tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:/posts The Meltons 2019-08-11T15:53:14Z The Meltons tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/1438568 2019-08-11T15:49:22Z 2019-08-11T15:53:14Z Summer Surprise/Weekend Getaway 7/27-7/28

It all started with the Grands (Joe & Linda) snagging Aylin for some summer fun. They wisked her away Thursday afternoon with plans to go to Silver Dollar City Friday. That left Jeff and I to have some fun date night time! Friday night we walked downtown (Bentonville) and had a drink a piece at Scotch & Soda while having some good chat/connection time. We also enjoy people watching so we sat outside on the patio by the sidewalk. After drinks we moseyed down to Table Mesa for dinner, and as usual we were stuffed silly and enjoyed ourselves immensely. The next morning over coffee on the back porch Jeff suggested we take a day trip, I’d mentioned a while ago it would be fun to go back to Mt. Nebo where we first met and later married. Sipping coffee on the porch Saturday morning Jeff thought since we were kid free why not have a little adventure and go back to Mt. Nebo! So we got around, packed a picnic lunch and some sun screen and swim suits (just in case we wanted to splash around somewhere along the way) and were on our way to Russellville!

We took the long way via the Pig Trail and enjoyed the ride and the company. Once there we got to snap a few photos, but since there was a wedding getting set up we couldn’t go inside the pavilion we married in. Who can blame them, though? It’s a gorgeous spot for a wedding! We ate our picnic lunch and then found our way to sunset point (panoramic pic above) where Jeff and I spent a lot of time during our first date. 

Then Jeff says to me; “what do you think about hopping over to Hot Springs for the night”? Ummm Yes! So he looked up some B&B’s and made a call and they had a room available! So we made our way to this gorgeous Bed & Breakfast just a half mile off of the strip in Hot Springs. He also tried to get me an appointment for a massage but everyone was already booked up for the weekend. 

We arrived at the B&B and realized we had nothing for an overnight stay (phone chargers, tooth brushes, change of clothes...), so after getting settled in we made a quick trip to Walmart for some necessities. 

Next we walked down to the strip to find some place to eat dinner. We attempted a place called The Vault but found thy were reservations only and booked for the night. So we walked a few doors down and found The Porterhouse and dined there. Dinner there was underwhelming, but the company was great. It would take a lot for dinner out with my sweetie to be a bad date night. After dinner we walked the strip a bit and decided to stop in at an old Bath House turned Brewery and have some drinks! Superior Bath House Brewery had a great little patio section so we could sip and people watch and let me tell you, there was so much entertainment on the sidewalks. 

After drinks we walked the strip some more. We thought about getting dessert, but decided against waiting in a ginormous line at Fat Bottom Girls Cupcakes. We did, however, have some fun trying on hats in this fun little hat shop. 

After our adventures on the strip we walked back to our B&B and snagged a piece of cake from the main house to bring back to our room and enjoy a soak in the bath with a glass of wine and some cake. It. Was. Glorious. 

The next morning we had a leisurely sleep in before heading to breakfast. Breakfast was amazingly delicious with homemade apple strudel, eggs and bacon. Then we took our coffee and sat in a rather posh sitting room to enjoy a slow morning. 

Then we gathered up to go retrieve our Ginger Girl from the Grandparents. On our way out of town we hit up a fun little coffee shop called Red Light Coffee Company. I had a lavender latte and Jeff had his usual vanilla latte. We’ll definitely need to go back, they had a huge front porch that would be wonderful to sit and enjoy your coffee from. 

Once we got to Harrison we met the crew out on the farm where they were playing on 4 wheelers. So we joined in on that fun. Then we got to help wrangle and herd the goats. Aylin even got to help by holding a goat while sitting on the back of Lala’s 4 wheeler. The goat needed some medical assistance so Lala wrangled the goat and then Aylin held on to it until they could get it to Papa Joe. 

All in all, it was a memorable and fun weekend! Jeff and I both feel blessed to have been able to get a fun, unexpected romantic getaway in. 

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/1405174 2019-05-04T14:49:10Z 2019-05-07T12:59:22Z Family Photos 2019

You Guys. I am so blown away by these photos Heather Kleber (Heather Kleber Photography) took of our family. She is amazing, and super sweet and we had so much fun with her. And because words just do not do them justice, without further ado, the photos:

Family Shots:

Jeff & Teena:

Aylin & Mom/Dad:


**GRANDPARENTS - You will be receiving info soon about how you can get some of these lovely photos. <3 xoxo

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/1333573 2018-10-18T14:49:31Z 2018-10-18T15:26:05Z September 2018

Welcome to the September Snapshot! Here's a glimpse into what we've been up to recently:

Jeff went to Chicago for most of a week for his Renovare Cohort. He had an amazing week of intense learning and digging deep into Spiritual Disciples. The Cohort met and stayed at the University of St. Mary's of the Lake. It was a bit strange for Aylin and I to not have Jeff around; thankfully up until now Jeff hasn't had to do any travel without Aylin and I aside from his trip to Honduras a couple of years ago. We managed just fine while he was gone, but it felt weird not to have him around. We like having our Hairy Guy around. 

