Thursday, April 30, 2009


I know! I know that yesterday I said that I wish Parker would get married and leave the nest. I TAKE IT BACK! I TAKE IT ALL BACK!
I went outside this morning and saw THIS:
What the???? Okay, there is no need to panic. I just needed to take a deep breath and gather my senses.
I remained calm. I came back inside and wrote THIS:
Dear Girls -
YOU can't LOVE Parker! He's MINE! He's my Tiny Baby! He's too little! You can't LOVE someone under 5 feet! I know he goes to your high school, but he's only 14! Seriously, there are 1,400 other boys. Pick someone else.
Besides, this isn't even HIS car. He can't he can't even drive off with you into the sunset.
And besides, he doesn't love you back. Because he only loves me! He's going to stay home and live with me forever and ever. Sorry!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Yippee Skippy! I Just Won!
I love to win………..because it is a rare event!

But thanks to HK Everyday blog/, I won the Blogging Friendship Award.
What does this mean?
She loves me (and I love her)
And, I love all of you…my blogging friends.
So, I get to post 8 things I look forward to doing, 8 things I wish I could do, and award 8 friends some love!

8 Things That I’m Looking Forward To –
- Summer – no school, no seminary, the pool and a stack of books
- All of my children graduating from high school, because I’m tired. Not 6 hours of sleep a night tired, but “hey I know you’re only 14, but isn’t it time for you to move out and move on?” tired.
- All of my children marrying the wife of my dreams and producing the cutest grandchildren in the world.
- Having the funnest every family reunions with the above
- Going on a mission with Brian
- Travelling without leaving the children home with stacks of money, refrigerators full of food, signed permission slips in case of an emergency and a typed schedule for my parents
- Brian’s new company making money. That would be soooo cool to get a paycheck!
- I don’t know what else I’m looking forward to because I made goal a couple years back to not “wish” my life away, but to enjoy each day. And guess what? It’s one goal I’m actually keeping!

8 Things I Wish I Could Do
- Blink and be somewhere instantly
- Crank up some hip hop tunes and drive as fast as I want
- Have all my brothers live on the same street with me
- Be a coroner, wedding planner, high school teacher, teen psychologist
- Have more time in the day
- Remember what I study when I read the scriptures
- Have time to learn a new skill and have a hobby
- Have thick hair(well, not really thick, just more than the 5 strands I have now) that grows quickly

And now for my wonderful blog friends – Thanks for letting me stalk you!

Stephanie at The proof of this joy is me .com an old friend from Denver and the singles' ward.

Valerie at Let's Be Frank an old friend from the Mormon Mothers Board.

Andrea at Blogging Mama-Andrea. a new friend from the Blogosphere. She lives in Germany and she keeps me entertained.

Ashli at DardenneDudes. a friend from Church with fun pics of her cute kids.

Melissa at Howell Herald. a friend in the ward who HATES doing these kinds of lists. She's an awesome photographer and a great writer.

Allison at Clamp Soup. the daughter in law of a friend. She's a new mom to a beautiful little girl and her posts are fun and refreshingly honest. Love her!

Amy at Happy Though Indeed. an old friend from the Mormon Moms Board and I have to say that when I see the title of her blog - Happy Thought Indeed in my favorites, I smile.

Diane at Life is a Pitch. an old friend from the Mormon Moms Board who is a soccer mom extraordinaire and she keeps up with each and every family member's activities.

There ya go girls! Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Parenting Pet Peeves - My Own Little Rant

If you are reading this, then I’m probably not talking about you.

I don’t get it. I really don’t get it.
I just read a blog about a woman who took her 5 year old twins to GOOD GRAVY (not the real name of the store).
She complained that there were displays of soccer balls for sale everywhere. She told her boys not to touch them….don’t touch the display by the cargo shorts. Don’t touch the display by the panties. Don't touch the display by the sweaters. Don’t touch!
One of the five year olds just could NOT stand the temptation. While the mom was checking out, a ball arced over her head, above 5 registers and toward the exit.
The store manager glared and proclaimed: “Those balls are not for kicking.”
While seeing the manager’s point, she sided with her child and said, “Well then, what are they there for?”
I’ll answer. TO BUY! They are for someone to buy.
When I was little, there were a few phrases that meant something.
Don’t touch!
Stay right by me!
They meant exactly what they say. A bunch of ONE syllable words linked together with an understood threat that death was nigh.
Although both complex and mysterious, I taught my own three children these lines. And I meant it. Yeah, sometimes they had to be repeated. And they were slightly more effective is they were HISSED into the ear of a three year old while gripping the underside of their upper arm with a witch claw.
I know this sounds mean and extreme to expect a small child to listen and obey. And I know that I am making a big deal out of touching soccer balls.

Touching the soccer ball or kicking it across the store for that matter is NOT that big of a deal. It won’t hurt anyone (probably).

But you are going to get down the road and you are going to say “No!”, “Don’t Touch” and “Stay right by me!” and it WILL matter.
Obedience is a learned behavior. Right now, you, as a parent are teaching and they are learning a way more important underlying lesson for later:
1. I have been called to be your parent
2. Part of my job is to protect, teach, and prepare you for the future…whether it’s to protect you from yourself, strangers, death or help shape you into a productive, likeable teenager who can make good choices on his own.
3. I love you and have your best interest at heart.
4. Sometimes I will ask you to DO or NOT DO things that might not make sense to you, but you will need to trust me.
5. Even if you do not agree with me, you should respect me.
6. When you make a choice to OBEY or DISOBEY, there will be consequences and you don’t get to CHOOSE those.
If your children have not learned that you mean business when they are 2 or 4, what makes you think they will believe you mean business when they are 12 or 14 and the stakes are higher?
And sometimes, when you say, “No!” or “Don’t Touch” it’s not just “No!” or “Don’t Touch!” There’s more to it.
When they are 2, you say “Don’t touch the electrical outlet.” When they are 5, you say “Don’t touch stuff that isn’t yours.” When they are 10, you say “Don’t touch the beer.” When they are 14, you say “Don’t touch the girls……..”
The stakes are higher: the consequences bigger than a ticked off store manager. It’s GAME TIME!

