Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I'm playing along with Bloggingmama-andrea.blogspot.com and her friend Keely at The Unmom.com/ Hit them up and see how random they are.

- We went to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert at RED ROCKS last night. It was fantabulous. I didn’t want to go and had a bad attitude. Parker and I arrived way early and enjoyed the beautiful weather, scenery and ultimate nachos. I don’t love the Mormon Tabernacle Choir but they did a great job and it was the perfect night.

- I broke my back somehow. Okay, it’s not broken. It just feels like it is. It’s been hurting since….like Thursday or maybe Friday. So I didn’t break it helping Brian move into his new office because that was Saturday. That probably didn’t help though. And I didn’t break it while taking the empty propane tank off the BBQ and hefting a full one on. That probably didn’t help though. Needless to say, climbing 10 billion steps at the concert and sitting in a backless chair probably didn’t help either.

- Today is Tuesday. You know what that means! TRAMBODIA! Okay, it’s not like I sit in front of the computer all day waiting for an email because I don’t. That would be stupid. He’s in bed sleeping right now. It’s just whenever I’m not thinking about something else like random thoughts……….then I think about tonight when we will get an email.

- That was crazy how Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett <- remember when she was Majors?, Michael Jackson and Billy Mays died.
How did you find out about Farrah and Michael? Here’s how I found out. My friend IMed me and said “Farrah passed.” I was on the way out the door to a movie so I couldn’t IM. I texted him and asked for details.
I’m not into stuff like this but everyone needs a gay friend because they always know the scoop. Okay, so I didn’t exactly text for details. I texted that only gays care about the drama and keep track of Farrah and Liza Minelli. This is what I got back: “I don’t give a rat’s ass about Farrah OR Liza. But….now poor Jack is gone.”
- I saw The Proposal. I liked it! It was cute. Cuter than I thought it would be. I would even see it again.
- I’m reading The 19th Wife. It’s fiction about a woman who is one of Brigham Young’s wives and escapes polygamy intertwined with a modern day murder mystery taking place at a polygamous compound. Definitely not a Deseret Book publication. If you have read it, email me. I want your thoughts!!!!!
- Oh yeah – I mentioned my bad attitude. I’ve had a lousy attitude about a lot of things lately.........well mostly only things that have to do with going places or church or seeing people or being hungry or having to breathe or.......how Blogger messes up spacing
Brian even asked where we could by some good cupcakes cuz I’m so grumpy. I should take him up on his offer and degrouchify myself!
That’s RANDOM!

Monday, June 29, 2009


Everyone loves work!!! Don't they????

Okay, I guess not.

Afterall, I'm in work avoidance mode as we speak.

It's Monday and I have a whole list of tasks to tackle...so why not blog!

A friend reminded me that she once came to visit from out of town and she couldn't get over the fact that 2-year-old Parker was "in charge" of unloading the silverware into the drawer.

When my kids were elementary to middle school age (and evidently before that) I always had a short list of items that needed to be completed before school or before they went out to play.

1) Make your bed
2) Clean your room

Those two were always on the list and then there were 2-4 age appropriate tasks like

3) Empty the trash cans
4) Organize the shoes in the laundry room
5) Put away the towels in the linen closet.

I would demonstrate how any new chores were expected to be done. And we all usually did our work together. Sometimes we would turn it into a game by timing ourselves or guessing how long a certain chore would take. Or we would work toward a common goal, like getting everything done so we could go to the pool.

As they got older, get ready..........
I had a TYPED list of chores (still only 5-6) on the computer!

I would open the document every morning,
tailor it to the day, print it out and put it on the kitchen counter.

By the time they hit high school,
they were in seminary and I didn't care if they made their beds every day.

I wouldn't print a list out anymore either.

I just hit them up with chores when I could find times they were home for more than 2 minutes.

And instead of outlining the chores like

1. Make your bed
2. Pick up all the dirty clothes and put them in the basket
3. Put the clean clothes away
4. Pick up the toys.

I could just say, "Clean your room and bathroom." By then, they knew what that meant.

Those explicit lists during the elementary years were just preparation so that they knew what was expected when I said, "Clean your room."

And although the chores were minor and sometimes didn't even dent my own list, the point of doing chores was to

1. Help them understand they were part of a family (something bigger than just themselves.)
2. Help them understand that they had responsibilities that they could perform even at a young age.
3. Help them become aware that if they walked in and threw their backpack down, kicked their shoes off, and left food all over the kitchen, THEY were the ones who would have to clean it up <- yeah - still teaching that one!
4. Teach them how to work and find joy in a job well done.

As they have gotten older and taken on more activities and part time jobs outside the house, they are still responsible for their rooms and some family chores like mowing the lawn or cleaning the gargage, but I am a lot more flexible because.........well, they've obviously learned to work, which was one of my goals........and they are doing worthwhile and productive things.

