Thursday, January 31, 2008

You knew it was coming...

I try not to get too political here just because I want my blog to be a happy place, but I just had to give a shout out to Ron Paul here and direct your to Cousin Brent's blog to read about the Revolution. And then I'll type, "Yeah, what he said." Here's the comment I left:
Amen, my cousin! I think I need to read me the Libertatian primer because I had a fella go off about how some regulation is necessary and that Ron Paul supporters were nuts. I just kinda smiled as he gave his wife all these examples of "necessary" regulation (they were discussing and I was listening in). Anyway, we recorded Glenn Beck's hour-long interview with Ron Paul and we show it to everyone who comes in our house an DOESN'T agree that Ron Paul is a genius. Because he IS. He is too smart to be president, that's for sure, but he's the only candidate I feel totally good about. In the name of George Washington, Amen.

For me, so far, it's either Ron Paul or write in Dallin Oaks. And I am definitely on my own little anti-career-politicians campaign. You know, last year when I asked someone to please explain to me why there are no term limits for senators, NOBODY could tell me? Because there is no good reason in our blessed republic that ANYONE should be able to make a career of politics. It is so wrong and we are LIVING the reasons why. And sure, there's still Mitt Romney with his business rather than political background, and that's nice, but I am sad that the other three front runners are senators.

Just look at what a career in Washington has done to my homeboy, John McCain. I met him for the first time back in 1989 at my boyfriend's graduation party (McCain was friends with boyfriend's dad) during his very first term as senator, and again in 1997 at a College Republicans party at the U of A (yes, believe it or not, there were Republicans at the U of A). I admired him a lot during that time and was pretty excited when he ran for President in 2000. But he has compromised much to "get things done" in congress--code for "caving to whiny dems." I want to vote someone who will put his foot down and REPRESENT the people who voted for him regardless of the mood on the hill, without concern for his "career." Or who WOULD put his foot down, if he had more than a snowball's chance in hell of being elected.

Monday, January 28, 2008

*SIGH*

My dear Georgia Bee made this lovely post today. I responded thusly:

Ahhh, Georgia, how I wish we were still neighbors! You could sit next to me under my downy duvet with my kleenex (for tears and for the cold that is currently trying to kill me) and talk and sniffle. I LOVE that picture of Marjorie P...it made me tear up again. I am so happy for the two of them, but sad for all of us. You know, I slept in til 10 (my MIL took the kids cuz I'm sick) and got up to get an orange. As I was cutting it, I looked out the kitchen window and saw thick snow falling horizontally, and thought, "Nature mourns, too." Remember when President Benson and President Hunter died? One had a cloud burst and the other a spring blizzard. It's nice to take a day and know even the sky is mourning. I look forward to the funeral and to sustaining our new prophet--"Father Christmas Monson", we always call him...

PS: Another something cute from Georgia's comments:
Did you hear the church spokesman, when asked if those who were close to him knew he was dying, say something like, "Well, he didn't show up to work on Friday, so they knew that something wasn't right."
Just Friday? That made me smile.

Heavy Hearts

Last evening after I had risen from my death bed (I have a really horrible cold) to make Valentines with my daughters, Rich called from the computer room, "Jamie! President Hinckley died!" I wasn't sure I heard him right and I ran up stairs to see what he was talking about. There on the front page of the KSL news page was his picture and the years, 1910-2008. It was a punch in the gut. I felt sad, but then I kept telling myself not to be selfish--he was 97, afterall.And I expected him to closely follow Marjorie, as sweethearts often do. The one thing that brightened my night was that they were finally together again...
...and the song keps going through my mind:
" We ever pray for thee, Our prophet dear
That God may give thee Comfort and cheer
As the advancing years furrow thy brow
Still may they light within Shine bright as now."
***