Monday, April 27, 2009


The Bonehead Brothers know that almost every Saturday requires a certain amount of time doing chores. You would think that after 17 years, they would be used to it, expect it, and embrace it. But no!

They dread it! And Saturday mornings are met with a groan.

Garrett reluctantly got out of bed to assist with taking down the Christmas lights. I KNOW. It's almost May!

But he took his own ladder and cordless drill and took down several strands of lights on the first story. Then he became Brian’s assistant as they tackled the second story lights.

Brian would lean the extension ladder against the house, ascend to the top, use the cordless drill to unscrew the screws, then descend the ladder. Garrett's job was to 1) catch/hold the long strands the framework of lights that was being unscrewed and 2) retrieve the drill from Brian as he descended the ladder and prepared to move it to a new location. Even I can do the job.....almost.

This went on for about 20 minutes. Then, up at the top of the extension ladder, Brian lowered the cordless drill and without looking and said, “Here Garrett…….hold this while I…… Garrett? Garrett?” He looked down and it was as if Garrett had vanished into the misty morning.

Brian looked frustrated. “Where is Garrett?”
I hesitated to answer. “He’s inside making bacon.”
Brian: “He’s what? He’s making bacon? What? In the middle of the project? He couldn’t wait 10 minutes?”

I could see the steam coming out of his ears!

While Brian was filled with shock and unbelief, I started laughing. Brian didn’t.
He didn't yell. He didn't scream.
He quietly went inside and retrieved a legal tablet and pen (WORSE than a whip I tell you!)

He made this list of chores that Garrett needed to complete BEFORE doing anything else on Saturday.

You can HARDLY tell that Brian is BITTER! ;)
Please note that some of the jobs are more “instructional” than others.
Like, “Not everything is about you.” and "Learn to ask if there is anything else you can do."

Tyler came over - you could see that by the nice autograph he felt compelled to leave on the chore list. But he pitched in, which is only fair since he lives here 50% of the time.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Saturday is a SPECIAL Day

It's been 75 degrees ALL week.

So we planned a SPECIAL project for Saturday morning.

When we woke up, it was 37 and misty.

The project MUST go on.

And I just have THREE words:

Friday, April 24, 2009

You Don't Bring Me Flowers - And I Totally Understand Why!

Get Giddy! It’s Friday!

And it’s time for My Husband Rocks!

I’m telling you this not to brag or compare husbands.
I’m blogging about him to give him a little shout out and the recognition that he so deserves (and didn’t get when I was 17 – read on).

Yes, Brian and I dated in high school……….except we were in different schools and were so busy with our school activities and church that we only saw each other once or twice a week. (probably the saving grace of the relationship)

We DID talk on the phone almost every day – the CORDED pale yellow wall phone with the extra long cord that could be stretched from the kitchen to the dining room for added privacy.

Quite frequently, I would get out of school and go to my car to find a single rose on the windshield.

Somehow, Brian had gotten out of school (probably ditched), hopped in his way cool brown Camaro, purchased a rose, driven the 15 miles to my high school, left the rose on my car and returned home….without so much as glimpse of me.

With or without a note, I always knew it was him. Ahhhh…….true love! And I was really appreciative......I just didn't really show it.

It was so awesome to come out of school and see that flower. I knew i was loved. And I would snatch the rose off the car, look at it, smell it and toss it in the back of the car.

Eventually, Brian would call; “Ummm…..did you get the rose?”
“Oh yeah. I totally forgot. Yeah. Thanks.”

The rose was still in the car or maybe I brought it in and threw it on the kitchen counter. Sometimes, in a particularly thoughtful move, I would actually put it in a drinking glass next to the kitchen sink.

It’s not that I didn’t love him. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate the flowers (okay maybe it was), but I was 17! I was young and stupid and selfish………as opposed to now, when I am old and stupid and selfish.

But he NEVER gave up! Okay, he doesn't bring flowers, but he brings better things – donuts, cokes for McDonalds, candy from Sees. He’s found the way to my heart!

He’s always thinking about me and what HE can do for ME to let me know he loves me.

After all the dating and flowers and gifts, he says he HAD to marry me to get a return on his investment. Maybe he was telling the truth, but I don’t think he got a very good return.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I have a lot to be THANKFUL for everyday, even on not so great days.
We all do!

Here are a few things I’m thankful for
1) Last night, when my nephew realized that it was 10:15 and I wasn’t home from lacrosse, he called me on my cell to tell me to hurry home and get in bed. He’s so sweet and considerate….especially since he himself was suffering. He had his first set of immunizations yesterday. Wasn’t it so sweet of him to think about me and call? (He’s 8 weeks old!) Thank you Mr. Chunkers!

2) My brother who is in med school successfully diagnosed Garrett’s “manhood” ailment. Garrett has been suffering for three weeks. He’s been in so much pain, he submitted to an exam by a female pediatrician AND an ultrasound. After the doctor came up empty, my bro came up with the problem. When I told Garrett, he said, “YES! That’s it! Why didn’t the doctor ask me that? I could have told her! Thanks Jared!

3) My girlfriend was making spaghetti casseroles for a women’s retreat and she had 1 lb of spaghetti, meatballs and ½ jar of sauce left over. Not wanting to waste, she made an extra casserole………and guess who she gave it to for dinner? Thanks Margaret!

4) This is the first week that I HAVEN’T had to wear long underwear and ski socks to the lacrosse games. And I’m extra thankful since we have had games every single day – Monday through Saturday. (Okay it’s starting to rain as I type this. Boo!)

5) The Bonehead Brothers do a lot of crazy things! I'm grateful that they are fun and crazy things, not stupid, illegal things. For teenage boys, well really for any age boys, they make really good choices. Mostly, they make me laugh...most of the time! Thanks guys!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oops! I Did it Again!

I missed Earth Day.
I forgot to care.

I know. That sounds totally selfish.
But here’s my thinking/perspective/excuse/rationale –

Every generation leaves a legacy-
something that can bring generation together for the common good of all, some difficult problem that we can blame on our careless, selfish, short-sighted parents.