While he was gone I did some crafting, and organizing; I finally got around to decorating the room we have dubbed Spare 'oom, and I also got around to organizing the office. I got a lovely mom's weekend when Grandma Linda asked to take Aylin for the weekend and spoil the little monkey at Silver Dollar City. Plus I got to do a little shopping for some smaller clothes!!!


I hit some fun milestones with my weight-loss journey. Not only did I break down and finally buy some smaller clothes, but I love the way my clothes fit/look/feel for the first time in a long time. I hit an all time low (lower than I hit 4 years ago when I started trying to run), and have erased more than 10 years of weight yo-yoing from my body! It's been hard work, but it feels so so so SO good!

Aylin had some fun school happenings in September. The school did a Fun Run fundraiser and Aylin won Student of the Week.

Papa Joe also came to the school and talked to a group of 4th graders Student Choice Group "All About Dogs". I think both Aylin and her Papa were equally excited about the day. 

Less exciting: I tried on what seems like a hundred pairs of glasses and still haven't landed on a pair I like... 

And last but not least - We got to have a LOVELY weekend away at a cottage in Kingston thanks to the super sweet hospitality of friends. We sipped coffee while watching the sun rise (and set), we played a lot of games, read lots of books, soaked in bubble baths, and just generally enjoyed some exceptional family time unplugged and recharging. 

And that's a wrap for September! Maybe I'll get October done a little sooner in the month! Ha!

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/1316370 2018-09-03T20:17:54Z 2018-09-03T20:26:27Z August 2018

The month of August was jam packed with all sorts of exciting things. Here's a glimpse into all the goings-on at the Casa de Melton.

While celebrating Laura's birthday; we introduced Aylin to the fun, spunky town of Eureka. We enjoyed poking around in shops and I thoroughly embarrassed Aylin by putting on a purple yarn wig. It was so fun, I really think I ought to go back and purchase it. We tried on all sorts of festive headgear... Aylin also enjoyed entertaining her sweet little cousin Eliza at the restaurant.

Aylin started FOURTH GRADE!!! She's Big Girl on Campus this year, and they start getting a taste for Middle School next year with having a Homeroom Teacher and a separate teacher for Literacy. She is loving it so far. 

I bought myself a paper planner for the first time since owning a smart phone. It has helped tremendously in ordering all the things that swirl around in my head. Plus it has lots of fun stickers, one can't go wrong with stickers. 

We decided to head over to Jenks, OK and visit the aquarium. We hadn't been there since Aylin was 3 or 4, so it was fun to go back and see things with our Big Kid. We saw all kinds of incredible things; a giant sea tortious, river otters, a beaver, sting rays, a giant octopus, pregnant sea horses, sharks, glowy coral, there was a super cool exhibit with electric eels where it had a speaker so you could hear the electric charges as well as a meter so you could see the voltage!

Jeff and I have both had scale victories this month; and both of us able to fit into smaller clothes that we hadn't worn in a while. Further proof that sticking to meal planning and healthy eating and exercise is finally working for both of us at the same time. It's not an easy journey, but it is so worth it. 

Little Brother decided to move to Charlotte and say Au Revoir to Bentonville, so Little Sis came to help him with driving. I had a little farewell dinner before they drove out.

Another family fun weekend was a trip over to Blanchard Springs Cavern near Mountain View, AR. I did not take an photos because it would have been hard for me to do so in the low light of the caves and o figured the website had better photos than I could take any way. So do click over and see a bit of what we went through. We went on two cave tours; the Dripstone Trail and the Discovery Trail. Both were truly magnificent. The Dripstone Trail was an easier stroll with decently lit walkways and handicap accessible. The Discovery Trail, however, was a fast paced tour up and down wet stairs with metal handrails slick with bat dung. There were a few places I had a little trouble with my vision, but between a cane* that we purchased in the gift shop, and following behind Jeff and Aylin so I could watch where they were and how they stepped I managed alright. We started out with the more easy Dripstone Trail, then headed into Mountain View for a bite of lunch and found a little BBQ joint, then headed back to Blanchard Springs Caverns to do the harder Discovery Trail. Even though it was a challenging tour I was really glad we did it. It truly is amazing to see the awesome things that happen below the surface of the earth. A few thoughts from Jeff on our trip to the caves. Once we were done with our tours of the caves we matched up with Papa Joe and Grandma Linda in Yellville for more BBQ. One can never have too much BBQ. 

