Monday, July 25, 2011

T Minus 46 Hours

Where did that whole T minus thing come from?

Actually, it is a countdown that "is a sequence of counting backward to indicate the seconds, days, or other time units remaining before an event occurs or a deadline expires. Typical events for which a countdown is used include the launch of a rocket or spacecraft, the detonation of a bomb <- YES!  That's us!, the start of a race, and the start of the New Year."

Thanks Wikipedia.

Anyway.........48 hours from now, I will be driving to Martin's Cove, Wyoming with my Red Vines and my candy bars, and my cooler of Coke, and my really cute pioneer clothes...........
followed by nine buses and a caravan of cars and trucks and 540 other people, 40 tents and 120 dutch ovens.

Am I ready?
I'm actually beyond caring.
After 15 months of TALKING about it,
I just want to get the show on the road.

I'm excited for the kids to exerience everything -
to learn about pioneers,
to cross the river,
to climb Rocky Ridge (pushing and pulling a handcart)
to cook in dutch ovens,
to walk 14 miles in one day,
to play pioneer games,
to square dance,
to meet new people,
and to have FUN!

And I know you guys are excited for me to MOVE ON and quit talking about it!
You want pictures!

Am *I* packed?
No.
Things are piled on the dining room table.

Packing is the least of my worries.
We had someone register to GO on the trip yesterday.
And I am still trying to round up Pony Express letters from parents.

But are we READY to go?
For sure!
The kids have all met their "families."
The buses are assigned.
Signs and tags and charts and diagrams and maps have all been made.

We checked and re-checked all the details, the buses, the weather, the medical supplies, the menu, the vehicles.

Bring it!

Well I'm off to WalMart for some last minutes supplies
Jolly Ranchers,
Colored Duct Tape,
Extra Sharpies,
Vaseline - don't ask,
Posterboard,
Ribbon,
and Clipboards.

Woohoo!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Indulge Me

My youngest brother died 4 months ago.


What a full, full life.......albeit short.
I love you Justin!

Friday, July 22, 2011

WWSBD?

And where did THIS come from?
I recently spotted this sign on my sister-in-law's driveway.
And somehow, I knew teenagers must be involved.

Me: "Where did this come from?"
Niece: "Miss Judy's"
Me: "Ummm......no.
Wait........ I know where I've seen it. It's from Flanders. I saw it on the street. They are resurfacing that street. You guys stole it!"
Niece: "We didn't steal it. We borrowed it."


Parker: "Yeah and SpongeBob says, 'You can borrow anything you want, anytime, as long as if you give it back before it's missed.'"

Me: "What is this WWSBD?"

Thank heavens we have SpongeBob as our moral compass!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Watch Out for Dracula!

Look who made it to Romania safe and sound!
We received these from his mission president.  It's like they KNOW that mom's are out there wondering if their little babies made it or not.
Here is Garrett with his companion. When the missionaries leave the MTC and travel to their mission, they are paired up with someone "older" and "wiser" who knows the language and the lay of the land.

Garrett and his companion are assigned to work in Brasov, Romania.
Someone is looking out for Garrett.
Summers in Romania are hot and humid.  It's typically in the mid 90's.
Brasov is about 100 miles north of Bucharest in the mountains and the temperature is about 74.
Brasov is also in the Transylvania region.
With a population of about 300,000, it is the 8th largest city in Romania.

It's relatively new city - formed in 1235 AD although they can trace human activity in the area back to 9500 BC. 
 An aerial view of Brasov
 The city center
 Bran Castle - which many claim is Dracula's castle......except that Dracula isn't real and Bram Stoker never saw this castle.  But whatever, go with it.
A medieval gate to the city.  The central tower and gate were built in 1559.  Really!

Garrett will spend at least the next 6 weeks here......long enough to escape the August heat.
 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wee Bit of Me Wednesday!

You know I love this little feature...........
because who doesn't love to talk about themselves????


Pop on over to Leigh Ashley's and join in!

{one} what is your dream job?
If I could wake up one day and magically have all the training and experience necessary,
I would be A CORONER!
Wouldn't that be cool?
{two} how many best friends do you have?
How many?
If you are my friend, you are my best friend!

My bestest best friend is Brian.
We were 17 in this picture!

{three} what’s the longest road trip you’ve ever taken?

When I was a teenager, we used to drive from Colorado to Newport Beach every summer with some family friends.  What made it LONG was that the parents drove in front of us in the air conditioned car, while the kids rode in the UNAIRCONDITIONED wood panelled station wagon.  Ahhh......memories of the windows down and the hot air of the Nevada desert hitting us.  What fun!

