Thursday, May 31, 2007

My Kind of Crazy

Dear Mom,

Jen Buchert sent me this link and I thought it might answer every question you had about me as a freaky little kid (let alone as a freaky adult).

Much Love,
Your Very Intense Child

PS: Anybody got a very smart, very dramatic, very sensitive and sometimes depressed kid on their hands? This article might explain a lot!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

And the winners are...

...Brent & Heidi!
(who happen to know each other! how cool!)
Your packages will be mailed on Friday, guys...thanks for the blogaversary wishes!
And everyone else who commented, thanks for the wishes and the stories and stuff! Please keep reading and linking to us, and your postcards are on their way!
(Jill, I'm sending you a consolation prize cuz I vote for Pedro!)
PS: I am so sorry to have missed THIS broadcast today (did any of you hear it?)
I will listen online when I get a sec...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Thanks for the Postcards!

These are great! We still welcome your postcards and I decided to have a drawing for the fabulous white elephant blogaversary gifts (there are two boxes) because I couldn't pick a "favorite" comment. So, leave a comment on the May 19th "Happy Birthday to my Blog" post by tomorrow night, and we will hold a drawing and ship the box to the winner on Friday. Also, Sam, if you read this, we are shipping you a little something, too.

It's The End of The World As We Know It & I Feel FINE!

So Saturday was the only day this whole past week that was even remotely spring-like (and it was soooo perfect), and to welcome us back to the work week, look what we get:

Snow on May 29th from MelinFamily on Vimeo

May 29th, back on the chain gang IN THE SNOW...

Monday, May 28, 2007

To Sarah From Sullivan: A Civil War Soldier's Letter Home

July 14, 1861
Camp Clark, Washington

My very dear Sarah:

The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days - perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.

Our movements may be of a few days duration and full of pleasure - and it may be one of some conflict and death to me. "Not my will, but thine, O God be done." If it is necessary that I should fall on the battle field for my Country, I am ready.

I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing - perfectly willing - to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt.

But my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys, I lay down nearly all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows, when after having eaten for long years the bitter fruits of orphanage myself, I must offer it as the only sustenance to my dear little children, is it weak or dishonorable, that while the banner of my forefathers floats calmly and fondly in the breeze, underneath my unbounded love for you, my darling wife and children should struggle in fierce, though useless contests with my love of Country.

I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm Summer Sabbath night, when two-thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying perhaps the last sleep before that of death, while I am suspicious that death is creeping around me with his fatal dart, as I sit communing with God, my Country and thee. I have sought most closely and diligently and often in my heart for a wrong motive in thus hazarding the happiness of those I love, and I could find none. A pure love of my Country and of the principles I have so often advocated before the people - another name of Honor that I love more than I fear death, has called upon me and I have obeyed.

Sarah my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and burns me unresistably on with all these chains to the battle field.

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood, around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me - perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed.

If I do not my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortunes of this world to shield you, and your children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the Spirit-land and hover near you, while you buffet the storm, with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience, till we meet to part no more.

But, O Sarah! if the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladest days and in the darkest nights, advised to your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours, always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by... Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again. Sarah I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters, and feel that God will bless you in your holy work...

O! Sarah I wait for you there; come to me and lead thither my children.



...into a puddle of tears as I mop the floor tonight. I am listening to THIS broadcast on NPR, and it's hands-down the best Memorial Day special program I have ever experienced (which makes me even more annoyed at my fellow conservatives who refuse to listen to NPR--you are really missing out--the program that preceeded this one, All Things Considered, was especially awesome today, too. I learn more from All Things Considered & internet headlines than several hours of cable news).

I think the tears are of gratitude. When they played the Marine Corps Band's "Taps" followed by a bagpipe playing "Amazing Grace" my heart swelled up and I said a prayer something like this: "Heavenly Father, Thank you for saving my brother--his body AND his soul AND his family...Thank you..." And then I wrung out the mop and sat down here at the compter. Happy Memorial Day to everyone, especially our military family & loved ones!

Sunday, May 27, 2007


It's Matt's 26th Birthday and he's HOME from Iraq, safe & sound!
(Matt, we missed you at your Chico Birhtday Party--heh, heh!)
Also, you can click the vimeo "Melin Family" link in the post below and go watch other video clips of our family.

So BUSY...

...having fun like this:

Addie at Chico from MelinFamily on Vimeo

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Best part of the Idol finale? My favorite Mormon, Sister Gladys, y'all.

I got goosebumps during "Midnight Train to Georgia" ...I think it may be one of my favorite songs EVER.