President Hinckley, thank you for teaching me to be a better mother, wife, sister, friend, and neighbor. Thank you for inviting lost sheep back to the fold. Because of you, I only have to drive 100 miles (instead of almost 300) to attend the temple. Millions of people around the world now have that same privilege. Thank you for giving us the Proclamation to the World on the Family--it is something that becomes more precious to me and more neccesary each passing year. I strive everyday to be the kind of parent you and Marjorie were, to find ways to say yes, to trust my children, to build their faith, and above all, to have fun together.
To the Hinckley Family, thank you for sharing your Father/Grandfather with the world for almost your entire lives. The world and the church are so much better because of Him.
Now our prayers shift to President Monson, who, as my Grandpa said last night, "has really got his hands full."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

It's Pretty Easy Being Green

Cousin Brent posted this tickle test on his blog, so I took it, too...






Take this test!


You're green, the color of growth and vigor. Good-hearted and giving, you have a knack for finding and bringing out the best in people. Green is the most down-to-earth color in the spectrum — reliable and trustworthy. People know they can count on you to be around in times of need, since your concern for people is genuine and sincere. You take pride in being a good friend. For you, success is measured in terms of personal achievement and growth, not by status or position. Rare as emeralds, greens are wonderful, natural people. It truly is your color!



...also, The Bug that made my offspring sicky last week got me today. Me=Warmed-over death.

But that won't stop me from say CONGRATULATIONS to my darling cousin, Maren, on the birth of her second baby, Travis M. Allred.--AT HOME, like She-rah, Princess of Power. Yay, Allreds! I'd better send that package for you that's sitting by the front door!

I'll be back tomorrow unless The Bug gets me! Hugs...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Elna Baker Says Hi...

I sent Elna Baker some fan mail and she wrote me right back! We're BFF now! Okay, just kidding, but it was fun to hear from her!

Me:
Dear Elna,

I heard you on This American Life this weekend and I want to be the president of your Montana Fan Club. Please hurry up and write your book because I want to buy one for me and one for the local library. I wrote about you on my blog so everyone ELSE can signup for the new fan club, because, frankly, you rule.

Love, Jamie M
Livingston, MT

***

EB:

That's funny, my Mom sent me a link to your blog already, her new favorite pastime is googling me. I'm so flattered to be your new favorite Mormon, and I will hurry and write my book so you have more to be excited about....thank you for the much needed support!!!!

xoElna
***
Hear that? EB needs support, so give this hermana some love.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Click to Enjoy

Meet Elna Baker. She's my new favorite Mormon.
(I heard her on This American Life on Saturday and she killed me with her tale of working at FAO Schwartz selling baby dolls...can't wait til her book comes out next year!)

Happy Tuesday

Heidi got hold of the camera yesterday...Here's Addie in her bathrobe with a cold
Here's our side deck with snow
Here's Addie wearing the groovy hat (upside down) Laura bought for me years ago!
God must have known we needed some cheering up after the weekend's sickies, because we got lots of love yesterday:
1. a delicious dinner from Debbie--asparagus-barley chicken soup, wheat rolls, and ice cream sandwiches
2. a package of stickers from great-grandma
3. a package from Nana to congratulate Heidi on being potty-trained
4. a late Christmas package from Peter & Zuzana in Slovakia
What fun!

Here's Heidi with her "elephant baby" from Nana--all the kids loved their treats, Nana! THANKS! (Jill asked about elephant baby...s/he has an elephant embroidered on her jammies! Maybe Heidi will play with her because for about a year she hasn't liked babies)

The box from Peter & Zuzy
Heidi is so excited!
Here are all the gifts that were inside of the box

The kids got chocolates, kinder eggs (our favorite!) , and the girls got tiny color pencils
Addie eating her kinder egg
I got beautiful doilies, Rich got a Slovak calendar, and we got these lovely salt-dough ornaments that were labeled, "For Decoration, not for eat."

James also got an adorable Santa Train but we didn't get a photo of him with it...he kept saying, "Tanta! Tanta"--he knows Santa!

Peter and Zuzana, thank you for thinking of us! We love our exotic treasures! It was so nice of you to send a package so far away!