Brian and I also made that same drive one New Year's Eve when I was 6 1/2 months pregnant with Trammell.  We stopped in every town from St. George to 90 minutes from home and there was NO room in the inn.  There were no rooms ANYWHERE.  We drove the whole way.  THAT was long!
{four} if you had to do one single thing every day for the next year, what would it be?
Eat, Read, Pray.
{five} what’s one story your family always tells about you?
Hmmm.......I don't know.  I think they tell it when I'm not around! ;)
But I bet it has something to do with me being bossy!
I'm not nearly as fun to talk about as my brothers.  I didn't do ANYTHING wrong when I was growing up.
{six} how did your parents pick your name?

There's not a huge story behind it.  I think they got the idea from Gina Lollobrigida.    

 We could be TWINS!

{seven} what’s the one thing that scares you more than anything?

I don't know.  I'm not really afraid of much.  I do worry though.  I could list 80 things I worry about...on occasion...not obsessively.  One of the most frequent worries might be - that my kids are making good decisions and that they are happy.  Don't read that that I am worried about there good decisions and  that they are happy.  Read that that I want them to make good decisions and be happy.
{eight} are you a good cook?
Yes, except when I hurry through something and then things are undercooked or overcooked.  I should be more patient.
 
{nine} where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Going on missions with Brian and hanging out with my boys, their beautiful wives and my darling grandchildren!!!!
 
{ten} what’s your best childhood memory?
Playing with my brothers.  My brothers are the BEST brothers in the whole world!

And, now, that made me cry!!!!

It's time to get going on packing a brithday package to send to Garrett in Romania, helping Parker get all of HIS pioneer trek stuff together, working on pioneer trek stuff, buying some paper and bottled water for Brian's office and finishing up some ironing!  Yippee!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I've got NOTHING!

Yeah, yeah, it's what used to be my favorite day: RaNDoM THouGHT TueSDaY!

Stacy

Stacy is such a good sport!  She's still heading up the rebellion while Keely takes a 30 year break.
Be nice and go pay her a visit.
Click on that picture up there.

Maybe I should take a break because I'VE GOT NOTHING!

There's NO random here.  There is NOTHING going on.........
except Pioneer Trek Preparations.

* With the pioneer trek just 8 days away, we DO have a FEW preparations going on here.
Can you believe we have been planning this 4 day trek through Wyoming for 15 months?
Just two minutes after emailing the FINAL list of attendees with bus assignments and "family" assignments,
I received an email teling me that two more people turned in registration forms.
May I mention that the registration deadline was JUNE 1st.
I'm not bitter.
I'm just sayin'!

* Brian and I went to 200 stores in search of a FULL air mattress.  Not full as in inflated, but FULL as in full-size.  Not a twin.  Not a queen.  Evidently, no one else in the universe wants one of those.  I don't even want one.  But it's the size that will fit in the back of my car.
Yeah, yeah.....everyone else on this pioneer trek is sleeping ON THE GROUND under tarp tents.
I'm not.
I have to be fresh.
I have to be on my game.

* I also bought a case of Red Vines and a 5 pound bag of mini candy bars to go in the cooler of Coke in my car.
I have to be fresh.
I have to be on my game.

* I cannot tell you how many details there are to planning a trip of this nature.
550 people dressed in pioneer clothes
hiking 25 miles in 3 days
cooking 9 meals in dutch ovens over campfires.
We have a huge committee.
I could NEVER do all this work or think of all these details by myself.
But seriously..........generators, 120 dutch ovens, nebulizers, 45 tents, 100- 5 gallon water jugs, refrigerator trucks, identifying flags, sounds sytems, first aid supplies, 8 buses..........

* Please don't let it rain.
Please don't let it be too hot.
Please turn off the Wyoming wind machine..........
except for a slight 5-10 mile per hour breeze.
Please make all the mosquitos die.
Please warn the rattle snakes that we are bringing 250 teenage boys and they should hide - the snakes, not the boys.
Please don't let anyone die.
Please don't let anyone be an idiot.
Oh........I'm asking too much!

* Margaret is at her house sewing furiously.
My pioneer wardrobe is going to be so cute.
And isn't that all that really matters?
And I have pink on my hiking shoes.
What more could I want?

* Last night, as Brian passed my office, he called out:
"Hey start a list of things we have thought about but still need to do something about..........

like...........we need to bring some kind of shield for people who need to go to the bathroom on the trail............
and toilet paper."
Can people just please use the porta potties and bathrooms that are set up along the trail?
When we come to them..........use them!

