Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Kids learn something new every day!

On Sunday as we were driving home from church, T Jay noted some people in our neighborhood who were walking home from the pool. T Jay wanted to know how come they weren't at church. Jess explained to him that not all people choose to go to church. T Jay's response, "You mean you get to CHOOSE?!!" Jess told him that yes, when he was older he did get to choose. Jess also asked him what he thought he might choose. He said, "I think I'll keep going to church." Then he broke out in a Primary song. His quote is our family saying of the week.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sledding, Florida style!

Sledding Florida style! from Kelli Melin on Vimeo.

Christmas Day

Jess' gift wrapping option "A". In case you are wondering, option "B" is the bag from the store being taped or stapled shut. "To my dearest Kelli, packaged with all of my love..."
Summer feeding her talking baby. She will get some good practice being a "Mama Jr." with this baby and be all prepared when I have our baby girl!
Happiest little artist in town! She has painted, chalked, drawn, glitter painted, colored until her hearts content!
A fun remote control car from Grandpa Riggs.
A yummy Christmas dinner at my Friend Alissa's house. The food was good and we indulged whole hearted-ly!

Before & After

I love technology! We set up our Web cam and called Grammy at 5:30 a.m. (3:30 her time) and she got to watch the kids come down and see their Santa gifts and open the gifts from her. It was the next best thing to having her hereWow!

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was packed full of fun! The kids enjoyed their scavenger hunt to find their one present that they got to open on Christmas Eve. T Jay had the proper 6 year old response after discovering it was PJ's! How many years will it take him to catch on? At least the hunt was fun!
Where's all of the snow? How are we supposed to go sledding?
Putting out food for Santa's reindeer. (Oats and red and green sprinkles)
New PJ's!
At 7 pm the Christmas Elf came to visit and asked the kids how their Christmas was going, if they got their list for Santa and told them that Santa was about ready to go so they needed to go to bed nicely. Upon hearing that, T Jay tore upstairs and brushed his teeth. He was so focused on getting to bed that he had trouble sitting through the bedtime story. He kept telling me that he had to get into bed. I explained to him that Santa understood that children needed a bedtime story, so he was okay. After the story, we had family prayer and before we began, T Jay said, "Santa understands family prayer, too." Summer went right to sleep, and T. Jay wasn't too far behind her! Thanks for the help Christmas Elf!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Today we went and shoveled and raked mulch on a local trail for an Eagle Scout project for one of our friends. What's crazy about that you ask? Well, the main source is that it is December, the week of Christmas and I thought we might sweat to death. Literally. I think I may have even been on the verge of dehydration! The sun was blazing hot and the shade was not frequent enough. I even had to break out the sunscreen! Now, I have lived in FL before and I just don't remember it being quite so hot around Christmas. Hmmm, now I really need some hot cocoa! Oh, but wait, I need to crank my A/C for that first!
On a different note, we had our Church Christmas party tonight and as we were getting ready, we got on the subject that I lived in lots of different places growing up while Jess only lived in one place. T Jay asked Jess, "Is that because you were (pause) just a little bit (pause) too lazy?" I don't know Jess, is that it?!! Craziness.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A pretty Accurate Likeness...

This is my belly at 25 weeks. I am now 27 weeks and boy did baby girl take advantage of these last two weeks. I am getting looks all over town when I tell them I'm not due until March! I claim 4th pregnancy, but the looks still come!
Summer drew this for me at school this week. I'd say she captured me beautifully, don't you think?!

