Tuesday, July 31, 2007

All Kinds of Mayberry Fun

Aunt Marti & Brent Mayberry came to visit us on August 25-27. They arrived on Wednesday afternoon and we ate a yummy (petersen) chicken bacon salad with red onion dressing, and then we went to The Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman. First we saw a planetarium show about constellations, then Heidi wanted to show them the dinosaurs and the Egyptian Discovery room. While we were sitting on a big bench building a triceratops, Addie jumped up and the bench tipped over. It dumped me, then landed on my leg. Here's what the bruise looks like today, five days after the incident. EWWWWW!!! It looks way worse than it feels. Anyway, Rich met us there after work and then we all went bargain hunting at Old Navy to pass the time until our Stake Pioneer Day celebration commenced at Bogert Park in Bozeman. The lines for food were insane, but we had a good time and got to go swimming afterward (Marti, Brent and I watched while Rich wrangled the kids). We headed home with a van full of sleepyheads around 10pm.

Ewww, a huge bruise on my calf.
Heidi, JamesO, Daddy & Ad in the Bogert Park pool
Caitlyn Stoen, state champion swimmer, giving Heidi some swimming tips.
On Thursday, I took the girls to swimming lessons and Marti and Brent stayed home with James. When I came home, we hung out for a while and then decided to go to Pickle Barrel for lunch. We had planned on floating the river that day, but it barely got up to 70-dgrees and it was cloudy all day. So instead, we decided to have a bonfire after dinner and make s'mores and homemade ice cream. We went down by the beach on the ranch and watched the sun set (at nearly 10pm). The river was higher, colder and muddier than it had been the week before, darn it. I guess we were really lucky to go when we did last week! (The International Flyfishing Federation Conclave is taking place this week in Livingston--cuz a river runs through it, doncha know--and my hotel is full of fishermen from all over the world--lots from Nova Scotia and Scotland--and they are all quite grumpy about the river being so muddy).

There was a wreck as we headed home and we couldn't see what happened. Here's an update for ya: A woman driving a Durango hit a piece of farm equipment (a wide load) going nearly 70mph on Mill Creek bridge about 2 miles from the ranch. She lived but they had to jaws-of-life her out of her truck after it rolled down the river bank. There was an environmental newsflash about toxic chemicals getting into the river from the damaged equiment the next day, too. Too bad!

Addie on Brent's lap making ice cream with our Ice Cream ball

Heidi Lynners being herself.

Smiley James Ole (who waved for the first time at Brent)

Hangin' out with Auntie M
The view of the river and our little circle.
Aunt Party roasting her marshmallows for s'mores.

Thanks for coming, Mayberrys! We LOVED having you and wish you could stay FOREVER! Come back soon and bring Ralphy on a Yellowstone adventure!

Family Night

I had to work on Monday night, so we did FHE on Tuesday this week. We talked about Baptism and Sacrament and how we behave and "REMEMBER" (think about Jesus) during Sacrament meeting. To top it all off, we played the Memory game (to practice remembering) from the June Friend Magazine. It was fun and you can make your own memory game by clicking here and loading up your color printer with cardstock. Here's the gang playing memory for the third time.
James is seriously saying "Cheese!"--it' comes out like "EEEEEZ" but he does it everytime he sees the camera. It's hilarious. He also says "Car" like "CAH"--a little New England accent.
When I say "Make a silly face," this is what I get.
My twins born five years apart--Addie & James Ole.
They even have that same little blue vein that goes across the bridge of their noses.

Guilty Pleasures

I think I may have mentioned how I used to HATE Spongebob Squarepants and now that show makes me laugh out loud. I don't know why my kids love it so much cuz they can't possibly get the jokes, but they love it and I watch it with them sometimes. Most of my friends don't allow thier kids to watch the show because the characters act like idiots, but my theory is even if your kids don't grow up to be idiots, they will probably be surrounded by them, so they may as well get familiar, ya know?

Anyway, this song was on yesterday and it made me laugh out loud. Spongebob is befriending The Villain, Plankton, who is a tiny angry creature always plotting to rule the world. SB is trying to teach Plankton what FUN is ...the words that Plankton uses for F-U-N are hilarious.... (is his name Plankton Ahmadinejad?...Enjoy!