I beg of you!
That's kind of a lot of PIONEER RaNDoM!
Whatever you are doing this week, I'm jealous.

Monday, July 18, 2011

LEAVING ON A JET PLANE

Today is an EXCITING day at the CRAZY COX household.
We got up early and sat by the phone.
Yeah.......we know how to party.


Today, Garrett leaves the Missionary Training Center and flies to Bucharest, Romania!
Woohoo!
And if that's not exciting enough,
they get to call home from the airport...........
any airport they are in..........
if they have time.


He left Provo for the Salt Lake City airport at 5 am.
He called at about 7 am and we were able to talk for about 45 minutes before he boarded his flight for Atlanta.
He won't call from Atlanta because they only have 40 minutes there.
But he will try to call tonight from Amsterdam because they have a 3 hour layover.


He sounds GREAT!
We all took turns asking questions about what he has learned and what his favorite things about the Missionary Training Center have been.
He is excited to get to Romania and serve the people.
He loves all the people that he has been with for the last nine weeks and he feels ready to go.
It was so good to hear the excitement in his voice!!!


We will get weekly emails from him once he reaches Romania but we will not get to actually talk to him until CHRISTMAS! Yikes!


Here are some recent pictures -
Garrett's district and their Romanian teacher.  There are 12 boys and one girl travelling to Romania today.  I don't know why the girl is wearing a tie.  The girls don't normally wear ties.  The girl in the middle is their teacher.  She is from Romania, went on a mission and is studying at BYU.

This is Garrett's district and a district of new Romanian missionaries who just arrived a couple of weeks ago.

This is a district party celebrating their "half way" point at the Missionary Training Center.

I don't know what this is.......beside goofy.
It's been a good day!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Today is NOT just about Harry Potter.
It's even better!
It's Friday Fragments with Mrs 4444.

She's MORE famous than Harry Potter..........almost.
Go see her at Half Past Kissin' Time and see for yourself!

There IS a lot going on this weekend!

* The Nordstrom sale started at 7 am without me.
I used to care.
Now..........not so much.


* Yesterday, I went to the fabric store to get material for my Pioneer clothes.
Margaret is making me the cutest clothes ever.
Okay, they are STILL pioneer clothes.


* I'm caring more about JoAnn Fabric than Nordstrom.
What is WRONG with me?


* It's Harry Potter Weekend!
Parker and his friends left for the midnight Harry Potter at 2.
2 pm.
What were they going to do at the theater from 2 to 12?
Are they CRaZY?
Brian and I went to the movie theater about 9 pm to see what everyone was doing.
It was amazing!
There were people dressed as every character imaginable - Harry's and Mad Eye's and Moaning Myrtles and Snapes and Snitches and Hagrids and well.......you get the idea.
We were dressed as ourselves Muggles.

* Conversation in the theater:
Parker's friend: "Oh my gosh!  I didn't know you had a ticket."
Me: "I don't."
PF: "Oh, so you have someone's ticket stub?"
Me: "I don't."
PF: "So, how did you get in here?"
Me: "We just walked in."


Let's just say there was a "bit" of confusion in the theater lobby.  I never even saw a ticket taker at any of the usual stations.  And besides.  I'm old.  What kind of old person is going to show up at 9 pm and sneak into Harry Potter?"

* Conversation in the theater:
Me: "Where's Parker?"

Different Parker's Friend: "Oh up there."
Me: "What are they doing?"
DPF: "Watching Harry Potter 6."

Me: "What?"
DPF:"Yeah, Parker brought a TV and Sony Playstation.  It's plugged in up there and we've been watching all the movies."

Well, THAT explains what they have been doing all day.
That DOES NOT explain why one my TV's and the Playstation is at the movie theater.

* Garrett leaves the Missionary Training Center on Monday for Romania!
They are allowed to call home from airports.

Woohoo!
We will get to talk to him from the Salt Lake Airport and probably from the Amsterdam Airport.

I'm soooooo excited!
He is sooooo excited.
He can't wait to get to Romania!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wee Bit of Me TODAY

Yeah, yeah, Wednesday is over.
So is my love affair with Little Miss Leigh Ashley.
She tricked me.
For several Wednesdays in a row she didn't show up.
Then she apologizes and says she's taking some time off.
Cool.  I understand that.
And then, she shows up two weeks later and she's back at it!.


But I won't hold a grudge.
I'll play along....albeit late.




{one} what’s the #1 most played song on your iPod (or whatever you use)?
Good one!
My kids gave me an iPod several years ago for Mothers Day.
I haven't ever used it.  I haven't downloaded a single song.
But I keep it in my desk drawer because it's cute and pink.


