Friday, January 30, 2009

To Pay Attention

Last night we had a small but delightful Primary Teacher Improvement meeting, followed by some refreshments and chatting. Everything went well, I think; I felt edified and relieved when it was done (I feel uncomfortable leading these meetings when everyone intheroom has far more experience than I do, but it's my responsibility now, so I try...). I got in the car with all my stuff and the left over refreshments, out of the howling, freezing wind, and when I turned on the car, City Arts & Lectures was on NPR (I love Linda Hunt's voice; she and Robin Young & Garrison Keillor have the most soothing voices in radio). The poet Mary Oliver was reading her work and I was mesmerized. I sat in the car for 25 minutes, eating baby carrots and celery slivers listening to some of the most beautiful poetry I have ever heard. I feel pretty lame for never exploring her work before, although I have read a few of her poems. Amazing. I feel so much better today after having that meeting and hearing that poetry. I feel like catching some of that show was a little hug from Heavenly Father for trying to do what I am supposed to be doing, even though it's hard for me...thanks for the thanks...

Here is some Mary Oliver for you on such a winter's day. And you can watch the official "warm-me-up-song" of January. TGIF!

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean--the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down--
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed,
how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
-Mary Oliver


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bed Head

Yesterday's infusion went smoothly, although they were running late and it took up my whole afternoon. Instead of catching up on podcasts (after all, I can watch Glenn on Fox now--did you see him the past two days with Blogojevich? Blago is straight- up sociopathic!), I read February's Domino Magazine because Zooey Deschanel was on the cover and I love her. There was this column about good drugstore buys and the columnist's style just cracked me up. She wrote a blurb something to the effect of: "Long, Hot Baths: I am so over bath crystals because epsom salts rock and they're only $3. somthin' at the drug store. I just add essential oils--jasmine when it's date night, lavender when I hate everyone." It made me laugh because I relate on so many levels.

My new haircut is a challenge. I may go have it "adjusted" if I can't style it properly today (I have to lead a teacher training meeting tonight and I don't want to look like Dan Zanes as I have the rest of the week due to (a) many hot flashes causing me to sweat, hence making my hair super curly, then (b) 70mph winds blowing it ever-which-way). I'll post pix later.

The kids are doing great, Rich is awesome, Life is good. I have tons more to write, but it's time to get ready for escuela. Be back soon...


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

everyone deserves a happy birthday... e-friend, kelly, wants to celebrate her 31st birthday by donating 31 newborn kits to the humanitarian aid center. wanna help? click here...not only will kelly have a happy bday, but so will lots of teeny tiny babies born in poverty.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Nana Lyn...

Happy 78th Birthday, Nana Lyn! from MelinFamily on Vimeo.


If anyone in the whole wide universe should have a perfect record of paying his taxes (HIS"PATRIOTIC DUTY" according to our new VP), should it not be the secretary of the treasury? I mean...WTHeck????
PS: Dear Senator Baucus, you don't represent ANY of the Montanans I know--who is voting for you and...WHY? Good luck sorting out this financial mess with a dude who can't do his own taxes in charge. Love, JM

Perhaps I should NOT watch the news while I fold laundry...

Stay tuned to see the joint chiefs of staff open a can of whoopA on Obama's exec order. My vote? just open the gates and let 'em live in Cuba!

1:00pm UPDATE:

Look what we did for lunch today...

Reward Pizzas for Lunch from MelinFamily on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

God Bless America

We had fun watching the inauguration today. James got to say his favorite words...
(James is raising his hand like Obama here)
...and Heidi got to march around to marine band music ("Mom, this sounds liek music for kids! This is music for kids to dance!").

It is indeed a new day. Can't wait to see how it pans out.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday... my new niece, Li'l Lizzie! My sis Dana almost had her in the car! Fer Real! Click here to check out the cuteness. Congratulations, Dana and Rodney (and to Evan and Leelee)!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Three-Day Weekend!

I'm having way too much fun with my kiddos today. They are just now going to bed because we took long naps and tomorrow is MLK Day and nobody has to get up except poor Daddy! I've got fab carrot cake muffins in the oven for breakfast tomorrow (we just trashed the kitchen making them), and while they've been baking, I just uploaded most of Heidi's photos from her little camera to her new blog, so go check out The Mighty Heidi Chronicles!