So, what is your work philosophy?


Here's the scoop from Stacy's house. She has three boys she is trying to train and here are her hot tips!

I decided to email this because I wasn't sure how long it would get.

I have just recently--as in the last month--instituted a chore chart. (Yeah, *totally* stole this idea.) We have "citizen of the household" chores--these are the ones which you do because you live here.

Things like: emptying the dishwasher (I don't make them fill the dishwasher because it's a stupid dishwasher that is difficult to fill), feeding and watering the dog, taking out the trash and recycling, and swishing and swiping their bathroom.

Each boy is assigned one or two of these for a week. There are others, like setting and clearing the table, that I assign as needed.

Then there is a weekly chore list for which they get paid. I've divided the house up into rooms and then vacuuming each room, dusting each room, and mopping the parts that need it. I originally had cleaning bathrooms on there, but that was too overwhelming--especially mine--so I've dropped it for now. If they swish and swipe every day and wipe down after they shower, it stays clean anyway.

Each job has a dollar amount. They can earn up to their age in money each week. This sounds like it costs me a lot--and it did up front--but now when they want something, they have the money to pay for it themselves. "Can we get a slushie at RaceTrac?" "Sure...bring your money." New video games? They buy them. Treats at the store? They buy them. If they get to where they don't want to make money, it's time to take them shopping! LOL

I've only been doing this for a month, but it seems to be working pretty well. Chris makes his $15 pretty quickly. He mows the lawn for $5, vacuums the stairs ($3) and vacuums all the rooms upstairs and that pretty much finishes his out. My two highest paying jobs are mowing the lawn and picking up dog poop. Both pay $5.

Just like in the real world, they have to do a good job on their chores. They can only sign up for one at a time and I have to inspect each when they are done. It *is* possible to be fired from a job for poor performance. The absolute best part of this little program was the very first week when each of the younger boys looked at me and realized how hard it was to do all the vacuuming and mopping and dusting and...and...and....

It's still taking them a good portion of the morning to earn their money, but they're getting faster. And...in the long run...they're learning how to take care of a household.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Can you believe that Trammell has been on his mission 1 year????
It has gone by so quickly!

We love getting his emails. He sounds just like the Trammell we know and love!
We loved talking to him on Christmas and Mothers' Day. His laugh is the same.

I sent a celebratory package, but trust me, I didn't send a cake or hats or anything that would make it an obvious, "look at me" celebration. Remember the birthday package that he gave away? He definitely does not like attention!!!

So what do you send if you can't send brownies and Martinellis?

I sent a new tie. He can get ties there for $2 but he says they all look like $2 ties.

I sent new white shirts. He said not to because he could get white shirts there but I bet they are like the ties!!!!!!

I thought about sending shoes because his shoes look like but shoes are $200 and that wasn't in my celebration budget. Besides, despite what these shoes look like, he says they are holding up great!
So I sent the shirts, tie, pics of the family, sour patch kids, starburst, Red Vines, Kool-Aid, Mac & Cheese, gravy mix crammed into a tiny box and shipped for the low, low price of $41.95. I sent it three weeks ago, so he should have it in his possession and could be sipping on Grape Kool-Aid as I type.
He's serving in Phnom Penh. He loves his companion. He loves the people, the mission president, the members. He loves everything.
That's Trammell!
Happy 1/2 way through your mission Tram!!!!!


Join in the PaReNTiNG PaRTY!

Really! We don't bite!

Here's how it works:

1) I throw a topic out there

2) YOU think about it

3) Compose your thoughts and come back on Monday.

4) Post your thoughts

If you really have a lot to say on the topic, feel free to email. You can be our guest poster.

So here ya go -


Do you expect your kids to do jobs around the house? Why or why not?

Is it "as needed" or do you have a formal work program?

What kinds of "jobs" do you expect your kids to perform?

Do you reward your kids for completing their jobs? Stickers? Candy? Money?

I look forward to hearing back from you on Monday!!! (or before)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The BONEHEAD BROTHERS Celebrate Fathers' Day

There is nothing more entertaining than celebrating a holiday with teenagers.

And the Bonehead Brothers know how to party...........
and this was a double holiday.
Sunday was Brian’s birthday AND Fathers’ Day.

While Dad was in meetings after church,
the kids made their cards:

Besides writing a lovely tribute to his father and drawing the Hallmark crown on the back,
Garrett introduced his card with this heartfelt message……..

A card and gifts were not enough for Parker,
he made some custom coupons for Brian to use.

I’m sure Brian will be cashing these in right away!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I was going to post about the Bonehead Brothers today but it just wouldn't be right.

I'll tell you what is wrong.

I drove through the neighborhood just now (3 pm on Monday) and I saw lots of cars lining the street.........like for a party at someone's house.

Then I saw lots of teenage boys getting in the cars...........wearing suits.


