Monday, November 30, 2009


Do NOT get the WRONG idea!
This is not a post!

Somewhere between pie making and mashing potatoes, my NEW computer blew up.

So for the entire holiday weekend, all I have been able to do is text while driving.
And tomorrow, THAT becomes illegal!

So you are going to have to hold on for the Huge (faux) Holiday Give-Away Extravaganza!
I can't SHOW you the fabulous prizes I used to have until I recover all the data on my computer.
And you don't want to miss it!

Our tech guy is coming this afternoon, so hopefully I'll be back up and running soon!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dear Boneheads, Please Stop Talking!

A lot of parents complain that their teenagers are uncommunicative.  Not a problem around here. 
Here are a few of this week's conversations -

Bonehead #1 comes in from a strenuous workout after school and plops his sweaty/hairy body on my leather couch.  I'm trying to control my gag reflex.
Bonehead: "What's for dinner?  Will you make me some shrimp?"
Me: "No"

Bonehead: "How about some King Crab Legs."
Me: "No" (Like we just happen to have crab legs lying around!?!)
Bonehead: "A protein shake?"
I leave the room

Bonehead has all A's.  Being the encouraging mother, I'm pushing for higher A's.  You know - you want a little cushion going into finals.  A 93% won't do.  You should get it up to a 96%, just in case.

Me: "Hey I just checked Powerschool.  Your grades have gone up!  Great job."
Bonehead #2: "Oh yeah.  You can thank Call of Duty!"
Me: "Shut up."
Bonehead #2 "No seriously, video games make my school work improve.  I want to get my homework done right away so I can play them."

I leave the room.

We were doing some Christmas shopping at the Outlet Mall on Black Friday.  The boys were getting to the end of their rope.

Bonehead #1 "Hey can we go into Claires?  I need to get those magnetic earrings."
Me: Sarcastically - well everything I say is said sarcastically: "Oh sure!"

Bonehead #1: "Cool.  Let's go!"
Me: "Shut up."
Bonehead #1: " never said we couldn't get magnetic earrings."
Bonehead #2 backing up #1: "It's true!  You said that if we got our ears pierced, you'd rip the earring right out.  You didn't say we couldn't get magnetic earrings."
Me: "Right.  Okay.  If you get magnetic earrings, I'll kick you in the head."
Bonehead #1: "Wow....really...."
Me: "Yeah, I'll kick you in the head." 
Then I walked further ahead to get away from them.

Hot Parenting Tip:
Teenagers are VERY sensitive........and easily embarrassed around their friends.
Be careful what you say.  You don't want to embarrass them or offend anyone.

I walked down into the basement where Bonehead #1 and his friend in an extremely competitive game of fooseball.

Me: Opening the cupboard where the trash can is and inhaling, "Ewww......this basement smells like Old Taco Bell or one of you has B.O."

Both of them stop playing, pull their shirts out and sniff their arm pits.
Bonehead #1: "Not me!"
Friend: "Nope me either."
I leave.

Lesson learned:  Don't try to communicate with teenagers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

THANKFUL 24/7-365

We are all blessed and have so much to be grateful for not just at this time of year but everyday.

I really do try to think about and remember all of my blessings everyday.

But sometimes, it’s nice to reflect on some of them and actually write them down.

• Brian –

I can’t really express how grateful I am to be married to my best friend. We’re a team. We have fun together. We know what each other will say or think. We look out for one another. We solve problems together. He’s dedicated to God and our family and to me. Oh and he likes to watch “Say Yes to the Dress” with me!

• Trammell –

He always, always has a positive attitude. He makes great decisions. He loves the Lord and serves Him. He’s fun and funny and inspirational.

• Garrett –

Not a day goes by that he doesn’t make me laugh. He’s thoughtful and sensitive. His insights are deep and beliefs are strong. He looks out for the underdog. He does the right thing. He serves God and others without complaint.

• Parker –

He’s helpful, insightful and sensitive to others. He looks out for others. He’s cheerful. He’s faithful and diligent. You can count on him to do the right thing….plus you can often get him to cook for you!

• Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ –

Okay these should be two separate things. And I cannot adequately list all of the things they have done for me. But today, I am thankful for the supreme sacrifice the Father made to allow His son to atone for my sins. I am thankful that Christ was willing to perform that great sacrifice for each one of us. And because He did, I know that I am never alone in my sins, my sorrows, my disappointments, my illnesses, my hurts or my losses. Jesus Christ has walked my path and He knows me. I am thankful that God hears and answers every single one of my prayers and I will be eternally grateful for the watchcare He has provided to Trammell while on his mission and the comfort and peace He has provided me.

• My parents –

Yes, they are crazy. Aren’t we all? They are the ones who joined the Church when I was a young child and changed our lives and that of all future generations for eternity. They taught us through their word and even more by their example.

• My brothers –
They are the BEST! They are funny, fun, inspirational, generous and I wish we could all live together on the same street. We’d probably kill each other after two weeks, but those two weeks would be the most hilarious weeks ever. And even more wonderful than my brothers are their wives. They ROCK!

I have hundreds of blessings I could list……talents, opportunities, learning experiences, life experiences, friends, etc. I am grateful for each and every one of my blessings and I recognize that I have not fully earned them and am probably undeserving of many of them. I am grateful for the generosity and love of God!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Turkey Gizzards, Becoming Stupider and Vicodin!


I LOVE Thanksgiving!  It might be my favorite holiday.
What's not to love about consuming 4,000 calories and then sitting around watching movies?

Combine Thanksgiving with RaNDoM THouGHT TueSDaYand what do you get?
It' pretty random!

Check out my Thanksgiving Random and then go see Keely at The Unmom to check her's out and then write you own and link up.

* Yesterday, I went to the grocery store.  I was circling the parking lot for the second time when it occurred to me -"Wait! I'm here for Vicodin!"  I hadn't brought the prescription, so I circled right on back home.

* I wonder how many other people wish they were on Vicodin for the holiday weekend?

* Garrett came in last night and announced:
"Tomorrow, I lose my wisdom.
I'll be four times stupider."
Wow - I can't wait!

* Yeah - he CHOSE to get his wisdom teeth taken out today.  He hates Thanksgiving food.  The only thing he upset about is that he doesn't get the teeth pulled until AFTER school.  Yep - he still has to go to Calculus.  That hurts!

* He thinks he will be recovered enough to play in the annual Turkey Bowl on Thursday morning.  Well, if he gets injured, at least we already have the drugs!

* So when I went back to the grocery store, I STILL had to circle the lot looking for a spot.  You'd think it was a holiday!  Then, all the carts were gone.  Everyone was multigenerational shopping.  I was the only "single" in the store.  Everyone was shopping with Grandma or Uncle Phil or the college kids who came back.  I admit - I was a little jealous that I didn't have anyone coming home from college to eat some cheese ball.  Not going to lie!  Next year though.  Next year!

* So everyone else was buying up all the turkeys and whipping cream.  Their carts were heavily laden.  I bought 6 kinds of soup, applesauce, pudding, 3 kinds of ice cream, 3 kinds of juice, yogurt, fruit for smoothies, and 2 bags of frozen peas for ice packs..........oh, and the Vicodin.  I am the BEST mom in the whole world!

* You know when you clean out the turkey and you have that lovely packet of important turkey parts and that cute neck?  Does anyone really eat those?  I have the BEST stuffing recipe that calls for chopping those up, sauteing them in butter and adding them to the stuffing.  I add them right to the trash can.  Turkey gizzard and heart=DISGUSTING!

* When we aren't at the beck and call of The Patient, Parker and I are making pecan pies (among other things).  Mmmmm......that's just the kind of thing I eat for breakfast.

* Yesterday, I had triple berry pie with vanilla ice cream for breakfast. YUM!

* Enough already!  I hope everyone has a great Random Tuesday and a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends!