My parents left me with a huge national deficit.
It has been quite a project and “I’ve” put forth a noble effort to reduce the deficit. I think it was whittled down pretty far at one time…..but I can’t help it if it’s tripled or quadrupled in the last few years. It’s something my generation is working on.

So in return, I’m leaving my children with landfills full of Pampers – THEIR Pampers.

I’ll admit, I’m not just selfish, I’m the previous generation.
I don’t recycle. I don’t compost.

Don’t get me wrong. I would NEVER litter.
In fact, I am kind of noble when it comes to litter.
I’ve witnessed teens throwing fast food bags full of trash out of car windows. And I’ve followed them, stopped them and made them go back and pick up the litter. So there!

I don’t waste. I certainly don’t purposely leave the water running or leave lights on. And I have been known to use those reusable canvas bags at the grocery store (when I remember to bring them)

But speaking of lights, I don’t own any of those CLF or CFL or whatever fluorescent lights……….not one. Because………..they’re ugly. Yea, the bulb is ugly and the light it gives off is ugly. Sorry. I said what everyone else is afraid to. When they invent a cute energy saving bulb, I'll totally buy it!

And it kind of bugs me that we even HAVE Earth Day. You know when it’s Mothers’ Day and your kids honor you by saying, “When is KIDS’ Day?” And you say, “EVERY DAY is Kids’ Day.” Well EVERY DAY is or should be Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I'm so IN, I'm OUT!

Do you ever wonder how you get certain emails?

Who decides to send them to YOU?

These were in my INBOX:
From –
Exclusive! Meet Latin Singles!

How can it be so exclusive if they are inviting ME? There is NOTHING even remotely Latino about me. I would get booed right out of the group and the real Latinos would take their memberships and go home. I wouldn't want to meet me!

From reply@brandacareers –
Want a New Checking Account?
It depends! Does it have money in it?

And from My.Life.Now@orangefoxmedia .com –
“Your Ex Just searched for you!”
Wow! I kinda wanna go see who my ex is, since I don’t have one. I’ve known Brian since I was 14, dated since I was 16, wrote for a few months on his mission, quit writing, dated other people, came to my senses, married Brian………oh oh, maybe those are the people are searching for me!

THIS just arrived IN my driveway.
Get ready for a fun adventure in construction. I’ll tell you more later!

And look at what is IN my wreath on the front door!

I just wish the bird would have built the nest in the center of the bottom of the wreath. It would look so much cuter!

And THIS is IN my purse.

I don’t know why it is IN there, but I better get it out.

The first thing I do in the morning on my way to seminary (after I back out of the garage) is fumble in my purse for lipgloss. By the time I get to the end of the driveway, I am armed. By the time I get to the end of the street, I have applied lipgloss………all in the dark.

If I leave this in my purse, you know it’s only a matter of time before Ishow up at seminary like THIS!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Bonehead Brothers Beat the Blizzard

The weather forecasters warned and warned and warned that we would get a lot of snow.

The snow started Friday at about 5 am, but there were periods of rain and periods of nothing. I thought it was a bust.

Finally, it started to snow in earnest around 2 pm.
All of our games and after school activities were cancelled.
I was worried that Garrett and Parker wouldn’t get home from school. When they pulled in the driveway around 3:15, I was so relieved.

“Thank heavens you’re home! I am so glad you are home.”
Parker: “Yeah we almost didn’t get home!”
Me with my typical answer: “Nah uh!”
Garrett: “Seriously! Parker had to drive and I had to push!”
Me: “Really?”
Garrett: “Yeah, we got stuck and I knew Parker wouldn’t be able to push, so I had him drive while I pushed. Then some other kids came along and helped push us too.”
Me: “Well I’m glad you made it!”

We knew we would be snowbound the rest of the weekend.
So we took care of the most important things first.
Garrett called Tyler.

Garrett: “Dude, what are you doing? Come over!”
Tyler: “I’m going to take a nap.”
Garrett: “If you take a nap, you’ll be snowed in by the time you wake up and you won’ be able to come over.”
Evidently, Tyler could see the wisdom in this. He showed up about 15 minutes later. And then 30 minutes later, I asked Parker what the boys were doing and he told me they were in the basement taking naps.

And the rest is history. Tyler “accidentally” got snowed in here and couldn’t return home until Saturday evening.

Here is how they spent their Saturday.
Yes, they are in swimsuits. No, they don't have shoes on. Yes, they are running around the yard. Yes, they really are diving in the snow and rolling around. Yes, they jumped in the hot tub!
Yes, they are in pain. Yes, they did it again. No, I don't really know why they do what they do.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Disappointment of the Bonehead Brothers

Every weekend is cause for celebration, but the Bonehead Brothers decided to start the celebration early!

They decided to start their weekend THURSDAY evening! It was a trifecta calling for a bacchanal celebration of epic proportions.

1) Tyler was turning 18 today – enough of a cause for celebration but…..
2) He finished his Eagle Scout Application at about 5 pm with 7 hours to spare until his the 18th birthday deadline AND
3) The weather forecast called for 10-20 inches of snow. The potential for a snow day or at least seminary getting cancelled was high!

Let the weekend begin!
Immediately after Tyler obtained the necessary signatures on his Eagle application and Garrett finished lacrosse, they went to the Girls’ Soccer Game.
By 7, they were back home because it was too rainy and it was obvious the girls were going to win.
By 8, they were in the hot tub relaxing after the stress of a long week.
By 9, they were kicking back with a fresh bag of Cheetos, facebook, texting and TV watching.

That’s where they lost me. I drifted into my never, never land of 6 hours of sleep.
I assume Tyler left sometime after 10.

Upon arising this morning, I looked out the window. It was wet, but it hadn’t even started snowing. I got in the shower and got ready for seminary.

Every morning, around 5:15, I go upstairs and open Parker’s door and tell him goodbye. Then I go downstairs and open Garrett’s door and say goodbye. All of this is done in pitch black. No lights are ever turned on. There is never an actual conversation.