They should have been in shorts and t-shirts playing X-Box in someone's basement.
They weren't.

They were leaving their friend's house because they were there for his funeral.
He was 19.
He died in a headon crash.

Nineteen year olds shouldn't die.........no matter what.

Sometimes we get frustrated with 19 year olds and we wish they would clean up, put on something other than scruffy clothes and quit playing video games.

But they shouldn't put on suits and go to friend's funerals.
They shouldn't ever have to do that.

Next week, we'll be attending the funeral for a friend - a 41 year old father who fell out of a raft while fishing. THAT'S JUST WRONG!

I'm assuming the funeral will be next week but I could be wrong.
They are still searching for him.
41-year-olds shouldn't die!

Monday, June 22, 2009


When kids are young (1-5ish), there are plenty of things to “fight” over.
There are about 500 little power struggle possibilities everyday, but not all are equal, nor do we have enough energy to fight EVERY battle.

Bedtime, Naptime, Meals, Clothing, Carseats, Temper tantrums…just to name a few.
Which ones were worth your energy and why?
Which ones did you just let go and why?

As for me and my house,
our bywords for 0-10 years old were “Listen and Obey.”

We had firm rules on bedtime, taking responsibility for actions, and consequences for poor behavior.

We didn’t battle over mealtimes. You ate what was served…or ate nothing. I figured you could eat tomorrow if you missed today. And everyone at least tried the food. As a result, today....my kids will eat just about anything.

From 10-20, our bywords are “Is that Kind and Loving?” My childrens’ friends have all heard me ask this question. I even hear them joke with each other and say, "Hey, is that kind and loving?"

We don’t battle over much, but showing respect to parents, teachers, coaches, church leaders is expected.

Church attendance has never been questioned but is an expectation. People assume that I woke my children up and dragged them to seminary since I was the teacher, when in fact, I have never mentioned it to my kids…….although if they weren’t coming, I’d drag them out of bed. I think in this case, maybe actions spoke louder than words.

Going on family outings and working around the house are also expectations, but no one has ever challenged those either.

We don’t battle over bedrooms, hairstyles (but no one has done anything dramatic), or clothing (but my boys are preppy).

What about you?

What do you value?

How do you let your kids know that it is a family value?

Comment away!

Friday, June 19, 2009


I used to do this little feature regularly.

Brian was wondering when I was going to do it again?

He's been gone all week and Father's Day is coming up.
But that's not why I'm doing it and that's not what I want to talk about.

Last Saturday, we got up and made our usual secret run for donuts/breakfast.

It's secret because we sneak out of the house, just the two of us and go somewhere fun.
Well, I think it's fun because food is involved.

But then we came home to THE YARD!!!!


I turn in to a petulant three year old on Saturdays.
I am worse than any of my kids.

I am the reason I don't have girls.
Our family can only have ONE of me.

Almost every Saturday, we work in the yard OR clean out the garage.
Now to be fair, it's not EVERY Saturday.
And let's be honest, it's not ALL day.

It just seems like it.

But everyone is busy all week and I don't know when else we would get al this stuff done.
We have a big yard and besides mowing and trimming the lawn, there are always projects like cutting down dead trees, planting new trees, replacing mulch, trimming bushes, etc.

Part of my problem is that I HATE to sweat! And I HATE to get dirty!!!

Last Saturday, I was traipsing around the yard pulling big weeds and spraying little weeds.

The problem is that I never wear appropriate footwear.
But I look cute!

I was climbing in, on and around rocks in cute, little, non-flexible, sequinned sandals.
I ripped half my baby toe off on the end of a sprinkle line.

No one was around to witness it, but it was dramatic. First I hopped around saying, "Ooohhh, Oooohhhh," then I got a Barbie bandaid.
Then I spent the rest of my time in the yard cursing the yard, telling everything in the yard that I hated it, and generally murmuring <- 3 year old!!!!

Brian knows I hate working (in the yard). He could sense my general peevishness.........so in true love fashion, he looked for ways to ease my burden!

He knows me well!
He asked, "What would make today a fun day?"
"Nothing!" I pouted and stamped my foot.

He pointed out jobs that were in the shade.
He pretended not to notice when I disappeared inside for long periods of time.

Then he suggested that when we were through, he would come along and help me on a few errands I had to do.
And he bought me a SUPER SIZE Coke at McDonalds <- nothing better!

Then he suggested that we take the boys and try the new restaurant that I have been wanting to try. And he figured out how to make it all work, which wasn't easy because we needed to attend two wedding receptions that were at the exact same time but 45 minutes apart.

He is awesome at problem solving!!!
He really isn't trying to torture me with the Saturday work thing.
He goes out of his way to make it rewarding, with food of course.
He puts up with all that whining and stomping.
He gives me the easy jobs or the "fun" jobs.

Yea Brian!

I'm going to keep him............until tomorrow........which is SATURDAY!