*It seems to be that we've started a tradition of sorts where I intend to bring my cane somewhere and then forget it, or think "Bah, I'll be fine. I don't need it" and then realize that I'd do better with one. So at this point I now have 4 canes. My white tip blind guide cane, a wood hiking stick, and 2 metal adjustable hiking sticks. This now begs the question as to whether or not I should get an umbrella rest to store all my various canes in. Maybe even find a way to creatively label them. "Blanchard Springs Cavern Cane", "Chimney Rock, Colorado Cane", etc. 

And a few random  snippets from the month:

And so ends the exciting journeys of the Melton Clan for August!

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/1309719 2018-08-08T02:11:06Z 2018-08-08T02:11:07Z July 2018

Here's a quick fly-by of the month of July at Casa de Melton

We had some people over on the 4th, we ate lots of food and had lots of fun catching the fireworks over the trees and lighting a few ourselves. Kids got wet, bellies got filled, and lots of words and laughs were loosed.

We had a rather exciting weekend where our landlord had new flooring installed. Of course nothing went according to plan, and so we had to be flexible. Initially it was only supposed to take 5 hours, and the flooring company was going to show up between 10-11. So that gave Jeff and I time to get up and about and have coffee then start moving as much furniture out of carpeted areas as possible. Well the flooring company showed up at 9, so we scurried about to try and get a few more things done before getting out of the way. To pass some time we decided to visit Lake Atalanta and Jeff went for a walk around the lake while I hung out with the Monkey while she played. She had a blast until she encountered a bee, which she managed to swat onto her belly and get stung. From there we got smoothies for lunch and killed some time. Then we had some cats who we were cat sitting for so we decided to head over there and give some attention to the felines. After that we headed back to the house since we were past the 5 hour mark. We came back to a lot of work still needing to be done and we were seriously doubting whether we would be able to sleep in our own beds that night. I messaged with the friend whose cats we were watching and asked if we could be weird and take showers at their house so we could go to church that evening and hope hope hope that when we came home from church they would be done with floors. Thankfully, they were done when we got home, and we were able to sleep in our own beds and the new floors look great.

We decided to check out the new Skylight theater downtown (food served at your seat in the theater!) and we watched The Incredibles 2. Great follow up to the original. And yay for boozy-milkshakes! 

Aylin and I went through my hopechest while it was temporarily not in use as the TV stand, and got out my wedding dress, along with a dress I wore to a friend's wedding, and my prom dress. Aylin had a blast trying on all the pretty dresses!

For the month of July we had both usually hot weather - and then at the end of the month had unusually cool weather. When it was hot, it was melt-yo-face hot. It's not my favorite thing. I loved the unseasonably cool weather we got briefly.

Jeff got brave and let Aylin and I style his beard. Aylin dubbed him Pippy Beard-stalkings. That one'll go down in the history books.

Aylin and I spent the day with a neighbor friend down at The Beyond exhibit at Crystal Bridges (Georgia O'Keeffe, and artists inspired by her works), it was pretty amazing although there were some interesting nudes that I had to steer the Ginger Girl away from. The few that she did catch she was rather incredulous that anyone would want to paint someone naked. It was a bit comical, actually. Aylin was drawn to the skull with antlers and decided that Papa Joe and Grandma Linda needed to see it, so we bought them a postcard of it. We also enjoyed this other one, and abstract by Kim Keever. I dubbed it The Emotional Storm. Because we've had a few of those at our house this month... 

Lastly a quick update on my weightloss journey - I ended the month at 29 pounds lost in total since January, as well as a few other fun stats. The inches lost stats are just since April, because like a goofball I didn't start with measurements like I should have. But I'll take these wins, regardless! It was also pretty fun that when we did go to the museum it was one of those cooler days I'd mentioned so I decided to go with jeans for the day. I put on a pair of skinny jeans I hadn't been able to wear all last year and ended up with skinny jeans that were a bit saggy and falling down on me some. It was a fun problem to have!

And that’s a wrap! 

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/1300231 2018-07-05T20:34:45Z 2018-07-10T14:02:48Z June 2018

As I sit in the shade on a bench at a park while my monkey swings her little heart out, I’m reminded of how fortunate we are to be living downtown in a newly vibrant community. There are positives and negatives to a growing city, but generally the experience has been really good for our little family. I enjoy being able to be a thriving social introvert and engaging with people when I want to and as I’m able, and then hiding in a hole when I need to as well. I hope that over the next several years as the area continues to grow that we don’t lose the charm and sense of community that we still have.

Having said that - here’s a little recap of what we’ve been up to this last month! 

The Blubie (Blue Subie, like that?), got a few accessories so that we can haul bike(s) & other things™️. While the Bearded Guy assembled & mounted the bike rail and cargo basket, The Ginger Girl used one of the giant shipping boxes to make herself a car. 

