Wednesday, March 31, 2010


It's the Easter season and it's a wonderful time to reflect on the Savior and the Atonement.
It's peaceful and awe-inspriring to consider all the Atonement has to offer us.
But today, I'm thinking about myself and my own role in partaking in the Atonement.

Are we (you and I) easily offended?
Do we find it "easy" to forgive because we are surrounded by imperfect people and  we have had soooooo many opportunities to practice forgiveness?

I just read an article about a lady who was new in her ward.
While sitting in the congregation, the speaker offended her.
Since she was new, I'm not sure what he could have possibly said to specifically offend her.
She said that he "hurt her feelings."
Now, she didn't say if the speaker said something general like -"People who don't read their scriptures everyday are going to hell." (and she fell into the category of non scripture readers.)
Or something specific, like- "I really don't like how Sister Jones teaches the sunday school class." (and she was Sister Jones.)
But she was offended.

This has happened to ALL of us.
People are sometimes careless with words.
At least I am.
People sometimes generalize by saying, "I hate chocolate cake." forgetting that you brought chocolate cake to the church potluck three weeks ago.
So yes, maybe people should be more careful not to offend.
But we should be more careful not to be offended.
Do I really think that the person remembers that I brought the chocolate cake three weeks ago and that this is a backhanded attempt to put me in my place?
On a sensitive day..........maybe.
But really?  No. 
Most people really aren't least I don't think so.

So this poor woman, who took offense at church, disliked this man and harbored hurt for SEVERAL years.
The man went on with his life.
He never gave what he had said a second thought.
He had NO idea that he offended someone.

The sister went on to explain that she avoided the man AND his wife.
Only after he unknowingly (just as he had unknowingly offended her) helped her,
did she realize she needed to forgive him.
He was the same man.........for all those years.
She was hurt and offended.........for all those years.

What can we do to avoid wasting years being hurt?
1. Don't take everything personally.  Believe it or not, they probably AREN'T talking about you.
2. Realize people are oblivious sometimes.  We all say insensitive things without thinking.
3. Try to be a little bit more sensitive about what we say and do ourselves - realizing that people might be like us and take what we say the wrong way.
4. Be more forgiving.  Try to see from their perspective.  Sometimes people pass you in the store, in the neighborhood or in the hall and don't say "hi" not because they don't like you, but because they really didn't see you, they are focused on "a mission," they have a lot on their own mind, they are caught up in some of their own issues.  Try to give the benefit of the doubt.
5. If someone does hurt or offend you, take responsibility for your feelings. Don't stew.  Approach the person and in a non-defensive way, try to clarify what they said/did.  Explain that you took it personally and allow them the opportunity to explain their perspective.
6. Let go.  And now we are back to the Atonement.  Letting go is sometimes the hardest part.  It's sometimes easier for our head to let go than our heart.  If we truly believe and understand all the Savior did for us, we know that we can lay our burden at His feet and move on.  When it doesn't come naturally and when we have a hard time, we can ask the Lord to take that burden, to erase hurts, to allow us to move on.  When we hold on to the hurts and to the offenses, we are the only one who really suffers.  We waste precious time and possible friendships.
7. Try to be a friend.  Perhaps the hardest part is to "love our enemies" - even our imagined enemies or enemies of our own making.  It's not easy, but something worth striving for.

And so now, if you are offended, I apologize.  If you feel I have written this with you in mind, I apologize.  I have no actual people in mind besides myself. I wrote it for a lesson of how I should try to live, because life is not really that easy. And I need constant reminders!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The GOOD, the BAD and the UGLY!

What?  It's Tuesday?  Noooooooooooooo!!!!!
I need more time!
I'll stall!
Go on over to The Unmom and see Keely!
Come up with you own random and link up!
Everybody's doing it!

* Parker and Garrett are roaming around Orlando this week.
They aren't really roaming.
They're limited to the Disney properties.
Everyday is filled with lacrosse practice, lacrosse games and time at the parks.
However, yesterday's time was so limited, they only got in 2 rides on the Rock N' Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios before they had to catch the shuttle back to their rooms.
The coach "locks"/tapes all the doors to the boys rooms each night around 11.
If he gets up in the morning and the tape is busted off your door - you're busted!
I love it!

