Friday, September 28, 2012

This Moment::Josh, Karen, & Aiden::Sept 28


~That Michael and I are feeling so much better than we were! Having a stomach flu is awful!

~ Glad that the family could come over on Tuesday to celebrate birthdays, and that I got this great pic of Josh, Karen, and Aiden. :)

~ That even though it is turning fall (which will quickly lead to winter) and I'm not excited about that, my favorite tv shows are back. I love hanging out with those people once a week!

~ Maren's son is back from his LDS mission safe and sound. You can read about her excitement on And check back to see the update about him being home.

Have a great day!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Emily is 16! :: Sept 27

I can't believe how fast kids grow up!

When she was little, you could always find her in her dress walking around with an umbrella. It always reminded me of a Victorian lady in her dress and parasol. :)

When she was about 3, we had a litter of puppies that would follow her around. Sometimes they would tug on her clothes. She would scold them and shoo them away.

As a little girl, she loved to play with dolls. She loved being the mommy. I always pictured her with a houseful of little children.

She has always been a drama queen. :) When she was little and my mom would send care packages to the kids with treats and toys in it, I would always put Emily on the phone because her excitement would let my mom know how much the stuff was enjoyed. She has always felt everything to the max, happy or sad.

Once time, at church, I had to take her out because she was being noisy. As we exited, she shouted out "Save me!"

Another time in church, as she was inching away from us, I stood up to pick her up and take her out. She saw me coming and bolted toward the front. She ran toward the Bishop and hugged his legs. He scooped her up. She smiled at me. Saved by the Bishop!

Everyone loved Emily. She had red hair with a few curls, chubby cheeks, porcelain skin, and blue eyes. She has always been beautiful.

She always has loved her grandmas. She loves to be spoiled. She loves to be played with. She has always made lots of friends wherever we went. She has always been loved by everyone.

I hope that you have a wonderful birthday today Em! We all love you very much!

With love,

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Reminding myself to be thankful... ::Sept 22

Today I ran everywhere.

It started by going acorn hunting. I found out that today is officially autumn, so Steve & I drove to the foothills where we take our evening walk and took pictures of acorns. I love acorns and feel that they are the epitome of harvest season, not for me, but for the squirrels. I also think they're cute :)

Then Emily & I went the mall to shop for Emily's 16th Birthday Present. She knows what she is getting & was there to try everything on, but she can't wear any of it 'til Tuesday. She thinks it's a bummer, but she is very excited :)

Amber went with us, and after finishing our shopping we stopped and got a footlong sandwich from Subway & split it in thirds. We also got pretzel bites. I already knew that I am a fan; today, I found that we all LOVE pretzel bites, and we bought a second bucketful. :)

Then we went to buy Amber some jeans. Two stores later, she had her jeans.

Then, I bought everyone shakes at a little local diner...because I hadn't consumed enough calories, I guess. :/

Then, we drove up the canyon to see how the fall color change is coming along. It is coming along very nicely, I'd say. Lots of yellows, some oranges and a few reds. I found the perfect spot for taking pictures, which is good, because I've got a senior pic shoot coming up :)

Got home and had to clean out the van, vacuum it, and wash it. It hasn't been done since we went camping, so it really needed to be done! It will haul many teenagers come Tuesday evening when we celebrate Emily's birthday. I'm glad that it is done, but it was a major pain!

And now I'm home. And Josh and Karen just came to pick up Aiden. And it is almost bedtime. It has been a good and productive day, and I am totally ready to relax for a while!

Take care of yourself and have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thankful Thursday::Sept 20

I'm finding I'm missing homeschooling. I've got Mike, and that's good, but not the same. I miss looking for the best books whether texts or workbooks, teaching concepts, assigning reading books and listening to them talk about what we're learning together.

I would love to go back to school and get my teaching license. I don't know that right now is the right season for it... but I look forward to it when it can happen.

Today was a bill paying day. We had more money left over than I thought we would, which means that we need to budget instead of flying by the seat of our pants, and maybe even sticking some away for a rainy day.

Also today, I went out and harvested all of the Walla Walla Onions I planted last spring. Some are big and some are small, and I'm pleased and happy for every one of them.

I chose Walla Walla's because they were my mom's favorite. Sometimes it is nice choosing her favorites to have because it makes me feel closer to her. Every once in a while I get her favorite candy bar too: A Bing Cherry candy. They are not my favorite, but I eat one every few months just to feel a little more connected to her. Isn't it funny the things that we do? And really, I wouldn't have it any other way!

Steve & our mechanic got our car up and running again. Steve started by buying a part off of with some credits that he had there; the part ended up costing us $4 out of pocket. You just can't beat that! And then our mechanic checked the check engine light codes and replaced a connector. Now, the car is running smoothly again. Yay!!

