Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Birthday to Aiden!!

My little grandson is one year old today!! I can't believe how quickly this past year has flown by!

I took a pic of him a couple of days ago and made into a wrapped canvas for his birthday. Shhhh! Don't tell him or his mommy and daddy. I'd hate to spoil the surprise.

But I'll give you a sneak peak of it:

He is such a cutie pie and I'm so glad that he is part of our family!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

P.S. Memo to me for New Year's Resolution: Paint this wall so that pictures taken along it are more flattering. I love taking pics here since it gets such great morning light, but I had never noticed that it is so... putty colored until now. And since my whole family is putty colored, it simply *isn't* the best color for the backdrop. Hmmm.... now to try to figure out just what color it should be.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


It is almost a New Year! Yay!! Are you still trying to figure out your New Year's resolutions too? OH! and do you also get a new word for the year that you want to work toward? I do both, and I find my mind reflecting often on what I want to become this next year.

The other day when I was pondering on resolutions, this song came on the radio that made me think about things from a whole different perspective.

You know, things like: how would I behave differently if I new that this year would be my last? It sounds dark and depressing, but if I want to make changes that make a difference in my life, perhaps by putting things in that perspective would encourage changes that matter. Things like showing love without reservation or hesitation. Like taking more time to see beauty instead of hustling on by in a hurried fashion. Like taking more time to play with my kids. You know, taking time for LIVING. The most important things that often get overlooked in my head, while losing 10 pounds or painting the house gets written down instead. And while those things are important too, and will probably get put on my list this year, I want my main focus to be making sure that those I love *know* that I love them.

On to lighter things :) Do you have any plans for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day? Any traditions that you look forward to all year?

I have to tell you that I lOvE New Year's! I love starting out with a blank slate! Five years ago I started a tradition that I look forward to every year: Steve & I go out to eat together, without the kids, maybe with another couple maybe not, and we make New Year's resolutions. It tends to be a quiet meal, without a whole lot of talking between us, but a whole lot of thoughts come out during it. When we feel like we have finished our lists, we talk over what we've written, and we share our goals, dreams, and aspirations for the next year. It is a great way for us to usher in a New Year.

A new family New Year's Eve tradition was started last year when Aiden was born. :) New Year's Eve will forever be a time for celebrating his coming into our lives, our family, and our world. What a great birthday for him!

Today my goal is to make treats for New Year's Eve and Day. Oh! And I can't forget to find a new book to read. Nothing has sounded appealing for a while. I go through these stages where nothing sounds good to read, BUT I know I am a happier, more well balanced person when I have something to read. So today, I need food for the body AND for the mind... have you got any recommendations?

And don't forget to let me know what your New Year's Eve and Day traditions are either, okay? Have a great day today!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Shiny and Bright & The Real Reason for the Season

I played with taking pics of the Christmas tree again. :) As I was viewing these pics for the first time, I noticed that this one, when cropped a bit, becomes a self-portrait. I don't know if you'll be able to see it as well as I can, since blogger does *not* like any pic over 400 pixels, but here it is:

You can see Jared and Matt in the background. I'm the one with the camera. :)

And is it just me, or do you love the "shiny" factor of the Christmas tree too? I love the lights and the reflection of the lights off of any surface. The garland and a shiny bulb does the job really well! :)

On another, much less cheerful note, a historical building in a nearby city caught fire last Friday. It had been a church building for many, many years, and then at some point became a community building that concerts, graduations, and many other events were held in.

When I heard about it, tears streamed down my face. It felt like I'd lost a close friend. I remember going to church there on special occassions, my daughter had a Christmas concert there once, and it has been a landmark for my entire life. It was built in the 1800's, took 15 years to build, and cost over $100,000 at the time. It was a gorgeous building, complete with towers and stained glass windows.

When the firefighters arrived on the scene Friday morning, it was already a four alarm fire and deemed too danger to fight on the inside of the building, so a defensive stance was taken and water was poured into the building to control and stop the flames. The roof collapsed about 4 hours after the fire started.

On Friday, a framed picture of Jesus Christ was seen from outside of the door, but it was not yet safe to enter to retrieve it. Yesterday when they went in for it, they found that the picture had smoldered, charring all of the angels around Jesus, but leaving only Jesus in the center of the charred, framed picture. It was transported to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint's headquarters in Salt Lake City to try to stabilize the picture. Provo City Councilwoman Cynthia Dayton was quoted to have said,
"I was so awestruck (by the painting) that I don't have words for it. I'm so grateful for the men and women who are willing to do that (fight fires) for us, and I think it is perfectly fitting that they should be standing around that painting. What a better way to celebrate Christmas, to celebrate the birth of Christ, than to have that at the center."