Monday, December 15, 2008

What We're Planning

Thank you all for the great tradition ideas. I loved hearing about them. I thought I'd post what we are hoping to do this year. Here we go:
1. We made Christmas cards that we are going to deliver to the Hospice nursing home next Monday. We don't sing, so caroling is out. Cards will be our form of caroling. I bet the Hospice people don't even know to appreciate that! Summer pumped out some serious cards, I bet we have over 50!
2. T Jay named our tree "Timber" and Jess made up a story of how "Timber" got from the forest to our house. This is our first real tree as a family and it was kind of fun. Not quite as fun as going out into the forest and cutting your own down like they do in MT, but still fun. We are in FL after all.
3. We will dress the kids up and read Luke 2 on Christmas Eve. My goal for next year is to make actual costumes so they won't be wearing their bathrobes and towels on their heads.
4. We are going to bake a monster load of cookies and take them to all of our neighbors. If they are lucky, maybe they'll even get one of Summer's cards!
5. The kids are all going to get new PJ's for Christmas, which will be their one gift that they get to open on Christmas Eve. In order to make it more interesting, we are going to have a scavenger hunt for them. We love a good scavenger hunt around here. Thanks for the idea, Karen!
6. I want to try Rachel's suggestion while opening our gifts this year. I think it sounds really fun to use each present as they are opened.
7. Christmas lights, in fact, we may even try and see the lights at Disney Village. I did that in high school and it was really neat.
8. Cookies and milk, of course, as well as sprinkling "reindeer food" in the yard. T Jay usually insists on putting out some veggies too, "so Santa can be a little healthy."
9. We chose a family that needed a little help with Christmas.
10. I also want to try writing down a "gift" for Jesus. (something that we will work on) I think I will buy a white stocking and put them in there. The next year at Christmas, we can get them out and see how we did.
11. I think we will have Cornish hens for Christmas dinner. We did that one year and it was really fun. Fun that ya'll do it too, Nicole! We can pretend we are together!
12. I want to do some sort of family secret Santa service week. Something along the lines of drawing a family members name and doing secret acts of kindness and service for them the week of Christmas. Maybe when they are older, we will do it for the 12 days of Christmas.
13. The Christmas Elf always comes to visit on Christmas Eve. He brings them candy canes and reminds the kids to go to bed nicely.
I think that we had a few other things on the list that I now can't find, but that should keep us busy! I hope that you all have fun with your traditions this year.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Jess and I have decided that our kids are getting old enough to remember having Christmas traditions, so we feel like we need to begin them. We have a few in mind that we want to implement, but I was curious about the traditions that some of you have. I would love to hear about them, and maybe even use them in my own family. Thanks for sharing!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My New Mantra!

I was walking at the Mall yesterday and saw a sign that said, "Don't just stand there, eat a cookie!" in the Mrs. Fields store window. Sounds perfect to me!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cross walks

Have any of you noticed that cross walks with out a WALK/DON"T WALK system have completely been demoted? The other day I was driving and stopped for a pedestrian and she just stood there and stared at me for a few seconds, not realizing that she was in fact at a cross walk and I was stopped for her. On the flip side, I was walking while T Jay and Summer were riding their bikes. When we came to a cross walk, one driver stopped and let T Jay cross, while a second driver sped through before Summer and I had a chance to cross! That was even in our neighborhood. It's almost like they have become the game board for playing "Chicken"! Soon they might start having some sort of score keeping system at each one! See who is more brave, the motorists or the pedestrian! I bet I can guess!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kindergarten Program

T Jay's school did a Thanksgiving program. It was really fun to watch all of the scream/singing from all of those cute kids. As it turns out, I am quite the sap lately. I got a little teary eyed thinking about all I have to be thankful for as the kids sang. T Jay was a little worried that he wouldn't finish his head dress in time for the program. He is a slow, meticulous worker. He was very proud once he finished! I think he looks great!
Group song
T Jay's class getting lined up.
We are heading up to the pan handle for a Joyner family Thanksgiving! I am very excited as this is the first time I have had a Thanksgiving with them (as far as I know). I hope you all have a great Thankful day.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Enjoy the "Now"

I was watching the CMA awards last week and this song was performed. I got all teary eyed. It made me think about how much I love my little babies. I can't tell you how many poems and stories I have read that tell you to enjoy the zany-ness and the fingerprints that come from being a parent because they will be gone before you know it. They all bring a similar reaction-tears to my eyes and a swelling heart. Anyway, in the mist of all of Matthew's mischief, Summer's drama and T Jay's life as the oldest, I've decided to just enjoy and focus on them more. I've tried to laugh or at least document without getting mad Matthew's messes and spend time with all of them. Last week I taught Summer how to make cookies all by herself and she loved the attention. T Jay got his chance on Sunday night. It is so much more fun to spend their childhood doing those types of things, because before I know it, I won't be the coolest person in their life-although I can hope, right?!
So take time to enjoy whatever your "now" is, because chances are you're gonna miss it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

So, I guess No nap today...