Are you winning the battle but losing the war?
We won’t really know until it is all said and done.

Monday’s PaReNTiNG PaRTY will be a discussion about the battles we pick and the battles we just let go.
Think about your own parenting.

What do you find yourself arguing over or battling over with your children whether they be young or teenagers?
Food? Bedtime? Makeup? Clothes? Cleaning the bedroom?

What is important to you?
What lessons are you trying to teach?

What things are you willing to just let go?

Think about it this weekend.
Come back Monday and comment,
or email me and you can be our guest poster!!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

SWEET, SWEET.........Silence

The house is EMPTY!

Brian took the 14-18 year olds from church on the Scout High Adventure.
I spent all day Tuesday buying all the food for it - which was an adventure in itself.
Then they loaded up yesterday morning and took off.

Good Riddance! ;)
You know I love them, but do you know what is 1,000 times better than leaing your kids home and getting away?
Having your kids leave home and leave you in an empty house.
I'm sure I would get sick of it in a couple of months! ;)

Anyway, they will be back Saturday.
One of the other leaders commented,
"So what are you going to do Gina, I bet you have spa treatments lined up, pedicures and three Girls Night Outs set up."
Hee hee - this guy doesn't know me well.

You know what I have lined up?


I wandering around the house doing nothing.
Here's what my nothing looks like -
Took care of the garden.
Sat out in the back yard and read a book.
Threw in a couple of loads of laundry.
Talked to friends on the phone.
Made a really good lunch and read the paper.
Read the Sunday School lesson for Sunday.
Started to clean out the closet in Parker's extra bedroom.
Went to Enrichment (only time I left the house) and helped my mom teach a cooking class.
Came home and read until I fell asleep.

Today will be more of the same except I might actually leave the house.
Next week, they all go to youth conference!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Not that they were competing, and not that they were planning on this, but the stars were aligned just so.
Lo and behold, both Garrett and Tyler came home from work swearing that it was the WORST day EVER.

And now, in their own words, telling it like no one else can –
Yeah, so I was the only one at work and the guards who closed last night decided to leave vacuuming the pool to me.

I connected the hose to pipe and the vacuum to the pipe.

While I was vacuuming, it seemed like NOTHING was getting sucked up.
In fact, every time I plunged the vacuum into the pool,

A dark cloud came out of the bottom of it and this disgusting blast of smelly air came out the top of the pole right into my face.

It smelled so bad, it was making me sick. Over and over, whenever I pushed down on the vacuum, all of this smelly air would come up out of the pole into my face.

I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t sucking anything up.
I took the vacuum out of the water and half way down the pole, there was something sticking out of the vent hole.......
It was a tail!

There was a DEAD RAT in the pole.

It was all bloated and hair was coming off and it stunk so bad.

I washed my hands five times.
But all day long, I smelled the dead rat smell. It was in my nostrils. I couldn’t stop smelling it.

You think that’s bad?

I was working the cash register and I was doing an exchange for this lady.
I didn’t do it right, but I knew it and I was trying to fix it.

It wasn’t like I was done and sent her out the door or anything.
I was trying to fix it.

But the lady pointed at me and started yelling at the top of her lungs:
“You are an idiot! You are an idiot!”
Then she turned to my manager who was several registers down and yelled, “You got problems with this one! He’s an idiot! You have your hands full!”

Then she said she would never come back to our store and she was going to the Arapahoe Crossing Store.

She just kept yelling and pointing: “You’re an idiot!”
I apologized over and over and she grabbed everything and left.
The next lady in line stepped up and said,
“Honey, don’t you worry none. I been called a bitch. You jus gotta let it go.”
It was awful!!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


It's that time again! Random Thought Tuesday <- I KNOW that's not what it's called, but I like this word order better. I got the idea from BloggingMama-Andrea.blogspot.com so go check her out!

*I’m so happy! I cleaned out this totally random cupboard and found one of my favorite pictures!
I thought it was lost forever!
It’s a little piece of history.

Aren't you glad you got to see that?

Aren't you glad I didn't warn you?

*ONE of the Bonehead Brothers leaves for college on Thursday.
That means that Garrett will need a new partner in crime.

*It will be pretty quiet around here this week.
Garrett and Parker leave for the Venture Scout High Adventure on Wednesday. Buh-Bye!

*Here's a snippet of conversation from yesterday.

Brian drove the scouts to camp.

ME: "Hey, I'm just calling because there is a tornado warning for where you guys are."

Brian looks up in the sky: "Nope. Blue skies here."

ME: "No really. A tornado was spotted in Franktown, just a few miles from you."

Brian: "Umm...Nope. Nothing." He turns around. "Oh wait. Holy Cow! There it is and it's headed right for us. I gotta go!"

Here's a pic he took when he turned around to see what I was talking about.

