Thursday, November 30, 2006

More Thanksgiving Moments

Addie, Heidi, and Summer having fun Friday night
Heidi & Summer--born three weeks apart

On Saturday, we went bowling at the lanes on base. This was Heidi's first bowling experience and she did really well.
Heidi & TJay and Heidi's victory dance (she cracks me up)
Addie did really well wiht the granny roll--she even got a strike!
Even though the ball is rolling away from her, I like this picture cuz it looks like Addie is being chased by the ball.
On the way home on Saturday, we saw MOUNTAINS (the only mountains in ND) of sugar beets right on the MT/ND border.
across the street from each other

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Behold the Cuteness, part 4 (co-starring Matthew)

Here are some pictures of our cute little "twin cousins" James (born 9/5) and Matthew (born 10/3). Matthew's gonna knock you out!
Bug Eyes
Too cool
James is starting to crack up whenever someone talks to him...
...it really is the sweetest thing
(Great-Grandma & Grandpa are gonna have so much fun with him!)
PS: Happy Birthday to my cool brother-in-law, Darrin!!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Plethora of Photos

I am up super-late doing laundry, so I thought I'd upload some photos from recent adventures. We don't have photoshop here at Jess & Kelli's house, so I am only adding a few of the photos--I'll add many more when we get home Sunday.

So first of all, we have some photos from Addie's birthday on Tuesday. She had a "Pajama Party" with all the girls from her Sunday School class (except Hailey, who couldn't come because she had already left fo Thanksgiving) from 6:30-8:30pm. Group Hug! Breana, Kelli, Addie, Gracie, and Sarah at the end of the party. Each of the girls decorated a foam frame (see Kelli's on her lap) and then we printed out a photo like this for them to take home.
Aunt Laura came over from Helena to paint the girls' toenails with all her fancy nail stuff. Each girl got to choose from about a million colors and Laura also had decals and sparkles to glue on their nails.
Addie woke up early Tuesday morning to this glorious sight: A Princess Bike!
Heidi was happy for Addie (well, at least in the morning---by night time she was real tired of it being Addie's birthday and not hers!). Heidi got a Barbie bike for her birthday back in April, so now she and Addie could form their own pink-and-purple-cycling gang...
...here they are outside riding bikes on Tuesday.
Part of the fun of Thanksgiving is getting to play with your cousins! Addie got the Cars DVD for her birthday, and TJay has the Cars toys, so they have been playing Mater and McQueen all day! They are so cute together. Earlier, TJay couldn't find Addie, and I think his mom suggested he play with Heidi and Summer. He said, "No--I want to play with a girl who doesn't wear diapers!" Heh, heh.
Uncle Jess, the Turkey Chef!
"One little, two little, three little Indians..."
(Summer, Addie, TJay, and Heidi)
I made foam indian hats with the kids while Kelli was cooking today. I wrote things they said they were thankful for on the feathers, and they are standing in front of the Minot Melins' Thankful Tree, where more blessings are listed on leaves.

The perfect ending to a perfect day...the girls enjoyed a bubble bath before bed.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Guess Where I Am?

I'm on Minot AFB in Minot, North Dakota! We are spending Thanksgiving with Rich's brother, Jess, and his family (Captain and Mrs. Melin, as it says on the front of the house). The drive was good, and I am pleased to report that the boring flatness of the Great Plains conitinues all the way up north! We are having a great time already--it's been fun meeting baby Matthew and introducing James Ole. And the older kids are having a blast, too. I don't know how much I'll write this weekend, but we'll be home Sunday and I will blog Addie's AWESOME birthday Pajama Party--it was sooo much fun! Until then, Happy Thanksgiving to all yall...may I refer you to last year's post for my favorite Thanksgiving thoughts.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

On This Date in History...

...21 November 2001, Adeline Rose Melin
was born at Alta View Hospital in Sandy, Utah.
She's our firstborn and has taught me to be a mother, how to truly love, and has given me a reason to try to be better every day. I had hoped (for her sake) that she could have gone to kindergarten this year, but I am so glad she didn't (for my sake). She is a great helper and I love spending time with her during Heidi's naps. She is sensitive and articulate and curious and I feel so lucky to be her mom.
[photos left to right, top to bottom: first bath 11/21/01; 3 months old; First Birthday babydoll with Grandma Melin; Second Birthday Pumpkin Pie; at 3-years-old with Heidi; Fourth Birthday Cowgirl Hat; Addie at almost five]
a favorite old song:
"She lives in this house over there
Has her world outside it
Scrapples in the earth with her fingers
and her mouth
She's five years old ...
Today is her birthday
They're smoking cigars
He's got a chain of flowers..."
-the sugarcubes, 1988

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Blustery Day

It's a windy, cloudy fall-ish day in Livingston. Heidi is down for her nap, James is almost ready to go, and Addie is watching "The Great Mouse Detective" on VHS, which she borrowed form Grandma Melin's library last night. I tried to post a short post last night, but the power kept going out (because of the wind), so I gave up.