You can see the picture here, and read the original article here and an update here.

I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend, that the preparations you make for Christmas this week can be simply perfect and make wonderfully lasting memories, and that while in the midst of it all that you are able to feel the Joy and Peace of the season.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Blog-iversary to me! :)

Today marks the third year that I've been blogging. Here is my very first post explaining the name Merrie Melody:

Remember the Merrie Melodies from Warner Bros? If not take a look here:

Somedays my life feels a bit cartoony; and sometimes I really am merry. So Merrie Melody fits!

Today I feel a lot like Tom on "Tom and Jerry". I just need the toothpicks to keep my eyes open!

Steve and I are in the middle of a mini-remodel in the bathroom, so guess what I am doing today? I'll maybe pick up some paint for the walls this afternoon, and later this evening finish caulking the new tub surround before Matt's birthday party.

I finished a Christmas collage for a friend's Christmas cards this morning. It turned out really cute.

Now the kids are all awake and it's time to start my day for real.

Have a good one!

And you know what? My eyelids still need to be held open with toothpicks and I am again in the middle of a mini-remodel for the bathroom. I tell you, I'm on a hampster wheel! LOL!

I also saw pics of my kids with Santa from a couple of days later from that same year:

Compared to this year's pics w/ Santa:

So much change. So much growth. I'm in such a different place now than I was then. Hopefully it is a better place, and hopefully I'm a better person for all that has happened in the past three years.

After starting my blog on December 17th, my friend April reminded me that she and my blog share the same birthday. So as I wish myself a Happy Blog-iversary, I also wish April a very Happy Birthday!

And for you, my friends, I want you to know that I find myself thinking of each of you individually so very often. I worry about you, pray for you, laugh with you, and wish all the best for you. You have come into my life and made it a brighter place. I appreciate so much the opportunity that I've had to get to know each of you and have you be part of my life happenings. Thanks so much for your friendship!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Remembering Childhood Christmases: 2

Remembering Childhood Christmases: I remember that Santa used to always bring me Hubba Bubba or Bubblicious bubble gum in my stocking, and how I could hardly wait to go to my grandma's house and share a piece with my cousins.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Remembering Childhood Christmases: 1

Remembering childhood Christmases: I LOVED my Baby Alive that ate and drank and peed and pooped!.... but I made my sister change the diapers! bwahahaha! :D (Sorry Deb... but it does make me giggle! I guess you got your revenge when I had 6 kids of my own and now have a grandbaby to change too, huh? :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Angels we have heard on high

I came across this guy playing the broccoli on facebook and had to share. Very, very clever! :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

O Christmas Tree

I think I'm finally getting the hang of photographing the Christmas tree (Thanks, Steph! :)

Our tree has been up for a while, but every time I took a pic of it the color would be yellowish or reddish. When I was visiting Ordinary Life Magic, I asked Stephanie how she got such great pictures of her Christmas tree. She told me that she didn't use a flash and took pics in morning light. Well, I forgot to try taking pics until afternoon, but I think they turned out really good! :)

And on a very happy note, most of the presents are wrapped and under the tree! Ahhhh. I'm hoping to be more relaxed this year, and so far so good.

How is the Christmas preparations going at your house?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A visit to see Santa

I took the boys to go see Santa today. Matt thought he was too old to sit on Santa's lap, but I got some great pics of him and Michael together before we saw Santa.

In fact, it is kind of a funny story, but we missed Santa by 5 minutes and had to wait an hour for him to get back from lunch. In the meantime, we took some pics with the props of the North Pole that were at the mall. I got some good ones, too!:

(love Michael's tongue! haha!)

Oh my! This one melts my heart! Michael's adoring look at Matt, and Matt's protective look at Michael just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. :)

And this, my friends, is the *real* Santa:

He was so sweet to Michael. I told him that Michael had been looking forward all day to seeing him, and Santa said, "I've been looking forward to seeing you too." Aw!

We also visited Grandma at her nursing home. It was a perfect day for Michael. :)

I hope that you had a wonderfully magical day today too! :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Getting back to "normal"

It was interesting to read through my old blog posts last night while I was waiting for Josh and Karen to come and pick up Aiden.

I went back to Christmas of 2008.Very interesting to see that I actually *wrote* blog posts instead of just posting pics only. :) It was fun to see pics of my kids at that age, too. I also was astonished at how much better the pictures look now with my 8 mp camera instead of my old 3 mp; so much more color and so much sharper.

