Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Parker's laundry
You're NEVER too old for superballs!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

We Don't Need No School!

Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday!  Im trying to reinforce it in my mind because it feel like it's Monday again.
But according to Stacy, it's time for some random.

Go on over and get random with the rebel!
I could always use a brain unload.

* Yesterday was Trammell's first day of school.  His Facebook status was this -
" What?  Classes started today?????"
Very funny.

* He has 4 psychology classes and 1 biology class.  He's probably going to try to analyze us when he comes home at Thanksgiving.

* I asked him if he made any new friends at school.
Okay, so he's 22 and not in kindergarten...but still.

He replied, "Mom, psychology majors are the WEIRDEST people ever.  Don't ever ask me that again."

How about your biology class?

* I did just get this text from him -
"Are the dudes next to me having the most intense debate EVER?
Yes they are!
Have I heard the words wizard, trolls, spells gryffindor, and magic come out of their mouths?
Yes I did!"

Don't make friends Trammell.  Don't make friends!

* Did Parker really just write this in an essay for college prep writing?
"In my immediate family, I have seen how not to conduct myself academically through my brother’s
lackadaisical attitude throughout high school."

Is that kind and loving?
I'm not even going to try to explain what the essay was about.

* Obviously, my kids don't need school.
They are already smartalecs.

* Tomorrow, Brian is having his gallbladder ripped out.
Pretty exciting!

* I have been driving around for two weeks with this in the back of my car -

He's cute huh?
He's my brother and sister-in-law's.
The movers left him.
He weighs 75 pounds, so we DROVE two houses away and I had Trammell lift him and put him in the back of my car.  Now I need Brian to lift him out...........before tomorrow.........before surgery.

* There are two muffins, both pumpkin.
One is naked on top and one has delcious cream cheese frosting on top.
WHO would buy the one WITHOUT the frosting???
WHY bother?  LIFE is about FROSTING!
WHAT is the world coming to?

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Best. Birthday. Ever!

Without further ado, I will share part of Garrett's email that we received at 3:15 this morning.
WOW..... I'm going to type this the best I can but I'm still shaking from the email I just got as a Birthday Present from BYU...... I GOT IN!!!!! Can you believe that? What a great birthday present that came way earlier than I expected. Something I have worked hard at for the last year finally came to fruition. It is just another reminder of how rewarding hard work can be in any aspect of our life, and although I'm out here in Romania, the Lord is taking care of me! But seriously?? BYU ahhhhhhh, Now Parker just needs to get in and we are set! LEGIT

So this week was challenging, as always, I personally thought it was the hardest week yet, until we tallied up our numbers and had doubled our lessons. It truly was the best week yet. When we went to teach Raul and his Grandma, it turned out her husband doesn't want to meet, kind of a bummer, but the Lord will work with him over time. Raul is planning on getting baptised the 24th of September and hopefully his Grandma as well.

So when I woke up Saturday, I was positive this was going to be the lamest birthday I had ever had, and I would be able to tell my kids a "back in the day" story about turning 20 on my mission. It ended up being amazing. That morning, we had English classes to teach. Somehow everyone remembered it was my birthday and brought something special for me. It was really cool.  George from the pictures of last week gave me a Rubiks cube. I was not at all planning on it being a big deal. After, one of the students went and got ice cream for the missionaries and some others to eat, and the Sisters had baked brownies and cake.... it was crazy and awesome, probably one of my favorite birthdays yet. But the best part was that evening when we went to teach Raul and Elena. It has been a slight struggle to teach Raul because he is in an Orthodox school, so a lot of the time we have to explain some misunderstandings. He's an extremely smart kid, so he takes in all that he is taught and truly thinks about it.
I cannot explain how great of a week it was. It was extremely hard, but just like the missionaries in the scriptures, it ends up being accompanied by great joy. That is how it has been for me. I was able to really understand what to expect from myself for the next transfer and my mission as well as learn about how the Gospel can be shared with the people of Romania.

Im still working on figuring out how to put everything into words, but right now I can only put it simply saying how much I love this place, I'm not naive to the challenges that are involved with the work in this country, but I love serving here and know that I am in for so many more great transfers.

