Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Arizona Dreamin' on such a winter's day...

This is the view from our front window. Addie chose these Snowman window clings at the thrift store last week (they were 25 cents)--they say "Let it snow," and boy, did it! The forecast is the same for 10 days, so we are hunkering down and I am trying to keep my kids occupied! Even though I hate being in the snow, I will take them out to play if it's around 40 degrees. But when it's in the 20's, sorry kids! Your AZ mommy is keeping us all inside!

To distract Addie today, I gave her some Pop Rocks I bought at Michael's with Audrey last Friday. She put them on her tongue and her eyes lit up. "Hey," she exclaimed, "What's goin' on in my mouth?" She cracks us up!

And there's more good news for this dreary winter day: they are building an IKEA in Draper, Utah! Only a few miles from my sister's house and at the very same exit as the first aparment where Rich & I lived when we got married. YAY! That's one less reason to go to California.

Monday, November 28, 2005

ON THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Uncle Sam was born!

My mom's brother Sam was born 11/28/52. Here he is in 1953...
...and at Christmas 1971 (holding chubby little me). He was about to leave for his mission in Central America in this photo. He has always been a fabulous uncle and the most entertaining chiropractor/police officer/teacher EVER! Happy Birthday, Uncle Sam!

Basement Hot Springs

On Saturday night, we had planned to have a Cousin Pizza Party for Addie's birthday at Grandma's and then take the kids swimming at Chico. BUT--all of us were exhausted by Sat. night (building log beds and wrangling kids), so the other Melins went to Chico and we talked our kids into "Swimming" in the jacuzzi tub downstairs. Although our master basement bathroom is still unfinished (needs tile and a crapper), the tub works and the kids had fun. Heidi, Liam, Melanie, & Addie enjoy their dip inthe 'cuzzi.
Happy Liam
Silly Addie
Bubble kids

Cutie Pies

Spencer & Heidi
Melanie, Liam, & Addie rolled, cut, baked, and decorated 4 dozen cookies for Addie's cousin party on Saturday night. Here they are busily rolling out sugar cookie dough.
having fun...
Decorationg the cookies...
Liam rolled his last bit of gingerbread dough into a "snake" and when it cooked, it looked a little bit like a poo--Audrey wanted to write "To Willy From Rincon (their dog)" on it, but Liam wanted to put pink frosting and blue sprinkles on it.
Melanie, Liam, & Addie show off thier handiwork
Spencer Post: Official Cookie Taster
The Bakers finally get to taste their cookies...YUMMY!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Over the River and Through the Woods... Grandpa's House we go! We had a fun Thanksgiving Day with Dad and Becky in Pocatello, Idaho. We spent the early hours cooking and the kids played outside, then we ate at about 2PM. Melanie tried to get the kitties from under Grandma's Car.
Grandpa deep fried the turkey in the back yard while Willy, Liam, Addie, and Rich looked on.
Aw...Liam and Addie are pals!
Turkey Legs
Melanie finally caught the cats in Gramp's back yard.

In Grandpa's Basement

One of the reasons we went to my dad's was to help him dry wall his basement ceiling.Liam drilling
Heidi playing ball with Spencer
Spencer would take the ball, Heidi would scream, he'd give it back, and Heidi would immediately stop screaming and say, "Deetchyou (thank you)." Fun game if your'e 20 months old.

Who Ate all the Pumpkin Cake?...


Bye, Bye Grandpa & Grandma!

Jamie, Becky, Dad, & Willy
Heidi, Liam, Melanie, & Addie sleeping in our van near Bozeman driving home last night
Heidi wanted to drive home!
Thanks for the nice dinner and good company, Dad & Becky! The kids had a blast and the dinner was wonderful!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

One of my favorite relaxing activities is reading in the tub (most of my favorite books have warped corners from wet hands!). The other night the book of choice was Readings in American Values, a hand-me-down from my in-laws which turned out to be, on closer examination, a text book from Dad Melin's days at the Church College of Hawaii (now BYU-H). Anyway,I was reading a bunch of Lincoln's letters and speeches and I re-read this passage from the Gettysburg Address:

"...It is for us the be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain."

As I read that passage over and over to myself, I realized that most of the things I treasure in my life, most of the causes I live and serve for, were hard-won in bloody battles and martyrdoms. Just about everything that's important to me came to me by the loss of someone else's life.