* Oh and don't forget - The BIG, BIG, REALLY BIG (faux) GIVEAWAY of the century looks like it's landing on Monday.  You seriously are NOT going to want to miss out!

Monday, November 23, 2009


Actually, I don't want to be the queen.  Look at movies like Snow White.  The queen is always bad!  I want to be the princess! The princess is always nice and pretty and wears pink.  Yes, the princess is where it's at.

Anyway, I'm neither.
But I did win a Blogging Award!

That's a lot like being royalty.
Thanks to Raven at Stuperhero Extraordinaire for the love!
The best part of this award is that you are required to do nothing (except award it to 15 more bloggers.)

So we'll skip the usual meme's and bestow the award already -
In no particular order - just fun to read -
Jenny at Jiggety Jigg

Big Mama Cass at The World Through My Eyes

Holy Cow - Blogger is doing whatever it wants with the colors today - sorry!

and Sci Fi Dad from Tales from the Dadside

Well CONGRATS to all you princesses!
Get on out there and blog something to entertain me!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


We're still waiting for the video of the whole adventure.
But Garrett's facebook status of "I'm alive!" was enough for me.

Of course, he thought is was the most awesomest thing ever!

Friday, November 20, 2009


My last words to Garrett were:
"Come home alive or come home dead. 
Don't come home hurt."

The Bonehead Brothers today at 1 pm:

The Bonehead Brothers at 2 pm

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Monday night as we sat around the dinner table enjoying each other's company, Garrett and Parker "remembered" that their Operation Christmas Child box was due in leadership the next day.

What a glorious opportunity!

They went to WalMart armed with a list of items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, crayons and socks.
Each student is to purchase all the items on the list, pack them in a shoe box and bring it and $7 for shipping to send to a needy child.

I texted Garrett about the time they arrived at WalMart with a friendly reminder:
"Please be reasonable and try not to spend a lot of money."

His response: "Duh"

They arrive home loaded down with bags.
I see the receipt poking out of the first one.

I snatch it out of the bag.
The boys stand frozen...........holding the bags.

tthbrsh                $1.29
tthbrsh                $1.29
tthpste                $3.59
tthpste                $3.59
cryns                   $1.00
cryns                   $1.00
str wrs bk            $1.00
str wrs bk            $1.00

So all looks very reasonable.

colring bk            $1.00
colring bk            $1.00
mb car                $1.00
mb car                $1.00
mb car                $1.00
mb car                $1.00
nrf swrd            $10.00
nrf swrd            $10.00
bys scks...............WAIT! WHAT?

I pause in my perusing.  $10?  What was $10?  Some socks?  A pack of T-shirts?  WAIT.......


They bought TWO NERF SWORDS!

I'm no dummy! THOSE won't fit in a shoe box!

"You bought Nerf Swords?"
"We needed them."
"You guys are idiots."
"Yeah - we got them cuz we're having a sword fight later."

May you fight to the death.
Just don't get any blood on the carpet.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm An Auditory Disciplinarian and I'm Proud of It!

Don't forget! I am the uninvited guest poster at Facts from a Fact Woman today!
But I would like to add one tidbit - that I admittedly didn't know when I wrote my brilliant post:
Breast milk will stay "good" in the freezer for 6 months.
Go on over and check out the blog!

Okay soooo...One of the Bonehead Brothers and I had a little misunderstanding this weekend.
I said, "Clean your bathroom."
He put away his toothbrush, straightened the 20 colognes and threw away the empty Slim Jim box.
Voila! Done!

For some reason he thought I was crazy when I explained that "Clean your bathroom" means
* clean up all toothpaste blobs
* clean all the pee off the toilet
* clean the mirror
* remove all clothing and towels from the floor......etc.

Well, YOU know what clean the bathroom is!!!  I don't have to tell YOU!

Actually, he knows too.
Nice try though.

So as he passed my office with the cleaning supply bucket and the toilet brush held over his head like the Queen of England's sceptor, he said,
"I'm going to go put this in Parker's ear."