* The boys are excited that it's going to be 72 degrees in Orlando today.
I'm excited because it's going to be 78 degrees right here in good ole Denver.
That's a far cry from last week's snow day!!!!

* My studly little brother had an extremely successful "Match Day" last week.
Match Day is when medical students find out IF/WHERE they "matched" to do their residency.
He matched at his first choice.
He is thrilled to spend the next three years in an ER residency in Chicago.

* Yesterday, in a list of things that I said I may or may not do this week, I wrote that I "may" eat nutriously.  I didn't have cookies for breakfast today.  I had pizza.  You decide.

* I'm feeling a little down.
Trammell's missionary companion in Cambodia had gallbladder surgery IN CAMBODIA!
Was that crazy?
But he was still in pain and having medical problems.
He went to Thailand and had surgery IN BANGKOK!
He still had medical issues and was diagnosed with a tropical disease.
They did an MRI and saw a spot on his liver which they would not be able to diagnose without more surgery.
They decided it would be best if he went home to get the medical treatment.
He arrived home in the United States late last night.
I feel so badly for him.
He wanted to stay but he was just too sick.
I'm feeling really sad for him and for his family and for the missionaries in Cambodia.

* I'm off to see this -

which some people might think is ugly but I think is way cool!  I can't wait!

Have a great Tuesday!
Oh and.........if you know me and were proud of my skipping the cookies for breakfast, I'll admit, I had the pizza because we're probably stopping on the way to the museum for donuts.  I was just trying to strike a balance!

Monday, March 29, 2010


Ahhhhhhhhh...........the deliciousness of an empty house!
The boys left for a week of lacrosse in Florida yesterday.
What to do?  What to do?

Here is a list I am contemplating-
some of the things I do whent he kids are around anyway, but anyway -
Things I May or May NOT Do -

1. Clean the house and glory in the fact that it stays clean the WHOLE time they are gone.
2. Eat ice cream.
3. Eat nothing but crap.
4. Eat nutritionally.
5. Make cookies.
6. Iron my sheets.
7. Clean out the flower beds.
8. Read my scriptures.
9. Organize assorted drawers and cupboards.
10. Sit outside in the sunshine and read a book.
11. Go to the temple.
12.Get my nails done.
13.. Cook dinner........or not.
14. Go out to dinner every night with Brian.
15. Register Trammell for college classes........or not because today is the first day of registration and some of the classes he needs ae already full.
16. Plan the trip to Cambodia and start making hotel reservations
17. Blog
18. Clean out the refrigerator and marvel that it stays clean.
19. Go help Brian at his office.
20. Change the background on my blog.
21. Sleep in.
22. Stay up late.
23. Watch movies.
24. Read.
25. Go in the kids' rooms and throw stuff out - they won't realize it's even missing when they get back.

So many options.
So much fun.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Final Four is Being Played AT MY HOUSE!

I am SO ready for Friday!
Make the week end!

It's not that this week was bad, it's just that next week holds so much promise.

So let's end the week!  Head on over and see Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin' Time.  Say "hey" and pick up a button and play along.  You know you want to!

Alrighty then -

* Wednesday was Trammell's birthday!
He's legal!
He's 21!

To celebrate, I sent a birthday package to Cambodia.....complete with a cake mix, frosting, candles, party hats, streamers, balloons etc.
How much do you want to bet that he shoved the whole thing under his bed and hid it?
Remember last year when this picture -
showed up on Facebook?  Yeah, last year he hid his birthday box and then brought it out about 6 weeks later to celebrate another missionary's birthday. I'm guessing the day passed with no fanfare.  He hates the attention.

* So after that little arctic blast of 7" of snow at our last lacrosse game on Tuesday,
 it's been all bright and sunny and 60 degrees.
We have lacrosse this afternoon.
Guess what time the snow is supposed to roll in?
Yep - you've figured it out!
Rain/snow around 4ish, game at 5.

* Next week is Spring Break.
The lacrosse team is going to Disney World
Both boys are going and they leave Sunday at the crack of dawn.
Wow!  NO KIDS!
I thought about going somewhere myself.
I mean.  I have NO KIDS!
But then I thought,
"Wait!  The house is EMPTY!  You DON'T leave the house when the house is empty!"
Oh no!  You lounge around and relish in the fact that NO ONE is going to leave empty cups, shoes, sports equipment, or backpacks laying around.
I think I'm going to clean the house on Monday and then just walk around admiring it the rest of the week.