The Ginger Girl and I spent the day at the Amazeum, and she looooved the giant tunnel and slide that was made entirely of clear tape!  It was pretty amazing. She also found a Pegasus in the “how gears work” area and may have spazzed a bit. 

Something we've been praying about and chewing on for quite some time now was Jeff attending the Renovaré program. You can read more about it here. But a few fun/interesting points are:

1) it's a direction that our church is also moving towards

2) it's something we started saving for but then the car stuff happened and that whole picture changed

3) Jeff got a preliminary acceptance but was told he may not be in this next cohort due to space. On the last day he was supposed to get a decision one way or another when we were starting to question if this was the next step for us or not - he finally got the acceptance letter and was invited to this years program.

It's been an exciting and interesting journey. We are curious to see what God has in store for us in this next phase. But generally what this means is that over the next 2 years Jeff will be going through their Spiritual Formation program that is an online and in person program. Twice a year he'll make the trek to Chicago for their in person sessions, and throughout the year he'll have books to read, papers to write, and group discussions to participate in. 

Aylin got to go to Camp Grandma where they took her to Silver Dollar City and rode coasters and other fun rides, then they went back to Branson for shopping and Go-Carts and Bumper Boats. Plus they went swimming (maybe in the Buffalo). I think they all had a blast and were thoroughly worn out by the end of the week. While Jeff and I got a little Peace and Quiet™️. I even got a momma's night in (hello sappy movies, tissues, and wine!!) while Jeff had a Bachelors Party to attend. It was also very well timed because the day Grandma texted to see if they could wisk the monkey away Aylin had been getting a case of the Bored Summer Blues™️ and was beginning to drive me bonkers. 

We bought a slip-n-slide and had some wet fun!

The Friday before Father’s Day we got a phone call from Linda that Joe (Jeff’s dad) had been in a wreck with the four-wheeler out on the farm and was on his way to the hospital. They were getting ready to move cattle and while driving up hill the toolbox on the front of the four-wheeler came loose and flew back towards Joe's head. In an attempt to avoid the toolbox he lost control of the vehicle and ended up pinned under it. Ultimately he ended up in a lot better shape than he should have under the circumstances. He fractured his pelvis on both sides but no injuries that required surgery. He spent several days in the hospital before being released to a rehab facility since he wasn’t where he could move around on his own just yet. However as of his birthday (July 3rd!) he has made it home! It will be a long, slow recovery but we are all thankful and grateful that he is 1) alive, and 2) not hurt more than he is. 

For Father’s Day I surprised both The Bearded Guy and his Sidekick with an excursion on the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway! I got us all tickets for the lunch train and it was super fun hanging out with these cheese balls. We also showered our favorite guy with cheesy gifts, and yummy food because that’s how we roll. 

The Ginger Girl has had lots of fun playing in the sun.


Year 2 of CWE fun! Due to rain (and soggy parking areas) we weren’t able to stick around and get Aylin set up in her cabin. But she wasn’t phased by it a bit. She was SUPER excited for camp. I had been a little disappointed because I wasn’t seeing pictures of her throughout the week, then on Friday the picture that I did finally get I got worried because I thought she’d been crying. {worried momma} Turns out they had been told to look they were doing the craft even though they didn’t yet have their supplies; so her face was actually confused/blank and not sad. So fake candids don’t really work. All in all she had a blast. She did tons of new things: tennis, archery, candle making, soft ball, fishing, aqua ball. She had 2 friends from last year’s cabin that were in her cabin again this year (yay for friendly faces). She spent a ton of time in the water, I think most of her mish-mash time (free time each afternoon where they get to choose what they want to do) was spent in one of the many pools/cove/river. She raved about the food and how she got to have cherry cokes and dessert at lunch every day. All-in-all it sounds like she had the best year yet at camp. We are so glad that we are fortunate enough to have the opportunity for her to go to such a great camp. It’s been a tremendous opportunity for growth in great ways (both for her and for momma). Aylin growing in confidence and independence, momma growing in letting her baby go and giving her space to blossom. Particularly after my little freak out Friday worrying about my baby all to find that it was NBD and all was well.  

AND while the Monkey was away The Bearded Guy and I got to go on several dates! We had a first for us: in 15 years of being together (that’s right! We had our first date on Mt. Nebo in Russellville June 2003!) we had never been to dinner and a movie! We also experienced our first movie with reclining seats - I don’t get to drag him to a movie very often. Aside from our dinner and a movie we opted for apps and adult beverages at Tusk & Trotter, and Table Mesa. It’s fun to get to do date nights with my guy. 

Last but not least I hit another milestone with my weight loss: 25 pounds (+ a little!) lost since January! It’s been really hard, but I am really glad to finally be seeing results. Finding the right diet & exercise routine has not been easy. But I am hopeful that I can continue making healthy choices and continue to make progress. I’m only about halfway there, though, so here’s hoping I can keep the ball rolling and maybe by January I’ll hit my target! 

