Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I can't believe how fast time is flying! In two days I'll need to pack my stuff and get ready to head east! Last night we said good bye to Cody & Ty and I didn't even take my camera to get pix! James and I took them to the Portland Airport and we got escort passes to wait with them at their gate. James was so excited to (a) ride in a wheelchair (we forgot a stroller) and (b) see the airplanes! He cried when Cody & Tyler got on the plane because he wanted to go, too! We will really miss those boys!
Meanwhile, I did get some pictures yesterday of James, Matt & Sam taking a nap with NanaSo cute!
Tired boys!
James and Sam also went skinny dipping on Monday
(under the supervision of Matt, Cody & Ty)
White Boyz!
James had lots of fun in the water!
He also loves wearing Nana's shoes (or anyone's, really--the other day he tried to put on Matt's giant shoes and ended up skiing down the stairs in them!)

Sam, Jake, James, and Nana (on Saturday, I think)
On Sunday night, we played games with Amy & Michael...
but the boys colored first.
James & Uncle Michael
I went to sleep last night /this morning at 1am and Rich called me at 7am--James woke up and wouldn't go back to sleep, so I am thinking a nap is in order today! I am still just doing laundry, dishes, making meals, and trying to make mom comfy. Same thing everyday, but still really fun. We had a great time last night watching the Diane Sawyer special on Randy was really touching. So more later...

Monday, July 28, 2008


Good Mornin'! I don't mean to keep harping on Elder Busche's talk, but after finding the slide show I posted yesterday, I looked up the whole devotional and it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read, in any genre, EVER (and I am a Lit. major!). Please when you get a minute, follow THIS LINK, print out the talk, then go cuddle up with it and your favorite highlighter. Perhaps you will want to read and discuss for Family Night. At any rate, I just had to share.

I didn't mention in my earlier post that Michael and Amy (my younger sibs) surprised us on Saturday by coming down from Everett, WA where Michael is working. Amy is staying with Mike until the end of August, and they came to hang for a couple of days. It is so good to see them! They are heading home this morning and we'll miss them. I think today, we'll mostly be cleaning upo from the weekend, finishing up laundry, making sure mom is comfortable--maybe I'll even make some tapioca!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Happy Sabbath

I stole this link from another site I sort of clicked my way to tonight. I hope you enjoy these thoughts as much as I did (I want these words tattooed on the back of my hands or something). I dedicate this to my mama, just in case she doesn't feel good enough for church tomorrow, she can get her fill from Elder Busche.

PS: I read about the death of Randy Pausch, the professor who gave the now-famous "Last Lecture" last year. It's sad that he's gone, but I think it's such a "tender mercy" for him to live long enough not just to leave that beautiful message for his children, but that the message itself became so popular that it will provide for thier temporal needs as well as their emotional and spiritual needs. That's so cool.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Photos, Finally.

Before I got here, everybody had this group hug:Kristen, Amie, Nana, Mark, Sydney, Matt, Tyler, Cody, & Sam
(I passed Amie on I-90...I was going west, she was heading east back to Helena and I spotted the van near Kellogg, Idaho on Tuesday. I don't think she heard me when I waved and shouted, "You got logs?")
Leaving Bozeman:

When I left Livingston, I forgot my CD of scrapbooking photos, so I went to call Rich to tell him to mail it and realized I didn't have my cell phone, either! YIKES! So I got gas at Costco and went to find a pay phone to tell Rich to mail me the phone and CD when I looked in the rearview mirror and saw him in the van with my girls (and my phone and CD!) That was pretty fun. I am married to a true superhero!

My sweet travel buddy



in Seaside, Oregon...
Big clouds lingered over Ecola State Park all day!
Sam & Jake make new friends with their cuteness

Matt was digging to China on the beach at Seaside
Sammy got a sandy face

James dropped his Fritos in the sand...but that just made them crunchier!
Happy, sandy boy!
MMMM, more Fritos! (Digging with Cousin Sam)
James in HEAVEN!

