Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dinner's ready!

I was saving this post for the next time I burn dinner, but in the off chance that this will (hopefully) be a long time in the future, I wanted to share my gift from my fabulous SIL, Brooke.

She picks out awesome gifts. She really does. I wish I had her gift-sense. Plus, it shows that she reads my blog! LOL! Thanks, Brookie!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Weird kids

I have a billion things to post. I'm in such a slacker-blog mode. Sigh. But it isn't going to happen tonight because I have the final episodes of Monk in my hot little hands.

However, because the grandparents wanted pictures of my kids so badly they were willing to give us cameras, I can't deny them this gem from dinner tonight.

Yes, my kids are weird enough that they will eat heads of lettuce. I KNOW this comes from their Grumpus. Seriously. If you know my dad, you know this is true. Love you, daddy!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow? In Philly?

I wish people would stop telling me that it doesn't snow much when I move to a new place. I moved to MI and they told me that it snows a few time, but nothing to worry about. And the 2 winters I was there, it snowed. A lot. Everyone said it was a fluke. Uh huh.

Then I move to Philly. And people told me that it doesn't snow much. And now I'm snowed into my house and Brad's flight from OK is cancelled. Doesn't snow much. Uh huh.

At least I was able to throw the kids out there today to burn some energy. I'm so grateful to have a working camera. This was our old one when Brad was trying to fix it.The slide of the kids in the snow is on Cookie if you want to check it out.
And in other fun news, our landlord is trying to sell this house, so we've had quite a few people coming to look at it. Ugh. I hope it sells quickly because this is kind of a pain.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

10 glorious years!

I was in a bit of a rush this morning (see story below), but when I finally got on my laptop, this is what I found. Awwww. I sure love him! Today we are celebrating 10 years! I am blessed to still be so crazy in love with him.

I woke up this morning and looked at my alarm clock. It said 10:53. What in the world! I ran downstairs to find Jamo casually finishing his spelling.

"What are you doing?!" I asked. He looked at me quizically while I ran into the kitchen and saw the time on the oven was 8:53. Huh? I ran back upstairs and my clock still said 10:53. This is weird because it is one of those atomic clocks that gets a signal of the time via satellite or something. It is supposed to never be wrong, even if the power goes out or it is Day Lights Savings. Weird. I'm going to have to look into that.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Adopt a grandparent

It is hard to be so far away from our families. Thankfully, we have had lots of visits, though we could always use more! (hint hint!)

Sugar has always been an outgoing little girl, but she really gravitates towards older people. I didn't think she would freak out with Santa, and I was right, and I was grateful she didn't call him grandpa either. She adopted a man from our church as her grandpa. We've given him rides to church, and Sugar has decided to make herself comfy sitting with "grandpa" during the services. He is such a good sport about it. Good thing, because keeping her away from him causes lots of screaming. We are grateful to have stand-ins while we are here, but we are also really looking foward to living closer to family!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


So, I was making Desiree's delicious white chili last night. Brad wasn't home so I turned it off to wait for him. He called to say he was coming home so I turned it back on. And then I got distracted cleaning. And burnt the chili. I need a sign that says, "Dinner will be ready when you hear the smoke alarm go off."

Brad still wasn't home and the natives were restless, so we started dinner. When Brad came home, he asked how it was.

Roo said, "Daddy it is h-o-r-l-b-e." aka horrible. LOL!

Then later when we told him he had to finish dinner to get dessert, he said, "But I need my health!"

He cracks me up.

And if you want to see some ADORABLE pictures from Sugar's 3rd birthday session with Danica, go check out the links on Cookie!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


What a crazy busy month November was! And we wouldn't have it any other way! It was wonderful!

My birthday was great because we had a live-in babysitter, aka a med student living with us for the month. We actually knew him back in OK, so it was fun to have a friend in town. Todd watched the kids so Brad and I could go out to Thai. I love Thai.

Brad's mom Jessie came to Philly with her hubby Lee. It was so wonderful to see them again since we hadn't had a chance to get back since we started residency back in 2007. We got to see sites in Philly we hadn't even seen yet! And then we went to DC for a day. We spent most of our time there in Arlington National Cemetery, which was such an amazing experience. Truly humbling. We also got to see the National Monument for Fallen Law Enforcement Officers. Jessie's grandpa has his name engraved there. And we got to ride around on a big ol' tour bus, which was great since we didn't have to worry about getting lost!

Well, there is a ton more to update on, but I wanted to get started somewhere. I just got way too behind. There are a ton of pictures over on Cookie from our time with Jessie and Lee and our trip to DC.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday Sale

Today only! Shop in my store!

Friday, November 27 - 50% off orders over $25

* All single DVDs, CDs, Books and Flash Cards are 50% off on orders over $25
* No Coupon Necessary
* Not Valid with any other offer
* Good one day only
* Not available to wholesale and distributors

Monday, November 23, 2009

Big sale!

Head over to Signing with a Smile to get a huge discount on Black Friday and the rest of the weekend!