Elder Cox

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Did To! Did Not!

We DID go up to Beaver Creek this weekend.
We DID NOT take any pictures.

We DID take the camera,
but I DID NOT ever want to cart it around.

We DID drive Brian's car with Trammell driving his fully loaded, ready to go to school car following us.

Brian's car DID break down along I-70.
A tow truck came and got Brian's car and took it to the dealership back in Denver.
One of Brian's employees DID go to our house and get my car and bring it to us up in the mountains.

We DID have a great time hanging out together!

We DID go bike riding down the ski slope.
I DID NOT..........remember what happened LAST time I did that?
Yeah, that was three weeks ago and I am STILL having headaches.

But three of us mountain biked.
And only two of us flew over the handlebars and rolled down the hill.
We DID NOT have any serious injuries, concussions or even require bandaids.

We DID buy this -
ridiculous Wolf Head Hat.

We DID eat delicious food.
We DID watch movies.
We DID sit around eating chex mix and caramel corn.
We DID tease each other and laugh uncontrollably.
We DID stay up late and sleep in.

We got up this morning and after breakfast, we hit the road.
We headed east on 1-70 back to Denver
and Trammell went THE WRONG WAY!
He headed west on I-70 back to college.
We DID NOT get enough time with him!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Can Play By the Rules!

Today is Parker's third day of school.
He's missing half of it.
And he's missing ALL of the fourth day of school.

We are going as a family (okay, minus Garrett, since he's in Romania) to the mountains.
This is the only time we get to spend with Trammell all summer - the next 2 days.

So, I called the school to excuse him from school.
There are new rules.
IF you are excusing your child from school EARLY,
your student must bring a NOTE to the office in the morning.
You cannot just call the school and leave a message on their "Attendance Line."

A lot of days, we don't know if Parker is going to miss school.
Sometimes he goes and the German teacher says, "Come on kids, you are going to sit in the theater and hang out while I assemble sets for the school musical."
On those days, Parker suddently has an appointment.

If he gets to class and there is a last minute substitute who says, "Sorry, your teacher isn't here.  You can just work on homework," then he suddenly has appointment.

He calls.  I say "Yea" or "Nay" and we go from there.
If I said "Yea," then I call and excuse him.
But I am a rule keeper.
I can play that game!

I just gave these to Parker to keep in his car.

Yep - Parker will have a little note in his car for each period.  If he suddenly has to miss class for "an appointment," we're golden.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Another BABY Showed Up!

Well, well, well...........
Look what showed up last night...........

Me "baby!"
Trammell is merely "passing though" on his way from Arkansas to Utah.
School starts next Monday and he's gracing us with his presence for the next few days......
 if he gets out of bed!
 "I have worn out my welcome.  I'm going back to Arkansas."
"I've been gone for four months and this is how I get welcomed home?"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Welcome to the World Sweet Baby!

It's RaNDoM THouGHT TueSDaY!
Go on over to Stacy's

It's never too late to join in on the fun!

Yesterday was BEYOND exciting at our house!

* It was Parker's FIRST day of his LAST year of school.
"Mom, why do always take 1st day of school pictures by the front door when we don't even go out the front door to go to school."

Yeah....I don't know why we do that.  BUT, we won't EVER do it again!

* THAT wasn't the most exciting part of the day though. The MOST exciting thing that happened yesterday is that my sister-in-law Stephanie went from carrying this -
(the belly - not the ball)
 to carrying this -
Johnna Justin was born yesterday all 7 lbs 11 ozs and 20 inches of cuteness.  Those brothers are going to LOVE her!!!!  Yea for Stephanie!!!  One thing that has helped us all get through the last few months since my brother's death is the knowledge that while he has not been here with us, he has been with sweet Johnna helping her get ready to come to earth.  I can't help but wonder if he isn't a little bit sad and lonely right now.

* In just minutes, Trammell is going to hop into his car and start the LONG drive from his summer job in Arkansas home. Yea!!!  He gets to spend two days with us before he returns to Utah to resume school on Monday. Boo!!!