I went to check on Matthew after a bit to see if he was asleep. Instead of finding a peacefully slumbering baby, I found one that thought he may have a touch of diaper rash...on his hands. Well, Problem solved.
We should see improvements by this evening. Don't you know the more you use the faster you see results!! Since he used Burt's Beeswax diaper creme, his room has a nice geriatric smell to it. So fresh and minty! I guess it's time to empty out the drawer in the changing table.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Tonight we took the kids back to the park for a couple of hours of rolling in the sand. As we made our way home, it was getting dark. The kids went straight to the tub to wash away all of the sand that hitchhiked home in their hair. Matthew won that contest! Once they were done, it was completely dark out. They donned jammies, brushed teeth, said prayers and off to bed they went. As I got downstairs to begin my quiet evening I looked at the clock. It said, 6:34 pm! Oops! My kids usually go to bed between 7 and 7:30. It seemed like it was that late, but... I went back upstairs to offer them stories in their beds for a bit and I found Summer fast asleep and T Jay on the edge. He stirred when I came in so I asked him if he wanted to read for a bit. He did, so I brought him a few books. It's funny that even a week or two later, even I am having a hard time adjusting to the difference with the time change! I wonder what time Summer will wake up after going to bed so early? I hope that she at least sleeps in until 6:30 since it's my turn to get up! And yes, 6:30 is considered sleeping in around here, sad, huh?!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy's visit

My high school friend, Happy came to visit last week with her kids and we had a blast.
On Friday we took the kids to this park and we stayed there for like four hours! We got there about an hour before lunch and decided that the kids were having so much fun we didn't want to leave. So, I ran to Wendy's and we had lunch and then they played even more. It was so nice to sit and visit with Happy while they were completely occupied. I am taking the kids back today for another round!
Matthew ate like 7 orange wedges! He would eat them right to the peel to where there was a hole through the middle of the peel. T Jay also taught him how to put them in his mouth, too.
Summer. Teya and Happy at the park.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


The Trick-or-Treating crew. Matthew keep saying "yee haw" and waving his hat! He was also down to his vest by the time we were done! The baby keleton and I both have fairy wings on, it's just hard to see them in the picture.
Summer was more excited to wear glittery make-up than she was about Halloween!

We had a party at our house after trick -or- treating. It was really fun. The kids loved decorating the house. I'll have to ask my friend for more pictures. Our camera was acting up that night.

Halloween parade & Fall Festival

T Jay's Kindergarten costume Parade on Halloween.
His class sang this cute song to the parents before they went out for the parade. This is right after they were done. T Jay was really excited to have us there!

Sheriff T Jay.

Summer's school had a "Fall Festival" on the Thursday before Halloween. Doesn't she look cute?! I find this funny because FL doesn't even have Fall! I also think it's funny that Halloween is totally unmentionable at some schools, and parade-able at others! T Jay and Summer's school are in the same district and everything! Too funny.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Life with George...