Friday, November 20, 2009

My brother Tylerr

My brother was recently in an accident where a boy was fatally injured. He and Becca are both devastated and could really use some encouraging words. I would really appreciate any emails, phone calls or cards that could be sent his way. I'm putting his address on Cookie if you would like to write him, or you can contact me and I'll email it to you.

Logan's family also needs prayers and support. If you would like to donate money for his memorial fund, it is at Los Alamos National Bank with the name Logan Collins Memorial Fund.

Thank you so much for the support.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Oh my. So much to blog about! I think I took 300 pictures last weekend with Jessie and Lee here. But, I can't do it right now, so instead, I want to put this up:

Let's write a letter of support to our troops!

I just visited Arlington National Cemetery and left with a deep appreciation and gratitude for our troops. We already pray for our soldiers every day, but it becomes so much more real after that kind of experience. Let's do what we can to show them that we appreciate the sacrifices they and their families are making.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Up and running

Okay, while I make some tweaks and changes, I thought I'd put up my first draft of my website so you can get an idea of what I'll be doing. :o)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

So close!

I am almost ready to share my new website for my Signing Time Academy business. I am soooo very excited! But, while I finish a few more details on it, please enjoy this picture. :o) I hope it will get bigger for ya if you click it!

If that doesn't work, go here.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Calling Philly Phriends

I had a wonderful birthday yesterday. I feel very blessed to have such amazing people in my life.

I am going to have a 'practice' class for my friends for my first Signing Time class. I have curriculum for both a baby signing (1-3 yr olds) and for Signing Time (3-8 yr olds). Since it will be my first class, I don't want to have so many people that I get overwhelmed. Please leave a comment or email if you would be interested in a class and for which age group. Feel free to tell your other friends about it too. Thanks for the support!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

If I'm another year older, shouldn't I be wiser too?

Okay, I'm going with Signing with a Smile. But now, how to emphasize the 'a smile' part so people know that I don't just mean with a smile?

1. Signing with a Smile

2. Signing with a Smile

3. Signing with A SMILE

4. Signing with A SMILE

5. Signing with A SMILE

6. Signing with a Smile

Too many options. I may just go crazy. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A good sign you are distracted

I'm distracted because I'm trying to come up with a name for my new business teaching sign language to children and adults. I was thinking something along the lines of Signing with 'A Smile' since 'a smile' is an anagram for Melisa. So, go vote in my poll and help me decide so I can stop making jelly and ham sandwiches for Jamo.


Most of the pictures are in the process of being uploaded to Cookie. The boys were ninjas, Sugar was a lady bug and Brad and I were vegetarian vampires. And it was totally unplanned, but we were all in black and red.

Isn't this corn beautiful?!
I can't over the striations in the kernels. Spectacular! And the pastel purples and pinks in the other cob? Stunning! I couldn't get a shot like this with my old camera!

The Mr and the Mrs. My eyelashes rocked. :o)
Brad really wants hair. LOL!

The new shelves that saved my sanity. :o) Thanks Mommy!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Can I get a witness?

It's been a busy few days. Brad has had a crazy call week. Jamo's asthma is acting up. Lots of school activities.

Yesterday, I was taking Sugar to a friend's house so I could help at Roo's class. On my way, there was a car accident in front of me. Yay. I get to be a witness. Though, it is pretty obvious it was that someone had turned into oncoming traffic. I still made it to Roo's class in time.

In other news, we got Philly Phan Phever and have been glued to the World Series. The boys are even loving it! Then today I kept Jamo home. He looked and sounded awful, but with the parade and party today, I felt so bad keeping him home. I asked him if he wanted to go or stay home, and he said stay home. Wow. He must not feel good if he is willing to skip all of that. He went back to sleep and slept until noon. Poor kid.

We got some Halloween money from Grandma Jessie, so we got the kids costumes and even costumes for me and Brad. And my mom left her camera, so I'll be able to take pictures of it. WOOT WOOT!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Guest post

Okay, so I don't really have a guest, but I asked Nickie (yes, the same Nickie I got the sticky buns recipe from) if I could use some of her blog on mine. I was really touched by what she said and I wanted to share it:

Last week we finished dinner when Nick arrived home from work. We all sat down, and discussed our day as we ate. After we were done eating there was another mess to clean up, Lexi and Chloe both needed baths, and the bedtime routine was about to begin again. Didn't we just do this? Oh yeah-yesterday we did! I just looked at Nick and said, "sometimes I feel like I'm living in the ground hog day movie. We get up, get ready, eat breakfast, clean breakfast, go on an outing, come home for lunch, clean up lunch, take naps, get up, have a snack, clean up snack, clean up house, get dinner ready, eat dinner, clean up dinner, give kids bath, get kids ready for bed, read stories to kids, say prayers with kids, sing songs with kids, finish cleaning the house, go on the computer, talk on the phone, or veg, while watching t.v. then go to bed ourselves and wake up and do it all over again. and again. and again." I was having one of those pity party for myself days. Just down in the dumps...

