Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Carpentry Merit badge

Duncan had to build a piece of furniture all by himself to earn the carpentry merit badge. His Dad was there to make sure no harm came to him, but he did it all by himself. I'll post a picture as soon as I get it in it's place.

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Eve

We spent Christmas Eve at my sisters house. She cooked a wonderful meal, and we had a lot of fun!!

Duncan's last in door soccer game

Duncan played his last game of this season. He is turning out to be a pretty good goalie. DANG IT!!!!!

The kids sing along

The kids have a Christmas sing along every year. This year the orchestra played before it so the parents got to come and enjoy. The Gym is so full, they usually don't ask the parents to come. So here is all the fun!!!

Duncan and Grandpa

Duncan might actually be able to play the violin!

Jason's Christmas Party

Jason had a Christmas party at school a few weeks ago. Grandma and Grandpa came, and then Santa came!!! He enjoyed himself, and he didn't freak out about Santa. Progress!!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I picked Jason up from school, and he ran out into the hall. I took his hand to lead him back inside, and he said, "NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!" YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll take the word NO, from him anytime!!!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

This weekend

We were a little out of it this weekend. Jason didn't really feel good, so he didn't sleep. He had an issue with his Asthma, so we all were a bit out of it. The one thing we did, was go to Duncan's indoor soccer game. The last little bit they put him in goalie, something I wish would never happen. He did pretty good, and he seems to think he wants to play goalie from now on.........sigh.......

Tori was sweet and paid for the rides with her own money. She is such a sweet heart!!!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

At school with Tori

Jason and I went to walk with Tori's class. It was raining so the teacher decided we were going stay inside. We played, "4 corners", and "Heads up 7-up".

Jason sat in Tori's desk for a minute.
And then he decided he needed to run around the class room.
After school Tori told a story at the Storytelling Festival. Jason found the box of pillows and head dived into it. It kept him busy for a few minutes, anyway.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Jason's Teacher reports

I picked up Jason from preschool today, and he was enjoying himself with the books. Of course this meant that he was ripping the cover off of one, while the teacher was cleaning up.

While I was trying to get Jason ready to leave his teacher told me that he said, "Help" today. I can't believe it. She was helping him put a puzzle together, and he was directing her with his hands. When he said, "Help". She said she had to yell to the rest of the adults in the classroom to make sure everyone heard it. She didn't want to think she had imagined it. The other ladies said they had heard him say it as well. We'll have to keep our ears open so that we can see if he will use it again, or not.

Can he hear yet?

I went to my sisters house to get Jason's picture taken. She is our family photographer, she does a GREAT job. And of course, Jason is a hard subject and I figure if anyone will work hard to get a good picture, it's his own Aunt.

While I was getting him ready to go outside, my 5 year old niece Maren asked, "Mel, can Jason hear yet?"

I think a lot of people would probably think she was being weird or rude. But my sweet Maren, really just loves her cousins. She wants what she feels is best for everyone. I told her, he can hear ok in most circumstances. I also told her that I'm really not sure what Jason can, and can't hear so we are getting his hearing tested.

I finally told Jason it was time to go play outside. Maren looked at Jason, and then looked at me very seriously and said, "He can hear you." With a curt little nod she followed him outside.

Gotta love the five year old mind!!!

Homemade Marshmallows

Brett had a Holiday party at work today. They were sharing desserts, and Brett decided he was going to make some candy. He whipped up a couple of batches of homemade marshmallows. The first batch was just plain white, but the second he added some peppermint flavoring to and some green food coloring.

Here is the start.
As it whips it gets lighter,
And lighter.
This was the first batch. I was tired, so I fell asleep before Brett finished them up. But let me tell you. They are good marshmallows.

He then dipped them in chocolate, and sprinkled crushed candy canes on them. I haven't tasted the chocolate dipped version, and I hope that there will be some when he gets home from work. =)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Samantha's Braille reading

Sleepy boy

My poor boy crashed in his swing last night. I'm surprised this hasn't happened sooner, but he was soooooo, tired. He's darn cute though.


I went to preschool to watch Jason play on the playground yesterday. I got there early and had to film them trying to keep Jason still. He did REALLY good!!! Which is to say, he sat still for about 15 seconds at a time. I had to laugh, because his teachers are so persistent. They must be absolutely exhausted when they get home from work.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Swimming Lessons

Tori and Samantha finished up another round of swimming lessons on Saturday. Tori was really close to passing level 5, and Samantha did pass level 3.

They will start again after the new year.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Jason's latest hearing test

Jason had his hearing tested today. he did really well. There weren't any toys or puzzles and he really was able to focus., on a whole he is hearing 25-30 DB's. However, this is using both ears in a hearing booth. So we get to go back in a couple of weeks and try to find out if he is hearing the same in both ears. Lots of work but he did well and This is less stressful, then a sedated ABR.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Walking the track

Jason and I walked the track with Tori today. We discovered that Jason kind of likes his big sister. She was started to play with him a little less like a baby, and more like a kid that needs to be roughed up a little. It was really cute to see him actually taking to another person.