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/1292014 2018-06-08T15:50:57Z 2018-06-08T16:04:31Z May 2018

It's that time again - for my monthly recap!

Aylin and I moseyed through First Friday and she got her face painted (she loved it...)

We decided to take the Soobie out on some dirt roads and go for a couple of hikes. Turns out going on two back-to-back hikes so soon after being released back to normal duty from my surgery restrictions maybe wasn't such a wise idea. We got not quite out to the lookout on Hawks Bill Crag when I started to crash hard - dizzy, weak, out of breath. Jeff to the rescue - he ran ahead of Aylin and I back to the car to get more water and a granola bar while Aylin and I began slowly working our way back. We all slept good that night.  

Aylin earned one final "Off-The-Charts" for the school year, and got to make cupcakes with our sweet neighbor. They had so much fun and sprinkles were applied generously. Then Aylin and I topped it all off with an ice cream cone reward. 

My Loves generously spoiled me this year for Mother's Day - Aylin made my breakfast, she also made my a bracelet and a painted clay jewelry holder, plus they got me a fabulous Star Wars t-shirt, a Bob Ross figurine, and the most amazing vacuum ever a Shark! We also went out to dinner at Fish City where I thought I'd be adventurous and try clams - I tried them, and my curiosity has been satisfied. They are *not* something I will be trying again. 

We also put new flowers in the window boxes as well as the front triangle garden. 

I (Teena) started back at regular Zumba classes at the DAC. It was hard at first, but it has been fun to get back into it. It's also tremendously satisfying to troll Aylin with all my dance moves and to "ruin" her favorite songs with my moves. So. Much. Fun.

Aylin showed off her skills on her new recorder from school.

We found us a new hiking trail - Smith Creek Preserves - with waterfalls and a creek to play in, it was so beautiful! We found a huge, thick vine hanging over the trail and decided to swing like monkeys. 

We finally got the telescope out and viewed the big beautiful Full Moon. Aylin had a blast! Then later on Jeff and I were able to see Jupiter and 3 of it's moons. It's so incredible to be able to see those things so closely with so much detail. 


Last but not least we finally got to have our Last Day of School. 3rd grade is officially in the bag! 


And that's a wrap for May!
The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/1280481 2018-05-05T00:48:51Z 2018-05-05T02:32:16Z 3rd Grade Spring Concert

Aylin’s School put on a 3rd Grade Spring Concert last night. I didn’t get amazing videos - from where I sat the lighting for my phone ended up washing them out. But you’ll get the general idea. Aylin got tons of complements on her pretty dress, and if you can manage to spot her in the videos she is front and center on the bottom row. I don’t know if you can catch him on my videos or not, but there’s a super fun kiddo on the front right he’s got on a green long sleeved shirt and he was super expressive - he was super fun to watch. 

Old Dan Tucker 
My Favorite Things 
Hand Jive
The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/1280274 2018-05-04T16:29:40Z 2018-05-04T16:29:41Z April 2018

April was an interesting month at the Melton casa. It was the coldest April ever recorded for NWA, we even got a bit of snow. It was often slow (and a bit boring) for me - as I was on physical restrictions post surgery. But we did have a bit of excitement.

We had a pretty low key Easter between cold and wet weather, and me being low energy from surgery recovery. Aylin had a lot of fun and enjoyed coloring eggs, as well as some fun things in her Easter basket.

Aylin got OFF-THE-CHARTS again at school and she got to have a fun ice cream date with our neighbor who has established a reward routine for when Aylin hits the off the chart goal. It's pretty special, and Aylin looks forward to their fun time together.

Nana came for a visit, and Aylin got to have some fun 1:1 time with her. They played games, and Aylin talked her ears off. 

I got to go on a women's retreat with church and had an amazing time. I got to have some productive in-plugged down time, I had some great conversations with lots of ladies, made new friends and got to hug friends I hadn't seen in a while. Soaked in the words that the awesome Sue Addington spoke to us about our Identity in Christ. Learned more about Enneagram, Love Languages, and personality types like Lion/Otter/Beaver/Golden Retriever. Sat by a camp fire, worshipped with tears flowing, made paper flowers, and leather earrings. It was such a great refreshing weekend! 

Aylin's school had a Breakfast for your Wonder Woman that I got to go to, and they also dressed up as Super Hero's for the day. 

We found a really cool luna moth in our front flower bed.