Grandma, Nana, and Debbie, thank you, too! You brightened our day and lightened our load!

Monday, January 21, 2008

"Sleep, Sleep Tonight...

...and may your dreams be realized"

That's the song I always think of on MLK day. And it always takes me back to a cold December night in 1987 in Sun Devil stadium, watching U2 perform, and how the rain started just as Bono was singing "so let it rain..." He said bad words to Governor Mecham because Arizona didn't recognize MLK Day as a state holiday back in 1987 (simply because it hadn't been properly legislated yet). Ahh, the good ol' days.


So it's a freezing cold holiday today (-15F). Addie is home for the holiday, so I made a painting station out of my laundry room for her--I flipped over some wrapping paper and covered half the floor with it, and she's watercoloring to her heart's delight. Heidi is here with me playing nickjr and starfall.com games, and James is speeding around in the walker since he can't crawl (well, actually he can crawl, just not efficiently. He crawls like a little tripod, with one arm down in front of his knees, kinda scooting--poor guy).

We had a strange weekend. For one thing, I worked 3-11pm at the hotel on Saturday (just filling in), so my regular Saturday stuff didn't really get done, although Rich did a great job with the kids and keeping the house decent. When I got home, Heidi was up with a really high fever (around 103), and we got her settled down and Tylenol-ed, then Addie was up. It was a crazy, on-going night, and I ended up staying home with the sickies and gimpy while Rich had church meetings from 8am-1pm. I still had a bad headache (but Excedrin migraine helped) so we laid around, we read our library books again (Addie was off school on Friday, too, so we spent the morning at the library and it was soooo fun), ate ramen, took naps, and hung out with Rich in the evening. It was wildly windy and cold outside, but we felt so cozy at home with our feverish/ stir crazy kids.

It was a quiet nightat the hotel on Saturday--there was a blizzard and only about 6 Halliburton engineers in the hotel with 5 other random guests. One of the guests asked me about restaurants and I said that we had a great Mexican place called Fiesta en Jalisco, and he said, "I'll try that... I really like Hispanic food." And then when he came back he said, "That hispanic place was great!"--I thought it was funny that he wouldn't say Mexican, as if it were politically incorrect, even though the food and its cooks/servers are clearly from MEXICO! (Did I miss a PC memo about that?) Also over the weekend I devoured my own library book, Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I started reading it at work on Saturday at about 4pm and I finished it up at 10pm last night. I LOVED IT, and not just because it was a riveting autobiography. I learned so much from it about life as a Muslim woman from the inside.

I had taken Middle East 101 at the U of A and read an ethnography by an American woman who lived in Iraq in the 70's, but it was all rosy and "multi-cultural" in that class. It was incredibly informative to read about Hirsi Ali's experience as a Somalian Muslim because (a) she is my age--2 years older and (b) she grew up as the Islamic Fundamentalist movement really took hold. One of the points that really struck me was her experience aftre 9/11. She said she was shocked when she watched western TV and they called the attackers extremists who were misinterpreting the Quran, because the verses were right there, clearly stating that an "infidel" was your enemy and that infidels should be killed. She realized that this was the future of Islam--murders, war, domestic abuse--and she didn't want to be a part of it. She became an atheist and I can hardly blame her after all she's been through.

I found myself wishing she could understand that part of the reason Western culture is so civilized, besides the enlightenment/reason/rule of law, is Christianity. Even people who are not religious have a base of Christian ethics, like forgiveness and the sanctity of life, which are nearly non-existant in her world. The Great Plan of Happiness is a stark contrast to the values she was taught.