"No.........just leave him alone."

Just seconds later,
I hear Garrett singing the "JAWS" theme:
"Duh Dum.   Duh Dum, Duh Dum, Duh Dum"
Then, I hear Parker in the family room:
"Get that away from me. Stop it!"

Me: "Garrett!  Cut it out!
Garrett: "I'm not doing anything!  Just because you hear him yelling, you assume I'm doing something....

I'm laughing!  What?

Garrett: "Yeah - you hear laughing and you assume we are doing something wrong.  You hear screaming and you assume we are getting in trouble.  You hear nothing and you make us get up and go do some chore.  You hear video games and you make us go do homework."

He's right!
I'm disciplining based on what I HEAR!
He's right!
I'm an Auditory Disciplinarian.

He's brilliant - don't tell him!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm a bloody mess and I'm guest blogging!

Thank heavens it's RTT - Random Thought Tuesday.

Celebrate with me!
Go on over to Keely's at The Unmom - read her stuff, grab her button, write your own RaNDoM and link up!
Hurry up already!

* I invited myself to guest post on Facts from a Fact Woman's Blog.
Yes you read that correctly.
She did not seek me out.
In the middle of cleaning out my freezer, I researched some great facts that I just had to share.
So I wrote a post and invited Margaret to post it ON HER BLOG.
Go take a look at my brilliance TOMORROW!  She assured me that it would post tomorrow.  Do you think she was just telling me that to make me go away?

* We were supposed to get between 6 and 12 inches of snow between Saturday night and Sunday evening.  In my fantasies, all twelve inches would fall out of the sky at once,
thus cancelling church and necessitating a pajama day.  Yeah - it didn't happen.

* Yesterday morning, I was shredding stuff and then decided to clean out the shredder- it's one of my favorite jobs.  In a sad shredder accident, I somehow cut my finger.  Instinct calls for immediately putting your finger in your mouth.  My blood tasted gross.  I wonder if that means anything?  Do you think your blood tastes different when you are sick, like when you have a serious disease?

* I went to my husband's office to "help."  We use that term loosely.  There is not a lot I am qualified to do there.  Nevertheless, even that became difficult when I received multiple file folder cuts (way more severe than normal paper cuts) and then my shredder finger kept bleeding on the documents.  I kept having to staunch the blood on my jeans and make new copies of the damaged documents.  Do you think I should file for workers' comp?

* The one good part about going to the office is that one of the employees brought in treats.  By "brought in treats," I'm not talking a dixie plate of chocolate chip cookies.  She brought a PLATTER (a big one) of mint brownies, peanut butter and chocolate thingies, chocolate cake, and three types of cookies for Brian.  Yeah, he and his partner each received their own platter!  I ate some there and took the whole platter home with me.  I should have bled on it so I wouldn't have to share.

* I'm going out to lunch with a friedn today to celebrate her 75th brithday.  She wants to go to this Chinese Food Buffet.  My connections at Tri County Health tell me that it will soon be shut down for numerous violations.  Ethically, do I have to tell her? Or should I just let her enjoy her meal?

* IF you have read this far, I'm sharing a secret with you.
This is like my 290th post.
That means that I am getting close to 300.
I'm going to have a huge giveway - a HUGE pretend GIVEAWAY.
You should see the stuff that shockingly, didn't sell at the Boy Scout Garage Sale this last weekend.
You're gonna LOVE it!  You're gonna want it!
And I would totally give it to you (if Brian hadn't already taken it to the Good Will.)
So, come back in like 10-14 days for the BIG, BIG, REALLY BIG pretend GIVEAWAY.

Happy, Happy Random!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Way to a Manchild's Heart - CHICKEN WINGS!

As a parent, you always appreciate the people in your children's lives who do for them what you cannot possible do -
like teach them Math, coach their team and TEACH THEM VIOLIN!

Bless Javan!