EXCEPT for today –
Me: “Bye G! I’ll see you later.”
Garrett: “Bye. See ya.”
Strange Male Voice from the corner of the room, “What? Wait! We have seminary?”
Me: “(recognition dawning) “Yeah Tyler. It’s not even snowing yet. See ya at seminary. Oh and Happy Birthday!”

My Husband Rocks!

It's Friday! It's time to recognize Brian for the almost 25 years he has put up with me! It's time for My Husband Rocks!

So here ya go...............

When I get home from seminary, Brian is at his desk or showering or sometimes still in the bed. But a few times a week he greets me with “Where are we going?”
“Where are we going?????? We’re going somewhere at 7 am?”
Yep! We’re going on A DATE!
And he tells me to pick a place. Sometimes we go out to a place called Sams No. 3 for a full fledged breakfast….or Johnny’s Diner or Village Inn. Sometimes we take a little drive for the famous cinnamon crumb donuts at The Donut or maple cake at Lamars. We’ll go to Einsteins or My Favorite Muffin. And some days, we just run to McDonalds for the large Coke and come right back to our desks to get to work.
Sometimes it's an hour and half and sometimes it's only 15 minutes, but it’s time together.
And it shows he’s thinking of me, wants to be with me and –
He likes me! He really likes me!
And guess what? I like him too!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

No! Nien! Ne! Nu! Nej! Negatory!

Give me a treat, a prize, a certificate……..something!
I know! It’s hard to believe.
My friend and I were whining, crying and tearing our hair out because we are in charge of the food for After Prom and we’ve put it off and put it off until we could put it off no more!
Luckily, neither of us have ANYTHING to do this week (ha ha, hee hee…wooo that was funny) so we got together to plan.
After 15 minutes of plotting how to throw ourselves down stairs and land on swords, arranging to drive into bridge abutments, and deciding that arranging our own deaths was harder than feeding 1,000, we got to work and planned the whole darn thing in a couple of hours.
Yep – we have the menu, the decorations, room layout, lists of supplies we need to purchase, lists of vendors to solicit, lists of items we need parents to donate. We’re armed with lists!
It’s going to be fun and it’s going to be yummy. I would tell you all about it, but it is TOP SECRET. No one knows what the theme for Prom or After Prom is yet (except for the leadership class, the Prom committee, the administration, the PTO, etc. etc.)
Before placing our order for our TOP SECRET decorations, we decided to run to the school. Never go to the school during the day.
It’s not the students who scare me……’s the other adults. The students totally ignored us as we wondered the cafeteria pointing to where we could string TOP SECRET decorations and planning our table arrangement. But those pesky adults are the ones who get in the way. We made the mistake of talking to a few of them. They wanted to know what we were doing tomorrow, next week, next year.
“They” thought it would be wonderful if WE were on the PTO Board. And without thinking and in perfect unison, we exclaimed, “NO!”
Congratulate me! Pat me on the back! Take me to dinner! But DON'T ask me to do anything!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Seminary Teacher - BEST CALLING EVER!

I was starting to prepare my seminary lesson and I started to cry.
Wow! What is this all about?

Maybe I am crying because we are starting Revelations.
Having to teach Revelations would make anyone cry!

Maybe I am crying because I am preparing my LAST TWO WEEKS of seminary lessons EVER!

Maybe I’m crying because I just read Elder Holland’s talk AGAIN.

Seminary, seminary, seminary. Where do I begin?

First let me just get this out there – I am NOT a morning person.
And NO you don’t EVER get used to getting up that early.
So don’t say that about me!

I love seminary!
While I have HATED getting up at 4:15 every day,
I have LOVED –
Every single student – they uplift me, they build my faith, they entertain me and each and every day, they made me laugh. Their enthusiasm is contagious. They give me hope. I see them like Heavenly Father sees them and he must be so thrilled with them. I love them.

The “forced” study of the scriptures – I’m not that diligent. If I wasn’t teaching seminary, I wouldn’t spend as much time in the scriptures. This has been a selfish blessing to me. I’m the one who benefits from the daily peace the scriptures have brought into my life. And let me just dispel any myth that might be out there – I don’t know ANYTHING about the scriptures. My brain is a sieve. I read, I study, I learn, I prepare, I teach and I FORGET.

Here are the other blessings of teaching seminary. I shouldn’t reveal all this. You’ll see how selfish I have been by hoarding this calling.
Starting the day with the Spirit
Learning from the students
Daily inspiration and personal revelation
Becoming more teachable by the Spirit (I’m still not that teachable by people – oops!)
Recognizing miracles in daily life
Increased testimony in the Savior
Increased testimony of the scriptures as a guide for us
Increased testimony in our modern day Prophet and other Church leaders

Okay – I can’t list all the ways my testimony has increased.
But this calling has been way more of a blessing than a sacrifice.

Many, many times, people have said, “I could NEVER teach seminary!”
Oh yes you could!

I am no one special.
I am no different than you.

All you need is a love of the Lord, a love of the scriptures and a love of teenagers.

Actually you don’t. I don’t think I have always loved the scriptures. You will gain a love of the scriptures as you study them. So don’t worry about that.
And actually, you don’t have to love, like or understand teenagers. As you serve them and as you get to know them, you will realize that teenagers ROCK! They are the best people on the planet. They will surprise you with their dedication, diligence, knowledge, openness, thoughtfulness, desire to do right and most of all their acceptance and forgiveness of your weaknesses as a teacher. NOW I know why Heavenly Father selected a young 14 year old boy to restore the gospel.

So really, all you need is a love of the Lord. That’s it!
So, it’s not that I am some great teacher…….it’s that I had good material and good students.

Seminary Teacher = BEST CALLING EVER.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Some ideas are just bad..........and not just on Tuesday


Even in chocolate brown.
The only thing worse than a velour sweatsuit is a velour sweatsuit with “Juicy” or “Cheer” or “Pink” across the butt.

What are these little words supposed to tell us? Your butt is juicy? Your butt is pink? We should cheer when we see your butt?
Yeah, I don’t get it.
Font size
You know how I feel about this one.
You have to buy cute shoes. You have to buy a whole new exercise wardrobe (not including velour sweats.)
Then you sweat. You get injured. You use up your knees, your shoulder, even your heart. You have surgery, go to rehab and while you are doing all of that, you can’t exercise, so you put all the weight back on.
It’s really just not worth it.