Another Testament of Siesta (not NAFTA)

You know we live a siesta culture at our house, right? I have a testimony of naptime ("I like the night life, baby")....well, I just found this old (ca.2000) clip of Kathleen Madigan sharing her version of the history of Mexican Siesta. It starts out with some good Canada jokes, and then she gets to Mexico. Give siesta some thought, because I know without a shadow of a doubt that it's good to be a night AND morning person. Maybe you could show this to your boss. Maybe in the millenium we will all siesta--not because we NEED to, but because it feels so dang good to curl up in a patch of sunlight with a fan blowin' on ya, wake up when the temp has dropped 10 degrees, and make hay until 11pm. WARNING: This clip is rated PG-13, as it uses the word (my favorite cuss word) "A*S."

And Speaking of Mexican Culture...

...our favorite little animated Latina, Dora the Explorah, got a shout out in Brian Regan's latest show...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Happy Sabbath

I am up late finishing the ward newletter, and I used this little bit to fill a column (I love this talk--I saw it LIVE--you can see the whole thing by clicking here):

"As a youth in England, Samuel Plimsoll was fascinated with watching ships load and unload their cargoes. He soon observed that, regardless of the cargo space available, each ship had its maximum capacity. If a ship exceeded its limit, it would likely sink at sea. In 1868 Plimsoll entered Parliament and passed a merchant shipping act that, among other things, called for making calculations of how much a ship could carry. As a result, lines were drawn on the hull of each ship in England. As the cargo was loaded, the freighter would sink lower and lower into the water. When the water level on the side of the ship reached the Plimsoll mark, the ship was considered loaded to capacity, regardless of how much space remained. As a result, British deaths at sea were greatly reduced.

Like ships, people have differing capacities at different times and even different days in their lives. In our relationships we need to establish our own Plimsoll marks and help identify them in the lives of those we love. Together we need to monitor the load levels and be helpful in shedding or at least readjusting some cargo if we see our sweetheart is sinking. Then, when the ship of love is stabilized, we can evaluate long-term what has to continue, what can be put off until another time, and what can be put off permanently. Friends, sweethearts, and spouses need to be able to monitor each other's stress and recognize the different tides and seasons of life. We owe it to each other to declare some limits and then help jettison some things if emotional health and the strength of loving relationships are at risk. Remember, pure love 'beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things,' and helps loved ones do the same."

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Some More Spiritual Chatter...

over at the family blog. Click here to chime in (but keep it positive and kind please).

Also, for the most part, this day has been a waste for me. I accomplished nothing except for the blog posts you read here, taking my kids to swim lessons, digitizing 120 photos for a DVD slideshow, and refraining from FREAKING OUT over two exceedingly whiny, tantrum-y, demanding, miserable daughters. We put them to bed at 7:30 with foil on their windows in hopes that the foul mood is sheer exhaustion and not their permanent disposition. Cuz if it is, you can click back here tomorrow and find two adorable girls for sale, half price.

I wonder why sometimes, on the days I need to be on the ball the most, I can't even manage a shower. I can't get my poop in a group, dang it.

I'll try again tomorrow...*sigh.*

Catching My Breath

Well, we had a great time with Lisa visiting. The highlight was our trip with Lisa, Laura & her kids, Jess & Kelli, and Angie & Davy and their kids, down the Yellowstone River on inner tubes on Saturday. It was a hot day and the water was warm and we had a fabulous time. Mom Melin set out a pot luck lunch and watched the babies for us while dad set up the swing set in the tree (the limb on which we had our tree swing broke off last spring, so dad installed an I-beam with the boys this weekend--it's also the foundation for the Pirate Ship tree house he is building).

Sunday was Dad Melin's 60th birthday, which we celebrated with a ham dinner at his house, then homemade icecream at the ranch in the evening. We sure do love our Grandpa Tom! uring sacrament meeting I was released as Primary Secretary and sustained as chorister (because musical talent is more scarce in our ward than secretarial skills, I guess!), and I sang "Come, Come Ye Saints" while accompanying myself on the piano. Lisa came to sacrament meeting with me and would have stayed through the meetings with me, but I had to assume my chorister responsibilities immediately and James fell asleep on her, so I just sent her home to take a nap with him. We had a lovely day and I am excited to work harder on my new calling (which I have been "subbing" for two months).