(sorry - I stole this pic from her facebook)
She has been Garrett's vioin teacher since he was in Kindegarten.
She has the patience of Job.
She should be sainted.
She has never raised her voice at Garrett, never gotten angry, never hit him and never bludgeoned him with a club, or choked him with her bare hands - all things I have done or thought about doing.

Javan's equally wonderful husband, Kenny usually cooks dinner and watches their children while Javan gives lessons in the evening.  A couple of weeks ago, Kenny made wings.  Garrett invited himself to eat with them.

Garrett came home RAVING about how awesome they are.
And you know that Garrett KNOWS what good wings are.
I called Javan for the recipe but didn't get a hold of her.

Last week, Garrett went to violin wher Kenny and Javan presented him with
THE INGREDIENTS to make the wings.

How excited was Garrett when he got home?

And now we'll share
Kenny's Famous Wings.

Read the instructions.
It's obvious that Kenny and Javan know Garrett well.  REALLY WELL!

How to make wings at home:


*Chicken wings or drummettes
*Spongefoot trading company original wing sauce (go to whole food they have tons of cool sauces to try)
*BBQ rub – don’t use too much
*Liquid smoke – hickory

Warning – You will need to set your iphone down for some of this. Your hands will be greasy and slimy and that does not work well with the touchscreen. The girlfriends can wait for their texts, you are learning to cook which is essential to keeping girlfriends in the future.

How to do it:

1. Get Parker to do it.
2. Take wings out of package and rinse and pat dry. (This is raw chicken so keep your hands clean and don’t stick them in your mouth.) Put in big bowl.
3. Check your day trades on your iphone
4. Sprinkle BBQ rub on the wings
5. Squirt some liquid smoke on them – about 10 shakes or so
6. Let it sit for 20 minutes or longer if you can
7. Fire up the grill
8. Get grill hot and then knock it down to about1/4 the heat
9. Spray something on the grill so the wings do not stick
10. Put wings on using tongs
11. Grill one side for about 4 minutes and flip if they look brown or a little bit of charring on them – about 4 minutes on the other side
12. Have a big bowl – a clean one ready with some of the wing sauce in it. Toss the wings a few at a time and put back on the grill for about 2 minutes.
13. Take off the grill and put in a big bowl again and put some more wing sauce on the wings.
14. Chow down.

You are the best Javan!
You have done for Garrett something I could never have done.
You have been an integral part of his life.
I can never pay you back and I can never thank you enough.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Friday, November 13, 2009


It's time to take a little trip - A FRiDaY FieLD TRiP!

This week, Margaret and I went on our traditional trip to

It is at Tagawa Nursery for a few days.  It's a smaller version of their Fall Boutique.
But this post isn't about THAT part of the field trip.
THAT was the field trip until somewhere in aisle 3,
I freaked out.


"I'm having a panic attack."

"WHAT are we going to do about TEACHER GIFTS?"

When I say TEACHER GIFTS, I'm not talking about movie tickets for Miss Slugbottom or a perfumed candle for the gym teacher.

I'm talking wonderful, useful, creative, CHEAP gifts for 250!
Margaret and I are in charge of showing the high school staff love from the PTO (for about $2 a person.)

I let Margaret worry about this.

Margaret calmly replied, "Oh I already had a panic attack about that early this week."
"I don't know."

I spent the rest of the Grandmother's House Boutique looking at crystal earrings, dip mixes and feathered headbands wondering what I could buy 300 of for $1.
We left rather quickly.

We tossed around ideas.
I was hyperventilating: MUST   FIND   GIFT.
As we pulled back in the neighborhood,
we decide we needed to settle this right here and now.
It was an EMERGENCY!

In the past, the gifts have been purchased in July or October at the latest.
We've given..........remember.......we can only spend $2ish..........and it's to men and women.....and they are Christian, Jewish and Kwanzaanian, carnivores, vegetarians, diabetics etc.....