Friday, January 16, 2009

TGIF with My Peeps

(This is mostly for Nana and Nana Lyn--luv-n-miss ya!)Silly Heidi, Me, & James hangin' out downstairs
Three's Company

James reading Polar Express


Heidi loves to "squoosh faces."

Sweetie Pie!
Talk to Heidi's Hand!
Have a fun weekend!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Vintage 70s

LOVE this post.
Love these books:

My Pre-school Fave, now auctions at about $75 per copy:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No Superman

I am practically making myself sick with sentimentality this week. I've had a facebook reunion with some of the best friends from my formative years and I've traveled down memory lane an awful lot. Of course that lane leads to a place where adult life was just beginning and emotions and experiences were fresh & more intense...I'm amazed at how far I traveled between 15 and 30 (it's been pretty awesome SINCE 30, too, but much cozier and less crazy, thank heaven).

Then mix in my reunion with my friends at Sacred Heart, and I am just a ball o' mush! The second episode that aired tonight was so awesome, like the good ol' days. I laughed out loud when JD's inner voice said, "This is getting too serious--hurry! Kick her! Kick her in the head!" because I think I have actually seen that thought cross the mind of a few boys in certain conversations. And when JD took Elliot's hand at the end, my heart skipped a beat (I told you I am WAY too attached to these characters). I felt simultaneous exhilaration and dread because, dude--how many times have I been RIGHT THERE?

How many times have I KNOWN what the outcome was going to be but went for the ride anyway? THAT, I thought to myself--THAT is how you end up dating for 15 years before you're with someone you can mary! A2 sprung to mind immediately, of course, thinking of how, after TEN YEARS of on-and-off, he took my hand and said, "Tell me again why you can't marry me?" and I was so flustered, I couldn't remember all my good reasons except to say, "We'd kill each other" and then we almost did. And after that, there was my flyboy [read: playboy] A4, who landed his plane in SLC and came by my office for a friendly visit. I thought it would be lunch, but he stayed and watched me work for 3 hours, then took my hand as we walked to the parking lot (huh?!) and lunch turned into three days of manic inseparability. Oh, silly me.

Of course, I am totally rooting for JD and Elliot. They've totally earned it, but my own life makes me cynical. In my world, the right thing was effortless and obvious, drama-free, and it happened so fast my head spun (por ejemplo: I met Rich on 9/23/00...14 months later, we were married and had a child). I guess the point is that I hope everyone (even my imaginary TV friends and my far-away cyber-reunion friends) has a happily ever after like mine, whatever road it took to get there.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Since We've Been Home

The night after we got home from Arizona, Grandpa & Grandma Melin had us over for dinner and opening our gifts from them and Uncle Mike (who had our family for this year's Melin Gift exchange). It was so nice not to have to make dinner while we were unloading from our trip, and the gifts were amazing!Grandma Rosalie and James, with Grandpa in the background
Heidi and Addie with their cool new puzzles
James & Addie opening gifts
Richie with his cozy new hot and slippers from Mike...perfect for when we keep the house at 62 degrees.
James got a cool magnetic Thomas book--like I always say, Uncle Mike is the best gift buyer--for someone with no kids, he's really got his finger on the pulse of the wee ones!
On New Years Day, unlce Mike invited everyone out to his cabin to sled (with the cool new sleds, hats, gloves, and cocoa he bought us for Christmas). I was sick, so I sent the kids off with Daddy and I went to bed. Rich recorded the fun for me in great detail on the camera (there are fun videos I need to upload, too).
In the back of Mike's Truck: Uncle Mike, Rosalie, Heidi, James, Addie, and Danny.
Grandma with our little cousin (& neighbor), Hannah Beth.
My sweet Family: Heidi, Rich, James, and Addie.
James riding Uncle Davy's snowmobile.
James sledding.
Look at my MIL! Grandma Rosalie looks like she's 20, running around out in the snow with her grandkids!
Rich & James on Davy's snowmobile (snowmobiles make sledding parties so much more fun!)
Cocoa break!: James, Rosalie, and Heidi warm up by the fire.
Sweet Baby James
Here's a typical weekday shot: Addie's at school, Daddy's at work, Heidi is playing Barbies waiting for preschool, James is playing trains, and mommy is folding laundry.
Heidi & James in the basement family room.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

It's a Miracle!