We ended up buying a new vehicle. It's a long story, and although we were hoping to be car payment free for a while longer than just a few months, it ended up being a good thing in the end. We got a great deal, and the process worked rather smoothly (as smoothly as car deal can go). It was the first pleasant car buying experience we've had in our marriage. Mostly because we communicated better and worked together to listen to each other, but also because Adventure Subaru treated us really well. (I also found out, thanks for the beverages available at Adventure Subaru that Blue Sky has some pretty amazing soda flavors that are no sugar sweetened with stevia, AWESOME!) Most importantly Jeff and I are both happy with the outcome. The vehicle hits the sweet spot for all of our needs; I am comfortable with where our payment landed, and Jeff is finally in a vehicle that he enjoys (rather than being stuck in a vehicle I chose before my vision crisis caused me to not be able to drive). And we are tremendously thankful for neighbors who were willing to be on call if the car deal went long so that someone was around to get Aylin off the bus. 
After the car deal was all settled Jeff got to turn around and head to Norfork for the men's retreat. While he was off having manly man time Aylin and I had a girls weekend. We had breakfast at the Bentonville Baking Company, shopped on the square, watched movies (Cinderella by Rogers and Hammerstein, Inside Out), made fun juice cocktails, ate junk food, and stayed up waaaaay too late. All in all it was a great weekend.

So that's a wrap for the month of April!

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/1269201 2018-03-16T17:30:00Z 2018-04-05T15:28:12Z March 2018

A quick recap of the Melton Casa happenings for the month of March:

Jeff and I celebrated 13 years of married bliss (and by bliss I mean hard work, laughter, tears, highs and lows). We celebrated with an actual date night out and a babysitter. We did lovely things - like had a nice dinner out (we went to Copelands, which we reminisced that once upon a time Copeland's was one of the few nice restaurants in the area), then we went for dessert at Bentonville Baking Company followed by coffee at Onyx. 

We also got to see a bunch of brand new lambs out on Papa Joe's farm. Let me tell you, they are just as precious as you can imagine. They really do jump and hop around, and watching them frolic is just the cutest thing, and they are SO FLUFFY.

There were a couple of Ewes that had actually had triplets, which is problematic because we learned that sheep only have 2 nipples. So this cute little black dude with the white diamond was the smaller of the triplets and he got to come back to Papa's clinic to get bottle fed so that everyone gets a fighting chance to survive. Little Lambs On The Farm Video

I spent a good portion of the first half of the month pre-occupied by my (Teena) upcoming surgery. I poured my nervous energy into deep cleaning the house; getting everything as ready as possible for me to be out of commission for a bit. I had a hard time settling my brain because I didn't know what to expect, and the not knowing had me struggling. Jeff and Aylin were rock stars, though, and helped, and loved me through the chaos in my brain. We were thrown for a bit of a loop when we went in for my pre-op appointments and found out that the nurse who had told me the procedure would be outpatient and I would be home the same day - well she was wrong. Turns out all patients actually have to stay overnight after the procedure, which makes sense, and ultimately was a good thing. But it meant that we had to once again change plans for Aylin. But rock-star Grama Linda came to the rescue and even though it was her anniversary she met up with us to take Aylin for a few nights.

Spring Break: In spite of my surgery taking up a lot of brain space, Aylin got to have some fun. On Monday while I had my pre-op appointments Aylin got to go have a fun day with one of my sweet Taxi Ladies; she took Aylin to Chick-Fil-A, then they went and painted ceramics, and then they went out to lunch at The Crumpet. Topping all that off with a few nights with the grandparents (Shopping with Grama, lunch at Freddy's, and more baby lambs!) and it turned out to be a decent Spring Break after all for The Ginger Girl. 

Jeff and Aylin took (and still are!) such great care of me after surgery. Aylin waited on me hand and foot on Friday after coming back from her time with her grandparents. She stepped up her game big time by helping with laundry and dishes. We have been so proud of her and her willingness to help out around the house. She's a pretty great kiddo; we're lucky to have her. In some of my down time I did a little painting. I will likely do some more over the next few weeks since I'm not allowed to lift much, or do any strenuous exercise. It's been hard to _not do_ things because I've been feeling so good after surgery that it seems like I should be able to just pick up where I left off. But I get easily tired, and that reminds me that my body is still healing. So for now I have to find a happy medium between doing things I do have the energy for, and letting Jeff and Aylin pick up where I can't. They've been pretty amazing. Now I just need to find enough things to keep me occupied over the next few weeks until I'm fully healed. Aside from Netflix (which has gotten a lot of airtime the last couple of weeks) suggestions as to how to fill my time are welcome! And so are visits, and coffee meet-ups! 

A big THANK YOU to all those who helped out in so many ways last month, either with Aylin or with meals, or your checking in and spending time with me/us. It's all been such a huge blessing, and we have felt very loved on and cared for. 

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/1254704 2018-03-02T21:50:00Z 2018-03-02T22:54:05Z February 2018

Lots of FUN in the month of February around the Melton Casa! 