Each gift comes with a corny poem about how much we appreciate them written by moi in the 11th hour! the past, we have given -
Pasta, a pasta fork, a demi-loaf of french bread
A fleece scarf with hot chocolate
An enamel popcorn bowl, dvd, popcorn and 2 liter bottle of pop
A booklight and hmmm.....something else
Mugs with..........I don't remember

So Margaret whipped a U-turn and we went to Target for ideas, knowing that we wouldn't find anything but at least we could get ideas.

We walked in and chorus of angels sang,
a light shown down from heaven,
there in the bottom bin of the $1 aisle.....

Everyone uses/needs an ice scraper in their car. 
They are boyish and girlish.  They don't have any calories.  They won't offend vegetarians.  AND the ones there were all blue with a black scraper - SCHOOL COLORS!!!!  It was meant to be!

I was already writing the poem in my head.

So we loaded the cart with the 89 that were there and started walking around the store chanting, "What could go with an ice scraper?"  Anything under a buck was considered..........packs of gum?  Hello Kitty stickers?  Doggy Treats?
Seriously, what else goes with an ice scraper?

I heard the chorus of angels again-
those stretchy magic gloves on the end cap
Wait........................they are $1.50.
But wait again!  They are TWO PAIRS for $1.50

We bought 63 sets.
So we continued the field trip to two more Targets.
250 ice scrapers and 250 pairs of stretchy gloves later, I could breathe a sigh of relief.
This is one Field Trip you should be glad you weren't on!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"BUTT Mom!"

Today, I'm reliving part (the best part - cuz someone else gets in trouble) of my childhood.
It's Writer's Workshop with Mama Kat and you can play along too!
Go over and see her and pick a writing prompt!

I've selected #1: Describe the best/most creative punishment you have ever given your children or received yourself. 

I personally, have never done anything wrong so.....I can't write about a punishment I have received.  And if you've stalked visited here much, you KNOW my kids have NEVER done anything worthy of punishment. 

So I'm remembering a punishment my hellion angelic brothers received.  It was brilliant!

My brothers were about 3 and 5 and entertaining themselves while my mother was involved in some kind of church service.  Giggling ensued.  And then they became hysterical.  This fit drew my mother's attention and she asked what they were doing.  Dropping their pens and shoving paper behind their back, they gave the standard answer you give moms: "Nothing."

"Come here" she commanded.  They did - empty handed.  "Go get the paper."  Sheepishly, they brought the papers to her.

"What is this?"

Thinking quickly, my brother answered, "Beetles."  My other dumber brother nodded in agreement. 

"Beetles?"  my mother responded.  My mom was brilliant.  She was never going to be taken in by a 3 and 5 year old.  Plus, I think she had taken some science classes before becoming a mom and she knew that beetles had heads AND legs.

"These aren't beetles. Are you boys drawing butts?"  They couldn't really answer because they were wavering between bursting out in tears or laughter. 

Laughter won.  "Butts!  Ha! Ha!  Hee!  Hee! Butts!!!!!  Woo!  Hoo!"  The giggled uncontrollably and slapped their thighs, held their stomachs, fell to the ground and writhed in preschool ecstasy.

Except that when they caught their breath, they realized that my mom wasn't laughing with them.
She wasn't even smiling. (How she kept that straight face, I'll never know.)

"Well, since you think this is so funny and you are having so much fun," she paused and handed them a legal tablet,

you can go on in the bathroom and fill this whole tablet with butts."

My brothers looked at each other gleefully.  Wow!  What a punishment!  Mom was soooo cool!
Their laughter echoed off the bathroom walls as they drew page 1, page 2 and page 3. 
Things started quieting down around page 7.
By page 9, the youngest was selected as the scapegoat one most likely to succeed and came out to ask for a reprieve.
Mom shook her head and back into the bathroom he went.

By page 12, they were crying.
By page 15, they were calling out from their cell that they would NEVER draw butts again.
They filled that tablet.

THAT was the day that I realized my mom was a genius!  They don't teach you that stuff at Mom School. 
And my brother's were "cured."  Neither of them became medical illustrators and neither of them are really "ass men."