We went to the library today, which is no longer any fun with all three kids. They can neither stay in the Children's Section nor can they obey the rules the whole time. James gets fussy, Heidi gets noisy and gets lots of books off the shelves or tries to run upstairs. Addie is the only one who really gets the concept (because we have been going there for four years and she knows how to be quiet and find the books she likes). She found a couple of fun books, two of which we read for pre-school time today. I chose two out of the enormous pile Heidi made, and we came home and made paper Jack-in-the Boxes ("boxen?") for "J" day (our regular pre-school was cancelled due to most of the kids having a GI virus or chicken pox).

My dryer is not heating up, so the clean, wet clothes are mounting. Figures it would quit a week after we drop $1400 for a new computer. Maybe I can get a new matching set with the tax return. *sigh*




I got this e-mail (as lots of people have, I am sure--it's a year old, but it's for real--I looked it up before I mentioned it) about the balsam wreaths placed on every grave at Arlington National Cemetery by the Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine. If you've got some pocket change to spare, you might want to donate to their project. Click here to check out their site.

And now, James would like to have a bit of a snuggle before he naps, and Addie would like me to read her a story, so I'm outta here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Pumpkin Obsession


The first year I lived in Provo, I lived in a new basement apartment with Jeanne & Mary. A kooky married couple with scooters and chemical imbalances and lots of cats lived upstairs. On Sunday nights we would all get together (with other friends, too) to watch In Living Color and Twin Peaks. Our refreshments invariably included Pumpkin Choclate Chip Cookies from Smith's Bakery and Pepsi to drink. That's where I fell in love with Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies.

I finally found a recipe for PCC's that can take me right down memory lane. They are so good that Addie and I made 8 dozen of them and froze them for the holidays a few days ago. Because I love you I will share the recipe with you.

Mix together:
1c sugar
1c pumpkin
1/2 c oil
1 egg

Sift together and add to the above mixture:
2c flour
1/2tsp salt
1tsp cinnamon (I added a shake of nutmeg, too)
2tsp baking powder

Dissolve and add to the rest of ingredients:
1tsp baking soda
1tsp milk
1tsp vanilla
1c chocolate chips
1/2c nuts

Bake 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees on greased cookie sheets
(do not overcook--cookies are cake-like, or as I said, "just like little muffin-tops." So Top-o-the-Muffin to ya, or in other words, Happy Thanksgiving!)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Smartest Thing I Ever Did

This is a post I wrote on October 28th. I didn't post it because I wanted to post pictures with it, too. Well, I still haven't had time to scan the pix and it's time to just post it and add them later.
Also, have a look at my most recent post at FRAMANISCO.
Also, I wasn't kidding about needing someone to explain to me why there are not term limits for senators. WHY? And what do you think?

Today is the sixth anniversary of our engagement. It was one month and four days after we met. Rich had planned a long-weekend trip to Montana to introduce me to his family. What I thought would happen is that (a) he’d take me to Montana to meet the folks and check out the hometown, and then, if all went well, he would ask me to marry him at the big family Thanksgiving shindig the next month in SLC. I mean, we both knew that we need look no further for our mate, we just hadn’t laid out the plan.

Let me back up and tell you that we met at my birthday party, the night before I turned 29. At that party, I received the Magnolia soundtrack, which is to this day one of my favorite CDs. So I listened to it all the time, unwittingly making it the soundtrack of our courtship. I popped it in the van the other night (the only place I really get to listen to music anymore) and took a little trip down memory lane. I remembered that I was feeling a bit like damaged goods at the time as I had just finished sorting through some emotional baggage from the previous year’s broken engagement (and subsequent dysfunctional-on-purpose dating). I just wasn’t in a “relationship place.” But of course, we don’t get to choose when life throws its curve balls, so I choked up and swung my bat, so to speak. But these lyrics from Magnolia captured the mood so well:

So don't work your stuff
Because I’ve got troubles enough
No, don't pick on me
When one act of kindness could be
Deathly
Definitely
You're on your honor
Cause I’m a goner
And you haven't even begun
So do me a favor
If I should waver
Be my savior
Get out the gun

So lah-dee-dah, I’m just enjoying my weekend in Montana when Rich suggests we take a drive on Saturday morning so he can show me around Paradise Valley. We drive around and we stop for Thomas Kemper sodas at the Pine Creek Store (a cabin, really--and I still have the soda bottles in my cupboard). Then we drive up Pine Creek road to a place where you can see all of Paradise Valley, almost to Yellowstone Park. Rich tells me he’d always thought this hill would be a great place to build a house, with this great view. I start yammering on and on about how this other spot would be even better, and I am walking over there, pointing and surveying, when I notice Rich on one knee and I freeze. What’s the first lovely, romantic thing out of my mouth? “What? Not today! What are you doing??” DUH.