There have been no more incidents with Michael's tube and I am sooooo glad about that!!

I'm craving warmer, more substantial food now that fall is coming on. I need to write out a menu, buy the ingredients, and start cooking again I think. Even if I just 1/2 the amount I usually make since I have picky picky children. *I* need homemade food. Perhaps Steve & Bill will appreciate it even if no one else does.

I should take a picture of my onions and show them off :)

Anyway, have a wonderful day today!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thankful::Sept 19

There was a time when I used this blog as a type of journal. Not a diary, where I told all of my deep, dark secrets, but kind of a travelogue for the family to see.

Then, as pieces of my sky started falling, I clammed up and just showed pretty pictures.

Not sayin' nothin' at all if you don't have nothin' nice to say is good advice, but there is always *something* nice to say, isn't there?! So that is where I'm going next; I am going to have a thankful thing to say every single day.

1) I am very thankful that everything worked out with Michael's g-tube. He pulled it out and it was out for a few hours; it didn't go back in as easily as it should have and I panicked, but Steve kept his cool and got it back in where it needed to be. I took Michael to the doc the next day and the doc pronounced everything fine. So thankful!

2) Things seem to be going well with my kids for a minute. I'll take it!

3) Steve & I are in a really great place in our marriage, and as everyone whose been married knows, and even those who haven't but pay attention to real life, couples have ups and downs. We are not immune. So glad to be where we are right this minute. I appreciate him very much!

4) I always thought menopause would be a great thing. So, since I am perimenopausal, I should be thankful right?! And, those hot flashes have helped keep me warm on chilly days lately. ;)

5) The pitbull that visited us for a few hours on Saturday found his way home. At least that is what I like to think. Animals, especially strays, can really tug at my heartstrings. He was such a nice boy, I hope that he is safely at home right now.

6) That Bill is doing well. He had his moment a few weeks ago, but his medicine seemed to keep the confusion from liver failure at bay. The docs can re-evaluate for a liver transplant in 21 months.

7) Steve & I have been able to take walks a few times a week. My foot pain kept us from that for a while, but all is well for now.

8) I have taken pics 5 times this year for people other than my kids. Twice for my kids' dance group (Christmas and Spring Concert) and 3 friends/family. AND I have two more friends who are interested in having me take their Senior's pic. Very exciting!

9) I am thankful to reconnect with friends and family on facebook & in real life. It is nice to catch up and keep in touch.

10) I am thankful for a nice, warm house. I'm thankful that it is cute and that it has enough land with it to have a small, backyard farm. It all needs work, but I think that is an ongoing process.

I hope that you have a wonderful day! I'm very grateful and thankful for you who read my blog and comment. It has kept me going in the past and is something that I need. :)


Sunday, September 9, 2012

An Announcement and an Anniversary::September 9

This makes my 957th post on this blog. Very cool! So, probably before next year at this time, I will be writing my 1000th post. Amazing! I'll have to have a give-away when that post comes up. What to give away?.....

Anyway, aside from that, I have some more excellent news: I am going to have another grandchild! Karen is pregnant with #2 and is due March 29. I am so excited!! I really hope it is a girl... but I will be happy with a little boy too. I just hope that whatever it is it is a happy and healthy little baby.

Let's review for a moment: Aiden was born in December of 2009. This baby is going to be born close to March 29th 2013. Aiden will be 3 years and 3 months old when the baby is born.

Josh was born in December of 90, and Jared was born March of 94 (the new baby is actually due the day before Jared's birthday). Aiden and the new baby will have almost the exact age difference as Josh and Jared. It tripped me out when I heard that at the doctor's office. Crazy!! I hope that Aiden and the new baby will be as great of friends as their dad and uncle are.

Oh my heck!! I have to start working on a quilt for the new baby. I totally spaced that until just this second! Hey April, want to go fabric shopping w/ me soon? Maybe I have a little time, because I would like to know if it is a girl or boy first.... but then on the other hand, I've had babies that the docs thought were one sex on the ultrasound and then the baby came out it and was really the other sex.... Maybe I'll make the quilt more generic... but then, I just remembered that I have material for a baby girl quilt because I had convinced myself Aiden was really a girl.... Hmmmm.... I'll have to ponder this. (And, you just got to see firsthand how my brain thinks. It is a crazy place in there! ;)

Anyhow, I really needed this baby at this moment. It will keep me looking to the future in excitement.