I've tucked that punishment away in the recesses of my mind, just waiting for a single off-color illustration.  Alas, my own children are 20, 18, and 15 and they haven't turned in any butt, boob or penis drawing.  Dang!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


It's my favorite day!
It's RaNDoM THouGHT TueSDaY!

Go on over to Keely's at The Unmom and link up.  You'll like it.  You really will!

* I was walking out of the high school the other day as some kids were walking in.

One genius turned to the other and asked,
"How long has this school been imposed?"

Did he mean "When was this school built?"
Or did he really mean, "In what year did the government mandate that children attend school?"

Well for that kid's info:
Colorado became a state in 1876 and holy cow, it wasn't until 1889 that the government decide that kids couldn't self-smart themselves and enacted Compulsory School Attendance.
Twelve years ago is when the high school was "imposed" on this particular area.

* Garrett is getting his wisdom teeth removed over Thanksgiving break.
Don't feel sorry for him.
He hates Thanksgiving food.
He doesn't like the texture - it's soft and boring.
He may be liking soft and boring this year!
Being the accomodating hostess, I always ask him what his favorite Thanksgiving foods are so we can include them on the menu.
He always says, "Chinese food."
I ignore him, so I guess I'm not that accomodating.

* The other night at dinner,
Garrett announced this year's summer job.
(Let's remember that Garrett was a lifeguard last year - perfect summer job and that he is currently employed with a very impressive, resume worthy job right now.)
G: "I know what I'm going to do next summer."
Me: "Do next summer?  What do you mean?"
G: "I know what my summer job is going to be!"
Me: "What?"

G: "A DAYTRADER!  Isn't that perfect?  They let monkeys trade and they did better than economists."
Me: "What are you saying?  You're a monkey?"

Lest you think he isn't serious, he has opened an Ameritrade account (after researching other online trading houses) and has contacted one of our friends who is a trader and arranged to go to his office to see how he works.
Heaven help me!

* While chewing on one Slim Jim, he holds another over his head and prepares to launch it at me like a missile.
G: "Mom, have a Slim Jim."
Me: "No thanks."
G: "Why not?"
Me: "They are disgusting!"
G: "Why am I the only one who likes them?  They are yummy umbilical cords."

Ewwww........Now, not only do I NEVER want to taste one, I never want to see one.

* In case you don't have teenage boys,
War of the Worlds,   World of Warcraft, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare came out last night AT MIDNIGHT!
Garrett and Parker "reserved" their copy last week by paying CASH.
In a fit of responsibility, they even saved the receipt in pristine condition.
They left the house at 11 PM and went to the store where they were 131st in line.
Garrett said there were about 300 other idiots people there.
I guess it's akin to girls going to the midnight showing of New Moon.

Well, I'm off to consume a greasy chocolate twist donut.
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 9, 2009

WHAT Does Trammell DO All Day?

My friend Andrea, of Blogging Mama Andrea fame, posed the following question –

“If I could ask you to do a post? I'm not Mormon (but my sister is, hehe - I love saying that) what exactly do they do on a mission?

Dispell the crazy door knocking bible salesman myth for me? “

Great question! I’m so glad you asked.  I would love to tell you........and I hope I don't make you sorry you asked!

I’ll answer this question based on Trammell’s experience in Cambodia. There are about 350 missions so some things vary, but for the most part all the missions follow the same basic schedule.

Trammell lives in an apartment in Cambodia with his companion and one other companionship.  He is assigned a companion by the mission president and they are assigned an area to work in.  

(four missionaries in their apartment)

Everyday, they get up at 6:30 and spend 30 minutes exercising and then get dressed, have breakfast, have personal scripture study, companionship study and planning time.

They leave the house around 10:30. Most of Trammell’s days are taken up by appointments. The appointments are with people who are investigators (people who are not members but are interested in learning about the Church), new members, or with people who have already joined the Church but don’t participate any more.  About 96% of Cambodians are Buddhists.  When the missionaries meet with people, they teach them about Jesus Christ, our purpose in life, premortal life, eternal families, priesthood authority, and church doctrine.