We had a cozy Super Bowl viewing just the 3 of us, I made sweet potato waffles and chicken with a honey sriracha aioli sauce. Jeff and I liked it, Aylin wasn't such a huge fan of the sweet potato waffles. We all marveled over JT and his crazy talent and generally PG halftime show. Then cheered on the Eagles as they pulled out a WIN over the Patriots. It was a pretty impressive game over all, and I'm not usually in to football... So there's that.

Aylin worked hard at school, and had set a goal to get OFF THE CHART on her behavior chart. They use a clip up/clip down system in her classroom; for good behavior they clip up, and bad they clip down. Often times her chatty nature causes her problems and she hovers around green (which is neutral). So hitting pink (highest color) or off the chart (highest possible) is a pretty big deal. She made a pact with a neighbor friend that if she got off the chart, our neighbor told her she would take her for a hot chocolate treat. So it was a big deal when she finally did set her mind to it and she reached her goal. In fact by the end of the month she had reached off the chart TWICE. 

IF:Gathering - This isn't something I would typically write about in the family blog, but I decided it was ok as a little blurb because, after all, it was something that happened in February. IF:Gathering is an awesome Women's Conference (of sorts) that takes place in the beginning of Feb, and this was the 5th year. It's hosted down in Texas and was the brain child of Jennie Allen. I have watched it online in the past, and last year watched it with friends. This year though I decided to go watch the simulcast with a friend at her church. It was so so good! If you've never been a part of it, you should definitely look it up. They keep the videos available online on their website for you to go back to and re-watch, or host a gathering in your home at another point in the year if February isn't a good month for you. I think there is a small fee for downloading it, but it is so so worth it. It's great to be able to hit the pause button on all the other things that keep us busy, and connect with other women in such a deep and meaningful way. It's so inspiring, and it fills me up each year. It was so fun to get to do it with a close friend this year. 

Valentines! I had fun spoiling my loves with yummy food and decorations for Valentines. I made toad in a hole for breakfast using a heart shaped cutter for the holes. For dinner we had chili and cornbread but I colored the cornbread pinkish red, and set the table all nice with our red place mats and used real napkins and set the table all fancy like. 

Aylin made an ADORABLE unicorn for her school Valentine box, and made rainbow colored hearts for her valentine cards. I love that she loves to make her cards herself. She had a lot of fun thinking through and then putting together the unicorn box. Yay Pinterest for ideas, and then figuring out how to make it work with what we have and putting her own unique touches to it. I love her spunk and creatiity.


Aylin got to enjoy some cousin time with baby Eliza and learn a little bit about babysitting. She had so much fun, and Eliza is just such a doll! In a few short years she'll be doing the babysitting all by herself! Oh my!

Aylin's BIRTHDAY! It's hard to believe that tiny little munchkin has grown into such a sweet, responsible, kind-hearted 9 year old! We started the celebration off with dinner after church Saturday night, we had to go to secondary options though because her first pick was such a long wait it would have been disasterous. So she picked Whole Hog BBQ that we took home to enjoy while watching a movie (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!). Then Sunday we surprised her with a day in Spingfield, MO - we matched up with Papa Joe and Grama Linda at the Mall and did some shopping, part of our gift to Aylin was letting her shop (I'm pretty sure shopping is one of her love languages) and pick out some things. Justice, and Build-A-Bear were the main attractions (shocker). She loved picking out an adorable bunny and going through the whole routine of picking out what sound thing goes inside, putting in a beating heart, she added a bubble gum smell packet to it, and then picked out a cute cheerleader outfit for her. Now Lilie Bunny gets pampered and sleeps beside her with her very own sleeping mask. It's adorable, even if the music inside the bunny drives me bonkers. We also enjoyed the Bass Pro Aquarium and Wild Life museum. Holy Cow! That place is huge, and amazing. It was a lot of fun (and walking!) and there were so many neat things to see! We could have probably easily killed the whole day there. As it was, our feet were getting tired and we still had a long drive home. So instead of a nicer dinner out we made due with a McD's happy meal, and Starbucks for mom & dad before heading back home. 

DAY OF THE BIRTHDAY: #theGingerGirl requested chocolate chip pancakes for her breakfast in bed, and P.F.Chengs style lettuce wraps for her birthday dinner. Plus I took my baking game for an adventure and made a rainbow-layered unicorn cake. Let me tell you; that was the hardest cake I've done yet, but also the most fun. I had to do the layers of the cake twice (because the first set of layers didn't turn out how I wanted them to - they were uneven and lumpy), so I was glad I had thought ahead and bought an extra cake mix just in case... But it turned out great, and Aylin was blown away. It was totally worth it. I went with the Unicorn/Rainbow theme - and made a homemade birthday banner. She also got a new unicorn beanie boo, and a locket necklace. 