SaYiNG "YeS"

Speaking at a fireside, hosting a dinner, being in charge of food for a large event, having a big party at your house always sounds good a month or two out. But as the day gets closer, you never fail to say, "What was I thinking?"
And have you ever noticed that when you initially say yes,
your calendar is totally commitments (except for th ONE you just made)....all the time in the world. But then somehow as the event approaches, your calendar is packed, everyone wants a piece of you, the kids get sick, your husband has to travel, the house burns down and it's just bad, bad timing.
You swear you will never say "yes" again.
but you do
Got any good ideas that went awry????

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Bonehead Brothers vs The IRS

NEVER encourage your progeny to work!
It will cost you - gas to get there, clothing to be worn at work, food purchased while working or while on the way to work from school because they can't just swing by the house for a free meal.

Whatever Garrett made, it probably cost me double!

And now the TAX MAN COMETH! The IRS wants a piece of him too! I just spent 2 ½ hours on Garrett’s taxes –

1 ½ hours crying,

45 minutes actual tax preparation

and 15 minutes redoing my makeup.

I thought I would take on this little project as a favor to Brian. How hard can it be?

Usually the kid’s taxes get thrown in with our taxes and the accountant does everything. But this year, it just didn’t occur to us.

So here we are with the deadline looming and I thought I would fill in the blanks and get Garrett’s money back.


First of all, he was eliminated from the lucky pool of people who can fill out the 1040EZ form because he has 1099s from modeling.

I wish that was as impressive as it sounds.

It sounds like he has a gazillion dollars and SHOULD be paying taxes.

But don't believe it for a second!

So not only did I have to fill out the 1040 REGULAR form,

I had to fill out a Schedule C because of his thriving self employment status AND a Schedule SE to determine how much self employment tax he might owe.

The child is 17! Please!

And after all that multiplying and adding and subtracting , he owes just what we thought he would - ZERO!

He owes NOTHING! And they owe him whatever miniscule amount line 61 subtracted from line 71 is.

YAY! Bonehead Brothers 1 vs IRS 0 Actually, he will get NOTHING because I’m going to invoice him for tax preparation. (He can deduct it next year! ;) )

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter Friends!

Last week was General Conference and I never blogged about it.
I was busy digesting it.

When I heard Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk about the Savior, I knew it would be a conference classic for me.

We are studying the New Testament in seminary this year.
In December, we spent THREE weeks covering the last week of the Savior’s life. It was wonderful, spiritual, awesome, glorious and painful.

When Elder Holland started speaking, it seemed like we had just studied this yesterday. I LOVE this talk because it is true.

I was THRILLED the other day when I saw that the talks from General Conference are already available in print.