Whoa!  Wait!  Where is it?
"Parker.........where is my iPod?"
"Your shuffle?"
"Yeah, whatever it is."
"I don't know but I bet I could find it if I looked."
A few minutes later......
"Did you find it?"
"No.  Maybe it's in your desk drawer."
The whining starts
"It's not here.  I already looked."
"But you don't use it."
"So what!  It's still mine."
"You can use my orange one."
"I don't want your stupid orange one.  I want my pink one."

{two} what’s your favorite type of exercise?
Eating.
I hate to sweat and I don't like geting dirty.

{three} what’s your least favorite mode of transportation?
Bus

{four} if you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what would it be?
34 was a good year!

{five} when you have 30 minutes of free time, what do you use it to do?
Read

{six} what do you miss the most about being a kid?
I will echo Leigh Ashley's answer -
The lack of responsibility. Not having to  worry about things.


{seven} when was the last time you were nervous?
I don't know that I can think of a specific time.

{eight} what was the first thing you bought with your own money when you were young?
I had to be 10 or 11ish.
There was a special store at the mall that sold these HIDEOUS dolls.
I thought they were beautiful and I saved up to buy one.

{nine} what is your favorite month of the year?
Probably September.  I love fall and the weather getting colder and the whole back to school thing.
September makes me really nostalgic.

{ten} what are 3 songs from the soundtrack of your life?
Wow!
Hard one.
I won't over think this -
"Good Life" by One Republic
"I Believe in Christ"
and "Friends" by Lucious Jackson.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

You Can't OVER Celebrate Harry Potter

Remember - Parker went to a sneak preview of the Harry Potter movie Monday night.
Then last night, my niece had a Harry Potter Birthday Party.
Never mind that her birthday is in August........there is no time like NOW to celebrate!

You'll love it!

 Some of the decor.
 Butterbeer
 Honeydukes Candy Shop
Harry Potter and Voldemort cookies.
Yeah - I helped with that!
I didn't hang around for the fantastically decorated cake.
Sorry!
 Can you see all the little "candles" hanging from the ceiling.  Okay you can't really.
 Two little first year wizards - my niece Gillian and her friend Olivia
 A whomping willow
 Look!  You can see some of the candles.
My sister-in-law as Madam Professor Minerva McGonagall with another young wizard.
I didn't take additional pictures of Parker because we have enough of him in his Ron Weasley costume
AND he was OUTSIDE
ON HIS LONGBOARD
WITH A BROOM
flying down the street with his cape flying behind him.

Now, THAT'S something I should have gotten a picture of!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

BEST!

We all know that Tuesday is the BEST day of the week....
Just go with it.
It IS the BEST blogging day because we get to hook up with Stacy for RaNDoM!

                                    Stacy

Who doesn't love getting all those random thoughts out?


* I am pretty much the BEST mom EVER because while Parker was at work yesterday,
I ran around and threw together a Ron Weesley costume for him.


* He went to see a sneak preview of the new Harry Potter movie with his cousins.
His BEST cousin (I was told to say "my favorite niece but that wouldn't fit into the whole "Best" thing)
won tickets to the debut, premiere, sneak peak, whatever and invited Parker along.


* Oh, and I'll have you know that his costume, while not the BEST, was BESTEST enough to win a prize in the costume contest.  And that prize was a million dollars, free movie tickets, free popcorn, a keychain.


* The costume was made possible by my BEST friend Margaret, who supplied a white cape AND let me dye it for the occasion...........and all occasions from here on out.
If anyone needs a gray cape - Margaret has one.
If anyone needs a white cape - Margaret used to have one.


* BEST news of the week is that my Mom got out of the hospital Saturday night.
She went in for a stem cell transplant 3 weeks ago and was planning on hanging out in the hospital for about 4 or 5 weeks.
No.  She's amazing and through medicine and miracles, they turned her loose less than 3 weeks later.


* The BEST phone call I received this weekend was from a certain 2 year old nephew who said,
"Hi Nana! Come over.  Daddy found a nake."
A nake?
He also told me that the nake was "nice" and says "Goochie, goochie, goo."
There was some confusion when I told him that the nake says "hiss" and that led to skweeming and then a talk about whether it was naughty or nice to skweem. 
We agreed to disagree.



Monday, July 11, 2011

Jail? Car Accident? Expulsion?

From now on, whenever anyone calls me, they must start the conversation with "Everything is fine....."


You know what I am talking about!
The phone rang the other day.
I could see "Tiny Baby" on my caller ID.
It was Parker.  He whispered into the phone, "I think I'm going to need you to pick me up?"