For example, we have been reading the Book of Mormon as a family in the mornings and realized how many lives were lost either to protect the records (their scriptures) or because they would not deny their testimonies of Christ. Same goes for the Bible--from Moses to Christ and for thousands of years since, lives have been sacrificed so that I can hold those books in my hand and read and worship when ever and where ever I choose.

Not to mention the military battles that have taken place to ensure that freedom, or the pioneers who trekked west to experience that freedom for themselves.

The list goes on and on. So I decided that the above passage will now be my November theme--it's perfect for Veterans' Day and Thanksgiving. I might even be an uber-geek and memorize it.

So that's my Thanksgiving message to all yall. Our lives and lifestyles are a product of thousands, maybe millions, of sacrifices. What are we doing to "resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain?"

Happy Thanksgiving! We are off to Pocatello this afternoon, where we will meet up with my brother Willy and his family at my Dad Layton's house. We will eat and dry wall his basement ceiling and the cousins will have a BLAST. The good news is that Will's family is coming up here to Montana for three days, and Rich's brother Jess will be here, too, so COUSIN FEST! Addie will be in hog heaven! Eat, drink, and be merry, folks, then get back to work! ;)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Yesterday morning, Addie started off ehr birthday by making blueberry pancakes with daddy (she put in the blueberries), then getting ready for preschool. Before she left, we let her open one present --this cute box of treats from Nana. Inside she found some Strawberry Shortcake lip balms & rings and some Hello Kitty bracelets and hairbows. She put some of the stuff in her Hello Kitty purse and took it to school--she was so excited! Thanks, Nana, for the fun present and for singin to Addie on the phone!

Cutest Cowgirls EVER

Uncle Mike brought Addie a REAL cowgirl hat! She loves it!

Presents, Candles, Cake!

Addie's gift from Gram & Gramp Melin was a cool dry-erase book to practice writing and drawing. Thanks, Grandma & Grandpa, for the present and also for coming over and eating Addie's special spaghetti dinner with us!
Addie made this funny hat at preschool Monday morning--she got to be the special person--feed the fish, do the calendar and weather, set out the snacks, etc.--in addition to wearing this hat.
Addie's yummy carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
Addie got a cute Christmas Cooking outfit, complete with Santa hat, snowman mit & apron) so she can make more gingerbread men!
Heidi was enthralled with her tiny new cousin
Cousin Danny not only brought his baby sister, but a fun new game (Break the Ice) for Addie!
Addie says, "Thanks, Nana, for the cute new clothes!"
Addie's party was Baby Rosalie's first outing--she was mauled by her fans!
(Heidi, Danny, Grandma, and Addie with Rosalie in the middle)
Uncle Mike met baby Rosalie at the party
We also had Family Night and put up our Thanksgiving Tree (all the leaves say what we're thankful for)--Heidi is dressed up like Squanto.
Addie ended her special day by playing with Uncle Mike--he's such a fun uncle!

Monday, November 21, 2005

"When It's Cold Outside, I Got the Month of May...

I guess you'd say, what can make me feel this way? It's MY GIRL..."My girl Addie turns FOUR today, but this is how she looked on November 22, 2001.

And this is how she looks now. Happy Birthday, Sweet Adeline!
I have tried a million times to get these photos to post in order, but they just WON'T! So here are Addie's past birthdays so you can see how she has grown. We love her so much and I think it's cool that she was born on Thanksgiving Eve because I will always be thankful for her. Shortly after Addie's actual abirthday, we took this photo of her for our Christmas card/birth announcement...we still have the stocking and it's so tiny!
Last year, we celebrated Addie's 3rd Birthday with a Princess Party.
Mommy made a lame attempt at a cut-up cake for Addie's First Birthday, right after we moved to Montana.
For her second birthday, Addie got a pumpkin pie--one of her favorite foods.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Our New Baby

We have a new arrival of our own...A BEAUTIFUL MAPLE DESK, handmade by my wonder hubby!!! Readers, behold:BEFORE
(Do you hear the angels singing?)
When we built the house, we looked for a nice desk to putin the office so we could just move everything in neatly, but everything that even just LOOKED like wood was like $400 and up. So we decided to just design and build our own. Rich created this from a graph paper sketch, 2 pieces of maple plywood (purchased with a Home Depot bonus card from Hartford) and two file cabinets from Office Max. Iknow, I know...freaking GENIUS. I love it! Now it's on to the Master Bathroom! ;)


Dear Loved Ones,                      This week has been a lot of work. Kids have been home sick with colds, Heidi was home on grievi...