I also thought about how much her story (and her "apostasy") echoed the stories of people who have left my church and other religions. I often wonder why people who have a terrible experience in a religion don't understand that NOT EVERYONE IS HAVING THAT EXPERIENCE. I had muslim friends at BYU who were having a very different experience, and we marvelled at how similar our religions were. I know people who have left my religion because they were having an oppressive, stunting experience, while my experience has been nothing but strengthening and empowering to me. It's not that I don't believe what Hirsi Ali was saying, it's just that I don't think all muslims are having that experience, and I understand why it's controversial. Of course, I haven't been around many muslims in the past 10 years, so who knows what it's like now. Maybe they are considered infidels, too, for being moderate, for being "westernized." I don't know.

I did notice while I was looking up stuff on the internet as I read (that's the pleasure of reading at work--I have to sit at a desk in front of the computer, which I always keep open to the reservation site AND Google so I can research) that somebody important considered the Islamic Center of Tucson (just down the street from the Institute) the first al-qaeda terror cell in the US. Oh, great. I went to a very Jewish high school in Tucson, and then met tons of muslims when I finished college there, and mentioned how weird I thought that was to my Grandpa. He said something like they must love the desert, and Tucson is just like another middle east. Now, 12 years later, that sounds pretty scary.

Here are a couple of Glenn Beck links--first, to an interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and second, to his bit on the Flying Imams and a muslim plot , and third, THIS rant (PS: I think Hirsi Ali is beautiful, especially how soft-spoken she is). Anyway, I just thought that on this, our Civil Rights Day, it might be good to think about the next horizon of civil rights--those of mistreated muslim women, many of whom live right here in the U.S., and ours as Americans who worship Christ.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

RETRO: New Years Eve

AKA, The Most Boring NYE I've Had Since 1983, But It Was Still Good: A Photo Essay by Jamie Melin
Me: After attending two fun parties as a family, we gave up adn came home at 11pm and put the kids down; I ended up awake, alone, sitting up watching Dick Clark's corpse ring in the new year as the Times Square Apple dropped. Then I grabbed the camera and took these pix...
Happy 2008, Rich!
Happy New Year, Addie!
Ring out the old, Heidi!

Bottoms up, James!

Yeah, we know how to party.

Oops!



Last night I left James in Heidi's room to play for a minute while I went upstairs to tuck Addie in (Rich was at a 6pm meeting; I had a 7pm meeting, so we were going to switch off). Just as I got up stairs I heard James wail and I hear Heidi yell, "Mama! Bubby fell off the ladder!" and I suddenly realized the error of my ways. Although James still doesn't walk, he is perfectly proficient in climbing up and down the bunk bed ladder in the girls' room. HOWEVER, he usually does this barefoot, NOT in (slippery) footie pajamas.


When the realization struck me, I ran back down stairs and found my boy face down on the floor trying (and failing) to get up and crawl. I picked him up and started to console him. I put Heidi in bed with some books and headed upstairs to make James a bottle of milk and send Addie to bed. She got him a blanket and went to bed like a good girl. I knew something was wrong as I rocked him because when I moved a certain way he would whimper. I thought he might have hit his ribs or chest because his breathing was a little labored. At any rate, I could tell he was in some sort of pain, so I gave him a Tylenol Meltaway and handed him off to Rich at 7pm.


Rich put him to bed while I was gone and he was asleep when I got home at 8:30. By 9:30, he had awaken and I was letting him "cry it out," forgetting his earlier injury. Rich got up and reminded me he night be hurt, so we brought him to our bed. It was then we noticed something wrong on his right side. He could still move his fingers and raise his arm slightly, so it wasn't dislocated, but it was definitely hurting so I put on my coat and shoes with my PJs and we headed out tothe emergency room. Thankfully, we were the only ones there and we got speedy and kind service. The doctor checked him out and then brought in the radiologist on call (who was the same one who did my Radioactive Iodine Scan). They were all very nice and were quick to discover and fracture at the top of James' humerus, just under the growth plate--the SAME fracture Addie had in her left arm last spring! No joke! The doc said it was really rare and weird that I'd had TWO kids with it. I suggested they may have inherited their dad's glass bones and my poor coordination--a deadly mix!