So he asks and I accept, and then I put the enormous ring on my finger and say, “I can’t wear this! It’s too pretty!” Seriously—my hands are still way too not-manicured to be wearing this rock. I keep waiting for somebody to shout out, “Hey, lady, why don’t you hawk that rock for a manicure and a nice outfit?” My answer would be, “What, and then break a nail scrubbing the toilet or making dinner? And then get baby barf or toddler poo on my outfit? Why would I want to do that?” It's beautiful! I call my mom and family on the cell phone, and it turns out they knew all along! I tell them about the ring and they've already seen it (Rich emailed them a picture). How's that for being out of the loop? Rich is just grinning and glowing all day long and I can't stop looking at my finger (while enjoying a really fun day with my in-laws...the next day we went to church with them and I got a taste of what I am now a part of--the Livingston Ward Family. People were hugging me and crying and congratulating us like they were all Rich's grandma's and aunts or something).

Anyway, it was a great day and we have been so happy ever since. Each time I reflect on making that decision, I remember how easy it was, and I didn’t know the HALF of what I was getting. Each time I think about it, there are dozens of new things to add to the list of why it’s a good idea to be married to Rich.

Happy Anniversary, Hun! Thanks so much for asking and for putting up with, er, I mean, growing with me ever since that happy day.

The Darlings

Here are some of the photos we took of the kids while trying to get a fun shot for Grandpa Layton's 62nd Birthday greeting...Heidi being silly, James looking worried
Heidi might be pinching James in this shot...
Adoring sisters, patient brother...
Addie kissing James
Heidi and Addie kissing James
(aww, look at that chubba-bubba!)
Heidi modeling the new nightgown she got from Grandma Becky (it was a very belated bday gift cuz Grandma Becky was TDY in April). Heidi loves the nightgown and hates to take it off!

A Bountiful Harvest of Cuteness



Rich's brother Jess, & his wife Kelli welcomed their third baby, Matthew Hampden Melin, in October.

Here's TJay (the oldest) playing with Matthew.

We are so excited to spend Thanksgiving with them in North Dakota!

My brother Willy & wife Audrey had their 4th baby this month...look at Liam (#2) loving his baby sister, Maeby Lynn Post (#4).
Audrey with Maeby
Spencer (#3) with Maeby (#4).
We are excited to meet these sweet little babies over the holidays, and we love and miss their families!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Thank You

The Common Soldier
Nobody cared, when he went to war,
But the woman that cried on his shoulder;
Nobody decked him with immortelles;
He was only a common soldier.
Nobody packed in a treasured trunk
Folded uniform and officer's fair;
A knapsack held all the new recruit
Might own, or love, or eat, or wear.
Nobody gave him a good-by fete,
With sparkling jest and expensive wine:
Two or three friends on the sidewalk stood
Watching for Jones, the fourth in line.
Nobody cared how the battle went,
With the man that fought till the bullet sped
Through the coat undecked with leaf or star
On a common soldier left for dead.
The cool rain bathed the fevered wound,
And the kind clouds wept all night;
A pitying lotion Nature gave,
Till help might come with morning light —
Such help as the knife of the surgeon gives,
Cleaving the gallant arm from shoulder;
And another name swells the pension list
For the meager pay of a common soldier.
What matter how he served the guns
When plume and sash were over yonder?
What matter though he bear the flag
Through blinding smoke and battle thunder.
What matters though a wife and child
Cry softly for that good arm rent?
And wonder why that random shot
To him, their own, beloved, was sent?
Patriotic hearts, wipe out this stain;
Give jeweled cup and sword and no more;
But let no common soldier blush
To own the uniform he wore.
Shout long and loud for victory won
By chief and leader staunch and true;
But don't forget the boys that fought —
Shout for the common soldier, too.
-Author Unknown
All Honor To Her
He offered himself for the land he loved,
But what shall we say for her?
He gave to his country a soldier's life;
'Twas dearer by far to the soldier's wife.
All honor today to her!
He went to the war while his blood was hot,
But what shall we say of her?
He saw himself through the battle's flame
A hero's reward on the scroll of fame;
What honor is due to her?
He offered himself, but his wife did more,
All honor today to her!
For dearer than life was the gift she gave
In giving the life she would die to save;
What honor is due to her?
He gave up his life at his country's call,
But what shall we say of her?
He offered himself as a sacrifice,
But she is the one who pays the price.
All honor we owe to her.
-Author Unknown
Even though you're all still alive (with limbs in tact), I wanted to thank all the military men I know for your service to our country. I also want your families to know that we recognize their sacrifice, too. I have three sisters-in-law who go long stretches home alone with their children while their husbands serve our country, and I want them to know that I admire them-- I don't think I could ever do what you do and hope I never have to! Thanks to all of you, and those who have gone before us, for the gift of freedom.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Behold the Cuteness, part 3