* Why is coffee table in my office?
Why is the coffee table NOT in the family room?
Oh, I'll tell you.  See the armoire/entertainment center?  Isn't that the perfect backboard for this -

Who cares that there is a sport court outside.  Who cares about the 2200 square foot basement when you can play basketball in the family room?  Doesn't it make perfect sense?  THIS IS the best use of my family room!

* And now...........
another brilliant conversation with Garrett -

G- “Are we going to have good food or bad food for Easter Dinner?”

Me – “What is good food?”

G – “Steak.”

Me – “Steak isn’t Easter food. You don't have Easter Steak.  You have Easter Ham.”

G – “Say no more. THAT answered my question.  I just don't get it.  Why can't we have Kung Pao Chicken or Mongolian Beef?”

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Here's a conversation for you -

Me - "Garrett - you heard that because of the snow storm coming, your lacrosse game got changed from 7 to 4:30?"

Garrett - “I know. I don't want to talk about it.  It wrecked the whole feng shui of my day.”

I didn't know that days had feng shui.
I didn't know that teenage boys cared about feng shui.

Yesterday was a regular spring day - partially sunny/partially cloudy.
But the weather forecast called for 7-14" of snow.
When would this snow start dumping?

Well, let's see -
We had two lacrosse games starting at 5:30 and 7:00.
So yes, the snow should come in around 4.
That would be perfect!

The coaches put their heads together and changed the late game to 4:30 to hopefully beat the storm.
At 4:30, there were clouds to the north but not one snowflake in the sky.

Here's the game at the end of third quarter -

Needless to say, the second game was cancelled and it took an hour and  a half instead of 45 minutes.
Imagine the pure GLEE when it was announced that school was cancelled for today!

A snow day should do a lot for Garrett's feng shui!?!

Here is what we woke up to -
The great thing about snow days in Denver is that it doesn't stop us.
Brian is clearing the driveway -
and then we're off to get bagels and maybe go to a movie!

Happy Spring!
Happy Snow Day!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Should I Count the Person I'm Using My Funeral Coupon On?

Brace yourself.
It's Tuesday.
I'm RaNDoM!
Join in the fun!  Get RaNDoM with Keely at The UnMom.  Go see her and link up!

* Remember yesterday when I was praising Colorado's fine SUNSHINY weather?  It's true!  We have more than 300 sunny days a year.  Even when it snows, the sun comes out.  We're like the 2nd sunshiniest state in the US.  We beat out Florida.  Saturday, Sunday, Monday........65 and sunshiney.  We have lacrosse games today at 5 and 7 pm.  GUESS when the snow is supposed to come?  I'm going to go put my long underwear on.

* Conversation at Costco - I'm NOT lying -
Garrett & Parker tag teaming Brian - "Dad, Dad, can we get Final Fantasy 13?"
Brian - looking at the box..."Is this a wholesome video game?"
Parker - "Oh yeah, it teaches you to appreciate life and create worlds and kill off people and dominate everyone and.....
Brian - "Hmmmm....."
Garrett - "Dad, I think it would be just what we need to overcome our Call of Duty addiction."


* Yesterday, I received a special coupon in the mail:
5% off Funeral and Cremation Services

Who to use it on? Who to use it on?

* Speaking of mail -
I'm confused by my own email inbox.
Here's a sampling of my spam lately -

-"EXTENZ..........for men only"         
Hmmmm........I don't think I'll open this one
-"Leave your loved one $1,000,000 just in case"     "Just in case" what?  That's a lot of "just in case."  And I sure wish someone would leave me $1,000,000 just in case.
- "Meet singles with similar values"  Similar values to what?  each other?  Or similar to the other ones in my inbox? like "Plenty of BBW singles available."  "Meet local singles TONIGHT!"

Finally - they MUST have my birthday wrong!  I keep getting these-
"Get the Power Chair Advantage with Hoveround"
and "AARP Membership Opens Up a Whole New World"
That's a whole new world I want no part of - even with a Hoveround!