Life is getting very interesting with Matthew lately. This past week he gave me quite the scare. I was sitting by the door of our porch while the kids were playing out side. I always keep close tabs on Matthew because he tends to disappear a lot-and he's fast! I was talking to a friend and when I glanced back to check on him, he was gone. I immediately checked our neighbors swing set and he was not there. My next thought was that he went to the front. I ran around there and I couldn't see him. There were a few boys playing so I asked them if they had seen a baby come out there. They told me that he went in to the garage that was across the street. I went over there and peered into their open garage, but I couldn't see him! I started to panic, so I turned around and headed toward our house and called his name. Just as I did, I heard the door from the house of the people with the open garage door open and then close and then Matthew called back to me! He came running out of their garage and across the street! So, he had gone into their house through the garage! Argh! I have no idea if they know that their house was invaded by a two year old or not!
This is also last week. I put "Go Diego! Go!" on for him to watch while I took a shower. This usually paralyzes him long enough for me to get clean. This day, I guess he decided that he was hungry and went for the un-frosted cupcakes that I forgot about for Halloween! There was about a dozen plus cupcakes in there to start.
I have also cleaned up mashed potatoes, frosting, Red Crystal Light powder and just this morning an entire box of Honey-Nut Cheerios. My vacuum has cleaned up more food off of the floor than it was probably designed for, but it's keeping pace nicely!
Other skills Matthew has acquired are: climbing the book shelves, the toy room shelves, and the pantry shelves. He realized that he can haul his kiddie chair around to reach things on the counters or use drawers to climb. We had to turn the door handle to his room around to lock him in so that he will lay down and go to sleep. If he thinks he can escape, it's all he can think about! You should see how well he can hop over his crib gate!
He has also figured out that he is now tall enough to unlock the door that leads to the garage. I have found him out there quite a bit. I found that if I hang a step ladder over the door handle and put it between the wall and dryer that he can't get through that...yet. I have also since bungee corded the pantry shut. It's only a matter of time before he figures that out, but hopefully it will last us until we get our own place and I can lock every thing up properly!! It's a good thing that he has such an adorable smile and gives such great kisses and hugs. I'm not sure how I would deal with all of this with out them!

I voted!

I know this is late, but I wanted to document this. This is my first time ever going to vote at the polls. Jess and I have always voted absentee since we were residents of Montana and lived where ever the AF sent us. It was kind of exciting! I even got the "sticker." Fun.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Things that Mary had...

This past week has been extremely busy for me. I didn't even get online the last half of the week. We had Jess' birthday, I planned and ran our church craft day as well as had a fun Halloween party here at the house. I have lots of fun pictures to share. I hope to get to them tomorrow. I just had to post this little story now though!
We were having FHE and Summer was "reading" from the scriptures. Now when I say reading, I mean she is looking at the open book, tonight it was the New Testament, and just says whatever comes to mind. It's funny how her ideas are scriptural, but in the verbiage of a 4 year old. It's very funny and we try to record it when we can. Tonight's was no different. She paused her "reading" and asked, "who knows who had Jesus please raise your hand?" T Jay eagerly told her that it was Mary who had Jesus. Summer then said, "Yep, and she also had a little lamb." Very matter of fact, in case we didn't know about that yet!! I couldn't hold the giggles in on that one. She just gave me a sheepish smile with an eyelash flutter and laughed.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Girls Weekend

Maggie, Tiffiny and I have been friends since we met on the JV Cheerleading squad in 10th grade! That's going on 16 years!!! Holy Cow, is that right! We have been friends ever since! We got together this past weekend to catch up and let our kids play. We had a great time going to the park, zoo and playing at Tiffiny's parents house. It was such a great weekend, I can't wait to get together the next time!

Fountain Park

I uploaded these pictures in reverse order, oops. Summer slipped and hit her head on the ground. Matthew brought her the flower in her hair to make her feel better.
Somehow, I forgot to pack her swim suit, so after some convincing and a little pouting, she played in her undies. She had a great time.
Matthew spent the bulk of his time running away! I counted it as my exercise for the day, he's fast!

Maggie and Tiffiny.
James, T Jay and Matthew in the fountains. They had a great time! It was so fun to watch our kids interact and enjoy the places we went. We had a great weekend!


We were able to catch a few minutes of clear skies to go to the park near Cocoa Village. They were having a "Buddy Walk" to raise money for children with Downs Syndrome so they had several types of animals at the park. The kids loved it. There was a little pony that they could have ridden, but they just wanted to play.
Summer kept posing and then saying, "look at me!" I thought that was funny, and cute!

I love his concentration. He was very proud of his monkey barring, because he could, "keep going over the space." I remember when those kinds of things made me happy. I guess they still make me happy when my kids do them!
Matthew loved watching this turtle that was crawling around in a wash tub. My very own Curious George.