* Last week, Brian and I spent an exciting night in the ER.
My brother (the ER doc) had called ahead and talked to the local ER doc and told him we were on our way and what to look for.
The ER doc chose to discount that and not do an ultrasound.
We came home with no answers.
Brian's regular doctor ordered an ultrasound.
The results came in yesterday -
Lo and behold............gallstones.
Just what my brother thought.
What do you know????
Brian has an appointment with a surgeon tomorrow to schedule gallbladder surgery.
Thank you stupid ER doctor for wasting our time and money.

* Are you ready for Skirtember?
Come on!  It will be fun!!!!
There is a Facebook group of friends and strangers who are going to wear skirts the entire month.
You can join.
It's open to anyone.
You don't have to wear a different skirt everyday......just a skirt.
Join in!!!!

Well, that's enough nonsense.
There is plenty to do around here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Oh.....I Forgot to Mention

Mondays mornings are always exciting around here.
Monday is the day that we get an email from our favorite missionary in Romania!

But we learned with Trammell that if you find out about what time they get on the computer and do a little math, you might be able to "catch" them on the computer and have a little email chat.

This morning, when I woke up, I typed a quick "Are you on?"
He responded, "Yeah - I'm typing my letter to you guys right now."

I typed, "Are you starving?  Are you healthy? How is your companion?"

Evidently, I should have asked these questions WEEKS ago
because here is his response -

"No im not starving, I eat alot because its so high energy. I'm healthy as well. I have stayed the pretty much the same weight the whole time.

My companion said I shouldn't share the story but if Tram told the story about getting bit by a scorpion, I can tell you about the second week here.

So there are A LOT of dogs in Romania....but they are all street dogs and are not agressive at all.
BUT.....We were contacting up a steep hill and on our way to one of the last doors, as we came over a hill, completely exhausted. A drunk man came out yelling "stay, stay, stay!"  Behind him, were 3 vicious dogs that he threw rocks at to keep them away from us. We stayed frozen just as he said. When he came up to us, we told him who we were and he sent us on our way.

We were trying to scamper out of there when I felt a nibble on my heal. I was positive it was nothing because it didn't hurt. Once we got to a safe area I lifted up my pant and checked under the sock and there was a tiny spot where the skin was broken..... meaning I got to start getting Rabies treatments just to be safe. My last shot is the 30th, that being the 5th shot.

The scary part wasn't so much the rottweiler or whatever dogs, but the freaky hospital for infectious disease. :) yeah...... well that was a great story."

It's a good thing the rottweiler didn't kill him because I AM GOING TO!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Don't You Need to Stay at Work?

The other day, Parker and I went to lunch with Brian.
Brian will no longer be invited least not until we align our parenting goals.

Brian: "So Parker, how is it going with the ladies."
Parker: Quickly sticks sushi in his mouth, "Mmmmm....hmmmm..."
Brian: "Word on the street is that things are looking good with Drusilla*"
Parker: "Oh really?  What street?"
Brian: "THE street.  I hear things."
Parker: "Yeah, I guess."
Brian: "Well.....what's taking so long?  Close the deal."

I HAVE to step in
Me: "Whoa! Wait!  No!  There will be no deal closing!
We DON'T need a girlfriend around here!  What are you saying?
REMEMBER, Parker is going to go out with LOTS of different friends."

We change the topic to something school.
I'm SURE we're on the same page o this one.

Me: "Aren't you excited? It's your senior year!  Make the most of it!  I think you should have fun.  Participate in everything.  Go to lots of events.....really get involved."

As if being in student leadership, planning Homecoming, being a Flagboy at every football game and playing lacrosse isn't being involved.

Brian is doodling on his chopstick wrapper.
He holds up the wrapper and it says:
"Just say NO!"

Brian: "Who needs school?  I mean, why are you even going?  You could just go to college now. You could quit.  You could drop out."
Parker: "Yeah, I'm with Dad.  Seriously..."
Me: "What is wrong with you two?"

Who said that dining as a family makes ALL the difference?
Who said that eating together is BONDING and helps cement values?
Who did THAT study?  They sure didn't study us!

We will no longer be eating as a family.  It undermines my hopes and dreams!

*Name has been changed to protect this poor, sweet girl.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Child Would NEVER!