Here's is Jeffrey R. Holland's -

None Were with Him
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are.
Thank you, Sister Thompson, and thanks to the remarkable women of this Church. Brothers and sisters, my Easter-season message today is intended for everyone, but it is directed in a special way to those who are alone or feel alone or, worse yet, feel abandoned. These might include those longing to be married, those who have lost a spouse, and those who have lost—or have never been blessed with—children. Our empathy embraces wives forsaken by their husbands, husbands whose wives have walked away, and children bereft of one or the other of their parents—or both. This group can find within its broad circumference a soldier far from home, a missionary in those first weeks of homesickness, or a father out of work, afraid the fear in his eyes will be visible to his family. In short it can include all of us at various times in our lives.
To all such, I speak of the loneliest journey ever made and the unending blessings it brought to all in the human family. I speak of the Savior’s solitary task of shouldering alone the burden of our salvation. Rightly He would say: “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me. . . . I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold [me].”
As President Uchtdorf so beautifully noted earlier, we know from scripture that Jesus’s messianic arrival in Jerusalem on the Sunday preceding Passover, a day directly analogous to this very morning, was a great public moment. But eagerness to continue walking with Him would quickly begin to wane.
Soon enough He was arraigned before the Israelite leaders of the day—first Annas, the former high priest, then Caiaphas, the current high priest. In their rush to judgment these men and their councils declared their verdict quickly and angrily. “What further need have we of witnesses?” they cried. “He is [worthy] of death.”
With that He was brought before the gentile rulers in the land. Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee, interrogated Him once, and Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor in Judea, did so twice, the second time declaring to the crowd, “I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man.”3 Then, in an act as unconscionable as it was illogical, Pilate “scourged Jesus, [and] delivered him to be crucified.”4 Pilate’s freshly washed hands could not have been more stained or more unclean.
Such ecclesiastical and political rejection became more personal when the citizenry in the street turned against Jesus as well. It is one of the ironies of history that sitting with Jesus in prison was a real blasphemer, a murderer and revolutionary known as Barabbas, a name or title in Aramaic meaning “son of the father.”
5 Free to release one prisoner in the spirit of the Passover tradition, Pilate asked the people, “Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you?” They said, “Barabbas.”6 So one godless “son of the father” was set free while a truly divine Son of His Heavenly Father moved on to crucifixion.
This was also a telling time among those who knew Jesus more personally. The most difficult to understand in this group is Judas Iscariot. We know the divine plan required Jesus to be crucified, but it is wrenching to think that one of His special witnesses who sat at His feet, heard Him pray, watched Him heal, and felt His touch could betray Him and all that He was for 30 pieces of silver. Never in the history of this world has so little money purchased so much infamy. We are not the ones to judge Judas’s fate, but Jesus said of His betrayer, “Good [were it] for that man if he had not been born.”
Of course others among the believers had their difficult moments as well. Following the Last Supper, Jesus left Peter, James, and John to wait while He ventured into the Garden of Gethsemane alone. Falling on His face in prayer, “sorrowful . . . unto death,”8 the record says, His sweat came as great drops of blood9 as He pled with the Father to let this crushing, brutal cup pass from Him. But, of course, it could not pass. Returning from such anguished prayer He found His three chief disciples asleep, prompting Him to ask, “Could ye not watch with me one hour?”10 So it happens two more times until on His third return He says compassionately, “Sleep on now, and take your rest,”11 though there would be no rest for Him.
Later, after Jesus’s arrest and appearance at trial, Peter, accused of knowing Jesus and being one of His confidants, denies that accusation not once but three times. We don’t know all that was going on here, nor do we know of protective counsel which the Savior may have given to His Apostles privately,
12 but we do know Jesus was aware that even these precious ones would not stand with Him in the end, and He had warned Peter accordingly.13 Then, with the crowing of the cock, “the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord. . . . And [he] went out, and wept bitterly.”14
Thus, of divine necessity, the supporting circle around Jesus gets smaller and smaller and smaller, giving significance to Matthew’s words: “All the disciples [left] him, and fled.”15 Peter stayed near enough to be recognized and confronted. John stood at the foot of the cross with Jesus’s mother. Especially and always the blessed women in the Savior’s life stayed as close to Him as they could. But essentially His lonely journey back to His Father continued without comfort or companionship.
Now I speak very carefully, even reverently, of what may have been the most difficult moment in all of this solitary journey to Atonement. I speak of those final moments for which Jesus must have been prepared intellectually and physically but which He may not have fully anticipated emotionally and spiritually—that concluding descent into the paralyzing despair of divine withdrawal when He cries in ultimate loneliness, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
The loss of mortal support He had anticipated, but apparently He had not comprehended this. Had He not said to His disciples, “Behold, the hour . . . is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” and “The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him”?17
With all the conviction of my soul I testify that He did please His Father perfectly and that a perfect Father did not forsake His Son in that hour. Indeed, it is my personal belief that in all of Christ’s mortal ministry the Father may never have been closer to His Son than in these agonizing final moments of suffering. Nevertheless, that the supreme sacrifice of His Son might be as complete as it was voluntary and solitary, the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus the comfort of His Spirit, the support of His personal presence. It was required; indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone.
But Jesus held on. He pressed on. The goodness in Him allowed faith to triumph even in a state of complete anguish. The trust He lived by told Him in spite of His feelings that divine compassion is never absent, that God is always faithful, that He never flees nor fails us. When the uttermost farthing had then been paid, when Christ’s determination to be faithful was as obvious as it was utterly invincible, finally and mercifully, it was “finished.”
18 Against all odds and with none to help or uphold Him, Jesus of Nazareth, the living Son of the living God, restored physical life where death had held sway and brought joyful, spiritual redemption out of sin, hellish darkness and despair. With faith in the God He knew was there, He could say in triumph, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”19
Brothers and sisters, one of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. His solitary journey brought great company for our little version of that path—the merciful care of our Father in Heaven, the unfailing companionship of this Beloved Son, the consummate gift of the Holy Ghost, angels in heaven, family members on both sides of the veil, prophets and apostles, teachers, leaders, friends. All of these and more have been given as companions for our mortal journey because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His gospel. Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are. Truly the Redeemer of us all said, “I will not leave you comfortless. [My Father and] I will come to you [and abide with you].”20
My other plea at Easter time is that these scenes of Christ’s lonely sacrifice, laced with moments of denial and abandonment and, at least once, outright betrayal, must never be reenacted by us. He has walked alone once. Now, may I ask that never again will He have to confront sin without our aid and assistance, that never again will He find only unresponsive onlookers when He sees you and me along His Via Dolorosa in our present day. As we approach this holy week—Passover Thursday with its Paschal Lamb, atoning Friday with its cross, Resurrection Sunday with its empty tomb—may we declare ourselves to be more fully disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, not in word only and not only in the flush of comfortable times but in deed and in courage and in faith, including when the path is lonely and when our cross is difficult to bear. This Easter week and always, may we stand by Jesus Christ “at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in, even until death,”21 for surely that is how He stood by us when it was unto death and when He had to stand entirely and utterly alone. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Friday, April 10, 2009

My HUBBY ROCKS Fridays - "I Would NEVER Laugh at You"

I'm playing along with Definitelydebilyn/ who wants to spread some lovin' and recognize the great things our husbands do for us.

So hey, I figured "My husbands great! I'm promoting him!"

A few weeks ago, the boys were out in the yard planting trees. That sentence just made it sound easy. Let me rephrase. They were cutting down old diseased Aspen trees and digging large holes in rock hard soil. Then they had to actually plant the trees (6 of them) and fill the holes, water the trees and stake them. This was an all day back breaker. They had just played lacrosse games and came home to a hot afternoon of digging.

Brian was supervising the tree planting efforts. I felt a little bit guilty but I didn’t want to get dirty. I can’t work a shovel anyway. But I thought I should join in the camaraderie and went outside to be helpful.

Brian was draining the hot tub, so I volunteered to scrub it out. I waited until is was empty (save 4 inches of water in the bottom) and I took a big bucket of hot soapy water and scrub brush outside.

It was actually quite pleasant. I took off my shoes and socks, rolled up my jeans and climbed in and started scrubbing away. It was kind of slippery though. I kept sliding on the wet slippery curved seats but I was really contributing to the Saturday chores.

Brian came over to check on the progress. I joked with him: “Wouldn’t it be funny if you were standing there and I fell in this 4 inches of water? Wouldn’t you just laugh?

He looked at me seriously and said, “I would never laugh at you!”

He looked down at the hot tub controls to make some adjustments and woooossssssshhhhh………up went my feet, down went my butt and I landed on my back in the bottom of the hot tub.

Somehow, I managed in 4 inches of water to get completely- COMPLETELY- soaked.
Of course the initial slip caused me to shriek and everyone looked up from their jobs. Then I started laughing at the ridiculousness of what I had just said and what had just happened.

Brian didn’t laugh. “Are you okay?”
I laughed, “Yeah – can you believe that? I can’t believe I said that and 2 ½ seconds later it happened.”
He didn’t even crack a smile.

Thanks Brian for never laughing at me! Heavens knows I’ve given you plenty of opportunities!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Parenting the Bonehead Brothers - The Early Years

Exactly how the Bonehead Brothers turned into themselves is a really good question.