*Those black widow eggs on my desk haven't hatched. I'm going to do some research to figure out what happens next.......maybe Wikipedia will suggest throwing the jar out???? But the sick side of me (which is a BIG side) wants to see.

*Brian and I are going out to breakfast right now.

But you know what would be better than breakfast? A cupcake.

Don't think I don't see through his ploy. He's taking me to breakfast so we can check the menu for his High Adventure thingy and then he's going to ask me to go to Costco and buy all the food. But I will totally do anything for FOOD! He knows this!


So, We’re pretty much in agreement that we would like our kids AND other people’s kids to be reverent.

Unfortunately, we’re not in charge of other people’s kids. Wouldn’t that be fun if we were? Or maybe not.

KUDO’S to Siobhan, Kellisue, Rachael and all you ladies who take a passel of small children to church each Sunday and make it work. It is definitely work. Bless you!!!!!

I’ve compiled a list of suggestions to help from your input and also what worked for me and my own little demons.

As some of you pointed out, we are all at church to worship.
While your little angel’s behavior might seem fine to you….like running up to the stand, standing in the aisle and conducting music, waving to the speaker etc, may I submit that if whatever you (or your child) is doing is distracting or keeping someone from their worship, then it’s not appropriate behavior.

I know – this sounds hardcore.

I think we've done a good job identifying the PROBLEM.
Let's look at some SOLUTIONS:

Here’s some helpful hints from readers:
1. Teach children that the most important part of the meeting is the Sacrament. It’s our time to think about Jesus. My kids knew that if they tried to talk to me during those few minutes, they would get a “talk to the hand sign.”
2. Believe it or not, it really is better to sit up front. The closer you are, the easier it is to focus on the speaker. There are less distractions.
3. Talk about reverence and your expectations BEFORE going to church. This could be a great Family Home Evening lesson.
4. Practice reverence and respect at home – no you don’t have to whisper all day, but you could stress sitting on the couch (rather than standing) is respectful, or practice during family prayer.
5. Remind children what your expectations are on the way to church. It doesn’t hurt to remind them what the consequences are as well.
6. Role play at FHE or in the car. Put some crazy, never-would-happen scenarios out there and get the giggles out.
7. Have an adult sit at the end of the row to prevent “escapes.”
8. Remove children when they get too restless or make too much noise.
9. Don’t make leaving the chapel fun. I’d wiggle and make noise if I knew that it would get me out of the chapel and in the hall for some running and socializing with friends!

You guys are awesome!
Thank you for playing along and taking the time to type up your responses.

While doing a little research,
I found this sweet little letter from Vaughan J. Featherstone =that was published in The Friend in 1976.

There is also this wonderful reminder from Dallin Oaks from last conference.

And last but not least, to answer "Why we take the Sacrament with our right hand." This from Russell M. Nelson & Bruce R. McConkie=1 . Go half way down the page.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Rowdy Vs Reverent

How do you think children (of all ages) should behave in church? (And it doesn't JUST have to be about church - concert, play, recital, etc)
What is acceptable behavior and what is unacceptable according to age? What are your expectations?
How do you communicate those expectations?
What are the consequences?

I'm pretty excited about this.........because I can't wait to hear what you have to say!

I typed up my thoughts on Friday.
When I reread them, I thought......."Wow! I am harsh! I'm a demanding witch!"

But then my friend Shirley emailed me her thoughts
and I thought, "Wow! We're BOTH demanding witches!"
She expressed my thoughts exactly - onlly better!
Shirley has a lot of street cred!
She's the mom of several (5-6) SUCCESSFUL adults.
By successful, I mean they are married, employed and raising their families in the gospel.
I'm pretty sure they all went on missions and were married in the temple. They remain a close-knit family despite Shirley having outrageous expectations ;).

She is a former seminary teacher and nursery leader (among other things.)
And her husband serves as Patriarch.
When she isn't visiting various grandchildren, she lives in Florida. I can't say enough about how awesome she is!!!!

With that introduction,
here's a guest post from Shirley:

Oh wow! This is one of my biggest complaints. Mormons, as a whole, seem to be the rudest, irreverent people around. I've been in many other churches. I have never seen anything like what we have in ours.

A few weeks after we joined the Church, Boyd K. Packer came for stake conference. Before the meeting started, he stood up and said, "Sit down and shut up! Where do you think you are?" He then spend 10 - 15 minutes talking (actually ranting) about how we need to use the foyer for visiting, but when we come through the chapel doors, shh, be still. When he spoke later in the meeting, he went back to the idea of reverence. I wish he would speak about it again in general conference.

Our ward sounds like a train station until about 2 minutes after the meeting should have started. There is no time to sit and enjoy the organ music. It can't be heard over all the noise. I read a talk a long time ago about people who wouldn't think to steal anything actually are stealing others' reflection time, sacred time.