We ALL say it!
We all claim that our little angels would NEVER do HALF the stuff those little demons two streets over, the next table over, or three rows ahead of us are doing.
And WHY wouldn't they do it?
Because WE are such wonderful parents.
We wrote the book on parenting!

All of us have come home late on a Friday or Saturday night and seen the cars lining the street, beer bottles in the gutter and teenagers strolling through bushes back to their cars.
SOMEONE'S parents are out of town!
And someone's parents are soooooo STUPID!
Who would leave a teenager unattended.......for even 15 minutes?
Not me! Never! Ever!

Except for last week, when I left Parker HOME ALONE for two days.
Well.........not exactly alone.
My brother and sister-in-law live two doors away and Parker was working the whole time....
or at least 20 of the 48 hours.

But when we came home,
I knew immediately.
There were the tell-tale signs!
The table was set -

The chop sticks were out.

And sure enough - there were the half empty bottles.
Someone had been into the Peanut Oil and the Rice Vinegar!

Parker had a DINNER party while we were gone.
Yes, MY child cooked up a storm with no supervision.
He went to the store and bought CHILE PEPPERS and SHITAKE MUSHROOMS on his own.
And I am sure the clerk didn't ask for ID!

He made Kung Pao Chicken AND Fried Rice for 3 of his friends!
ALL underage!
Two of them are going into college and one was his 14 year old cousin.
But still!
Where were HIS parents!!!!

Learn from my tale of woe!
No matter how nice, obedient, smart, and responsible your children are, don't EVER leave them unattended!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Growing Up and Going to School

Everyone is talking about school supplies, backpacks, earlier bed times and going back to school.
Not us!
School doesn't start until next week!
We have plenty of time to prepare.

So I'll kill some "free" time by playing along with Stacy - the Queen of Random

Click on the linky above and pay her a visit!
AFTER hanging out here for awhile!

She has some awesome and exciting stuff going on!

* The deadline for senior pictures is creeping closer.
The whole rest of the Class of 2012 has already had their pics taken and posted on Facebook.
No one around here cares enough to even select a photographer.
I used to care!  But now, I just can't drum up any caring.
Luckily, I am not alone

Me: "So who do you want to take your senior pictures."
Parker: "No one."
Me: "Are you going to get your hair cut?"
Parker: "Probably not."
Me: "Well, then, how are you going to wear your hair?"
Parker: "Not careingly."

* Parker: "I have to go up to the school sometime and fix my schedule."
Me: "Why what's wrong with it?"
Parker: "I don't have enough off hours.  The one I have is one that we are required to have off so we can have our Leadership Officer meetings. So, I need another off."
Me: "No.  You don't need anymore off hours."
Parker: "Yes I do."
Me: "No, I want you to stay at the school.  I don't need you lounging around here during the day."

* Music moves me.
When I am in the house going about my business, I am just fine.
When I get in the car, I hear a song on the radio and I get all nostalgic and misty eyed.

Yesterday, I heard a love song (well, as loving and romantic as a hip hop song can be) and I drifted off onto an imaginary dance floor thinking about Trammell and his future bride. (He's not even dating anyone right now!)
Would this be a good "first dance?"
No I guess not.
Hmmm....what will he and I dance to?
And then I started crying because I missed Trammell and couldn't believe that he was so old and grown up and could potentially get married in the next few years.
There I was crying like a baby....
and for good measure, I cried about missing Garrett and missing my brother.

But then I went back to wondering what song Trammell and I would dance to..........probably something by Lil Wayne.

* Trammell's not THAT grown up.
Trammell: "No way!  Parker won a longboard?  Tell him to give me one of his old boards."
Me: "No. You don't need to longboard.  You're 22 for heaven's sake. That's the last thing you need. You're grown up."
Trammell: "You're not grown up until you shave everyday and I only have to shave once a week."

At this rate, he'll never be a grown up!

* Well, I'm off.
I have two crock pots of baked beans going, three pounds of pasta marinating for pasta salad and there are several melons just waiting to be cut up.
Tonight is my brother and sister-in-law's Going Away Party for an intimate group of 150.
There's a little cooking needing to be done.
I better get on it!

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Great Idiot Race

Don't deny it!
You having been dying to here about the Great Idiot Race all weekend!