My Husband Just Sent Me This Email:

Oh, yeah! What fun! If anybody goes, tell us about it and eat some meatballs with lingonberries for us. We'll be down soon for more of our favorite textiles and kid stuff!
PS: I'm gonna go ahead and go out on a limb and congratulate my SIL Kristen...her favorite American Idol (and neighbor) Jordin Sparks is going to win tonight. Jordin and Gina were my favorite girls, so yay that. I'll be back to apologize if I'm wrong!

Rainy Tuesday

Heidi and I both REALLY needed to get out of the house yesterday, so even though it was rainign we took a walk. I prepared five little ziploc bags for her, with red, orange, yellow, green and purple paper swatches. I told her it was a treasure hunt and she had to find something to put in each bag that matched the paper. We had SO MUCH fun, especially puddle jumping and eating chicken noodle soup when we got home to warm up (it was 40-degrees! and James came with us in his stroller). Hooray for Spring flowers!
looking down the valley
Heidi the Color Hunter
Puddle Jumper!

The Booty (we lost the purple bag on our walk, but it had a lilac in it!)
Good times!
Now we're going on a treasure hunt at the grocery store! Have a good day at your house!

Oh, What Do You Do In The Summertime?...

...that song used to chap my hide when I was growing up in Arizona because the only thing it was even SAFE to do in the summertime was swim, at least until the afternoon, then you could play it the rain and dodge the lightning). I was jealous of al the little Utah kids singing with glee on my Primay cassettes about the joys of summer. ECK! But now, it' all been made up to me by Montana summers, and here is one of a hundred reasons
On the 'Bean Hammock in our backyard last Friday...
yeah, that's my boy (and all 4 of us) in HOG HEAVEN!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Let Them Eat Dirt!

When I got adusted last week with my chiro/nutritionist, Dr. Doblebower, we talked about how I had been sick and that somehow my kids had not getten sick at all. I said, "The funny thing is that my healthiest kid is the one who eats dirt all the time." His eyes lit up and he told me he had just come from a nutrition conference and in one of the first presentations about asthma and childhood illnesses, they had an opening powerpoint slide that said something like,

"So what's missing from our children's diets?"
follwed by a picture of a kid eating a mud pie. Not unlike this, I suppose: Yep, there's my girl with super-immunity, who only gets SICK once a year!
(photo courtesy of Michaela Claar)

You can read some points about the rest of our nutrition/immunity conversation in this article, and this one, and this one.

So, to sum it up:

  • Early exposure to nature (dirt, animals, etc.) helps the body build up immunity and reduces allergies and asthma
  • Early exposure to common viruses and bacteria does the same thing to help children resist or recover quickly from common childhood illnesses
    Use fewer chemicals in the home for cleaning (plain soaps, hot water, and vinegar usually disinfect just fine)
  • To boost the immune system, include the following in your diet: Vitamin C and other antioxidants in fruits, veggies, especially berries, calcium in milk and in supplements, and iron in meats and beans. Zicam, Airbourne, or high-quality supplements containing Echinacea and golden seal (these are expensive but effective, and my nutrituionist recommends products form Australia where they are regulated) can help when you feel a cold or flu coming on.
  • Let Them Eat Dirt!

Monday, May 21, 2007

(Scroll Down for lots of new stuff)

Hooray! Life In A Northern Town turns 4 TODAY!...
how will we celebrate?
I think everyone should get presents, so here's my proposal:

  • (1) Since I collect postcards, I'd LOOOOVE to see some in my mailbox over the next week! I know that postage has just gone up and it's asking a lot, but all I want for my blog-a-versary is POSTCARDS FROM EVERYWHERE! (and it doesn't have to be a "place" postcard--I love art ones, cartoons, and handmade postcards, too). I'll post the pretty pictures here and I can promise you a fabulous Montana postcard in return if you care to share your address or PO Box with me! Here's my office address:

Jamie c/o Melin Agency/ 1016 W. Park St./ Livingston, MT 59047

  • (2) Leave a comment telling me about your favorite post(s) from the past 4 years (I realize that I need to take advantage of Blogger's new labeling system and categorize my archives, but I got these kids to raise and I'm adjusting to my new Primary's on my to-do list). My favorite commenter(s) (is there more than one?) will receive a FABULOUS white elephant gift with something thoughtful pertaining to your comment via USPS shipped on June 1st.

Stay tuned for more birthday celebration with posts like, "Where Are They Now?: People Mentioned in My Very First Post" and "On This Date in History: What I Was Doing on Other May 19th's"--sure to be entertaining.