So anyway, The Wee Bub has a fractured right humerus and has to wear a sling with his arm pinned or bandaged to his chest for a week or two. He is not so thrilled about being immobile (can't crawl with just one arm!), but is taking it like a champ. He was so sweet and smiley in the ER, people just kept coming by our room to see the sweet baby boy with the broken arm. His sisters are waiting on him like nurses, but we'll just see how long before Heidi starts trying to break his other arm (I'm sure she won't like him getting extra attention).


Other than that, we're all good!


My Awesome Family about two hours ago

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Weekend

We've had a busy weekend saying goodbye to the Jelli-Melins, who today began their trek southward to live in West Palm Beach, Florida. We will miss having them so close in North Dakota! Anyway, Saturday morning Rich took the girls over to play with their cousins while Rich helped Uncle Jess load up one last little trailer they will pull behind their Honda Pilot. I stayed home with James (he still has a cold and needed more sleep)--I did laundry and folding for FOUR HOURS adn got the laundry room clean (and not much else) and all the beds changed. Rich and the girls came home for a short rest, and then we all headed out to Chico for one last winter swim with the cousins (photos coming soon).
Later we had a pizza party at Grandma's house and got the kids to bed by 8pm for church on Sunday. At church, our niece Hannah Beth was blessed. We took lots of family pictures after church at Hannah's house (my SIL Angie's house), then had a yummy lasagne dinner at Grandma Melin's house. The cousins played til they couldn't play no more and we said our good byes last night. We hope the Jellis travel safely--we sure had a fun holiday with them!
I'll have more photos and stories soon. Now I am off to have lunch with mi amiga Debbie, who moved back to MT from AZ over the holidays (YAY!) Later, we are having Alexander and Boston Winsor over for an after-school playdate, so we'll be busy!!! :) Happy Monday! All but three Melin Grandkids: Back-Rosalie, Summer, Heidi
Front-TJay, Danny, Grandma, Hannah, Grandpa, James, Matthew, Addie.
GROUP HUG!

Friday, January 11, 2008

On This Date in History, 2001...

Liam with his Aunt Sara & Aunt Jamie in May 2001

Liam with Great Grandpa Bill in May 2001

Liam taking a bath in my sink in November 2001, 3 days before Addie was born!
Liam, we love you SO MUCH! Uncle Rich can't wait to take you backpacking and fishing in Montana! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Nana with some of her grandkids after Melanie's baptism in Montana, 2006 (Melanie, Gabriel, Nana, Ben, Liam, Jared; sitting-Jack, Belle, Addie, Ally, Spencer, Heidi)

Love, Aunt Jamie & Your Melin Cousins--Addie, Heidi, & James

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Free Market Hope

I was shocked to learn this weekend that stupid Utah turned down school vouchers. I thought for sure that Utah was conservative and smart enough to jump at the chance to get the government out of the education-portion their personal business--but not so! Shocking!

So I am just wondering how in the world we can educate the general public about the benefits of the free market when the spoon-fed socialist movement is made to look so attractive. We watched Sicko a few weeks ago and I actually really liked it--it vividly illustrated the problems with our current system, especially the insurance industry. I totally disagree with Moore's conclusion/solution, though, of course. I mean, all you have to do is look at the inefficiency of all other government-run services (postal service, anyone?) to understand why you do NOT want bureaucrats and career politicians in charge of YOUR HEALTH and YOUR LIFE!

Enter Free Market Cure. Please watch it. Ponder it. Digest it. Live it. Love it. God Bless America.

And for my pro-government friends, here's an idea: why don't we take all those free hand-outs you want the government to offer and take them down to the state level and make ONE of the 50 states (Massachusetts or Northern California?) into a socialist experiment. Michael Moore can be the governor, or maybe Hillary or Barack--whomever isn't President--and everyone in that state can have government-run health care, government housing, food stamps, automatic seatbelts and helmets for driving, FDA-approved Foods (no soda or alcohol or french fires) and drugs, free utilities, free cable, and heck, maybe even someone to wipe their bums, and they can all make $50K per year, give $45K of it to the government (you know, "taxes" : what we pay for the government to babysit us). It will be a beautiful redistibution of wealth and a lovely way to get out of practicing self-discipline or budgeting because, you know, all you have to do is go to your job everyday--everything else is done for you. By someone else's standards and timetable, of course. ENJOY!