Did they COME this way or did I MAKE them this way?
It’s the old question of Nature vs. Nurture.

Well here – you decide…………

I just read a blog about a lady who had a little problem with her preschool age son.

He came home talking about feces and where they come from. His mom told him that his language was not appropriate. He didn’t really care that much. He continued his potty talk and she presented him with a pickled pepper to eat. Much to her chagrin, he LIKED it. The potty talk continued and she gave him a squirt of Bath & Body Works Foaming Pineapple and something else soap. He promptly swallowed it and proclaimed it delicious!

So she was looking for advice.

We used Tabasco. Yep. When someone said a naughty word (I can actually only remember this happening with one Particular Child), I had him open wide and stick out his tongue. I poured a tiny little puddle of the hot sauce and voila! Problem solved!

He hasn’t said “Butthead” to this day!

Wait………now that I think about it, maybe the problem wasn’t solved

When this Particular Child was older, he had a bout of heartburn. He told me that during school, his heart would stop beating for just a second or two. And it was excruciating. Hmmm…….

I finally figured out that fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), his heart wasn’t STOPPING. He was experiencing heart burn. He loves spicy foods – really spicy foods. Peppers, jalepenos, hot salsa, habanero sauce, really hot salsa, Chilula are all a part of every meal.

We eliminated all spicy foods but there didn’t seem to be much improvement.

Then, I walked into the kitchen one day and there he was….standing in front of the spice cupboard. He held a tortilla chip in one hand and the bottle of TABASCO in the other. He poured a ½ teaspoon or so on the center of the chip and then ate the WHOLE chip.

“Particular Child! What are you doing?”
“What? You said I can’t have chips and salsa.”“You can’t eat any spicy food.”
“I’m not! This isn’t spicy!”

So at the tender age of 3, we merely traded one problem for another.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Are Your Kids Making You as Miserable as They’re Making Me?

Dear Lady at the Grocery Store,

I didn’t have very much fun shopping with you and your three kids today.

By “with you” I know we didn’t plan it, but you guys were like a VISA card – everywhere I wanted to be.

I’m guessing your kids were between 6 and 8….so old enough.

In the produce section, your son was skating around with his heelys using a produce bag as a sail. He was dodging carts – or should I say THEY were dodging HIM?

Your two girls were arguing over who was going to carry the basket until they both worked together to fill it with produce you didn’t want……..but you didn’t notice the extra zucchinis and radishes until the bakery section. You told them to take everything back........but they didn't. You'll find the zuchinis by the bread.

Crazy how we were in all the same aisles! And your son can race up and down and up and down and up in down in no time on BOTH sides of the aisle…….like a roller rink. But he’s sooooo cute, so we all enjoyed it.

You didn’t happen to notice the cereal boxes the kids knocked off the shelf did you?

Now, I wasn’t WITH you on the snack and cookie aisle, but luckily I could HEAR you. I heard you say “No, we aren’t getting Oreos today.” You must have been teasing though because I saw them in your cart when you came around the corner.

Do your kids speak a different language than you? You spoke TO them frequently. And I liked what you had to say.

“Stay by me.”
“Here, hold your coat.”
“Stay right with me.”

"No, I already told you we can't get that."
“Don’t put anything in the cart.”
“You need to stay right by the cart.”
"Where have you been?"

But your kids obviously didn’t understand you.
Maybe they don’t speak English. I shouldn’t judge.

Luckily, your son did recognize American with an Asian accent when the bagger gasped and called out “Don’t put that bag on your head!” as he skated by with the produce bag on his head.

Maybe you could hire a child whisperer or a circus trainer, either one.
Your kids are quite acrobatic. I couldn’t believe all three of them could fit on that little horse ride. But I guess if you have one sitting on the head, one kneeling on the saddle and one standing on the tail, it all works out.

Good thing they didn’t fall because THEN the store would owe you lots of money. They really need to hire someone to man that ride while your back is to them. Isn’t that one of the times you said, “Stay right here?” But that was when you were paying and holding your daughter’s coat… it’s totally understandable.

And it’s a good thing everyone in the parking lot is so conscientious. On your way out, you stopped in the middle of the doorway, told everyone to hold on to the cart and then proceeded out into the street.

Hey one out of three ain’t bad. Heely boy raced ahead. I mean, how could you not when you have wheeled shoes. And one lagged behind, but you noticed she was missing when you got to the car. All’s well that ends well!

But call me when you are going to the store again…….no not so I can go with you! So that I can stay home.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Bonehead Brothers Plan the High Adventure

For some strange reason, the Bonehead Brothers don’t love Scouting.

Brian was asking for suggestions for this summer’s Venture Scout High Adventure.

It can be anything……….well anything cheap and not TOO dangerous.

Fishing? Camping? Hiking a Fourteener? (For those not from Colorado, we have a large number of mountains that tower over 14,000 feet. Some have paved hiking trails to the top. Some are rugged and require hard core mountain climbing) Four Wheeling? White River Rafting?

Here is Garrett’s idea for a FUN High Adventure
Go to a cabin and use it as the “base camp.”
Day 1, have a group of girls come up to the cabin. Do something adventurous – like hiking with the girls. Fix them dinner. Send them home.
Day 2: Have ANOTHER group of girls come up. Go four wheeling with them. Fix them dinner. Send them back down the mountain.
Day 3: Have a DIFFERENT group of girls come to the cabin. Go fishing or panning for gold or rafting. Fix them dinner. Send them home.

You get the idea. Garrett’s perfect High Adventure does not really include other scouts.

Oh wait! He said that if the girls on Day 1 are cool, there is really no need to send them home. Well, won't that make things soooo much easier!

Friday, April 3, 2009

What is the REAL Problem Here?

This is my Candy Cupboard.

I know!

Can you believe what a disorganized mess it is?
I’m going to clean it out sometime today……..or tomorrow…..sometime. Cuz really, it should be alphabetized or something - like the spice cupboard.

It IS kind of organized -

The top shelf is for big bags of bulk candy – like the bags of 500 mini candy bars you get at candy food storage.

