Thursday, December 30, 2010

What's in YOUR Time Capsule?

Remember this from last year?

We celebrated "East Coast New Year" with our (mine & Jill's) kids at 10pm at my mom's house. Just before the big countdown, we gathered the kids around the table and asked them two questions: (1) What are you going to try to do better in 2010/ How will you try to be more like Jesus? and (2) What's your best memory of 2009? I am posting their answers here so we can look back on them at our 2010 New Years Party, where ever we are. We can check our progress and ask ourselves the same questions every year. If you want to join in (we missed so many of our cousins and would love for you to play along), post your family's answers to these questions as a comment on this post (or send me a link), and we'll all open our 'time capsule' next NYE!

Lyndi Alice, age 10: Be nicer to my siblings. Don't grind my teeth.
Heidi Lynn, age 5: Bake cookies for Santa in my Easy Bake. Don't scream in the house.
Jack Elliott, age 5: No sucking my fingers. No slamming doors.
Addie Rose, age 8: Try not to cry when I get frustrated and say words instead. Do my Faith in God book.
Isabelle Marie, age 7.5: Help my mom keep the house clean and give her hugs.
James Ole, age 3: " a SUNBEAM!"
(Ben was playing downstairs)

Lyndi Alice: Addie's Baptism
Addie: My baptism day
Isabelle: Grandma Petersen's funeral because now she is back in heaven.
Jack: My birthday
Heidi: Riding an airplane and other fun stuff.

So how did we do, guys?

Heidi did bake lots of cookies in 2010, but she's still screaming in the house, especially lately because she's stir crazy on winter break! But she has been doing much better, so good for you, Lynners.

Addie is doing better expressing her feelings rather than crying, although she's still our most emotional offspring. She has done about a quarter of her Faith in God book but needs to catch up memorizing Articles of Faith.

James has been a great Sunbeam this year!


Petersens, leave a comment and tell us how you did. Then on New Year's we'll post our answers/ goals for 2010, okay? Everybody on board? Leave a comment!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Chaos

Here are the actual Christmas pix of our family. I called this post chaos because that's what I see in the pix--my house has been upside down for a week, but I am trying to enjoy the happy-crazy of being home on Christmas break. On to the photos... Addie opening the first gift of Christmas morning...she and Heidi couldn't WAIT to see what Aunt Lisa sent!
(Santa doesn't wrap at our house, so they had already found and played with their Santa gifts--Wii games, dolls, pillow pets, etc.)
This picture is just for Lisa...Heidi opening her beading kit!

James loves this build-a-mighty-machine kit Daddy picked out for him!
Heidi, our animal lover, is thrilled about her new dalmatian furreal puppy.

Grandma Melin made each of the kids one of these adorable frames for their rooms.
James looks excited here, but he'd soon be a little deflated by a new pair of snowpants!

Addie opening her picture from Grandma.
The girls got new dress coats...t
hey look positively Dickensian (1850s London-Chic) in them.

Rich with his new TShirt Quilt
The kids got a telescope from Daddy, but so far its been too overcast to see much.

Rich and I got a pressure cooker from Angie & Davey...
Here's Addie playing "Babysitting Mama" on the Wii.
Santa wants her to get ready for the new baby!
After gifts and cinnamon rolls and playing, we met Gram, Gramp, and Mike at the Community Christmas Dinner. It was delicious and nice to be with our townsfolk on the holiday. We're usually traveling, so it was a nice mellow day!
The kids on Boxing Day, on the way to church.

I'm kind of embarassed about how much I like this picture.
My kids are kind of awesome.
We had a little "second Christmas" last night (12/28) when we got our gifts from Nana's house
(Matt & Amie went to Utah for Christmas, so mom sent our gifts back up to Helena with them, and Mom & Dad Melin had to go to the VA Hospital in Helena yesterday, so they brought the gifts home for us--thanks to everyone in that chain!!!)
Also, notice we are watching Sixteen Candles on Lifetime. Nice.
James & Heidi

The kids got together in Heidi's room to play with the cool animals Nana sent...
Thanks, Mom & Mark!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Night Before Christmas 2010

This morning while Rich was repairing his car, I FINALLY tied his T-Shirt quilt. Back in June I starting stashing away all his old T-shirts and Mom Melin helped me make them into this quilt eventually.There are lots of shirts from BYU-Hawaii and surf shops, 2 from our honeymoon, 2 from our Europe trip, some concert shirts and some Summerfest shirts. A few of his faves were up in the attic (Old concert shirts like Def Leppard and Nirvana, the "These Pretzels are Making me Thirsty" shirt, the George Anderson's Yellowstone Angler shirt that went on everyone's missions...I'm sad I missed them, but there's always another year...)

I also ironed on the kids' school pix from this year and a wedding pic just for fun.

The back is one of those super soft furry blankets from Costco and it's a queen size! It's so warm and snuggly--perfect camping quilt!

Later in the afternoon, we went out to the boathouse at the ranch and made pinecone birdfeeders with Grandma Melin.

While the kids made the feeders, Rich and I talked to the Posties in Australia, who had just finished opening their gifts on Christmas morning down under!

Heidi gave Grandma some stained-glass ornaments we made this morning.

We went out and hung the bird feeders around the ranch.

Birdfeeder on pine tree

James on Daddy

Heidi, Mommy, and Addie walking back to the boathouse

Addie with Elk antlers

Heidi with Elk antlers


After the ranch, we all went over to Chico Hot Springs. Everyone went swimming except for me. I stayed in and read and ordered the pizza and salad for dinner!

Heidi swimming

Addie swimming

James with Grandpa and Grandma swimming

Fuzzy Daddy with Addie

Heidi says no to floaties!

James and Daddy enjoying the pool!