I know there are exceptions, but most children can learn to sit quietly long before they are two. They don't need a backpack of toys and a picnic lunch to do so. Sacrament meeting is only 70 minutes long. No one is going to starve or die of thirst in that period of time.

I expected my children to sit fairly quietly. Sometimes they moved from one lap to another, but that was about it. They were not allowed to stand on the seats, or turn around to play with the people behind them. They were allowed to write on the program after sacrament was passed, look at family pictures from my wallet, play with their dad's watch, and that's about it. When we met in the afternoon, they were allowed to curl up in my lap and go to sleep. If they were old enough for nursery, they were old enough to do without cheerios.

From the time they learned to walk (9 - 11 months), if they had to be taken out of sacrament meeting, they were never put down! They learned very quickly that it was much better to sit quietly than to be held in Mom's vice grip facing an empty wall.

When my grandson was little, my son used a different approach. For every minute he had to be out of sacrament meeting, he had to go back into the empty chapel and sit before he could go to nursery. It didn't take too many weeks before he decided he was missing too much in nursery.

My kids weren't perfect, but I was always comfortable taking them to concerts, plays, and out to dinner. They knew what was expected and acted accordingly. We had many comments over the years about how well behaved they were. Because they had been taught, we didn't have to worry about having a battle scene every time we went anywhere.

My other gripe is people who enter meetings late. Again, I know things can happen....but they don't happen all the time. It's rude and unacceptable when it happens every week.

Except for my vice grip hold, I can't remember any other consequences. I do remember being in a restaurant once when a family of six came in. As soon as they were seated, the kids (who were old enough to know better) started carrying on. The father immediately stood and said something along the lines of, "Get up. I warned you. We're going home because you can't behave." People actually clapped for him as they left. Obviously, we don't want people to use that approach at church, but it was a great one to use in other places.

Now that you know how Shirley feels (and how I feel.) Please feel free to add your comments. You are welcome to give hints and tips that have worked for you as well.

You are also welcome to totally disagree. Please do so in a kind and loving way without personal attacks though.

Comments? Ideas????

Saturday, June 13, 2009

GOOD Ideas Gone AWRY

#1 Okay - so maybe I shouldn't have CAUGHT the black widow and kept it on my desk in a jar.
Evidently, SHE doesn't need water, food or air to lay eggs.
Now what?
#2 SOMEONE has been stalking me!
Everyday, I receive a little email from Urban Dictionary with a "Word of the Day." (Now you know why I am so cool and hip!)
Look at THIS one!
June 9: DWT
Driving While Texting. Operating a motor vehicle while texting friends on your cell.
"Gina almost killed us driving over here, she was DWT. I finally grabbed the phone out of her hand before we wrecked."
How DID they KNOW?
And I'll leave it up to you to figure out what is the good idea gone awry- Subscribing to the "Word of the Day," stalking me, or texting while driving.
#3 I've been waiting for Mr. Sun to make an appearance so that I can START on my tan.
When, I arrived home from an appointment, I ran to put my swimsuit on and headed to the backyard.
I figured I could sit out while talking to my sister-in-law.
Two hours and three phone calls later - oops! - a little too much sun for the first day!

Friday, June 12, 2009


Here’s the scoop.
Each MONDAY, I would like to DISCUSS <- that means I need some participation here, a parenting topic.
I don’t simply want to post my long winded opinion.
I want yours!
I want to talk about different topics and discuss what works and what hasn’t.
So, I hope you will play along and join in the discussions with your own personal experiences, opinions and questions.
Here’s how it will work (in a perfect world).
I’ll post the PaReNTiNG PaRTY topic on Friday.
Ruminate about it throughout the weekend.
Compose your thoughts and join in on the party on Monday!!!!!
You can post your thoughts as a comment or you can email me a lengthier post and I will be HAPPY to post it. The more the merrier!
I can’t wait to hear what YOU have to say!
SO......This week: ROWDY vs. REVERENT
How do you think children (of all ages) should behave in church? (And it doesn't JUST have to be about church - concert, play, recital, etc)
What is acceptable behavior and what is unacceptable according to age?
What are your expectations?
How do you communicate those expectations?
What are the consequences?
I can’t wait to hear your opinions!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Bonehead Brother Gets A BONUS!

First, it's Writer's Workshop at Mama Kats/. You pick a prompt and write about it. One of the prompts is to write a letter. This fits in somewhere in this post!

Garrett got his first lifeguard paycheck.
It was for 6 hours! Woohoo!
As if THAT wasn’t exciting enough, he also received a BONUS:
the “Employee News” tucked inside the envelope.

The “Employee News” has had me chuckling and pitying the organization in charge of these yahoos!

I won’t bore you with ALL of the categories but it is chockfull of IMPORTANT information.
Oh and note – all this information is not NEW. It was explained at the four hour mandatory orientation meeting AND handed out in written form.