Other May 19ths: Final Installment

May 19, 1985: Sunday, 10pm- I am going out with Ben and it's so great. We've gotten a lot closer over the past week. Since Friday night we have talked on the phone for 11 hours. He's super nice! Gotta go to sleep, more later. Love, Jamie [Oh my heck, the end of 8th grade! When going out meant talking on the phone and holding hands in the hall! Oh, and sitting by each other on the bus to California to sing at Disneyland and Sea World with the Pioneers of Music]

May 20, 1992: ..."Jill and Dana are coming to visit me on 5/23. I still have to work at the elementary school until June 8th, but I am hoping they will still have fun with bus passes and sneaking into the Palace." [Jill was 12 and Dana had just turned 14...Jill: I can't believe you guys stayed that long and I didn't even have TV or anything for you to do!! I forgot you were with me for 2 weeks!]

May 19, 1987: "This weekend something weird happened. I think I have found a new object for my affections. My Aaron is leaving soon, and so as not to be devastated I have been on a half-hearted quest for another sensitive and loving boyfriend. At the last dance that Aaron couldn't attend, I danced with his friend Dan a lot and saw him in a whole new light. He's always been really good to me and I have always liked him, but I have always been with Aaron. Hmmm...

"Today has started out great. The past few days have been the most fun I've had in a long time. Last night I had tech rehearsal for Music Under the Stars. Tim Pollard drove me home and he's really fun to drive with. I went over to Susie's at 8pm. We watched TV and things she recorded for me and goofed around. Her mom went to feed the horse and said she would be right back to take me home, but then her truck broke down. Su's bro, Dave, had to drive me home and I got home at 12:30am on a school night. Mom was just getting home from work, and she just laughed when I told her what happened. Today was great, too. I got my paycheck but hadn't cashed it. Tim needed to borrow some lunch money so I told him if he took me to the bank I'd just buy him some lunch. We ended up having to drive over a mile with two minutes til the lunch bell and Tim shoved a whole Whopper down his throat. He also threw some tomatoes out his window and one slice landed on someone's windshield. We almost died laughing. Tonight was Music Under the Stars, but it was raining so it moved from he amphitheatre to the gym. We all dressed up 1940's. It was so fun and so energetic. Our final was the MoTab version of "Battle Hymn" and my favorite songs were "Chattanooga ChooChoo" and "Somethin's Gotta Give" (I learned it from an Ella Fitzgerald tape). I didn't have to sing formally like I usually do--I got to create a character and bounced around like a little 40's teenager (my Grandma?). This coming weekend I am going to Phoenix to visit Lisa Reed and Brent Gardner and I am flying up there by myself. I can't wait!" [All I can say is WTH? Life at 15-1/2 is pretty hilarious. I can't believe all the stuff I did...nuts. I'm still friends with Susan, and I saw the Dan I mentioned in the first paragraph in 1999 in an elevator at the U of A whenI went to pickup a transcript. He was doing the same thing --for med or dental or some kind of grad school--and had a family and stuff. He asked about Susan and said he'd always meant to date me and was bummed when he came home form his mission and I had gone away to Provo. Ya snooze, ya lose, Danny Boy...]

Here and here and here and here you can see some past blogs from the week of May 19th in 2005 & 2006 (I was too post-partum-ish in 2004 to blog, I think).

I'm checking the mailbox for postcards...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Other May 19th's: First Installment

This one is dedicated to Cousin Brent!

1998: Leading up to May 19, 1998, I had just graduated from the U of A with my Bachelor's degree on May 16th and had a party celebrating my graduation and my cousin Larkin's 13th birthday at Grandma Elrey's house. That afternoon, I kidnapped Cousin Brent and we headed down to San Carlos, Mexico with the McRae kids to stay at their condo. Here are some of my favorite journal excerpts from that trip:

"At 3pm, Brent and I headed over to meet Maren at the townhouse. We picked up Ric and Shawndi and headed down to Tubac to get Matt and Wyatt. Ric and Maren took Ric's truck, so I got to drive the Suburban--I love it! On the way out of Tucson, Brent and I stopped at Circle K to experience our first Laughable Disaster of the trip All the cash I had was 2- $100 from graduation, so I sent Brent into the K to get me a Diet Coke and bottled water. He came back and we drank it up, only to discover onehour later that Brent had been shortchanged by $83! EIGHTY-THREE BUCKS, people! All I could do is laugh, although it sucked to lose that much money." (To Brent's amazing credit, he felt so bad, he wrote me a check for $83 when it really wasn't his fault).