I really worked hard this week to not look at my day as "another ground hog day" and I realized that it's all about my attitude. I can look at it like, there's another mess to clean up, or here we go again, or I can jam up some music and party with my daughter while putting her toys away.

There is something magical about recording the day-to-day mundane things of life. I am reminded to be grateful I have the ability/privilege to do the dishes, to play and read stories with my girls, and enjoy their laughing (and sometimes whining) as I type this. I am also lucky to have my own Prince who loves me despite my rollercoaster personality. That even "groundhog" days are a blessing! I take it all for granted, and really needed this wake up call.

Then this morning I woke up and read Laura's blog and was refreshed yet again to remember to count my blessings:

How do you think of your children? On any given day, would you say your children are a blessing or a burden? Here is a challenge to you…How are you?”…“How is the baby?”…“How are your kids?”… We all hear these questions every day. Do you know a mom who always answers something like this: “Well, I haven’t killed my 2-year-old yet, so I guess that’s good.” Or, “I’m just exhausted,” or, “Things are absolutely crazy – I am so stressed out!”

Maybe that frazzled, haggard, bewildered mommy is someone you know. Maybe it’s you. I know I’ve been there. Here is my question to you today… are we bearing our blessings as burdens? Those babies that we dreamt of and prayed for, that we had so much fun choosing names for, that we counted the days to meet… are they burdens to us now? Those homes that we were ecstatic to move into… are they burdens now? That husband that we couldn’t live without, that we picked out the wedding dress for, that we cried and ached and waited by the phone for… is he a burden now? That job you needed, you wanted and prayed for, that provides food and clothing for your family… is it a burden now?Sometimes it seems to me like a mantle we as moms must carry. We must be tired, we must be stressed out; we must be harried and frazzled, we must be lucky just to make it through the day. Are we bearing our blessings as burdens? Are we tired? Absolutely.

As moms, we know about the 2 a.m. feedings, the nightmares, the wet beds, the midnight curfews. Do things get a little stressful between PTA meetings, dance class, the T-ball game, and dinner on the table at 6? Sure they do. Are husbands always a joy when they get home from work? No way. Is scrubbing the potty, doing the laundry, and cleaning the high chair tray the greatest thrill we’ve ever known? Of course not.

So how do we look past the burdens and see the blessings of our families and our homes? Do you know any women who would give anything to have a baby to nurse at 2 a.m.? Anyone who would love to have those clothes we are sick of washing, or that house we just can’t keep clean. Do you know any women whose husbands aren’t coming home?

I challenge you to joy, to smile, to persevere. I challenge you to bear your burdens as blessings and watch as they multiply. And the next time someone asks you how you are, throw off that identity of stressed out, frazzled mommy, find your smile and answer, “I am blessed!”

Good stuff, huh. I hope to start blogging again soon, but my job application is taking lots of my time right now. I'm hoping to be completely done by tomorrow. Wish me luck! :o)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Roo pictures!

My mom was here last week and it was FABULOUS! I can't even believe how much we got done! We rearranged the living room (this is our 4th arrangement) and it is my favorite so far. I didn't think I could be so happy with this living room! Yipee! I'm feeling very spoiled and very grateful right now. Moms are wonderful, huh.

Also, I have the pictures from Roo's 6th birthday. We moved into a new congregation at church and a gal in our new congregation was the photographer. I am soooo pleased with the results! They are over on her blog. If you want to see the whole session, the link and password are over on Cookie.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Quick laugh

Monday, October 19, 2009


How do I let myself get so far behind in blogging? Oops.

Roo's birthday definitely showcased my Jonesness. We aren't very talented cake decorators in my family. This was my attempt at making a cake with red frosting and a duck (Roo's favorite animal).
I know. You are crazy jealous of my mad skills. That or you are debating if you should turn me in to Cake Wrecks. Yes, I know it looks pink, but he didn't seem to notice. And if you knew how horrible my handwriting is, you'd understand why I used a computer. And I do feel silly for running out of orange frosting. But I can't take credit for the sprinkles. Roo was given free rein for that.

And in sad news, our camera died this week, though it was thankfully after Roo's birthday. Why can't it be Christmas already?! Here are the final pictures from our much beloved 6.5 yr old camera.

Suspicious final picture, huh. I don't know how long I can last without a camera. I take lots of pictures. I'm pretty sad about it. :o( But, I did get pictures for Roo's birthday and will be putting them on Cookie shortly.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Shared birthday

Today my Grandma Jones is 91. Roo turned 6. They share the same birthday! I think that is why he came late. :o)

I am breaking the rules and putting up pictures of Roo on here. And seriously, I can never get that kid to look at the camera AND have his eyes open. Here is the proof!
This is me with my Grandma Jones back in 2008.
I don't know when this was done of her.

Here are the ones with her and Roo from 2006:

How hard can it be to get 2 people to look at the camera at the same time! It must be genetic!