The middle shelf is for unopened smaller boxes and bags – like theater candy or bags of candy from the grocery story or seasonal candy like jelly beans. I don’t really know how or why that Halloween cauldron is there.

The bottom shelf is for individual candy bars or small bags of opened candy.

See it’s not that hard! It’s really quite simple.

But the question I find myself asking today is not WHY is this cupboard such a mess but WHY do I even have a Candy Cupboard?..........not a little hiding place behind the crackers, not a drawer, not a singular shelf way up high, but a WHOLE CANDY CUPBOARD!?!

Ask me about my Snack Drawer! (I just restocked it!)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tiny Baby is TICKED OFF!

First of all – WHO makes an ortho appointment for 7:10 AM during SPRiNG BReaK? Helloooo? We can go at that time IF it means missing class, but NOT if it means missing sleep.

But Parker consoled himself that it would be a short visit to check the progress on his tooth that is ssssllllloooowwwlllyyyy coming in. He assures me that he will be back in his cozy bed by 8.

The ortho is so HAPPY that his tooth is almost all the way in. The ortho is DISAPPOINTED because he is going out of town this afternoon and when he gets back, SPRiNG BReaK will be over and had he known, they could have scheduled an appointment to put Parker’s braces on.

It’s our LUCKY day! The 9:15 appointment accidentally showed up at 7. We can have the 9:15 opening!

Parker is ticked! He wasn’t expecting this good fortune. They excuse us at 7:30 with instructions to be back at 9.

Parker's getting braces! Parker's getting braces!

Parker wants his last meal………and it better be good.

We drive to the mall that is close by.
P – Can we go to Chili’s?
Me – They’re not open.
P – P.F. Changs?
Me – Not open
P – Jim and Nicks? Rumbi?
Me – Nothing is open at 7:30 except for Village Inn

We go there and he orders – the TOP SIRLOIN with a salad and onion rings!

He’s bummed but he vows that he will be a miracle patient. He’s pretty sure that when we go back in 8 weeks, they will congratulate him and tell him that his braces can come off in 3 more weeks.

I heard all kinds of crazy things (and there are no drugs involved)
P – Oh, I won’t be able to go to lacrosse practice. I’ll be on bedrest.
P – When you pick up my Juice Stop this afternoon, get good flavors. Don’t get anything with peach or coconut.
P – This is horrible!
P – I won’t be able to go to lacrosse practice because I don’t have a mouthguard.
P – Who needs straight teeth? Why can’t I just get a teeth transplant?He doesn't want us to see the "after" look.Big brothers with IPhones are so helpful at getting these shots!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I’m leaving this post untitled because I want you to be able to draw your own conclusions.

Last night, I woke up in the wee hours. Because I lack any kind of self control whatsoever, I got out of my bed and checked the computer for Trammell’s weekly email. It comes in the middle of the night Tuesday. Rather than wait until some coherant hour on Wednesday, I would rather lean into the screen with bleary eyes and search for the one line I am looking for.

“Good Morning Family! I hope that you are all doing well. I can’t wait to read this weeks emails later today. And last weeks. And the week before that. But I skim over them every once in a while and am glad to hear that everything’s going well. Things are going great here!”

He’s happy. That’s all that matters to me. I allow myself to breathe and continue with his letter. It was fabulous, as usual.

Not wanting to wake Brian, I slid back into bed silently. But I couldn’t fall asleep. Parts of the letter kept coming back to me….. parts that held answers to some of my rhetorical questions from yesterday.

Answers come in different ways. And people get different answers to the same question. I will refrain from commenting. Once again, I want to allow people to draw their own conclusions and find their own answers.

Here are some snippets from Trammell’s letter.

“Transfer calls came this morning... and- I am not going anywhere- thank goodness! But Elder Godfrey is coming down to the city! He is the new AP! I am excited to be able to see him a lot more and to learn from him again.”

Elder Godfrey was Trammell’s trainer. His first companion. He was everything we prayed for………and more. We haven’t met him but we love him. We love him for showing Trammell “how it is done.” We love him for setting Trammell up for the remainder of his mission.

“Her husband's name is Laay. He is good. He has great faith. He has some amazing experiences with prayer. Last week Laay went to buy a space to sell goods. He needed a hundred dollars, he said, “Eh, it’s just a hundred dollars, I don’t really need to pray about it.” Those were his exact words. Well, the first four places he went couldn’t loan/give him money. Finally he prayed, then called his brother who came immediately, gave him the money, and they went and bought the place. Man that was so cool! It showed that no matter what- whether small or big- we should ALWAYS pray unto the Lord! I know that when we do that, then He will consecrate our efforts for our good! I have seen this so much! That a little pray here or a little prayer there has so much influence on the things that we do, and that he will truly consecrate it for our good. I learned this last night. We have to be in the house by 8:30 at the latest. You know me- I like to be obedient, and so we left and literally as we left from our appointment, a powerful wind came- man it was so hard to ride back in this wind and we only had 15 minutes! So I said a quick prayer. I prayed that we would be able to make it back on time and that the Lord would give us strength to make it back. Then we just pedalled as hard as we could! Miraculously we made it back at 8:29! I know that when we turn it over to the Lord first, and then work as hard as we can, He will take what we do and then make it complete and whole."

Lastly, I would like to share Trammell’s companion’s email that he sent Brian. Trammell’s companion and his family joined the Church in Cambodia a year ago. He is now serving a mission and his father is the 1st counselor in the Branch Presidency up in Siem Reap (6 hours from the mission home- Trammell’s first place – home of Elder Godfrey for the last 9 months.)

Here it is- unedited.

"dear brain thanks for your worry for me and your son i have tow sisters i am so exitet to hear general conference now i am so happy in 2 branch some time i miss my family but elder cox help me to be joy and work hard i forgot homsick elder cox know cambodain alots i can not help him because he know more khmer than me i just help him to pronounciation more clearly i love him he try to study and obedint exactly i love this work love from elder da"

Well there you have it.........24 hours of my thoughts. Scary, I know! Thanks for letting me take this very public 24 hour journey and for sharing it with me.