"I woke at 11:00am on Sunday and went out to the beach with Brent, where we sat on little beach chairs and read our scriptures and wrote in our journals or to missionaries [Sam] adn enjoye the breath-taking view...San Carlos and the mountains to the right, the sand bar and the little island to the left. The water was the softest shade of sea green and the sand was almost white, but upon closer examination was mulit-colored like Suddenyl Salad seasoning. Matt & Wyatt came out about an hour later and we built sandcastles and talked....later [that night] we decided to have a fireside on the beach." (We did have the fireside, remember, Brent? Matt built the fire and everyone shared a thought and Ric--who wasn't baptized yet--felt the spirit, and was baptized 5 months later. That was awesome).

So that brings us to the wee ours of May 19, 1998, as we were driving home from Mexico:

"We drove home pretty uneventfully until we got to Nogales and all of the gas stations were closed. Matt decided we could make it to Green Valley, so we hauled up there and 6km from the exit, teh Suburban began to shudder. Matt put on the hazard lights and soon a sherriff pulled us over and offered to escort us to a gas station. So Super Matt got us within 50 yards of a gas station and he and Brent had to puch us across the street to the pumps where the car died. Another narrowly averted Laughable Disaster! When we finally got to the townhouse, Matt was locked out, so he looked for the spare key in Maren's car and accidentally left her dome light on when he locked it and still no house keys. finally he jiggled the sliding glass door and we got in and crashed. I was thinking Matt might be a lucky charm because all our challenges just turned out to be funny."

Where Are They Now?

If you click here to read my very first post on this incarnation of my blog, you may wonder what the people mentioned there are doing now. Well, here's the answer:

1. Addie was 18 months old. Now she's 5-1/2, finishing up pre-school, excited for Kindergarten at Winans School, member of the all-girl CTR-6 class (6 girls!) at church, can make several meals/snacks on her own (ramen, nachos, PBJ, lemon bars), is a fabulous big sister, and is my mini-me! We have so much fun and I LOVE watching her grow up.

2. Coincidentally, we saw Abby and Lynzee for the first time in about 3 years last Sturday at their Uncle Geoff's graduation from MSU (they live in Oregon now). We hope to see them again when their grandparents com ehome from thier mission to Croatia.

3. Grandma Lyn is still with us, thank heaven, and she still keeps me connected with my AZ peeps. She recently turned 76 but doesn't look a day over 60. She is still one of my best friends, and she clips all of the Sunday coupons and mails them to me each week with a note. I LOVE that, even though I feel guilty for only using 3-4 coupons at a time. I love her notes and recently purchased a lovely hat box in which to keep them. Most of the time when I update this blog, I do it for gram & gramp (and all the other g'rents who check the blog to keep in touch).

4. That "new baby" Ryley just turned 4, just like my blog, and she is FANTASTIC! If I ever saw a real living "SPRITE," she's it. Ryley is a big sister now to Ben and Olivia, adn her Auntie Maren in a mom now to Morgan. Check out Ryley on her mom's blog here, and more fun Mayberry footage here at Brent's blog.

5. I was getting ready to go visit my mother in Missouri in that first post (which I won't be doing again for AT LEAST two years), and she is still there after four years, much to everyone's chagrin. Mom's got her own blog now, and that bathroom we helped frame up 4 years ago is almost done! I loves me mum!

In my second post, I talked about my struggle to assimilate to my teeny tiny redneck town. I believe I have found my niche and gotten comfortable here--not so much assimilating as accepting. A lot of the comfort has to do with treating my life like a misison and learning to bloom where I am planted. Now, I don't claim to be a vibrant rosebush or anything, but I think I can safely say I'm at least a brave little wildflower, trying to keep my face to the sun (even in the snow!). I really love our life here and I am everso grateful for what I am becoming here.


Back in 2003, I didn't know how to post photos to my blog,

so here are some fun pictures from May '03... Addie eating ice cream with Daddy at the Pop Stand
Mommy & Addie camping on the Gallatin River
Addie feeding the baby geese at Sacajawea Lagoon
Dad & Addie camping at Pine Creek (that's mud on her eye, and marshmallow on her face)
Mom & Addie biking around Sacajawea Park with the Yellowstone River and Livingston Peak in the background. This is about one block from the apartment where we lived for 3 years.

*** are some overdue photos of May 2007
Addie and Heidi spotted a rainbow on 5/11...
...while Bubby jumped in his exersaucer.
Last Saturday at Geoff's graduation party, Addie & Heidi taught James about dandelions and wishes (they actually call fluffy dandelions "wishes" or "wish flowers").