And one more thing.... Today marks the 17th anniversary of when Steve & I first met. Wow there is a lot of water under that bridge! I'm very glad to be with him... even though at times I think he should take the teenagers far away and live in a separate house with them until they move out. Then he can move back in with me and we'll live happily ever after. I told Jared of that plan when the crap hit the fan earlier this week. His reply was, "But do you think he'll wait for you? I mean w/o finding someone else?" Huh. I hadn't ever stopped and considered that before. I guess I'm too egotistical to think that he'd ever want to leave me for good. Maybe I'll have to endure the teenagers after all.

Seriously though, I cannot imagine life w/o him. We have our differences, but it is like Yin and Yang. I might get frustrated at him for not being like me, and I'm pretty sure he feels the same way, but I'm wondering if those differences lend themselves to a good balance in our relationship.

This past year has been a tricky one. It hasn't been what I thought riding off in the sunset with my Prince Charming would be. A lot of crap has been thrown in our path that we didn't choose, which is what life with other people in it is just naturally like. The children have always added a twist that keeps us on our toes; teenagers bowl us over quite regularly. Through it, occasionally I'm ready to become a Buddhist Monk (I'd rather be a monk than a nun....I think they might let me be a monk if I begged enough....). Far away. Like in Tibet. Or maybe just be a cowboy like Toby Keith sings about.

It's just when I planned out family life, I didn't consider all of the rough terrain that comes with it. I just thought of cute babies that are warm and pink and smell good and that you can snuggle with. But the babies grow up. And have their own minds. And make choices that make me crazy. And I want to run away from home, but certainly NOT with the kids.

Long ago, Steve and I made a pact that if ever one of us wanted to run away from home we had to take the kids with us. It certainly keeps me from running away, because 99% of the time, it is the kids, *not* Steve, that I would be running from.

Heaven help us through the next few years until they are all grown up.

And yet, I encourage my children to have their own little bundles of joy.... maybe misery loves company? ;)

In any case, I certainly am glad that I met him. I'm glad that he cut his hair that morning and that we both went dancing that Saturday night back in 1994. He is just what I needed. And what I still need. This song is the themesong for that night:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Beautiful Blogger Award::September 7

GlowWorm, from over at Marvelous Pigs in Satin, gave me an award yesterday. (I am so excited! I haven't gotten an award in years, and can I tell you how much I love those things?!)

On her blog she wrote, "I’d like to pass the Beautiful Blogger Award to Melody because her blog is beautiful (she takes great pictures) and she puts so much of her loving heart into each post." Awww! Thanks GlowWorm! You've made my year!! (I also love to read her blog! I love the cool things that she creates, from her felt Nativity to altering her own clothes. And... her family is adorable. :)

And this is the Award itself:

I'm not sure how many people I'm supposed to give this award to, but I'm going assume 7, so here goes:

Carlie from The Evans Express

Katie-bo-batie from Dear Goodness

Maren from Stay at Home Mom Sisters

Stephanie from Ordinary Life Magic

Amanda from SouleMama

Heather from beauty that moves

Jodi from Che and Fidel

**As a side note, I have other bloggy friends that I love to read their blogs but 1) either they haven't been blogging lately or 2) they don't like awards. Just so you know, I think about you anyway :)

So, to accept this award, I am supposed to tell 7 things about myself, so here goes:

1) I love gardening. You already know that, but I'll tell you a story that I don't think you've heard before. We'll call it "The Reason Why I Garden" or alternately "How My Husband Tricked Me Into Gardening". Okay, maybe it wasn't a trick, but it was definitely a magical happening.

So, Steve grew up with a garden, I mean it *is* what Mormons do: grow vegetables, bottle vegetables, cook meals using bottled vegetables. I, on the other hand, did not. I grew up with my mom having lots and lots and lots of house plants. When I grew up and married, she, being sweet to me, gave me a lot of her plants under one condition: Don't kill'em. How hard could it be? A-hem. Well, the whole lot died, and thus started my career as a serial plant killer.

Enter Steve. Setting: Monday evening on a 120 acre farm in South Central Kentucky. He thought it would be a great idea to plant a garden. So, being the supportive wife I am, or at least once was, I gathered the children, the rake, the hoe, the shovel, some spades, and set out for the wilderness (AKA: the garden plot). Steve brought the seeds. Steve was happy, the children were happy, I was there.... Steve planted, the children planted, and all turned to me. It was my turn: I declined. After all, how could I plant a seed I knew I would ultimately kill? Steve wouldn't take no for an answer. I protested, but to no avail. So, kicking and screaming (at least in my mind), I dropped the pea in the hole Steve had dug, and he smiled and covered it up. Sure, he could be happy; he had no idea what I was capable of.