Sammy working hard on his sandcastle
James Digging
Jake Digging
Big Boys Digging (Cody, Matt, & Tyler)

James & Sam chasing seagulls
James skipping in the sand
Mommy & her beach boy
Mom, Janet, & Steve stayed near home yesterday and went to the grotto, then helped Mark prepare for his meeting at work today; we got home from the coast at about 7pm and enjoyed a Panda Express dinner, Shari's pie for dessert, and some Stewart & Colbert. It was a lovely day, and today it's back to the chemo grind for mama. She just got home (3pm) from her CHOP treatment with Janet, Matt, Cody & Tyler (Cody got a lab coat from the nurse and plans to wear it to school). I brought the grandboys home for lunch and naps earlier after we made a menu and went grocery shopping. All is well and running smoothly. Call are coming in to check on mom and her condition--she is beloved, and we appreciate everybody's love and concern so much! Updates soon!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

So, here's the story, morning glory:

Best trip to Vancouver yet! I left yesterday morning at 7am in the Civic with James in the front seat (in his car seat) with me. We had a ball, and that little boy never once whined or cried for TWELVE HOURS! He got a little squirmy right at the end, so we stopped in Hood River to get him some sneakers (we lost one of his) and let him walk a bit. Each of us bought a pillow, too, and a drink, and then we drove the last beautiful hour to Nana's house. Even with the half-hour stop, we made it to Nana's by 7:28 MT--so it was only 6:28 here.

I was just in time to go out to a Bavarian dinner at Gustavo's and go see "Mama Mia" with my mom, Janet Gray, and my cutie SIL, Kristen (Cody was a sweetie pie and he babysat James for me). The dinner made me so excited to go to Germany (honey, I tried Weisswurst and it wasn't as gross as it looked on that movie we watched! It was tasty!). So even though I went to sleep at 1am local time (2am at home) and got up at 7am local time, it was quite a day and I am so glad I made it to visit while my mom is feeling decent for a change! Of course, that will all end when she has her chemo on Firday, but I am glad I came a little early.

I reeeeeally miss my hubby and girls, though. I hope you guys are having fun! Addie, tell me all about LINKS tonight! (Addie is going to an all-day day camp for two weeks and Heidi is hanging out with Grandma and some other friends while I am gone and Rich is working). I'll upload some pictures soon. *hugs*

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pictures from Butte [07.12.08]

National Folk Festival
Ukelele Music
Addie learning the Hula
More Hula
Even More Hula
Addie enjoyed the Hawaiian chant dances
More Chant Dancin'
My kids in the puppet theatre crowd
Chinese Rod Puppets

Cody & Tyler watching the Hawaiian dancers
Arizona Boys posing on Arizona Street in Butte, Montana.

On This Date in History...

...July 20, 1993: I was serving my mission in Rockingham, North Carolina (remember Talladega Nights?), a week away from celebrating my "hump day" (9-month mark), when I came home one hot, humid night to a message on the answering machine, telling me that my sister Lisa had given birth to a baby boy and named him Cody William. Today the Code-man turns 15 and aspires to be Magnum PI.
[Cody (with Tyler) at the Folk Festical last weekend]
Happy Birthday, Cody!

Friday, July 18, 2008

What in the Bill????

I went to work at my hotel tonight and then the owner called me from "400 miles away" to say that there was no one to work the front desk at his other property, and could I go over and do it? HUH? I had never been to that hotel (because it's NASTY) but I said, "I guess so." I came over and I have been trying to wing it all night. Not only do I not know anything about the hotel, but the computer system is not working, so I am just using PAPER to register people. Holy cow. Also, I have no idea how long I am supposed to work or who to call to find out. I am totally stuck here in the ghetto. So if you don't hear from me, I probably got shot working the desk at this ghetto hotel, or run over by a drunk from the attached bar/casino. YIKES!

Update: Do not be alarmed --I am home safe at 11:22pm! Yay.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

So, it’s been another crazy week here at the Diamond Bar Seven. Last time I wrote we were headed out to the National Folk Festival in Butte (think “glorified Bisbee”) then up to Helena to hang with Postums. My super-hilarious nephews, Cody & Tyler, came with us and we had a good time, despite our efforts to foil their attempts at being uber-cool (like making them push the stroller—but dudes, babies are chick magnets!). James loved having some other boys around and he called them “Quody and Tower.” Sadly, we had to let them go to Matt’s on Tuesday night so they could make the trip to Nana’s and eventually home to Arizona via aeroplane from Portland. Soon they will be too old to come visit—they’ll have jobs and stuff—and I will really miss them. But then I will be old enough to be a snowbird and I’ll start visiting THEM in the winter. Yeah, that sounds fair.