I guess I really didn't know how "inflamed" I was because I am feeling so much better today in ways I never expected. The infusion went so well yesterday--it takes about an hour and a half and I just chill there in my little recliner, listening to podcasts with a needle in my hand. I loathe IVs and have been known to pass out while they try to find my rolling veins, but the infusion lady is a total pro and she got me on the first stick with absolutely no burning or bruising (yet).T here have been a few side effects (like my face feels sunburned today), but Rich could see my eyes less swollen this morning already, and I can feel my body moving around less painfully--YAY!

Of course I am working in the nutritional, herbal, and exercising parts, too, and I am feeling a lot more optimistic. This experience so far has given me a little more faith in medicine--the relief is great. Now I just have to come down off the meds, which can be the hard part, I am told. I'll get infused every Wednesday afternoon until February 11th. On Feb 16th I see my endcrinologist in Billings and on Feb 26th I see the opthamologist to measure my eyes and see if we're out of the active phase yet. FOR FUN!

With my new-found energy, I cleaned the kitchen, finished the laundry, and got Christmas all neatly packed into Rubbermaid bins for Rich to pack up to the attic (aside: Rich left the ladder to the attic down in the garage the other day and while I wasn't looking, James totally climbed up there and was dinkin' around in the rafters--scared me to death!). To reward myself, I am going to join Rich in Bozeman tonight. While he leads the Stake Preparedness Meeting I am going to Costco and Target and Michaels to replenish food storage, meal plan, and get some fun things for Primary.

Later I hope to upload some fun pictures of our recent doin's...Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Knee Deep

Hi, loves!

I am writing entries and posting (awesome) photos in my mind, but in real life I am still caring for flu-ridden babies and preparing to be infused today (I don't even have to travel! They have a tiny little infusion center right here in our local hospital, which is smaller than my elementary school). I will get around to blogging when things are back on schedule around here.

Meanwhile, here is something wonderful I wish I had written. My offering today will be a mountain of clean laundry and a million stories read to sick children. :)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Smiling's My Favorite

Anybody got The Winter Blah's? If you've got 15 minutes, I've got the atidote.
One of my young-womanhood heroes, Camilla Kimball, gave me one of my mottos:
THIS VIDEO (link from Amy Buchert) reminded me of it. Watch it. You won't be sorry.

Friday, January 02, 2009

New Eyes for the New Year

I wrote this note to a friend this morning:

"I am so excited to tell you about the books that we have been reading this month! Because Richard is the Stake Preparedness Leader, he has felt compelled to study the Last Days, the prophets' cousel, etc. His dad lent us a series of books that we have read over the holidays (now that's festive! NOT!). The author, Roger K. Young, has a website here and THIS is the first book in the series (the longest). Seriously--if I had the cash I would buy these books and send them to all my loved ones. I read the first one while Rich was driving to AZ, so now at night he reads the first one and I just finished the second one over Wednesday and Thursday nights, so I am on to #3, and then we are going to read "Approaching Zion" by Hugh Nibley and "New Lies for Old" by Anatoly Golitsyn . I am going to blog about this, but I thought of you because of our recent conversation. I am starting to really see things with new eyes--see a bigger picture and put things in perspective. I can already feel my priorities re-organizing, and I am seeing how totally lame and "worldly" some of my priorities have been. As we've read about what will be required, I can see that there is so much more we need to do spiritually and physically to be ready. I don't feel alarmed or scared, I just feel motivated to move our family in another direction; I feel peace and urgency at the same time."

So, yeah...I can't help but see things a lot differently since studying the things that are to come over the next few years. For example, a lot of our Christmas celebrations seem a little lame or excessive, and I am feeling so compelled to follow the word of wisdom better (I know I am one of the last of my friends to jump on this bandwagon, but I have some poor habits to shake...I look forward to putting fruits of the tree and field to work in my life and finding some great treasures). Wanna help? Wanna join me? I have a lot of work to do to change our lifestyle.


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...