Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I don't know about you but 2008 just wasn't a good year for me and I am very happy to say adios, bon voyage, goodbye and GOOD RIDDANCE to 2008. I could list all of the sucky things that happened in 2008 to illustrate for you why it was no bueno. But I have decided not even to waste my time. I have optimism that 2009 will be a good year for our family. I even have made some resolutions. Have you made any resolutions? You are TAGGED to post them on your blog. Once you do, I will post mine.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Mel and James escape to the ZOO

James and I decided to trek out west to the Wildlife World Zoo yesterday. It was a cold day but we saw EVERY animal they had and they have a new aquarium which is very cool. I recommend this place to ANYONE that has kids, young or old. We got to feed the birds inside this awesome caged area. My favorite animals were the monkeys, the White Tiger and the Parrots. As always, James pushed his limits and got a little too close for my comfort to a few crazy looking birds. Overall, it was a great day at the zoo. We came home, took a nap and then watched the X-Files movie that is out on video now. James and I both are pretty big X-Files fans. It was a pretty good move- some parts were too much for me to handle.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!
Jace didn't seem very aware of what was going on, but he sure loved all his new stuff to play with.
We were thankful to have Alex here with us this Christmas too!
Love you all.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

Callin is pooped already!

James had the camera all day so may pics are a bit blurry...

Ocean and Callin

Me and my new lavender eye mask

We had a nice Christmas at home with the family. I rushed around on Christmas eve and got everything on my list done. I was a maniac! James, Matt and I had a quiet Christmas eve at home over spaghetti, garlic bread and red wine. Christmas day everyone came over and we had a great time. See the pics
All of us- Chris holding Callin, Harvey (Chris's dad, Michelle, Mark, MollieSam, James, April, Richard, Mel, Matt. In the front Row- Christy, Corky and Aranna holding Ocean

Aranna, Michelle and Mollie

Time to eat- Organized chaos
Callin loved the train!
Ocean with her best 'evil' look...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Eve Beach Day

Spent Christmas Eve day at Annini Beach and had a picnic lunch. It was a very relaxing day for us. We then came home and Marissa and Jace did their Gingerbread House.
We are thinking about you all and wishing we could be together this year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Not Enough Time in the Day!

Okay, this post should be titled 'Outtakes' but I am feeling the pinch right now for the lack of time. I have to:

1. Finish wrapping presents
2. Finish baking sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, 3 batches of fudge, a pecan pie, a carrot cake

3. Finish cleaning the house

4. Get gift for family Secret Santa Exchange (wrap it too)

5. Do Laundry

6. Set up extra table/ chaffing dishes/ chairs for food and family

7. Clean some more

8. Spot Clean the carpet

9. Wash the dogs

10. Change the sheets

11. Buy stocking stuffers
I am sure that there are more things that should be added to the list, I am just going brain dead right now. I need HELP!!!! I am going to enlist my sweet delegation skills and make it all happen. James is working tomorrow so I can put him to work when he gets home. I know that we will enjoy our Christmas and all of the chaos will be well worth it. We are expecting to have a houseful. We will have a major void without Norm, Florence and family. STay tuned for more pictures. Speaking of pics and the Akins- where have you guys been??? Post some pics and such of what's going on will ya!!! Miss you!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Why did I let James talk me into making TAMALES???

We also made enchiladas!

Well, in November James asked me when I was going to make Tamales. I was like, I really don't want to make Tamales because it's too much stinkin work! Yep- I just had an awesome full day of making about 20 dozen tamales. My whole body aches, I am tired and I fear a cold is coming on!!! My friend Alicia came over to help me- I couldn't have done it without her.

James and the kids will eat the heck out of the tamales for about 2 weeks then boycott them since they will have eaten about 10 dozen all together. We will have them at Christmas. Then we will have some to give to family/friends and some to take out of the freezer every so often for a treat. Here's the pics of the Tamales in progress. Eventually I want to try and make green corn tamales on my own- a small batch making 200+ tamales on my own just isn't going to happen.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

NAU Holiday Christmas Dinner and More

On Saturday, I picked up Jan and Walt (my longtime friends) and we made our way up to Flagstaff. Every year for the past 28 years they have gone to the NAU chorale Holiday dinner. When I was in college they took me and a few times after that as well. They had an extra ticket this time and invited me. I was thrilled to get to the dinner this year.

I also got to see Dr. Hill! That was such a serendipituous event! Dr. Hill was such an inspirational part of my college years. I took 2 classes from her- Hospitality leadership and Ecotourism. Her and I have had a connection much deeper than Professor- Student. She has such a peaceful, caring way about her. We caught up (briefly) and hugged! Jill- if you are reading this she said, "Give Jill a big hug for me".

I also got to see Mark on Sunday Morning. I picked him up from the Dorm and we ran some errands and got a quick bite to eat. I set him up with some snacks to hold him over during Finals this week. He moved the furniture in his room for more 'space' not sure what he needs the space for? Maybe for guitar hero OR Rock band???
Here's a pic of our decked out house. It looks better when you are standing in front- the pic is too dark.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Serendipity: is the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely.

Our friend Sara Twedt was stranded in Phoenix and called us from the airport last night while we were finishing up dinner. We haven't seen her for over 2 years so it was so awesome for us (not for her) that she couldn't get her connecting flight out to Minneapolis. James and Mollie picked her up from the airport and we got to catch up and cram 2 years of missed time into about 3 hours. I didn't want her to leave. We always have so much time with Twedter (her nickname forever)! This is a pic of the 3 of us from our Vegas trip in May of 2005 (hence the mustache and a thinner, younger me) for Twedters BIG BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION!!!
We stayed at a small, old roach motel that is no longer there- I am drawing a blank on the name- I know it was fairly close to the Wynn. It didn't matter where we stayed- we didn't hang out in the room. We had a great time! Twedter- YOU NEED TO VISIT US MORE OFTEN!!!
Twedter rode to work with us where she took a taxi to the airport but not before she didn't say hi to some of the old crew at the Hyatt.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mountain Man Video

I added video to a previous post and it's pretty hilarious click HERE
Scroll down to the video and push play- make sure your volume is up.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Norm's Garden

Norm is so very proud of his garden. He is growing so many wonderful things, pineapple, pole beans, corn, tomatoes, celery, carrots, peppers, cucumbers and tons of different types of lettuce. It is great to go into the garden whenever you feel like a salad, especially with the price of produce over here on Kauai. We also have banana trees and those bananas taste so good.


This is what we have on our door right now

My 60 Pound Lap Dog

Rosie loves close ups

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I know that everyone was wondering why I haven't posted pictures of my dogs lately. Admit it- it's been too long. James makes fun of me but I just love these two dogs. Last night Phoenix decided he needed to lay ON ME. We don't let them on the furniture but he wouldn't move for the longest time. I think he just needed some TLC.

We are working today but we are going to go home after work, watch football and bbq some steaks. It's raining here but that doesn't stop us from grilling! I hope you and yours have a great Thanksgiving. I like to take time to remember all of the things I am thankful for!