* I've been on a mad cookie binge lately - like the last 2 months.
I've made cookies every Sunday or Monday.
Yesterday, I made these      
Martha's Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies.  I knew Garrett would like the fact that they are rolled in cinnamon and CHILI POWDER.

* I filled out my census form.  Did you?
I got stuck.
All you have to do is write down each person who is living in your house on April 1, 2010, their age and their race.  How hard can it be?  Brian - check, Me - check, Parker - Check. Garrett........not so straight forward.  You can't mark two boxes under race.  Do I pick White, Black or Asian?  And if you mark Asian, you have to pick what kind of Asian.  There was no box for Blasian.

* This week's song that I can't stop singing is - "Nothin' On You" by B.O.B ft. Bruno

Enough already!  There's a storm rolling in!

Monday, March 22, 2010


It's a new week!
Last week was good, if not a little bit crazy, but it's always good to start fresh!
Here's some stuff I like/love or am thankful for -

* $1 large cokes at McDonalds

* A husband who will meet me at 7 am for $1 large cokes at McDonalds.  We spend 30 minutes discussing politics, work, church, life, family.  It's an awesome way to start the day!

* Chocolate cake - in the shape of a donut with sprinkles - for breakfast.

* The scriptures and the peace the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings.

* Garrett's sense of humor.
THIS was in our church program yesterday -

Speaker. . . . . . . . . . . Jane Doe

Special Musical Number  -
"When He Comes for Me"
Performed by Grandview Ward's "The Ten Virgins" cast
Accompanied by Susie Smith

Speaker . . . . . . . . . . John Doe

Garrett leaned over and in the voice of an announcer, whispered, "In light of recent events this weekend, our musical number will now be sung by the NINE virgins.

I almost fell out of my pew.

* Boys who love each other and like to be with each other......even if they are LOUD.

* My car being all fixed.

* Living in Colorado with more than 300 days of sunshine a year.
Friday - 6 inches of snow
Saturday - snow melted by noon and 60 degrees and sunny
Sunday - 63 degrees and sunny
Today - 67 degrees and sunny
Tomorrow - 30 degrees and rain turning to snow.

Friday, March 19, 2010


It's time for

After three months of checking airfares, getting baited and switched by every airline discounter, and banging my head against the wall - I GOT TICKETS TO CAMBODIA!  Just now!  This morning!

Woohoo!  Yippee!  Hip Hip Hooray!!!!!!!
Wait.  Who in their right mind WANTS to go to a third world country during monsoon season, when it is raining 10 inches a month and 98 degrees?

I asked several reservationists that when they told me flights were sold out.  They wryly explained that it wasn't people GOING to Cambodia who had filled the flights, it was the people escaping who had filled the flights.

So, WHY do I want to go there in mid-July?
To retrieve a precious package -

Sorry, the rest of my week is meaningless.  Suddenly I don't care about how exhausted I am from cooking and serving lunch to 300.  I don't care about the hamburger encrusted roaster, or all of the bowls and coolers that need to be put away.  I don't care if we're supposed to get 6-12" of snow. I don't care if the prompts for the CSAPS were all political.  None of that is important right now. 

Sorry Friday Fragmenters.  I got ONE thing.  One Fragment!  It's all that matters!
3 round trip tickets to Cambodia and ONE one-way ticket to bring my 6 foot, 160 pound, 21 one year old BABY home!

Have a great weekend!
I'm off to reserve hotels!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Things That Will Make You Gag!

If you've been falling short on your dieting goals,
this is the place to quell your appetite.
If you've been coveting my super glamorous and exciting life (and who hasn't?),
this is your day to giggle at my expense!
When you get through with this post,
you won't be hungry or jealous!

* Yesterday, I spent most of the afternoon browning 30 pounds of ground beef.
Who doesn't love handling raw meat?
I LOVE greeting the hubs smelling like a giant taco.
Mmmm...mmm........the grease, the smell, slopping it in ziploc bags.
I skipped lunch.

* Although the Taco Meat smell was delcious,
the kitchen took on a new dimension with the corned beef and cabbage stewing away in the crock pot.
Mmmm...mmmmmm.....taco meat AND cabbage.
I should bottle that aroma.
As if greeting the hubs while smelling like a giant taco wasn't enough, I added eau d' cabbage so that I could layer the scents.