This is James on Sunday, exactly two-months old. James just wanted to show off his Sunday clothes
...and his yawn...


...and his half-smile (that's about as good as it gets, unless you happen to be a very cute great-grandma, in which case he will give you his biggest wide-mouth grin and even giggle for you! No joke! He has done that for my grandma and for a lady I visit teach who happens to be a great-grandma, too. I get big "thank you" grins after a feeding once in a while, but he's saving them up, I think).
Happy Two-Month Birthday, James!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

First Tuesday

So , yeah, I voted today. I voted FOR one candidate, and for one initiative. With the rest of the candidates, I was voting against one by voting for his/her opponent...like voting for the "least bad." That's kind of sad. Sometimes I hate the two-party system.

What I hate even more is career politicians. It's okay to have a career in politics (well, I prefer the term "public service"), but will someone please explain to me why there are no term limits for senators? I can't think of a good argument against a two (or even three) term limit. How can you represent a population you're not even really a part of anymore? The KEY WORD is REPRESENTATION...don't get me started.

I love democracy and I love to vote. May the least bad man win!


Oh, PS: I was running thru all the Oprah's I tivo'ed last week and lo and behonld, there was a girl from my mission on Oprah last week. If you saw the episode about the girl who gave birth at home and threw the baby in the quarry, at the end , they had the reporter from Idaho that got the Safe Haven Law passed there, then adopted a Safe Haven baby. That reporter served in North Carolina with me! (CJ, remember Sister Johnston? Remember how she wanted to be Murphy Brown? Well, she is--at least in Idaho ;))

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Wannabe



I am up late waiting for some Cheddar Dill Bread to bake. I am having the missionaries and my in-laws over for dinner tomorrow night and I have a very busy day tomorrow, so I started dinner tonight ( what should turn out to be a really good beef stew with three kinds of bread on the side). I'll post the bread recipe if it turns out good.

James is two months old today. It kind of makes my heart hurt how fast time flies.

In the morning I am going visiting teaching with my companion of over three years. Our assignments recently changed and now visit two families who live out in Cokedale. It's a fun drive when the dirt road is decent! We got to choose our message this month and we decided on THIS address given in last month's conference...one of the best messages for anyone of any faith, I believe.

While I've been waiting, I have been taking in some YouTube... I am posting links to two 80's music videos that totally defined (a) my high school musical tastes and (b) more importantly, my fashion sense. Now, I wasn't too into being a Wannabe, but if there was anyone I ever wanted to be (besides Gidget) it was Belinda (this particular incarnation only) or Maria (any incarnation). The hairdo's in theses videos were particularly inportant to me, as were Belinda's sunglasses and hoop earrings.

Ahhhh, great stuff.

Interesting News...I wonder what will happen now?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Good News...

...I've got a new niece as of 9:29am (11/03)!
Welcome to the World,
Maeby Lynn!
(yes, you read that right! Just like the girl on Arrested Development)

Maeby Lynn Post
(with her mom, Audrey)
6 pounds 7 ounces-- 19 inches long--Darling!

Congratulations, Posties!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Halloween

Both girls dressed as witches on Saturday, but Addie wanted to be a cat on Halloween.
Heidi was a darling witch! They scored lots of treats at the Credit Union & the grocery stores, but very few from the neighbors. We only went a few places before we were too cold (and I was too sick--little did I know I would have a nasty fever and GI trouble all night, plus mastitis symptoms, too)...
...so we came in from the cold to snuggle up and watch Monster House.
Here are my three babies: Addie being a Sweet Cat, James being a Grumpy Pup, and Heidi being a Hyper Witch!
Can you hear the cackling? James looks rightfully scared!
Awwww....hope you had a Happy Halloween, too!

FAMILY LETTER 11.19.17

Dear Loved Ones,                                                                                                                          ...