Heidi & The Sugar Bug

Heidi had a dental check up on April 27th and Dr. Orton found a tiny sugar bug on a lower right molar (poor Heidi didn't get Daddy's super teeth!). So on Monday 5/14, she got the sugar bug out and a shiny filling in... Here she is wearing her "clown nose" to get some "giggle gas"
There's Dr. Orton doing her teeth...
...and Heidi's so happy when he's all done!
(Dr. Orton is great with the kids, and it helps that he's our bishop, too)

Spring House

I was bragging to Willy about how awesome our yard looked when everything bloomed and realized that I never took a picture of my fab tulips in their full glory (I cut about 20 of them for Mothers Day, adn now they are withering in our unseasonably warm weather--this, after the snow killed the daffodils in April). Anyway, here are some Johnny-come-lately photos of our house as we left on a walk the other night. From across the street in front of my SIL Angie's house (with some neighbor chicas out front)
Little red geraniums coming up on the proch for summer and fall.

Photos From a Walk...

...we took in honor of Larkin's & Gramma Becky's birthday May 16th.

Little Blue Eyes.

Sweet grin.

See more pix and video from this walk at Addie's Blog.

Gettin' Exercise...

I have started taking Heidi places and doing things that make her run around to get exercise. So instead of calling this "playing," she says, "I need exercise!" I took her to Sacajawea Park the other day and we spent about two minutes at each spot: a quick slide or two at Pompey's playground, then RUN across the soccer fields to the Merry-go-Round, then RUN to the swings, then RUN to the teeter-totter and back to the car...lots of exercise for mom & James, too! We were sad to find the latch of the baby swing broke, so James couldn't swing very high...:(
But Heidi had fun swinging and singing!
Look at her happy grin!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

My Airplane Revelation

"Can you realize even slightly how relatively little we know? As Paul said, 'Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him' (1 Cor. 2:9) ."-Spencer W. Kimball

Read what I just learned about my potential over at Segullah (click).

Wanna read the rest of President Kimball's talk about our potential? Click here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Senses Working Overtime

(if you're dying to hear the ol' XTC song, click here)
I have been thinking about this post for a long time, since I cleaned out my bathroom products and used up the last of my Bath & Body Works Apothecary Lavender-Vanilla bubble bath, which sent me right down memory lane. I, like most people, have strong scent memories. I heard on TV that this is an anatomical fact because the olfactory centers of the brain have no filters--what we smell is not processed, so it goes into our brains and creates a vivid memory right away. That's really cool, and very animal-like, no?

Some of the most surprisingly vivid and tender memories I have are from when I brought each of my three babies home from the hospital. Each time I was pregnant, as delivery grew nigh, I bought (or was given) a new set of scented soaps and lotions to help me feel pretty before and after delivering the baby.

So here is a list of some of my strongest scent memories:
  • B&B Cucumber Melon Body Wash: Newborn Addie, courtesy of myself.
  • B&B Apothecary Lavender-Vanilla: Newborn Heidi, courtesy of one of my dear YW, Lauren.
  • Victoria's Secret Love Spell Body Spray & Scrub: Newborn James, courtesy of my mom.
  • bleach/ chlorine water: mmmm, reminds me of pool water, and on a winter's day when I am sanitizing the linens of my cold-ridden family, the smell of the bleach water in the washer can send me right to a sunny, 105-degree day, playing in the pool in Arizona.
  • orange peels, orange blossoms: takes me right to Arizona, too...warm sweet-smelling breezes...yum!
  • Creosote, Mesquite=MONSOON RAIN in southern AZ. I'm tellin' you people, if they could bottle that smell...(if you've been in Tucson in August, you know what I am talking about!)
  • fresh berries and dill also smell so good and fresh to me, and combined with lemon, can brighten and freshen any dish (berries for sweet, dill for savory, of course)
  • Ralph Lauren's Safari for Men: when this scent came out, I loved it and I put the scent cards everywhere, even though I never knew a guy who wore it. I suppose it was the smell of the fantasy man of my early 20's.
  • Ciara: The Scent of Grandma Lyn...I can smell it on my kids hours after she has hugged them!
  • Dove Soap: Grandma Muriel...soft pink soap in her tiny pink-tiled bathroom.