* If you are ever on a deserted island with aboslutely nothing to eat but this -
just give in and die.
Garrett likes junk like this.
Being the nice mom that I am, I bought him some.
I tasted one teensy, tiny crumb-
Oh My Dried Tabsco Sauce on Cardboard!
I actually had to spit it out into the kitchen sink and wash my mouth out with a cookie.

* If you are STILL hungry,
imagine eating with these guys -
This was our lacrosse potluck dinner a couple of weeks ago.
Let's just say that in 7 years, I have NEVER eaten at this event.
1) There is no food left by the time I can get close to the table.
2) Would you want any of the food left after these guys had "handled" it?

* And now if tasting the Hot & Spicy Cheezits didn't do you in.
Here are some pretty pics -

Parker looks abused.
Both arms.
He has been getting beaten with a stick - a lacrosse stick.

Garrett too
Oh and Garrett also has pretty legs.
Blood and gore don't really bother me.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Battambang, Cambodia

Trammell has spent the last 5 months or so in Battambang, Cambodia.  It's about a 5-6 hour bus ride from the capital of Phnom Penh.  Battambang is probably best known for its agriculture.  They are are a large producer of rice.  In the northwest portion of Cambodia, throughout history, Battambang has been seen as the link between Thailand and Cambodia.

Trammell was recently transferred to Phnom Penh.  He loved Battambang and the people there. He was able to see a lot of growth in the church.  The church has two branches there which meet in rented space.  Although the church has owned land in Battambang to build there own church for several years, the number of members has never been high enough.

Trammell recently wrote that one of the highlights of his mission was planning the groundbreaking ceremony for the church building in Battambang.  My "Facebook friend," Mary from Battambang forwarded these pictures of thegroundbreaking.

the property the church owns is surrounded by the white poles.
                                            chairs for the "dignitaries"

Pictures like this always make me cry.  They look so happy and hopeful and excited.  I am so happy that they will soon have their very own dedicated building to worship in.  I am thankful, on a daily basis, that Trammell gets to have these incredible experiences.  I can't think of any place I would rather have him be.  And I know he wouldn't want to be anywhere else!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Corned Beef & Cabbage, Plastic Cupcakes and Taco Bar

It's always about food!
I went around the house this morning and gathered up all the RaNDoM!
Yep, it's Tuesday again.

Time to clear the RaNDoM out of the corners.
You can too!
Go on over and see The UnMom  and link up!

* This week is CSAP's - standardized testing that tells us..........I'm not exactly what. 
But we'll play along.  Freshmen and Sophomores go to school and take tests until 12:30 while the Juniors and Seniors sleep in until 12:30.  Then they all converge on Chipotle and call it a day.

* Probably the one holiday in the whole year that I REALLY don't care about is.........
St. Patrick's Day.
I may or may not wear green.
I don't decorate with Shamrocks or say, "Kiss me, I'm Irish."
I don't drink but I will probably pinch people.
My kids love it and they love it for one reason only -
They LOVE Corned Beef & Cabbage.
Weirdos!  Don't most people/kids hate cabbage?
My kids would eat this once a week if I would let them.

* Thursday, after CSAP'S, Margaret and I are serving a Teacher Appreciation Lunch for all the teachers and staff at the high school.  Yep, it's time to cook for the masses!
We're having a taco bar for 300!
But this time, we're Margaret is brilliant.
Usually, she sends an email out to all of the parents inviting them to donate a salad or cookies or pop and they all email her back and then she emails them and says, "Thanks for volunteering but now we have enough pop." and so on.
This time, she used and it's genius.
You put in all of the things you would like donated and then people sign up on the website and it confirms their assignment right then.  It's so easy!  They can see exactly what is needed and pick something!
I LOVE it!
Regardless - come on over and help me brown 10 million pounds of ground beef tomorrow!

* Last night, I was reading while Brian was going through emails on his lap top.
I glanced over at the computer -
"Hey!  That's my blog you're reading!  That's my private information!" ;)
Brian: "Yeah - I always have to read this to see what's going on in my family."

* SOMEONE gave me this:
Do you know what they are?  They are plastic cupcakes - like those plastic Easter Eggs - full of candy.  You can hide them for your children to find.  I'm going to hide them for my children NOT to find!