No one died.
Although we came close.

So the race was on a winding hill in a neighborhood next to ours.
The idiots 20-somethings who "organized" the race DID talk to all the neighbors a few days beforehand and "got permission."

But really, go ahead, you predict what is going to happen when 50 teenagers with longboards show up on your street.

Practice runs were taken.
Races started.
Parker won first place in his first heat.
Xan (my niece) was the only girl in the competition, so she raced with boys and she was second in her heat.
My other nephews came in 4th in their heats.
No one was injured, so they are all winners in my mind.

Shortly after the first few races, a "nice" police woman showed up claiming she had received 20 complaints.
First, there are not even 20 people who live in the neighborhood where they were racing.
But whatever.
She did point out that
A. They did not get a street permit to "close" the street.
and B. What they were doing was dangerous.

Race over!

Not to be deterred, everyone got in their cars and followed the race "organizers" to a new neighborhood.
I'm SURE they called ahead and got permission.
And I'm SURE they went ahead and filed AND received permits on the way over there!

Race on!!!

So after a few practice runs on the new race course - an equally winding, steep hill, the races started up.
Call it mother's intuition, but when I saw neighbors come out of their houses and walk to their property lines and then retreat back into their houses without even coming over to ask what was going on,
I knew this would be short lived.

But seriously, did they think that this "gang" of hooligans was going to skate up their drive way and load up their boards with flat screens, computers and jewelty and board off into the sunset?
Come on people!  Live a little!

Xan came in second again and the owners of the shop decided to "sponsor" her.
They gave her a new board, trucks and wheels.  Woohoo!

Parker somehow joined in the wrong race but still managed to get second.

She WAS NOT happy.
She yelled at everyone.
We all stood in the middle of the street as she raved.
The racing was over.
Everyone new it.
But no one was exactly jumping in their cars.
She was not pleased.
And that is when she yelled:
"And if you don't leave, I will write you ALL tickets.

And you parents - I will give you $75 tickets for Child Abuse."

Wait! $75 tickets for child abuse?
That's all?
If I had known that child abuse only cost $75, I would have started abusing my children A LONG TIME ago!

We all just kind of stood there........being a menace to society eating Otter Pops.

With that, she got back in her car and left.
She left without giving us our tickets!!!!
Was that just an empty threat?

We finished our Otter Pops, picked up our trash, and the organizers of the race decided to call it a day and go back to the shop to hand out prizes.

Pretty much, I had had enough standing around on hot black top sweating excitement,
felt ripped off because I didn't get a ticket,
and decided to call it a day.

Parker and all the racers went to the store to collect their prizes.
He came home with a new board and wheels.
I hope that was the END of Parker's racing career!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Justin's Birthday

Happy Birthday Justin!
I wish you were turning 36 today!

I wish you were blowing out the candles on a cake with your cute boys.

I wish you were going to be here next week when your incredible wife gives birth to your new daughter.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Go Big or Go Home

There is a "big" longboarding race in our area this weekend.

Parker signed up.
He's not a racer.
He's more into tricks.
So, I have to question "why?"
But I'm used to asking that question.

Parker: "Oh yeah.  There are two categories.  There are the professionals........."
Professional longboarders?  "Professional"  is reserved for doctors and lawyers....and maybe some athletes who actually get paid enough to support themselves...........not just buy a sticker for their helmet.

Parker: This is big!  It's my first big race.  It's serious."
Me: "Serious?  More like ridiculous!"
Parker: "The professionals are racing for a cash prize."
Me: "What?  Like $50?"
Parker: "I don't know.......the entrance fee is $2 and the winner gets half of all the money collected."
Me: "So $50.  Oh and you aren't even a racer."
Parker: "I know, but I got this. I'm racing with the amateurs not the professionals."
Me: "Oh. Wow.  I feel so much better."
Parker: "The top five get prizes.  I'll come home with something."
Me: "Yeah.....a broken arm."
Parker: "No. This is legit.  This is real.  I mean,'Go big or go home.'  And the ER can be considered a home."