Also, I had some thoughts about sounds the other night. It was a warm night and we had a fan on. The kids were in bed and the dishwasher was humming. I thought to myself that, aside from the sound of silence, the sound of the dishwasher might be my favorite. It's the sound of my woman's work being done at the end of the day. Ahhhh! I also like to drift off to sleep to the sound of the vacuum, the TV, and/or a fan going...I am a huge fan of white noise. Of course I love to hear my kids giggling, especially when they are making each other laugh.

And sometimes I worry that James will have some primal respose to the Scrubs theme...I am afraid he will suddenly get really hungry or want to suck on something, since I watched a tivo'ed Scrubs episode almost everytime I had to nurse him when he was a tiny baby. His first words will probably be, "I can't do this all on my own, no, I know I''m no Superman."

We'll talk about sight, taste, and touch another day. What are some of YOUR favorite scents & sounds?

Check it Out

I absolutely LOVE this video of Addie we just posted to her's just so her...skipping along and singing and looking out for her brother and sister. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

James & The Otter Pop

Otter Pops became the cuisine du jour last week (5/10-11) when Jill was here and everyone was throwing up. James tried one for the first time (video courtesy of Jill)...

James & an Otter Pop from MelinFamily on Vimeo

Saturday, May 12, 2007

All I Ever Knew...

Let me preface this post by acknowledging my dear friends who wish to be Mothers and are not, and/or who have lost their mothers and grandmothers. I always think about you on Mother's Day and remember the little squeeze my heart would feel each Mothers Day in my 20's when I thought I might never be a mother. Thank you for your influence in my life and for blessing my kids' lives, too.

Mothers, Grandmothers, Sisters, Aunts, Girlfriends, Stepmothers...enjoy.
Happy Mother's Day
(I know--JCPenney? Really? But it's such a great commercial, and this version of the song is so beautiful when you imagine it's about mothers!)

PS: Read THIS (click).

Friday, May 11, 2007

Dear Gabriel:

I had a great post planned for your birthday, I really did. Aunt Jill and I even talked about it. But you wanna know how we celebrated? Yep, Bowing to the porcelain god. Everybody over here got a wicked Norvirus and our tummies are still queasy! Shucks. But I hope it was an AWESOME day in your world and you can thank us later for NOT coming to visit you, cuz this virus stinks.

Happy Birthday, you big teenager!
Love, Aunt Jamie

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Real Quick

Jill is here with her four kids--spur-of-the-moment fun surprise for Mothers Day! YAY! So I am going to be brief and share some pix from our Sunday walk: Going up the hill on Summit street with our house inthe background. Addie is pushing the kids in the bike trailer and I am talking to mom on the cell phone.
This is our town from the hill by our house. You can see I-90, The Melin Agency, and Dairy Queen (owned by a family in our ward) from this angle.
This is looking south of town toward Paradise pretty.
And to cheer up your hump day, here's my sweet, smiley boy!

Have a Happy Wednesday! We're off to have some Cousin Fun!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Behold the Cuteness, Old School Edition

Tom Melin, 1950
Rosalie Melin, 1951

Last night we had a Family Home evening honoring Grandpa & Grandma Melin-- it was partly for Mother's Day (Mom Melin's gift last year was dinner and Family Home Evening with us the first Monday of every month for a year-- this would technically be the end of that gift, but we decided to keep up the tradition as long as we can) and partly for teachign our kids family history and learning more about Grandpa and Grandma.

With the help of Rich's far-flung siblings, we made a pretty little scrapbook of favortie memories with Grandma & Grandpa, including letters and photos and interviews with the grandkids (#11 was just born this week--eleven grandkids in less than 5-1/2 years!). Then I printed out some pictures of them as kids and had the kids guess who was in the pictures. When the kids figured out that we were talking about grandpa & grandma, we played a game. The kids drew cards that had statements on them like, "I was born on June 10 1947 in Lewistown, Montana" or "My dad's name was George" or "I married Rosalie Dotson on September 1, 1966" or "I love to eat popcorn!" They had to figure out who made the statement--grandpa or grandma. It was pretty cool. Addie actually remembers a lot of the facts.

Here's the game board--please note that their anniversary is wrong here--it's 9/1/66, and I totally know that--I don't know why I wrote the zero in my delirium!

The dinner was delicious! I made up a recipe for pork roast which I will now share cuz it rocked:
Pork Tenderloin Roast
olive oil
salt & pepper
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 apple, sliced in wedges
worcestershire sauce
Dorothy Lynch salad dressing
a little water
Spray your crock pot with PAM, throw in sliced onion. Grease up your roast with olive oil and cut 4 slits across the top deep and long enough to fit the apple wedges. Then sprinkle a few tablespoons of W. sauce over the roast and in slits, put apple wedges into slits. Pour about 1 cup of Dorothy Lynch dressing over the top of the roast, then salt and and pepper. Put on the lid and cook on low for 5 hours, adding water every two hours or so to keep moist.