We came home, opened our new jammies, read the Christmas story, and watched a Finnish movie called "Christmas Story" (we LOVE that movie--add it to you Netflix cue, it's beautiful!). Rich and I just finished our elfing for tonight and we wish you all the merriest Christmas tomorrow (well, it's today in half the country)!!!

Merry Christmas from Montana!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

So God Imparts to Human Hearts...

Overnight Monday and into Tuesday morning, I was terribly sick. I could barely lift my head, I had thrown up so much I pulled muscles and my throat hurt. There were so many lovely Christmas things I wanted to be doing. By noon, I was feeling really sorry for myself and I laid in bed crying. Then I noticed on my nightstand the gift my friend Debbie had given me the night before. It's the book, "In The Dark Streets Shineth" by David McCullough. I decided to watch the enclosed DVD and it really lifted my spirits. It was so beautiful!

That's only PART of the performance--the other part talks about the song, "I'll Be Home For Christmas", the biggest song of 1942. One thing that struck me is how short and sweet WWII seems now, after being at war for nine years. Not that it wasn't horrible, or even MORE horrible in a lot of ways, but it's just a different perspective than the one I had when I first studied WWII in high school. I was also so moved by the faithful, inspiring words from FDR adn Churchill that Christmas. It would be so lovely to be unified as a nation, to gather together on New Year's Day and ask God to forgive us of our failings and bless us in our endeavors in the new year. Here's a sweet bit from Churchill to ponder this Christmas Eve:

"Here, in the midst of war, raging and roaring over all the lands and seas, creeping nearer to our hearts and homes, here, amid all the tumult, we have tonight the peace of the spirit in each cottage home and in every generous heart. Therefore we may cast aside for this night at least the cares and dangers which beset us, and make for the children an evening of happiness in a world of storm. Here, then, for one night only, each home throughout the English-speaking world should be a brightly-lighted island of happiness and peace.

"Let the children have their night of fun and laughter. Let the gifts of Father Christmas delight their play. Let us grown-ups share to the full in their unstinted pleasures before we turn again to the stern task and the formidable years that lie before us, resolved that, by our sacrifice and daring, these same children shall not be robbed of their inheritance or denied their right to live in a free and decent world.

"And so, in God's mercy, a happy Christmas to you all."

Know what? My home DOES feel like a brightly-lighted isalnd of happiness and peace. Yay that.

Here's another sweet bit I wanted to share with you. We got a card from Cousin Steven serving in the Oregon Portland mission. He has no way of knowing, but last week I posted on facebook how I felt that there is no better place or way to celebrate Christmas than as a missionary, a full-time representative of Christ, with His name on your chest and His Spirit in your heart and His angels round about you! Steven shared a corrollary thought: "I figured out why missions are so fun...because they're like Christmas! The best part of Christmas is remembering Jesus Christ and the other best part is serving other people. I get to do that full-time, so it's like Christmas every day for two years!" Awwww.

So have fun remembering and serving this Christmas! I am so grateful for loving family and Christlike friends who lift my burdens, who give my life meaning and bring Christ's love into my life every day.

Countdown to Christmas

On Tuesday night we went down to the high school to watch the Winans Elementary School Christmas Program, "Surfin' Santa."Santa takes a tropical vacation...
Heidi singing in the chorus.
Addie singing in the chorus.

Daddy & James in the audience.
After the program, Daddy took us out ofr yummy soup at The Pickle Barrel. It was a fun night!
Today (Thursday) was the first day of Christmas vacation. We decided to finish up our servic projects, which are also our Christmas gifts to Grandma & Grandpa Melin.
First we went to visit Addie's adopted Grandma Mayme at the nursing home, but she was in the hospital today.
There was a sweet dog there, though, keeping the residents company.
Addie hung snowflakes and left a note on Mayme's bed.

Heidi made little toys for cats at the animal shelter (she took old socks and stuffed them with fluff and catnip).

Here are the kids delivering the toys to the animal shelter.

They let Heidi take the toys in to the cats.

All three kids had fun playing with the cats.

Heidi is such a sweet animal lover!
After the shelter, we went to Town & Country market to get some Dole Fruit Bars (coconut & pomegranate--YUM!) on sale for our treat today. On the way out we saw our long-lost friends, Kelli, George, & Gracie Tyner (who moved to Billings last year). The kids freaked out--it was fun to see them. Now we are home watchign Christmas movies, playing dinosaurs, baking tollhouse cookies, waiting for Christmas to come! Hope you're VERY MERRY today, too!!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry & Bright

Last night (Friday) the kids had a Primary Christmas Party at the church. They sang some songs then went to their rotating "centers" where they learned more about Jesus' life and birth.

Here are Rosalie, Ashley and James at the little center where Addie and her friend Sarah (left) taught the younger kids about Jesus' baptism.
(It's so cute when Addie gets to be one of the big girls.)

Heidi with Kinley. They have the exact same birthday!
While the kids were at teh activity, Richard and I got a redbox movie and some gingerbread graham crackers (yes, they make those adn they are GOOD) for gingerbread houses. When we came back to the church, it was softly snowing adn there wer five deer munching on the grass and trees at the church. It was so beautiful! We sat adn watched them for about 10 minutes until we had to go in and get the kids.
Tonight (Saturday) We made gingerbread houses with the kids after dinner.
I helped James make his house.
The Mess.
Addie & her house

James' & my finished house.


Addie with her house

...and the tree in the back yard

Heidi with the best daddy in the world.

James & his house.

Heidi & her house.

Heidi's house.

Addie & me.
And now, dear readers, I give you what may be my favorite piece of Heidi's artwork EVER...
...aren't you excited????
here it is:

Merry Christmas!!!


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