I didn't go to the Black Friday sales this year, did you? I was sooo sick. You know the Niquil commercial that says it is the "sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, so you can rest medicine"? Yeah, well, that about sums up my Thanksgiving weekend.. oh, and that my asthma acted up really bad too. I think it was the true flu that people get the shots for. I am feeling so much better today though! And I didn't cough once yesterday. Yay!

So instead of going shopping on Friday, I worked on Aiden's quilt. I am going to have to wash it thoroughly so that I don't give him more than a quilt for Christmas! Many times as I was working on it and feeling so junky, I remembered how the "white man" gave the Native Americans presents of blankets.. infected with small pox. Yes, I will be washing that quilt at least twice before giving it to my precious grandbaby!

I did cook for Thanksgiving though. The whole shebang too: turkey (Amber commented on how moist it was :), cranberries (from a can - Matt took care of them :), stuffing (that even Amber's stuffing hating boyfriend said was pretty good :), sweet potatoes with butter, brown sugar, and marshmallows (mmmmmmmmm), mashed potatoes (Amber made them :):):), giblet gravy (again... mmmmmmmm), fruit/cream salad (made with real heavy whipping cream. so, so yummy!), rolls (that Amber made. love them!!), and lots of pumpkin pie with real whipping cream (MY FAVORITE!! :)

Amber is going to Culinary Art school, did I tell you? Anyway, her instructor told her class that she was sorry that she was going to be "ruining everyone's Thanksgiving dinner" as they were eating the dinner that they had worked on all week in school. Amber was *so* excited to taste such yummy food! When she came home from school she told me that she was disappointed with the dinner. She said that ours is so much better. And *that* from a chef! (and a very picky eater :)

Aiden is gone today. Amber, Jared, and Emily have left for school. Steve is at work. Which leaves Matt, Michael, and me here at home. It is very quiet. I will miss everyone as we go back into our "real life", but routine is nice too.

Today I have plans of working on Christmas presents, cleaning up the house (are we the only ones whose home looks like a bomb went off??), and maybe, just maybe, putting up the Christmas tree. :) That's the plan, Stan; hopefully we can pull it all off!

Have a great day, and if you don't hear from me for a few days send the Search and Rescue to look for me in the living room, okay? I just might be buried under an avalanche of blankets, pillows, and toys. ;)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

First thing yesterday morning I got out the building supplies in hopes of the kids wanting to hang out with each other, talk, and play. It worked!

Throughout the day, I asked the kids to wash some dishes. It made cleanup after dinner so much easier!

Amber was home, so she took some pics of herself with each of the kids (except Michael... I wonder where he was off playing while this was happening??)

We really had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and except for me being sick with the flu, it went off without a hitch.

I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too, and I look forward to hearing all about it! :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

My Thanksgiving wish for you:

May your turkey plump,

May your potatoes and gravy

Have nary a lump.

May your yams be delicious

And your pies take the prize,

And may your Thanksgiving dinner

Stay off your thighs! (author unknown)

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How to make a fabric Yo Yo

Actually, I'm going to hook you up with a woman who knows how to make them. They look super easy, and I want to make some!
Here is her link: - How to Make a Yo-Yo

Happy Stitching! :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual (originating with SouleMama). A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cranberry Relish

At the Old Farmers Almanac I found a recipe that sounds really yummy and thought I would share it here with you:

Cranberry Relish

Yield: Makes 3 to 4 cups.

* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 1 small onion, chopped
* 2/3 cup red-wine vinegar
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
* 1 teaspoon ground pepper
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon each ground allspice, coriander, cloves, and nutmeg
* 1 bay leaf
* 3 cups cranberries, washed and picked over
* 2 pears, peeled, cored, and diced

Heat oil and saute the onion, then add vinegar, sugar, spices, and herbs. Simmer until syrupy, about 20 minutes. Add cranberries and pears and simmer another 15 minutes. Serve at room temperature.

If you make it let me know what you think!

Tonight we are headed to my mom's nursing home's Thanksgiving Dinner. Yum!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Serenity Prayer

The other day when Steve & I were on a walk he said something that made me mad. Really mad. Madder than I ever usually get at him.

I stomped away from him and I looked down at the trail. I then saw my ring. It wasn't my "real" wedding ring: the one with the diamonds. It was just a gold band I'd bought for myself at WalMart when Matt was a baby and I was worried about scratching him with my diamond ring. I remembered that it had only cost me $20. I had the uncontrollable urge to take it off and throw it .... so I did.