Anyway, we saw some cool Hula, Indian dancers, street musicians, and Chinese Rod Puppets at the folk festival, as well as enjoying some yummy food, making paper, and trying out some native American games. At about 3pm, we went to Matt’s and chilled, and then all of us went to the annual Watson Irrigation/Watson Family BBQ in Townsend. This year we were serenaded by the Saddle Tramps and the kids had a blast playing with their cousins, getting dirty, and dancing to live cowboy tunes. I took the 4 youngest kids home at around 9:30 to bathe and go to bed, while Rich and Matt kept the three oldest and watched the fireworks (Amie had to work at Mac Grill that night). We didn’t end up going to bed until midnight, but we all slept in til 9am, which was awesome! Amie made us three great meals on Sunday and I got to go to Sunday School and Relief Society, which I miss. We even got to love on poor gimpy Molly (a motorcycle flogged poor Molly earlier this week), and it was such a nice visit! We didn’t hook up with the Lehmans until we were going out of town, but we stopped and said hello, then got home to Livingston around 10pm. I could have left Cody & Tyler in Helena, but they wanted to come back for a few more days.

Monday we had a Pioneer Day Family Night where I taught the kids about their great-great-great-grandfather, Christopher Layton (it was all news to Cody & Ty) and then played Norwegian Golf. Tuesday we just hung out and got the laundry done, then we went to Bozo where the boys watched my kids while Rich & I went to chat about our Euro-Vacation at Triple A. Afterward, we had a good-bye feast at Famous Dave’s and met Matt at Wheat Montana.

While we were driving home, Heidi was asking where Cody and Tyler were going, I told her they wanted to go see Nana and then go home to their mommy in Arizona.
“They have a mommy?” she asked.
“Yeah—remember Aunt Lisa? Your Aunt who gave you your Calico Critters? She’s their mom!”
“Oh, yeah—I love her. (pause) They better go home to her! I bet she’s crying cuz she missed them!”
“Yep, I bet you’re right, Heidi. Mommies always miss their babies.”
“Yeah. But those boys aren’t babies. (pause) They used to be babies and now I think they had, like, a THOUSAND birthdays. (pause—I laugh) They did, mom. That’s how they growed up.”

Isn’t that so cute? Heidi has moved up a level in her reasoning skills lately and it’s fun to watch her try to make sense of things.

Another really cute thing is that James is totally in love with my grandparents. Rich called me tonight at the hotel from home to tell me that while they were watching home movies, James kept hugging the TV and saying, “Papa Biw” and “Gammah” every time Grandpa Bill and Grandma Lyn appeared. I think they bonded pretty well those three days we were together at Mom’s house. James would stand by the bathroom door when Grandpa was in the shower, and he even went into the guest room to wake grandpa at 6:00 one morning. He brought cars and said, “Papa! Carrrrrs! Papa! Carrrrrs!”. It was pretty cute. I am so glad my kids are getting to know their extended family on both sides. And even though it triple-stinks that my mama had to get sick, I am grateful for how close it has brought all our loved ones. It’s been an exhausting, heart-wrenching summer so far, but I mostly have joyful feelings, and gratitude. I just pray the rest of mom’s treatments go smoothly and kick cancer’s booty, and that she handles it as well as she has so far. She’s a warrior.

Life is good.

PS: Happiest Birthday to one of my oldest and dearest friends--ROB aka Hubrecht, husband of Fig, and brother of my best girls. I believe it's been 20 or 21 years since I met Rob--that's amazing, and I sure am grateful. Have a fab day! (You can thank me later for not posting some of my old pix :)).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Your Thoughts?

I need feed back!
Please answer the following questions for me in the comments section.
1. What would you do with 12 hours in Paris (7am-7pm)?
[CJane, you better comment on this one!]
2. What songs remind you of winter/ the holidays, but aren't neccesarily holiday songs?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

On This Date in History...

7/11/1975: Uncle Mikey!!!!
7/11/2002: Cousin Danny
7/12/ 2002: Cousin Isabelle
Have great day, y'all!
To celebrate, we're going to the National Folk Festival in Butte and hangin' with our Helena peeps this weekend.
Dear Brent,

Thanks for posting the Alphabeats video, cuz I am pretty much loving them. I loooove that girl's voice, too! It's cool when chix can really sing, with clear, high voices like that. It reminds me of The Beautiful South songs I was doing car-karaoke to on the way to Idaho. The BS always has great vocals, even on their silly songs.

Because you're my favorite Brent, here's a BS video. Enjoy the vocals! ;)

Love, Maj

Friday, July 11, 2008


My poor sister.

Tuesday we decided to meet in Pocatello to swap kids--I brought Abby & Marshall (& James, to see Grandpa Jim) and Jill brought Cody & Tyler. I got a discount hotel room, and we planned to meet at my dad's around 5pm. I left home at 11:30 am to drive 275 miles; she left home at 2:30pm to drive 150 miles. Sadly, I beat her by several hours because she had TWO blowouts on the way to Poky and TWO on the way back! It was so very sad. I felt so bad for all that.