You can read a few sections and just imagine 1) the audience they are writing to and 2) how bloody their tongue must be from biting it in an effort NOT to type what they really want to.

Take UNIFORMS for example:
What they wrote:
“You must wear a staff uniform every time you are scheduled to work. Your staff uniform includes a solid red suit (girls – no bikinis), staff t-shirt, name tag and whistle. If you need shirts and a name tag, lease phone the office and let us know……”

Radios need to stay inside the lifeguard office and should be kept to a reasonable tone. A reasonable tone means that you can hear the telephone and the whistle commands and you are able to have a conversation with another person without raising your voice. You should not be able to hear the music across the pool deck. Any music or morning talk shows that contain content above a PG level are not permitted to on at all when the pool is open. Stations that play music that contains lyrics above a PG level are also prohibited (for example – 107.5 or other similar stations.) If the problem continues, no radios will be permitted at the pos at all (including I-Pods)

You need to be arriving at the pool a minimum of 10 minutes before your shift. Walking in at 11am for a shift that begins at 11am is not on time. The following things will result in immediate termination: Having cell phones or I-Pods with you while on the stand or around the pool deck during scheduled working hours, not having the rescue tube in your lap, sleeping at work, inappropriate behavior and/or language in the vicinity of patrons, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, not showing up for a scheduled shift and doing anything other than lifeguarding while on the stand.

Are you laughing? I’m laughing!

Here is what they WANTED to write (or what I would write):

Dear Employees:
THIS is why we had a FOUR HOUR orientation….
We were giving you the benefit of the doubt that somehow this year’s teenagers would surprise and amaze us by being responsible. I know. We are the stupid ones. 25 years of managing pools and we are still shocked EVERY year.

SO………This is a J-O-B. We own your sorry ass from the time you clock in until the time you clock out. In fact, we own you from 10 minutes before your shift starts and we cannot guarantee that you will be able to walk out the minute your shift ends. You are being paid to WORK. If you thought it would be glamorous, you were sorely mistaken. This is not Baywatch.

Because you are at work, wear your uniform. If you're not feelin' it and don't wear it. You're fired. it's pretty easy!

You have been hired to SAVE LIVES. We are not paying you to look cute, look cool, socialize with friends, work on your tan or text the world to make plans for when you get off. Do all of that on your own time.

Oh, and we can see it was mistake to let you listen to music while you work. Did you seriously think that mother’s of small children want to hear songs about strippers??? Rather than leave these hard core decisions up to you, we’re just eliminating music from pool areas. Hum to yourself on your break.

If you have any problems with what is expected…….well…. turn in your whistle and move on down the road. There are thousands of teenagers looking for jobs; In fact, there thousands of adults looking for jobs and we don’t need the hassle.

So, everyone just do what we talked about in the four hour orientation and have a GREAT SUMMER!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


This is what would happen if I Twittered.
It's a cross between Julia Child and Twitter actually.

We're having Kielbasa with Yellow & Red Peppers, Onions and Mushrooms on Pasta

Oooo saurekraut suddenly sounds really good

Nope, none in the pantry.....we only have it like three times a year

Where is all the butter? I brought a pound of butter up from the freezer Sunday.

Hey, there's 16 pounds of butter in the freezer, should I buy more?

Hmmm...would one little Dove Bar ice cream thing wreck my appetite?

I'm starving!

I'm glad my kids aren't picky eaters.

Saute the onions in olive oil.

Chop the rest of the veggies and kielbasa.

You can put ANYTHING in here.

Start the water boiling.

Add the Kielbasa to the pan with the onions.

Boil, water, boil.

I'm an impatient cook!

I think I'll add fresh tomatoes tonight.
Garrett doesn't like fresh tomatoes - like in a salad but he'll eat them in this dish even though they've been cooked 1 minute. Weirdo!

All I've had to eat today is a maple cake donut.

Oh.........and an avocado....a whole avocado with salsa.........and chips.

Throw the pasta in the boiling water...we're having 1/2 a box of large farfalle and 1/2 box of smal farfalle....cuz I want to use up the open box

Now I have a "new" open box

Add sliced yellow and red peppers in with onion and kielbasa.

Pasta takes so long to cook at high altitude.
Once again, I'm impatient.

Add mushrooms

Set table

Slice bread

Hmmm....add more mushrooms. I could eat a whole pan of sauteed mushrooms and onions

Add chopped tomatoes

It stinks that the sun never came out and I didn't get to go to the pool.

I hate when you cook and your hair smells like whatever you were cooking the rest of the night.

I'm starving....they will never miss a couple of onions and mushrooms

and a couple of pieces of kielbasa

Is there really no saurekraut in the pantry?

I'm buying some for next time

I hate it when people pick at the food while they are cooking - unless it is me, of course.