I have a "week-in-review" post to write, but I need to take the girls to swimming lessons in a bit, so I will just post some photos of last Wednesday's dinner at Pine Creek with our local Melin Family (Uncle Mark's family was still in NJ because he is deployed to the UAE in his big plane--we really missed Aunt Elena, Liana, Sariah and baby Jared this week! Aunt Elena would have felt right at home in the heat with us!). Tomorrow Aunt Marti and Cousin Brent will be visiting all the way from Sierra Vista, Arizona! I am so excited to see them! So more updates to come!

Sunset thru our buggy window
The gang setting up dinner
Heidi sharing her Capri Sun
Summer, TJay, and Addie --"Don't look so excited, TJay..."

Silly James Ole
Gram helping Heidi & Summer roast Marshmallows
TJay's Camping Face

Matthew Melin & Grandma at sunset
How Paradise Valley looked as we headed home at 9pm
Horses crossing the Pine Creek trail just off East River Road...
Sweet Dreams!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Songs from Heidi

Heidi's Sunday Serenade from MelinFamily and Vimeo.

"And if there be no righteousness, there be no happiness"

Something's been on my mind lately---it's a recurring question. Let me give you a little background.

About 11 years ago when I was serving as Relief Society President, the bishop called me into his office for a chat and a certain conversation I'd had with a woman in Relief Society came up. I told him she had come to me first about something which should have been discussed with him, because I don't have the ability or the authority to deal with it. Ability?--you may ask? Yes, the ability to be truly compassionate, I guess, because my first response to this young woman who was, in essence, confessing sins and telling me all about the aftermath was this: "So what do you THINK was going to happen?" The bishop suggested I edit that part of my thoughts from then on. Good advice.

But that doesn't mean I don't still think it all the time. And it's not like I don't feel sorry for people who are suffering, even if it's because of their own choices. Suffering stinks. But at the same time, you can't stop suffering until you make different choices, and at some point some people need to be reminded of that.

I find myself wanting to grab people by the shoulders and say, "What did you think your life would be like when you married someone with no education, few skills, and little motivation? I mean, I'm all for love and everything, but if you're gonna do that, you better get comfy in your double wide--you can't complain about never having money or never being able to get ahead. It's what you signed up for." Or perhaps, "What results were you expecting from your kids when your poor choices have robbed them of a stable home life, unconditional love, and the presence of a father? Did you think you'd get some sort of a free pass and somehow, against all odds, your kids would just accept it?" And I don't say that with any judgment. Seriously. The only thing I have a problem with is people making choices and THEN complaining about the consequences. I don't care where or how you live as long as you accept the consequences.

I suppose my two greatest peeves are hypocrisy and her close cousin, lack of accountability.

On a related tangent, it becomes more clear to me each day that there really truly is only one way have joy. Remember that straight gate and narrow path? They are real! We can take what ever path we choose and we may even convince ourselves that we are happy "off-roading". But I can guarantee that (a) people around us have suffered for our choices and (b) our happiness is fleeting. Of course one can always make a "course correction" through the atonement--that' s real, too--and it gets you right back to where you should have been all along. But I'm just sayin'--it's SO MUCH EASIER to just DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME. Make the right choices--from the small daily things like being honest, forgiving someone, praying, choosing kindness, to the bigger choices like getting an education, being married in the temple, providing for one's family, or living within one's means.

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT in any way inferring that I make the right choices all teh time (or even half the time). I am struggling every HOUR like most people. But I am also aware that there is a consequence--good or bad--affixed to each choice i make. I understand that most of the difficult things I encounter in my life are the direct result of my own poor choices (or occasionally, someone else's). I also understand that the most joyful, fulfilling wonderful parts of my life come to me by the grace of God and through His Son. Happiness comes to me and my family when we work with Him.