The drippings made a tasty gravy over rice, and Angie made some delicious rolls. We also had Costco's Parisienne salad (with the feta, cranberries and candied nuts-- yum!) and mom's choclate chip cookies and ice cream bars for dessert. It was great fun and all the cousins had a great time together (but we missed Liana, Sariah, Jared, TJay, Summer, and Matthew!). I am so grateful to have such awesome in-laws! I love that my kids have such rich heritage on all branches of their family tree.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Couch Potatoes

We recently purchased a dirt cheap set of DVDs featuring old skool cartoons like Popeye and Betty Boop. Our girls are instantly sucked into the 1930's tracter beam, which is perfect for when I need computer time or time to cook dinner...
I like this photo just to compare their profiles....look at Addie's cute little Melin lip and Heidi's playdoh nose! Cutie pies.

I also took in a little TV this week--a lot, actually, with The Mormon Show on PBS, plus American Idol and Must-See on Thursday. And here is what I have to say about that:

1. BLAKEIFY: To make something lame (like a mushy country song or an 80's hairband hit) into something hip-hoppity-jazz-cool with some beat boxin' mixed in, 311 style. Okay, I LOVED Blake Lewis' version of Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" so much, I have probably watched it 10 times. It sounded very 311 (I saw 311 back in 1997 and the lead singer was way cuter than he is in this video...I loved thier muzak, but they were way too drug-culture for me) to me and I find Blake thoroughly entertaining and original (at least by American Idol standards). Look:

2. Scrubs (click here) just about broke my heart. You probably know from reading this blog that I feel a kinship to the cast of Scrubs as if we had all grown up together. Seriously. Something about the show (maybe that the writers are all the same age as me?) just hits my young adulthood nail right on the head. So this past epoisode when Eliot gets engaged and JD is trying super hard to get with her friend, and then he asks himself why he's trying so hard, then answers his own question with the heartwrenching "It should have been me"-- UGH! I felt that! I know I have felt that and I know I made someone else feel that when I got hitched (I 've got it in writing). I wish I could fast forward and see what's going to happen, cuz JD still has that baby out there somewhere with that lyin' urologist from last season...

WHAT!?! Did you just tell me to get a life? Okay, okay...I have one, but I was taking a break this week to get over my chest cold! Gimme a break...I have to stop thinking deep thoughts SOMETIME!


PS: Happy Saturday, y'all...git your BelBivDeVoe on.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Ah, Friday...

I took a much-needed nap today, hoping while I was asleep the homemaker's elves would come finish my work so I could enjoy the weekend, but those chumps never showed!

It's not so bad here--just some clothes to fold and floors to clean. I have been busy getting ready for the elders Quorum family party tonight--"Fiesta Quatro de Mayo," a Mexican potluck-n-pinata extravaganza. Being the First Lady of the Elders Quorum (okay, there are no ladies in the EQ, but I help my husband be their President) I felt the need to make a giant and fabulous pot of Tortilla Soup, complete with diced avocados and homemade tortilla strips. The girls and I also had lots of fun making huge tissue flowers for the tables. Ole!

(2004, to be exact), my niece Summer Melin was born in Texas (she and Heidi were due the same day!). She now lives in North Dakota with her two brothers and has a full time job being Cute and Sassy.
Happy 3rd Birthday, Sum-sum!

Guess what Summer got for her birthday? A COUSIN! Yep, Rich's OTHER brother and his wife welcomed new baby Jared to their family today. He has two big sisters (and we mean much bigger and a little older--his two-year-old sister weighed over 9 pounds at birth, but little Jared only weighed 5-11!) and Uncle Mark sure is glad to have another man in the house!

Congratulations, Melins! Yay for sweet baby boys!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Apron Day

I recently learned that there are indeed other people under the age of 65 in this world who wear and even collect aprons.
I started my collection about 12 years ago and haven't added to it much lately, except for the fabulous set of bright matching handmade aprons my MIL made for me and my girls this past Christmas (see photo). Cjane declared this "Apron Week" on her blog and has been sharing apron memories all week. You should check them out (I LOVE the one about her mom wearing an apron everywhere and keeping a checkbook in the pocket--hilarious! It totally reminde me of Gramareee--whose aprons I inherited--wearing those snapping housecoats with a slip, knee-hi's, and Keds! AWESOME!).