The next week, he made us go and see the garden plot. The children laughed and hooted. Success! Their pea seed had grown into a little plant! I admired everyone's plant, and then we went to see mine. It had grown too! Wahoo!! A Gardener was born that day. (Thanks, Steve :)

2) I still struggle with my place in my birth family. I was born to be the baby in the family with a 10 year gap between my sister and me, who is the closest in age to me. My two brothers were 12 & 14, or close to) when I was born. Everyone moved out by the time I was 8. Then I was "the only", or at least it felt that way.

Siblings would come to visit, but mostly visited with my mom. My brother in law would play games with me instead of hanging out with my sister and mom; I loved that!

After my parents divorce, my dad remarried and had the sister I'd asked for for my Christmas present when I was 4.... he was a bit late since I was 13 and my mom and I had moved before she was born.

When I look into the birth order thing, I'm unsure whether I'm the baby or the only. (Sorry, Charla - In my head, I'm still "the baby", but I love you! ;) I have similarities and differences to both.

You know the place in the family that has me the most confused though? The middle kids. Those are the ones I'm raising right now. Those people are totally different from the babies, the onlys, and the oldests.

Which brings me to another thought: Do oldests, babies, and onlys ever hook up with middles? If you are one who has, PLEASE comment and tell me - it's something I've wondered a lot about & I'd love to know! ...

3) ...because I have only dated/been interested in the oldest of the family. They might be #2, second only to a sister, but then, see, they are still the oldest BOY in the family.

It is an interesting conundrum.

4) I'm not a girly girl. Nor have I raised my daughters to be girly girls. I much prefer the kick butt herione. In my book of life, there is no need for a manicure: how would I pull weeds, shovel manure, open bales of hay with long nails? And let's face it, they wouldn't last long anyway.

So the only nails I paint are on my toes. Because I don't *do* anything with those digits.

Tino, my son-in-law, saw the preview for Brave and told Amber, "I think that was your mom as a little girl." Very flattering!

I've felt sorry for Steve that I'm not more of a girly girl, but then brought it to his attention that it was his own darn fault that he liked me. After all, throughout his lifetime, the girls he liked in movies were Princess Lei and Jessica from The Man from Snowy River. He prefers Katharine Hepburn to her sister Audrey. I guess he brought it all on himself.

5) I prefer TV episodes to movies. They are shorter, for one, but mostly the characters become friends I enjoy hanging out with... in a stalker kind of way. And when I am feeling down or life has thrown me a curve ball, I don't want to watch anything new; I prefer my old friends best.

6) This is the longest post I've written in years!

7) I really appreciate that you stuck with me this long! You are awesome!! You should *seriously* be given a prize. Tell you what, if you've read this, leave a comment & tell me. Then email me privately (merriemelody39atgmaildotcom) w/ your address and I'll send you a 4x6 print/postcard.

Thanks again, GlowWorm, this has been fun! :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day Weekend Camping::September 4

It is a tradition for our family to go camping on Labor Day. I started it several years ago and told the kids to always plan for it even when they were older and moved away. It is our family reunion of sorts.

This year, everyone but Josh made it, and even Josh was with us for a little while on Saturday.

On Sunday, we all took a drive to Devil's Kitchen, which is something that I like to do and the family humors me by going along. Every year when we are there, I have a pic of us taken. This year was no different; there was a couple there, and I asked the lady to take a pic for us, so this year even I'm in the picture! :)

The trip was cold and rainy and there were lots and lots of caterpillars everywhere. Karen, Emily, Michael, Aiden, and I were at home about as much as we camped, I think. We went back and forth between camp and home, drying off and warming up. Sunday warmed up and stopped raining... mostly. We hiked to a cave, went for a walk to see a beautiful vista, sat and ate and visited and played, and then went to Devil's Kitchen.

I'm finding that the older I get, the more I want comfort. I'm seriously thinking that we need a travel trailer! The old grey mare just ain't what she used to be!

We chose Labor Day for our reunion to celebrate Steve's and my first meeting on September 9, 1995. We will have been together for 17 years in just 6 days. We had a whirlwind meeting/courtship/marriage. Met on Sept 9th. 1st date on Sept 16th. Engaged Oct. 20th. Married Nov. 22nd. Crazy!! We both knew that the Lord had brought us together and felt certain that we were supposed to stay together. How could we argue w/ God?? So, here we are 17 years later. Our house is getting emptier bit by bit. Remember, I had 3 kids from a previous marriage, so those kids, except Jared, are all grown up, married, and moved out. Soon, we'll be back down to just 3 kids at home, just like when we were first married. ;)

Today is a doctor day for Bill. It is time to visit the liver doc and see what he has to say.

I hope that you have a wonderful day today!