Maybe I am just too independent. I think I am turning CRAZY libertarian! I am just SICK of people (especially presidential cnadidates lately) talking down to me as if I am incapable of taking care of myself and helping my neighbors. BITE ME, big fat federal government!

Okay. I am finished ranting. You didn't know this apron-wearing Montana hausfrau had it in her, did ya? Well, there's more where that came from, peeps. Just watch election year wear down my very last nerve--it'll bring out the home-grown Montana Libertarian in me! Don't make me hole up on the ranch in the shed and write my libertarian manifesto, yall!

***
" We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." --James Madison
***
And here's the HOPE part, courtesy of Kelly the Crafter.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Back in Black...

...black fleece pants, that is, because even though we don't have snow, we've got a COLD 60mph wind!!! I'm cold!


We went to Utah last weekend (From 1/3-1/7) and got home last night. I didn't write about our trip last week because we were surprising Jill and Ally and I didn't want to ruin the surprise. But we went down and stayed Thurs & Friday nights at my brother Will's house in Herriman (and discovered the joys of the Wii, which is now on our Christmas list!)--we had a BALL with their funny kids and survived losing Heidi in the mall YET AGAIN. Friday evening we went and surprised Jill and had dinner with her and her in-laws (whom we love also), and then went back to Willy's house for a couple's Wii tourny.

Early Saturday morning we attended my sweet niece, Ally's baptism & brunch in Lehi, and later that day we transferred all our stuff over there so we could spend the other half of our weekend with the Petersens. Drew had planned a quadruple date for us--Will & Audrey, Dad & Matt (Amie wasn't able to come down from Montana), Jill & Drew, me & Rich, and right before the date I snuck in a matinee of Juno (--which I loved with all my heart and I am ordering the soundtrack PRONTO and anxiously waiting to buy the DVD!!!) Jill decided to join me and we both bawled and laughed so hard at the end!

Date night was fun (dinner at Good Wood and a stroll around IKEA) and church on Sunday in Lehi was sooo nice! I snuck into Primary to see how their chorister does the music and to keep an eye on Heidi on her first day of Sunbeams (she did great--such a funny little musical girl!). After church it was massive naptime followed by a yummy dinner of Kahlua Pork, rice, and steamed veggies (Rich and Drew made it). Dad Post and Matt came over, too, and we all had a really fun time visiting. That night we watched A Mighty Heart on DVD, which just broke my not-so-mighty heart and led me to shout (at least in my mind), "Brent, you are NOT--I repeat, NOT going to the middle east EVER!!! I will physically restrain you, homie! DON'T DO IT!!!! Use your Urdu from afar!" (they speak Urdu in that film, by the way, cuz the kidnappers are near Karachi).

Anyway, we had the most lovely time--the Posts and the Petersens were such kind and thoughtful hosts, (Shout out to Drew especially!) and it was most joyful to get the cousins together! When I get a minute, I will record some sweet details from the weekend about each of my nieces and nephews. I love those kids so much adn I had a reeeeeeally great time with them!

Meanwhile, I've got a couple of sweet kids here who need some lovin' so I am off to make Ad an afterschool snack and watch Spongebob with her while folding clothes...back to the grind...happily....:)

PS: It took us NINE hours to get home--a record, I think--because HEIDI IS POTTY TRAINED!!! She didn't pee in the car once, and only really had accidents on Friday! YAY! Oh, joy. Maybe we can get into a preschool now!

Also, be sure to check out pix form the weekend at Jill's blog! We were picture slackers!

soooo good

FAMILY LETTER 11.19.17

Dear Loved Ones,                                                                                                                          ...