Trammell and his companion ride bikes everywhere.

In most missions, if you do not have an appointment, you go tracting. Tracting is going door to door in a neighborhood or apartment complex. They knock on the door and when someone answers, ask if they are interested in hearing a message about Jesus Christ. Most missionaries don’t love going tracting. It’s pretty rare that you knock on a stranger’s door, they are home, you ask if they want to talk about religion and they are thrilled to throw the door open and invite you in. It’s just not a very productive way to share the gospel.

However, in Cambodia, going door to door is illegal. It is against the law to go door to door talking about religion. They are allowed to go to people’s houses if they are invited. And surprisingly, they are allowed to approach people on the street and ask them if they would like to know more about Jesus Christ. Most of Trammell’s days are filled with going from appointment to appointment. They can take time off for lunch mid-day but they do not go back home for lunch. They usually buy lunch off the street. They can get a bowl of noodles with vegetables and little bit of meat or fish from a street vendor for about 50 cents. I get the impression though that they skip lunch most days and keep working. Usually, missionaries go back home for dinner around 5:30 and then go back out and work from 6:30 on. In America, the missionaries will often go to church members’ houses for dinner. In Cambodia, the people are much too poor to ask them or expect them to feed the missionaries.

I get the impression that most of the time, Trammell and his companion just stay out working and come home at 9:30 and get something to eat. All missionaries must be back in their apartments by 9:30. They will then eat, shower, plan for the next day and report in to their supervisors so that the mission president can know that everyone is home safe and sound for the day.

They follow this schedule six days a week. Each week they have a preparation day or P-day. Trammell’s is on Wednesday. They still get up at 6:30 and exercise and study, but the remainder of the day until dinner time is used to do laundry, shop for the week’s food, maybe do a little site seeing, and the most important part WRITE HOME! Yippee!!!! The missionaries go to an internet cafĂ© and have 45 minutes to write their family and write a letter to the mission president telling him about their week, the people they are teaching, what they have learned etc.   Cambodia is 14 hours ahead of Trammell's Wednesday morning is our Tuesday night.  We can't help ourselves.  We find ourselves checking our computer every 15 minutes on Tuesday evening just waiting for that email to pop in.  Trammell is an awesome writer.  His emails are usually two pages long.  He rarely tells us anything about the weather, the places he lives, the sites he's seen, the food or even anything about his companion.  He writes about all the miracles he has seen everyday, the people he is teaching and how humble and wonderful they are and the things he's learned.  It is obvious in his words and tone that he LOVES what he is doing.

After dinner on P-Day, it’s back to regular missionary work.

The everyday work/teaching schedule is broken up with church on Sunday, training meetings with supervisors, training with other missionaries, church activities, baptism and service. Missionaries perform 4-5 hours of service every week. In America, the missionaries will do yard work for the elderly, clean a neighborhood park or open space, help people move, work at the church cannery, or volunteer at a community event. In Cambodia, the missionaries might work in the rice paddies planting or harvesting, help build houses (huts), or do dental assisting at a clinic. That kind of scares me – the thought of an untrained 19 year old performing dental procedures……..but these people don’t have anyone one else who can help. It is a different world!

You can imagine what a life changing experience this is.  Missions are wonderful opportunities for personal growth whether they are in the United States, South America, Europe or a thrid world country like Cambodia.  There is nothing like it!  It is a huge sacrifice and it is extremely demanding and hard. The missionaries give up comfortable housing, familiar food, cars, television, movies, music, and girlfriends and delay their education, romance, and careers to serve.  And they serve at their own expense. 

I know that Trammell is "getting" more than he is giving and I know he wouldn't trade these two years for anything.  I don't doubt that when he gets home, he will tell us it was the hardest two years of his life, but I am sure he will say the rewards outweighed his sacrifice.

Thanks for asking Andrea.  I hope I didn't bore you to death
I'm always happy to answer any questions and I'm glad you asked!