On the bright side, I had a fun (but short) visit with my Daddy, and I LOVE having Cody and Tyler here (they're my nephews, Lisa's boys, ages 15 & 13.7). Also, I got my CT scan on Monday and it must be clear because I haven't heard from Dr. Reid. And despite of a fairly stressful couple of days, I haven't had any reallybad headaches (knock on wood).

I have been pretty busy, though, and I didn't take my camera to Idaho, so I don't have any fun pix for y'all. But I've been thinking of all of you...all the cute Mayberrys and their fun Independence Day, Michael workin' hard in WA, Mama trying to feel better after her "bad week", Gram and Gramp heading back home to Tucson...and so many other friends and family. Hang in there and say howdy once in a while! ;)

Now I need to go figure out how to entertain the kids today...L8R!

PS: I made Oriental Chicken Salad (my adjustments: almond slivers, not peanute; sugar snap peas; cabbage-lettuce-spinach for greens; Kraft Asian Sesame Dressing with a dash of soy sauce as the dressing) last night and the boys ATE IT!!!! Lisa, you should be so proud!

PPS: My mama has THIS cute post on her blog, and I have to add my shout out to the Hendricks/ Johnsons. We were talking about Michelle, and my mom said, "It must be so neat to have a friend you've known since you were only seven!" and you know what? It is! Michelle became my friend when she lived down the street from me and was in my 2nd grade class. We were best pals and she used to come to Primary with me all the time. Sadly, I had to move away when I was 9, but the next year I came back and guess what? Her WHOLE FAMILY got baptized!!! Now she's a mommy of two girls and a boy, just like me. Thanks for being my friend, Michelle! I'll have to scan some of the pictures I have of us and make a post about our thirty-year friendship.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Camp Liberty!

On Thursday we cleaned up the house and packed up for our camping trip. But first I went to the doctor at 1:45pm. I had a good visit with Dr. Reid about my recent head and body aches. She suspects it's my migraines returning with a vengeance, but wants me to have a CT scan on Monday morning. She prescribed me some medicine that costs $20 per pill with insurance, so I told the pharmacist to only give me two of them ($40) until I know if I even need them! I think I will talk to the doc about going back on the Imitrex inhaler if it's migraines--those are a lot cheaper! She ordered a bunch of bloodwork, too, so all of you that chastised me for not going to the doctor should be satisfied now :).

So I left the clinic and went right into the van and out to West Boulder via Big Timber, MT. It was a beautiful day--so clear and green--and we really enjoyed the ride. Soon we turned off onto West Boulder Road, crossing the Brokaw's ranch, which was full of these darling brown cows...
How now, brown cow?
At home on the range
Toward the end of the road, you hang a right and next to the Boulder River there's a fabulous forest service cabin...

It has a rustic little kitchen and electricity...

plus a dining room ,wood stove, and lots of beds and cots, for only $30 per night!

Here, Grandma Rosalie briefs the kids on the rules of the campout Abby & Addie watch as Grandpa's dutch oven dessert bakes on the fire...
Heidi in the smoke
Bubby snuggled with Daddy Thursday night/ Friday morning

during the big thunder & lightening storm

I did Addie's hair in the morning Grandma served a delicious skillet breakfast of eggs with sausage and fruit...
...and the kids fueled up for our big Independence Day hike
James loves fruit snacks!

Here are all the kids in their CAMP LIBERTY T-shirts...

Abby, Marshall, Heidi, James & Addie

My three cutie punkin's!

Our Family at the trail head
Daddy & Heidi along the trail
A beautiful meadow recovering from the 2006 fires
make way for horses!
We reached the bridge after a little more than a mile

Abby over the Boulder River
Marshall over the Boulder River
Addie on the bridge
On the way back down the trail, we cooled off in a creek!

James chased a butterfly all the way down the road and into the grass
My hikin' boy
After our hike we had quiet time--naps, painting, legos
It was a nice afternoon, and it got overcast so it wasn't too hot.
Later, after Uncle Mike's afternoon fishing lessons, we had a yummy dutch oven chicken pot pie!
And after dinner we tried out our awesome new camp shower!

Addie and Abby got really clean and really giggly
Game night after showers and s'mores
and forest-safe "fireworks"...
It was a WONDERFUL trip!
Thanks for planning it, Mom & Dad Melin!!!
Here's Swingley Road on the way home...awesome!
Bye, bye, West Boulder! (That's the Brokaw's on the right)
Those California fires are giving Livingston lots of haze...sunset Saturday night
Happy Trails!


Dear Loved Ones,                                                                                                                         1...