At least I'm not the only the house on the block with idiots.
My nieces and nephews are also killing themselves racing on Saturday.
My SIL: "Xan, you need to really think about this.  You are leaving for college in a few weeks.  Do you really want to go with a broken arm?"
Xan: "Think of how many people I could meet with a broken arm!"

Yep - idiot runs in the blood!

PS: You guys are GOOD guessers!  Parker cashed in a whopping $185 worth of coins.
I came home with $615.89.  Youhave to realize that I don't actually "collect" coins, go through pockets or empty my change purse into a jar.  If I run across coins around the house, I just throw them into this container.  When the container is overflowing, I take some out.  Oh....our bank does not accept rolled coins.  I don't know why.  Whatever.  Anyway, the closest guesser was Danelle over at Outnumbered with $527.38 or 83...whatever.  Go over and congratulate her, give her a fist bump and a cyber cupcake!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Money, Money, Money

Parker has been bugging me for a few months days to take him to the bank to "cash in" his coins.

He has a lot.
So we didn't want to just go to the grocery store and use their CoinStar machine.
It charges some outrageous percentage like 7%.
Our bank has a counting machine........but only in SOME branches.
And they won't count coins on Monday or Friday.
I hate to inconvenience them!

So we were hanging out the other day and I could either clean the house or load up the coins and go to the bank.
We chose the bank.
MY coins were already organized.
Parker needed to dump his from his two containers into a bag.
Then he needed time to sweep them up and put them in a new bag after the first one broke all over the laundry room floor.

I could not lift my coins.

They would all fit into the bag, but the bag was way to heavy.  I had to resort to the tote bag AND a backpack but I still couldn't lift the bag.  Okay, I'm not a weakling, but I couldn't lift the bag AND carry it AND not whine.

Parker volunteered to carry the bag.
Okay, I made him and then he said he was charging me a 2% fee.

Parker insisted we look around for suspicious cars at stoplights.
And he scouted out the bank parking lot for anyone who looked like they would hold us up.
We waited for the 80 year old man to back out of the parking lot before getting out with our bags and backpack.

Even though the bank was empty and we were the only customers in the place,
I don't think they were too excited to count our coins.

Guess how much we had!!!
I'll give you a hint -
I had more than 3 times what Parker had.
I've been stashing the cash for about 5 years.

Go ahead!  Guess!
And like Parker, the winner does NOT get 2%.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wee Bit of Me Wednesday! NOT!

Good ole Wednesday!
It's Parker's high school registration today.  Yippee for Senior Year!
It's the day I take my niece to Ikea to pick out stuff for her college dorm room.
And it's my dad's birthday!
Happy Birthday Dad!
And it's My Leigh Ashley's Wee Bit of Me!
Except that it's not.  Where is that girl?

I should make up my own questions!
But I'm too lazy.
Let's play Either/Or
1. Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip?
Mayo all the way and it can only be Best Foods or Hellmans (depending where you live.)
2. Movie in the theater or Redbox/On Demand at home?
I used to love the movie theater, but the prices are outrageous and I like starting it when *I* am ready.  Sometimes we even go to the theater just to buy the popcorn and come home.
3. Radio or IPod?
Since I haven't downloaded/uploaded a single song to the IPod I received 3 years ago, I just listen to the radio.........but only in the car.  At home, I like silence...........deathly silence.
4. Bacon or Sausage?
Seriously?  What kind of question is that?  I'll take double bacon.  Make that quadruple bacon.
5. Read a book or Kindle/Nook a book?
I LOVE to read.  I love to turn the pages.  For now, I'm sticking with real, paper books.
6. Run or Walk?
How many times have I told you that exercise will KILL you?  But if I have to choose, I'd go on a walk. I will admit that I sometimes run through the house and run up and down the stairs.
7. Hot and Humid or Snowy and Cold?
I'll take winter!  Coats and boots and freezation.  I HATE humidity.  And I hate to sweat!
8. Pool or Beach?
I don't really like to get dirty either.  I'll take the pool.  Or how about a a beach resort with a pool?
9. Shoes or Barefeet?
Shoes.  Always.
10. Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall?
I love all the seasons.  I like to see them come and I like to see them go.
My favorite is probably Fall though, with it's colorful leaves, cooler temps, crisp mornings, Love it!!!