It was just like in a movie: I saw it spiral around and around, silhouetted in the pink, sunset sky, twirling in slow motion and then a final plink as it landed far away in a clump of bushes. I have to admit that it was very satisfying.

A couple of days passed and I finally cooled off. I found that I really missed having a wedding ring on, so I put back on my behemoth. I love my original wedding ring, don't get me wrong, but sometimes it feels big and bulky. So yesterday I looked for a ring at WalMart; I just knew they'd have a plain gold band for cheap. Well, they didn't. The cheapest was a super thin ring for $38. So I decided to keep looking.

Steve & I were at Shopko tonight to get him some shoes, so I decided to look for a ring there. There were no gold bands to be seen in the jewelry case, so I started looking at different alternatives. I thought two hearts looped together would be good, or maybe one with circles entwined to represent eternity. While I was looking so was Steve. He found one in my size that had the Serenity Prayer on it. I laughed and he laughed. It seemed pretty fitting! I tried it on to make sure I really am a size 7, but with no real intentions of buying it... and it got stuck. There was the plastic card with a little plastic loop keeping the ring on the plastic card. No matter how hard I pulled on the ring, it just wasn't coming off, so I told Steve I'd have to buy it, there simply wasn't a choice. He took his leatherman tool out of his pocket and cut off the plastic loop to free the ring. It was then that I fully read what the ring said. Come to find out, it didn't have the whole prayer on it, it just reads "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change."

At first I felt silly for having the Serenity Prayer on what I would use as a wedding ring, but the more I think about it I think that *every* wedding ring should have that statement on it! Because let's face it, we can't change each other, and by the time we realize that fact, we are stuck. Not that it is necessarily a bad thing to be stuck, but we are stuck all the same.

After wearing the ring for a few hours now, I have the feeling that it wasn't just fate that Steve found this ring and that it got stuck. It is simply the perfect ring, and I think the next time I get the urge to throw it (because I know that there *will* be a next time), the message will make all the difference.

Grandma's Noodle Recipe

My mother-in-law just sent this recipe to her niece (Steve's cousin) on facebook, and because I lose written down recipes, and because I love all of you, I decided to add the recipe here where we can all find it whenever we want it. :)

She says:

Here is Grandma's noodle recipe. You can make it with or without eggs. With eggs:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 TBS oil
warm water, start with 1/4 cup

Mix the egg, oil and water together before adding to the flour mixture. Mix well, kneading it together, adding more water if needed to form a dough that can be rolled out. It will be a stiff dough. Roll it as flat as you can and cut into noodles.

You can leave out the egg and add 1/4 cup more water to begin with.
Happy noodling!

There you have it. Yummy homemade noodles just in time for turkey left overs in a couple of weeks!

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"Grapes" (otherwise known as "Breakfast")

This morning, like most, I was eating my fruit and I noticed how beautiful the grapes happened to be naturally arranged. Just at that moment, Emily reached to take one. I have to admit that I slapped her hand away and told her to hurry and turn around (so that I could use her jacket as the background), because *this* is what I saw:

Beautiful. I love it when things just fall in place like that. :) (the picture is the straight out of the camera shot, since GIMP is not installed on the Mac, so I'm stuck for now. :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Misc. info from the day :)

Today I woke up and checked my blog to see if anyone commented. When I saw that there were no comments I was surprised and sad: doesn't anyone read my blog? for three days?? And then I remembered: OH! I put on comment moderation!! So I checked. Three!! Thank you for commenting! You made my day! :)

I turned on the comment moderation because I am concerned I might be missing some of your comments; comment moderation was turned on for anything 2 weeks old or older, but sometimes I don't look that far back. Now I'll know for sure I'm getting each and every one. :)

On some of the blogs that I comment on, the author of the blog will reply to me by email. I am going to try to do that. It makes me happy that they have read my comment and appreciate it enough to "talk" back to me.

Yesterday Emily got to go watch her schools version of "Cats". She LOVED it! I didn't have much time to talk to her about her favorite parts, since it was so late when she got home, but I'm looking forward to the discussion later on this afternoon. :)

Josh's car got hit by another car during his morning commute yesterday. He had a beautiful, shiny black Nissan Altima, a gorgeous car, but yesterday morning as he rounded a corner he saw all of the traffic at a stand-still. He stopped okay, but noticed the car behind him wasn't slowing down. He turned his wheel all the way to the right, so that when the car hit him he wouldn't hit the car in front of him but instead just go off the road. That is what happened. He sent me a picture on my cell phone. His trunk was smashed, and turned right side in. They have no hope of saving his car. He is staying optimistic, saying that he only his muscles are sore and that he was getting tired of that car anyway. lol! He went to the ER and got some flexeril and ibuprofen 800 mg. The doc released him from work for a week with his note, but Josh asked him to change it for just one day because he "has bills to pay". He'll stay home today but is planning on going in tomorrow. I certainly hope that he feels ok on Saturday. I am so thankful that he was safe!!