It's a simple equation, really. And I guess I am just re-stating THIS (click and read). So I testify that the things that Lehi chose to teach his children at the very end of his life are still true. We do indeed reap what we sow, and we can't be surprised when weeds continue to spring up from seeds we carelessly scattered years or even decades ago. We were created to ACT and not to be ACTED UPON; we are instructed sufficiently to know good from evil; and we can, if we just THINK before we ACT, foresee the consquences of our actions. May they be joyful!!...

**end of rant, er, sermon?**

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hot in the City? Make This for Dinner...

Lisa arrived safely last night, right on schedule (about 11:30pm). The girls tried to wait up for her (we took a bubble bath adn did our nails and watched TV on my bed, but they crashed at about 11:15). As I type, each Melin kid is contentedly playing with the gifts she brought them--Hello Kitty scrapbooking kit for Addie, Calico Critters Playset, and a cute set of touch-n-feel cards for Wee Bub. Good times!

Anyway, we are busy today and I can't post recent pix just yet, but here is something DELICIOUS I made for dinner Tuesday night (courtsey of my favorite mag, Real Simple). It's good hot or cold--we ate it cold and LOVED it! It's my first experience with fresh tarragon--a unique taste, but definitely worth buying the fresh stuff in the produce section. Hope you try it and like it!Shredded chicken from rotisserie (I just used 4 breasts left over from grilling)
4 medium carrots, shredded
4 scallions cut on diagonal
1 TB fresh tarragon, chopped
Salt & Pepper
2 tsp dijon mustard
3 TB white wine vinegar
1/2 c EVOOil
3 TB Honey

2 Heads of radicchio
(I used green leaf and you could easily use Bib lettuce leaves)

Combine shredded chicken, carrots, scallions, and tarragon (I even added a cup of chopped celery for crunch).

In small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, and honey. Slowly add oil, whisking til emulsified.

Spoon chicken mixture in to lettuce leaves and drizzle with dressing.


(It tastes a lot like the Parisian Salad you can buty at Costco--so good, people! Even Rich filled up on it, and NO COOKING!) Stay cool! XO

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Cutest Thing I Have Ever Seen

Addie and Heidi are drawing and coloring right now and Addie jsut brought me this. It's the cutest thing I've ever seen (except for the Real Thing, and his two sisters!)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Twenty-Four Crazy Hours!

Stop One of Four: The Ward Campout at Mill CreekFriday Night: Now THAT'S a barbecue!
Ward Family eating dinner, bonding 'round the campfire...
Addie and her root beer
James surprised by the flash!

Good Morning! Our tent on Saturday morning
Daddy making pancakes and hashbrowns
Addie and James at Breakfast
During breakfast, the North Dakota Melins arrived...
here James is super- excited to see Cousin Matthew (hence the spaz face).
(Terry Carter is holding Matthew)

Heidi loves Matthew, maybe because, unlike James, Matthew is half her weight!
Heidi had lots of questions for Uncle Jess...
...like "when are we going to the carousel?"
We packed up camp and were gone just after nine, only to quickly huck all our gear into the garage, clean ourselves up, and leave again at 10:30am for Helena.

Stop Two of Four:
The Great Northern Carousel in Helena Rich, James, Mike, Heidi, & Addie spin on the carousel
Heidi and her giddy-up bunny
Addie hiding and Cousin Danny looking on
Jess, TJay, & Summer
Jake (and his mom in the background)
Cute Post family on the carousel...our favorite thing in Helena!

Stop Three of Four: Gates of the Mountains Boat Tour
...but first, popsicles for the 100-degree heat!
How the canyon looks from the boat
Amazing Limestone Formations
Heidi-Lynners on the boat
Sweet Adeline on the boat
The Postums and the Melins pulling away from the marina

James thought Sam and Jake were hilarious...
...here's Jake making us laugh, and look at sweet baby Sam!
Sam Post with his Daddy

TJay Melin and his Daddy
Pictographs (or was it petraglyphs?) on the canyon wall
Heidi got to drive the tour boat...
...and so did Addie
Always check your rear view!
We had a great time on the tour adn can't wait to camp in the canyon sometime!
Thanks for taking us up there, Gram & Gramp Melin!


Dear Loved Ones,               The past two weeks have been a whirlwind for us…and now we are 8! We got a new German daughter, Kristin...