting were you looking for?"

Garrett and Tyler: "Anything! We didn't care! We just wanted a sofa sized painting."

Me: "Where in the world did you think you would put a sofa size painting?"
Garrett: "The wall."
Me: "What wall?"
Tyler: "We don't know. We would have figured that out later."
I don't know why this ad struck their fancy. And I can't tell you how sorry I am that they didn't get their $20 sofa sized painting.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Non New Year's Resolutions

My own personal calendar does not go from January to January. My life runs from September to September. I guess that is what happens when you spend most of your life in school or your life revolves around people in school.

I've never been one to make New Year's Resolutions since January 1 is a really bad time to decide to get straight A's or to join a team, to start making notecards for class or to commit to actually reading text books. The year is half over. Essentially it IS over. So forget it.

September is my goal setting time.

But this year, I have felt inspired to set a few small goals. Weird, I know. But here they are -

1) Entertain more.....well, not really more. We have been entertaining a lot. For the last four years, we have countless get togethers for 100's of people at a time. The Single's Ward has come over for 2-3 BBQ's a year, Caroling, Dinners, Breakfasts, Conference Viewings, CES Broadcast Viewings.....

So let me rephrase it: I'm going to invite people I know over. Well, they aren't really people I know because I don't really know the people in my ward and that's the whole point of having them over: to get to know them.

So, I'm going to invite strangers, who I want to get to know, for dinner, in smaller numbers than 150, on my own time schedule.... not the CES Broadcast schedule.

2) Shoot, I forgot number 2 already. What was it? Oh yeah, I am going to study the Sunday School course of study (Doctrine & Covenants) and keep up with the Sunday lessons. That's a good one! It's sure to last 2 weeks! I chose this one because I haven't been to Sunday School on a consistent basis for 4 years. Also, I am so caught up on studying 2-3 hours a day for seminary (New Testament) that somehow, I don't take the time to read the SS course of study. Crazy! I know!

3) Best goal ever: I am not going to be tired! I am sick and TIRED of being tired. After 4 1/2 years of going to bed around 10 and getting up at 4, I should be used to 6 hours of sleep. I'm going to stay up later and NOT be tired. I think I just have to put my mind to it. (Easy for me to say since I've been sleeping in until 7 or 7:30 every day! Slothful! Plain old slothful)

So, those are my official 2009 New Year's Resolutions! Check in and see how I do.

PS - I've already read this week's Sunday School lesson!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Update on Horse Flipping

I know that you are all waiting with baited breath!

The New Year's Eve Dance has come and gone.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your perspective: There were NO horses performing triple back flips at midnight! Sorry Parker. Maybe next year!

If you are totally confused - read my post for Sunday, December 28th.