Celeste Arnett Hall & Me cookin' back in 1999
Liz Kersey Dorathy servin' up buns-n-love, 1999
Dinner Club, 3/14/99: [clockwise] Miki Ogao, Liz, Matt McRae, Celeste & Ryan Hall,
Tom Hapgood, Nic Taylor, & Adriane Parry Hapgood
When I hosted dinner club, I used to make my freinds wear my aprons. These photos show some of my favorite people sporting some of my favorite aprons. The brownish one that Grandma Lyn gave me is still the one I use the most. I have another one from World Market made from the same fabric as my kitchen curtains (which are really World Market dish towels) that I use a lot but don't have a photo of. you all know that I collect aprons. I also collect postcards and stationery, so if you're ever wondering what to get me, or if you ever see a fabulous apron or postcard, bring it on, y'all! I'd be a grateful recipient.
Got any apron memories? What do you collect?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

11:20am on Wednesday...

...and Heidi is just wandering aroud the house with her mega blocks chanting, "Order in the court, order in the court..."

11:21am: Now it's "Order in your car! Order in your car!"

How 'bout order in your room, missy? Or maybe order in your brain?

Heh, heh.

Here's another Heidism (while watching "Little Einsteins", the Rossini episode):
"See that, mom? They found the Panda Bear. They followed his Putt-frints...see? There's putt-frints in the ground."

What I Did Not Have Time to Do...

All of Mormondom is a-buzz with discussion of Helen Whitney's "The Mormons" which aired the past two nights on PBS's Frontline and American Experience programs. On my satellite PBS channel, I don't get the second part until tonight, but I thought the first night was not so bad. Perhaps it's because I have heard all the crud and character attacks before, having served my mission in the south where, religiously, it's still the 1840's and I could easily be tarred and feathered (no offense, beloved Carolinians!).

Please click HERE to read the blog I wish I had time to write...I just kept saying amen to cjane's ideas as I read it this morning. I can't wait to watch the other half tonight. And just for the record, here is what I have to say about all the church history/Joseph Smith negativity (I said this to someone on my mission): EVEN IF all the things you are saying about Joseph Smith are true, my testimony still stands. Imperfect people are capable of doing great and divine things and bringing to pass lots of good. I try to. And personal life aside, what Joseph Smith restored and organized MAKES MY LIFE BETTER EVERY SINGLE DAY and BRINGS ME CLOSER TO GOD. Judge it by its fruits. End of story.

UPDATE: Here's a comment that was left at the Segullah blog mentioned above. I really love it and I have some loved ones who probably identify with it. YOUR THOUGHTS? Please comment.

This is such a great post! All too often it feels as though the members of the church are almost competing to be the “most perfect”. It’s nice for me to hear people admitting/accepting that the members of the church (including ourselves) are not perfect, and I’m sure it’s nice for investigators to hear as well.

I was raised in the church and sometimes it’s hard for me to deal with the “perfect person” attitude, imagine what it must be like for someone who is thinking about joining the church. I mostly base this on the fact that my ex-husband was investigating the church and I think (he never actually verbalized this) that he was scared away because he knew he’d never be able to do all the things he thought were absolutely necessary. Now, I’m not saying that all those things he thought were necessary aren’t things we strive for, but I think he felt if he couldn’t do them all perfectly he couldn’t be a member of the church. There are so many things, in hindsight, that I wish I could go back and tell him.

Here’s the member I am: I smoke and I’m inactive. Of course I want to
correct my problems (that’s only the two most noticeable), but they are my imperfections and they don’t stop me from believing 100% in the truth of the gospel. They don’t stop me from knowing that WITH the gospel and God’s help I will eventually be able to correct my imperfections. It doesn’t work the other way around…I can’t correct my imperfections and then start trusting in God and His gospel…believe me, I tried that.

Thanks for this wonderful, thought-provoking post.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Stayin' Alive

Photo courtesy of LauraJamie, Laura, Kristen, Sam & Jared on Jamie's porch 04.26.07

The Plague has spread to Heidi, who has a fever but no other symptoms besides a little sniffle and the grumps. We are having a jammie day, watching Playhouse Disney & PBSKids in bed, eating sliced fruit and juice and water and Tylenol and snuggling. I am a little better today (hooray for the upswing!), but I am savoring this time to snuggle my otherwise rambunctious Heidi-Lynners. I told Heidi she's probably sick from all the dirt she's eaten the past week. See her in action HERE at Laura's blog (great pix of their visit with us; scroll down to see crazy video).


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