I immediately stopped breathing.
My heart started beating 1 million beats per second.
And my stomach twisted into knots.


My brain spun and in just 1/10th of a second I thought -
"Where are you?"
"Are you in trouble?"
"Were you in an accident?"


All I get out is a confused "What?"
Parker: "Can you come pick me up?"


"What?"
Parker: "I'm on the 7th hole and I don't have time to finish."


"What?"
Parker: "I need to leave and get ready for work?"


"What?"  Am I an idiot?  Are you following ANY of this?
"Is something wrong with your car?"


Parker: "No, but I would have to walk back through four holes of golf to get back to the club house.  It would take, like, 25 minutes.  I want to come home and get cleaned up and eat something before I go to work.  Can you come get me?"


Ah hah!  It's all becoming clearer!!
He was golfing at one golf course prior to his shift at the other golf course.
Oh, he's being responsible and instead of just playing out the round and driving like a maniac back to work, he's looking at his watch and calling it.
Well, calling me.  And you could argue that it would be more responsible to figure that out BEFORE you started 9 holes.
But who knew he'd get paired up with ancient, slow people.


And if he hasn't been arrested, totalled his car or gotten expelled from school,
I'm HAPPY to go pick him up!


Just start out the conversation with "Everything's okay......."


Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Fragments!

Mommy's Idea
It's Friday?
Already?
Not that I don't want it to be Friday, it's just been an incredibly long short week or short long week or whatever.


Good thing we have Mrs.4444 to tell us what day it is!
Click on the linky above and go pay her a visit..........AFTER you finish here.
* First - HAPPY 49th ANNIVERSARY to my Mom and Dad!
49 years!
That's amazing!

* Also - update on my mom!
Her stem cell transplant went amazingly well.  She is supposed to be in the hospital for 5 weeks.  Right now, it's looking like they will release her as soon as she goes 24 hours without a fever.  She gets a low grade fever every time they give her the medication to stimulate white blood cell production. It's really not from any kind of infection.  But rules are rules.  So.....she could be released as soon as Satruday or Sunday.
But then again, there is a plot to keep her because she is the hospital staff's FAVORITE patient.

* A guy came over to film Parker long boarding.
It's to send in to companies and get "sponsored."
Don't ask.


Me: "Have fun.  Don't do anything too crazy..."
Parker: "I can't promise that."
Oh well......at least he's honest.


* Garrett leaves the Missionary Training Center in 12 days.
He is sooooo excited to get to Romania and get to work!

* We are 20 - TWENTY days away from the Pioneer Trek!
We've been planning this for 15 months.
You are probably jealous of us.  Who wouldn't be?
540 people in pioneer clothes pushing handcarts across 25 miles of the Wyoming plains in July.
Who wouldn't be jealous????
I did get a little bit nervous at our meeting this week when the head nurse was "making sure" that there will be a generator available to plug a mini refrigerator into to keep the IV fluids cold.
EEK!

* July 1-4th was International Chicken Wing week!  How did we miss that?
I hope Garrett doesn't know he missed it!
He would be so disappointed!

* Yesterday afternoon, Brian and I snuck out to a movie.
While sitting in the darkened theatre eating pocorn,
I leaned over and asked him,
"Do you hear the tornado sirens outside?"
"Yeah..."
"Hmmm.....should I go see what's going on?"
"Yeah..."

I walked out of the theater and into the hall.
It was noisier out there than in our theater.
I couldn't hear the sirens.
And, I'll be honest, I didn't want to miss the movie by walking all the way to the front of the theater and seeing what was going on.

So I just went back in the theater and shrugged.
Thirty seconds later, a theater employee came in and tried to talk over the movie.
"Sorry to interrupt but there is a tornado warning right now and we don't want to sorry you guys but if we need to, we'll come back and move you somewhere safer."

Okay............

* We lived.
And when we got home, our house was still standing.
I highly recommend spending a tornado warning obvliously.

Well, that's it!
Happy Friday!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What Could Go Wrong?

I blissfully drove through the neighborhood toward home.
As I turned into my driveway, I looked up at my brother's driveway and saw this -
I'm sure you recognize this for what it is!
But just in case - it's my sister-in-law's flower urns (minus the flowers) with number 10 cans and 12 packs of pop on top, with a rake going across the whole contraption! 
WHY?
What could go wrong????

Now, someone in the group has a brain!


I like the celebratory "WooHoo"



Luckily, no one died!
The worse thing that happened is that the 2-year-old missed his nap.