And of course I had to throw in the goofy behavior he exhibits on a day to day basis.

French Bread

My first attempt at making French Bread went pretty darn good. I made some garlic butter and we had awesome garlic bread. I got both recipes at, which at the moment their server is down so I can't link the recipes for you. Brett has taught me to read the comments. They have suggestions on how to improve the recipes. It sure makes cooking fun, when things turn out the way they are supposed to.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Louis Braille Prensentation

The girls got to give a presentation on Louis Braille today. One of the first grade teacher asked Marcia to introduce her students to Braille, since they had been reading about Helen Keller. The girls did so well, I am such a proud Mom!!!

Teach Town

Jason has a new computer game, that his teacher gave us to work with at home. It's called Teach Town, and he loves it!! The other kids like to play with him too. I think it's something they all have in common. They love the computer.

Indoor Soccer

Duncan has been playing indoor soccer for a few weeks. The girls have had swimming lessons about the same time so I wasn't able to watch much until last Saturday. Duncan scored a goal, and in typical "Melanie Fashion" I missed it. As you can see, however, the boy is starting to be able to play the game. =)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This weeks Menu

I thought I would share my menu and the recipes I try. I'm not the worlds greatest cook, or the worlds most prepared person. However, meal time has been getting easier and easier. I hope this means that I won't have to fight the kids to eat dinner at home for too much longer.

Saturday: Parmesan Chicken, Orzo, Garlic Bread, and Salad
Sunday: Stew and Rolls
Monday:Navajo Tacos
Tuesday: Hamburgers, Homemade french fries, Vegetable platter
Wednesday: BBQ chicken, Baked Pot, frozen corn
Thursday: Spaghetti and Garlic Bread
Friday: Pizza

Parmesan Chicken: cook in crockpot with a jar of Emeril Legasse tomato & basil sauce, and a bit of parmesan cheese. Right before serving add Mozzerella to melt.
Orzo: AWESOME!! click here for recipe.
Stew: Always us McCormick stew packet. Although the last few times we made it it was way to thick. On accident we cut too many vegetables and instead of wasting them, I added a second packet with the water. It turned out perfect, for me.
Navajo Tacos: Scones and chilli. How can you beat that?
Hamburgers: I like to add Worcestershire sauce. It keeps the meat moist.
French fries: I just finished the first fry. We'll see how they taste after the second fry when it's actually dinner time.
BBQ Chicken and Baked Potatoes: Just cover the chicken with BBQ sauce and put in oven with potatoes for a while. About 350 degrees. I love this meal because for the most part it cooks itself.
Spaghetti: My only suggestion is Emeril Lagasse spaghetti sauce. I love the tomato & basil blend. It is very similar to the sauce my Dad used to make at Palermo's. On top of that I KNOW my kids will eat spaghetti.

Tori's Reading

Tori has been learning to read Braille for some time now. She is learning Contracted Braille, and is now advancing her speed. I spoke to a wonderful lady, who just happens to be a friend's Mother. She also just happens to be blind. She asked me what Tori's reading speed was, to which I had no answer. So at the girls last evaluation I asked. Tori was just about 10 wpm. Marcia wants Tori to be about 80wpm by the end of the year. So I have started figuring her wpm, everyday. Last night she read 14.6 wpm. Seems slow, but any progress is good!!! We will continue to encourage and help as she and Samantha need.

Monday, November 29, 2010


I'm loving this whole crochet thing!!! I seem to have a knack.

Brett requested a hat and scarf. I can't believe how long it took me to make the scarf.

Hats, hats, hats.

I also made Samantha a Poncho. Shhhhhh......don't tell her, it's for Christmas.

I have the best husband in the world!!!

This is just a few of the MANY things my husband can do. He will tackle just about anything!!!

1. Sewing Samantha's Christmas dress 2. Making a Braille table for the girls to use at school. 3. fixing the furnace over the Thanksgiving Holiday, 4. Sanding, stripping and painting his car 5. Making his own tie for work and church 6. Fixing my car 7. Building a fire pit for the back yard 8. Building me a jewelry box 9. Finishing off the window sill, after we tiled the back splash 10. Photoshopping silly picture for the kids.

Yes, I have a lot to be grateful for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The last week has been a snow filled one. My kids haven't minded one bit!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stake Talent Show

The Stake talent show was a lot of fun. Brett, Bryce, Dorian, and Paul did a barber shop quartet version of love at home. They really did pretty good.

I was only going to take video of Brett's group but it was such a fun night I had to video most of it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Duncan's Afghan

I finished Duncan's afghan. He seemed quite pleased, and said it was bigger then he thought it would be. I think it looks pretty good.

Yes, I know I'm cheesy. But what good is it to make something if you can't add a little of your own personality.

Colonial Days

Tori had Colonial Days at school on Thursday. She asked me to help out, so I agreed to do so. Me and two other Mom's decided to tie a quilt. One of the other Mom's got everything and of course I just showed up. I'm pretty good at that. The kids had a lot of fun, surprisingly. They actually almost finished the quilt the first 2 hours, so we decided to cut out all the mistakes and let the 2nd two hours finish it up.
Jason was naughty after I picked him up from preschool so I had to leave. Tori was quite disappointed so I felt bad about it. However, there wasn't anything I could do so I gave her a kiss and told her to be good. She bounced back pretty quickly.