I called our mechanic about our car yesterday, and he said that he still hasn't gotten the car to die for him. He said that he will keep it through the weekend and take it on drives. He needs to drive it far and long, otherwise I don't think he is going to have success.

A raccoon visited out house night before last. I'm planning on writing the story on later on (I'll let you know when it is there :), but I'll copy and paste my status and comments from fb as a summary:
Oh my goodness I am tired this morning!! At 3 a.m. I got woken up to my chickens going cRaZy, so I went out to check on them armed with nothing but a flashlight and I see a HUGE raccoon the size of a medium sized dog sitting in the corner and eating one of my chickens!

I told Steve to get a gun, but he came out with nothing, saying that we could kill it with a pitchfork or a shovel. He took the pitchfork, but when he wasn't *doing* anything I told him to give me the pitchfork. I went over to that raccoon, lifted up my pitchfork, he turned around, came toward me and hissed and I ... ran away and told Steve to get him. LOL! What a sissy little girl I am! I thought I was totally She ra, but no. Sad realization.

And the poor chicken he was eating was STILL ALIVE!! I thought it was dead! When the raccoon ran away, I went over to it. It was bloody on the back, and the neck was bare and bloody and there was bites out of its back, and it lifted up its little head and made a little groan. Poor thing! I think I would have been able to kill that stupid ole raccoon had I have known it was being eaten alive! (or maybe I'd feel like a worse sissy girl for not killing the raccoon. Maybe it is better I didn't know.)

Next time I'm going organize a group armed with pitchforks and shovels and we'll sing the song that they sing on Beauty and the Beast about "not coming home 'til its dead! Kill the beast!"

Alone I might be scared, but with a mob I can do anything!! ;)

I remember seeing one for the first time at a state park in Tennessee and thinking that they were so cute! Now I want it "dead! Good and dead!" I did feel sorry for my poor little chicken. :'(

A lady responded with this story:
"I dated a guy in high school that loved to go "coon" hunting! That was His idea of a fun date. I told Him he was going you know where for killing such darling poor defenseless little animals. So He brought me a coon once in a cage and said look I didn't kill this one just so you could see how sweet they are. I was like ooooh it is soooo cute can I hold it? So I start walking up to the cage and it starts freaking out and hissing and biting the cage and I am jumping back screaming "aaahhhh kill it! kill it!"

LOL! That was just how I felt about that mean ole raccon!!

I hope that you have a terrific Friday and weekend!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordy Wednesday :)

I found a really cute hairstyle today while I was looking up any specials going on at Standard Optical. Look at this:

(image removed. the link changed and the haircut is gone. bummer.)

I think it would look terrific on Emily, and I think I would love it too! Hmmmm....

Matt needs glasses, so that is why I was looking in the first place. In the past month or two he has noticed that his vision has gotten worse. It makes me sad, because glasses are *such* a pain. I wore contacts for a very short time and loved it, however the doc said that my eyes were making lots of new blood vessels because they weren't getting the oxygen they needed. Bummer. So back to glasses I went.

Last night Steve & I went and cleaned my friend's chimney. What a mess! I had no idea that I'd come home looking like Bert from Mary Poppins, but that is just what we both looked like. Chim chiminy chim chimimy chim chim cheree....

Josh and Aiden came down to visit yesterday, slept over, and have been here today. It is fun to have Josh around to visit with, and of course we love having baby Aiden around!

Tonight I'm hoping for a long walk, but I'm feeling way more like a long nap. ;)

Jared went to a Speech and Debate competition last weekend and won 3rd in Impromtu and 3rd in Congress. On Sunday I made him don all of his metals and I took a picture.

Our car went in the shop on Monday. It is dying again, even while we are driving it on the interstate. It is very disconcerting. But get this, the mechanic can't get it to die for him. So we are waiting for the car to act up so that he can know what is going on with it.

Amber has had to get a ride with a friend to school every morning and then arrange for a ride in the afternoons while the car is in the shop. Steve has ridden in a ride share van. I have played chauffeur to get them to their rides every morning. It has been good to get up so early, but boy am I beat by the afternoon! 6:30 comes too early (especially when you go to bed late!), is cold, and is very dark!

So our plans for the week are to get Matt into the eye doctor, get our car out of the shop, and get me more sleep at night.