Dinner's ready

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Random Thought Tuesday

EVERY day is full of random thoughts for me.
But I'm playing along with bloggingmama/ who didn't invent the game but introduced me to the game. She got it from theunmom Keely/.

Today IS a random day though.
I’m doing a little visiting teaching.
I’m making something (I don’t know what) for a bridal shower tonight.
Garrett’s working, Parker’s going to lacrosse camp.
I’m writing my weekly email to Trammell.
So see, today is filled with random activities.

And now, on to random thoughts!

*I want people to update their blogs more frequently. I mean, some people write a few times a week. I like that. I like everyday better. But I want to be entertained. Does that sound stalkerish? How often is too often for me to check your blog?
*When Trammell first landed in Cambodia, his companion emailed his mother and had her email me. I loved it. It was another connection to Trammell. They aren’t companions anymore, but we still keep in contact.
Trammell got a new companion, fresh off the plane 2 weeks ago. He emailed me with his comp’s mother’s email and asked me to email her and tell her how much he loved her son and how much he had learned from him already. I did. She didn’t write back. Hmmm….what do you think? Once again, was that too stalkerish? It was only one email. I didn’t friend request her on Facebook or anything.
*When will summer start? My definition goes beyond good weather. Summer= long days of nothingness….no plans. You wake up in the cool morning, do a few chores and then pack a lunch and head to the pool for the majority of the day. Then you come home, shower and prepare a simple dinner on the grill. When is that going to happen?
*I am sending a package to Tram today. It’s kind of a “Congrats on reaching the one year point of your mission” but not really. I don’t want to make a big deal out of it because he doesn’t like big deals – thus the reason he gave away his birthday cake, hats and candles that I sent. I’m sending new white shirts, a tie, candy, updated pics of the family, koolaid (he asked for that) and his favorite – a bag of cotton candy.

*I need a vacation from my thoughts.
Well there you have it. RANDOM!

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Bonehead Brothers Stormchase

Yesterday, Garrett and Parker left immediately after church to go and collect fast offerings. Parker was at the door of the last house when Garrett looked up and saw a funnel cloud.

He alternated between putting the car in reverse and ditching his brother and using mental telepathy to will Parker back to the car.

They called and said, "We see a tornado. What should we do."

I told them to get back home - they were about 1/2 a mile away.
And then we all ran out on the driveway to watch.

The tornado sirens were going off and sure enough, we could see the tornado a few miles away. We did what any normal family would do:

We stood on the driveway watching it until it was out of our line of vision.

Tyler asked, "So should I leave and go do my fast offering route now?"
Uh NO! Why don't you stay here until the tornado is gone.

Then we gathered our tornado supplies: nachos, chex mix, popcorn and pop and headed to the basment.

The boys alternated between bouncing on the love sacs and guessing where the tornado was headed and running outside to look for it.

I suggested we drive in the general direction it went, so we could see the damage. But Brian put his foot down.

So much for storn chasing!!!!

The tornado headed to the outdoor mall where it did a little damage.
No one was hurt but Tyler doesn't have to work today.
Old Navy had some windows blasted out.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Drama At Its Finest

Here is a little email exchange that I thought you might appreciate.
Names have been changed

: JulieHelper@aol.com
DATE: May 31, 2009

Hi all! I know this is usually Lucy’s job but Ann asked me to email everybody to see who's planning on coming this week for Book Group.

It seems like there are a lot of things going on and people may not be able to go. We were wondering if people would like to maybe push it to the 11th. Just "reply all" to this email and let us know what works best for you.

Thanks, Julie

PS. LUCY - my emails aren't as updated as yours for everyone so if you could forward this on to anybody I missed, that would be great!

I won’t bore you with all of the replies but Ann – the hostess of the book club this month just had back surgery 10 days ago. Most of the replies said that either day worked for them.

FROM: LUCY@aol.com
DATE: June 1, 2009

This week is best for me, I cant do the 11th

SUJECT: No Meeting Tomorrow Night
DATE: June 3, 2009

Hi All! It looks like Book Group will be on the 11th this month. Still at Ann's and still at 7:30pm. Sorry for any confusion or inconvenience.

See you all then,

SUBJECT: No Meeting Tomorrow Night
: Lucy@aol.com
DATE: June 4, 2009

I do not know where you got this info, I spoke with Ann and she is still planning on us tomorrow night!!

SUBJECT: No Meeting Tomorrow Night
DATE: June 4, 2009

I am Sorry Lucy. I tried to call you yesterday and the phone was busy, I am beat up from such a crazy, crazy week.

So when Julie called, and I hadn't seen an email from you I made the decision to change it. I'm so sorry! Please forgive the sudden change.

Thank You,

BOOK Group will be on the 11th.

SUBJECT: Book Club
DATE: June 4, 2009

Dear Sisters,
I have contacted the RS and requested to be released from this calling, thanks to those who have supported me.


I wasn't planning on going to book club, but I think I will now.