Wednesday was the Court of Honor. Duncan got to carry the flag for the flag ceremony. It always surprises me how much enjoyment he gets out of that.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


We have had to spend a bit of money the last couple of days. I needed new front tires. The van would wobble like there was a flat tire. Even though they were full. So we got those replaced. Also, our box springs broke. My poor husband would wake up everyday in a major amount of pain. I sat on his side of the bed yesterday and I walked away 15 minutes later with a huge back ache. I made the decision and we went to the D.I. and bought a brand new box spring. I think that Brett was just trying to tough it out. He is a pretty unselfish man. Someday I wouldn't mind getting a new mattress as well, but that doesn't look like it's going to happen anytime soon. I called Brett this morning, and asked how he was feeling. He said he was doing pretty good. His back still hurt, but he thinks that was residual left over from the last few days.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Aurora's Band Concert

Tonight we went to Aurora's band concert. She plays the bassoon and did a great job. The kids had fun and so did we.
Jason did smile most of the time. I think he just plain enjoyed the noise. Who knows if he really understood the music, but he enjoyed himself.
I swear that bassoon is as big as she is.
Here's some video of the fun.

Monday, November 15, 2010

This Weekend

Tori couldn't be outdone by her brother and sister so she cashed in some of her reward points for an ice cream. Yes, I took her. =)
I bought some yarn to show Tori and Samantha how to crochet. It proved a little difficult and Tori was getting really frustrated, so I changed the craft. So of course I had to use the yarn. It was going to be a dish rag but the yarn was so thick it turned out to be a pot holder.
I made some granola bars. The kids ate it for breakfast this morning and all raved about how good it was.
This weekend, Brett made himself 2 ties. He is unhappy that I had to take a picture, but they both turned out really good!!!! He can now have as many Man Accessories as he wants. He just needs to make them himself. =)

Friday, November 12, 2010


Duncan and Samantha have cashed in some of their chore points for some rewards this week. Duncan and I went to Orangeleaf to have some frozen yogurt. The addition of this reward was his idea.

Samantha and I went to Baskin Robins last night. She is such a sweat heart.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Duncan and Tori had their SEP conferences yesterday. They are both doing really well.

Tori's teacher loves her, and is pleased with how she is doing. She met her A.R. goal, and is doing well in almost all other subjects. She still struggles with Math a tad, but I think if we work on her times tables so she can spout them off fairly quickly she will improve.

Duncan is doing well in all areas as well. He is enjoying pretty much everything with school this year, and likes his class. The biggest area he needs to work on is zipping his lip. We joked about Brett photo-shopping a picture so Duncan could bring it to school for a reminder. Well here it is. =)

This is just a poor snap from my camera. But it made us all giggle.

Samantha didn't have an SEP this time, because her teacher had surgery and was out for 6-8 weeks. Sam is doing well, though and is reading wonderfully.

My Goof Ball

Jason loves the Vacuum. I know, weird.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New Book

The new "Robert Jordan" book came out Tuesday. As always, Brett reads them first since he is so much faster then me. He finished it by 5:30pm today and handed it over. I love this series and look forward to it's completion. I'm about 100 pages in which is a huge accomplishment for me. I'll let you know how well I liked it when I finish. =)

Jason's Tubes

Jason got his 3rd set of tympanostomy tubes today. We had to be up by 6:00am and to the hospital by 7:00am. We dropped the other kids off at Janice and Dick's and headed out to the hospital.

We got there right at 7am, and started to check Jason in. You actually input his information into a computer there and Brett and I were a little absorbed. When I turned around Jason was gone. I ran in the hall and there he was playing with the wheel chairs. That's what I get for taking my eyes off him for 30 seconds.
They checked him out. He was having a bit of an asthma attack, so they gave him a good nebulizer treatment. He actually left the mask on while he colored on the sanitary paper on the bed.
Once he checked out ok, we went across to the surgery waiting room. He was so cute! He wanted his blanket, and carried it with him.
This is a fascination of his lately. If he sees a kitchen, everything has to go in it.
The anesthesiologist was HUGE! His arms were monstrous. I told him Jason would possibly give him a run for his money, but he started talking to him as he took him away. It was cute, the doctor was Austrian and had a pretty deep voice. As he walked away he said, "Hi Jason, look at the butterflies. Do you see them?" Jason never budged out of his arms.

Dr. Muntz came back after about 8 minutes of waiting. He was finished and Jason was just recovering from the anesthesia. About 10 minutes later we were called back and Jason had taken off his blood pressure cuff, he'd made them remove his name tag, and he'd gotten the pulse oxygen meter off. But he was just laying there like there wasn't anything to worry about.

We got out about 20 minutes after he'd woken up. This is him as we were waiting for his ear drops. He took a huge nap this afternoon, but other then that he hasn't seemed like anything is affecting him. I know tubes aren't that big of a deal, but I'm sure I would be a little loopy all day.