All in all, I think she got everything her sweet little heart desired, and then some. It's been a fun tradition to do a birthday experience of some sort each year. She had been really hoping for a party with friends, but I think(hope) that ultimately the fun memories we make will outweigh the need for a party with friends. Because while I love doing fun things and going over the top for the family - the party with friends idea stresses me out. Our house isnt big enough to host a lot of people, and February is just such a gamble for hoping for nice weather to do something outside.

Finally - a fun little bit of celebration is in order as I (Teena) have been working hard at losing weight. With a little pharmecological assistance and sticking with a low carb - smart eating diet; I've managed to lose 15 pounds so far! My goal is to be down 20 pounds by the time I have surgery in March, which I am on track for. I just need to keep making good choices and stay focused on the long term benefit (being healthy, more energy, better quality of life, etc) rather than feeling sad because I want a sweet treat. Most of the time it's not been a problem. But occasionally I slip up. Generally I have been doing really well with it as long as I stay out in front of it, and have food handy that both appeals to me, and fits my guidelines. Because if I don't have something handy, easy, or already planned all bets are off and the plan goes out the window. So, here's to heatlhy choices!

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/1242327 2018-01-16T18:00:00Z 2018-02-06T01:42:40Z January 2018

Once again - after a year hiatus - I would like to attempt to do a monthly blog update. Here is a collection of happenings from January:

Aylin attended a painting class during the holiday break (she had a blast) and made some pretty amazing paintings. Painting With Mrs. Guillory is a guided art class for kids; usually she has a pre sketched image to help give the kiddos a vision and then she'll guide them through painting each piece and making it come to life. It's a similar idea of a Painting With A Twist, but it's for kiddos. Mrs. Guillory is a super sweet lady, who Aylin had as her Global Connections teacher while she was at R.E. Baker. She is amazing with kids, and obviously loves what she does. (https://guillorysart.weebly.com/)

Also while on our long holiday break (it was like the "Song that has no end... it just went on and on, my friend!") Aylin had some fun with a hammer (!) and smashed open some geodes that she got in a kit from Aunt Rachel for Christmas. 

We had a couple of wintery weather days. Which got Aylin an additional day off of school following Martin Luther King day.

We didn't get just a whole lot in downtown Bentonville, but surrounding areas (particularly Bella Vista) got just enough more that the district decided to call a snow day. #TheGingerGirl was super excited and enjoyed getting out in the snow and playing a bit. She threw snowballs at the back door and giggled at us through the door. Jeff and I were more like:

An artsy thing Aylin and I did was attempt some 3D art:

Aylin had been learning about OpArt (or Optical Illusion Art) in Art class at school, and I remembered seeing a video on facebook about making a simple 3D hand. So we tried it, and this was our result.

I got brave with my new Instant Pot and tried a batch of Pork Ribs, which turned out AmAzInG! I have tried both beef, and pork ribs a couple of times before, with not so great results. So this felt like a huge win, that not only did they turn out good, but my new kitchen gadget helped me make them great. (Can you tell I'm not excited about that, At All?!)

A fun thing Aylin gets to do once a month is a thing called Lifeline, it's through Camp War Eagle and she gathers one night a month with all the other kiddos in elementary and middle school who attend CWE for a night of games, worship, and generally just a whole bunch of fun. This has also turned into a kid free date night (that we don't have to pay for a sitter!! Whoop Whoop!) for Jeff and I, and that's just awesome. January's theme was Carnival Craze, and as per usual she rang in her Friday evening PUMPED UP. 

It's been fun, and good, for Jeff and I to be able to spend some time together as adults. We've been learning and growing as a couple and it's been nice to reap the benefits of our labor. We've been functioning together as a team in some really great ways lately and I am so thankful for how far God has brought us as a couple these last few years. 

A couple of fun school things for January

Aylin had a week of themed dress days at school. One of the days was to dress crazy. Let me tell you: this kid pulled out all the stops. Mismatched shoes and socks, shirt - skirt - legging of all different prints, and pigtails. This girl ROCKED Crazy day. 

Aylin's class got to lead her school's Rise and Shine (weekly Friday morning, school wide assembly). Their focus was on the word Commitment and they all worked really hard at making their own slides of things they were committed to. It was pretty precious (and funny) to listen to each kiddo speak to their commitments for 2018 (and beyond). I'll imbed a couple videos, which are admittedly a bit long but I just can't help myself. 

Commitment video #1

Commitment video #2

Aylin received the Student of the Week award the same day her class made their Commitment presentation. Jeff and I surprised her at Rise and Shine (she had been asking all week if I would come see her presentation, and I kept being frustratingly non committal to her about whether or not I would come). So when we both showed up she beamed like a star. We're pretty proud of the person she's growing up to be. 

(Attempting to wrap this book of a blog post up...), I spent a morning at my favorite place - Onyx. Got myself some breakfast, and did some journaling, and thinking. I'm learning that as an Enneagram 9 if I don't make space for myself to do those things, they don't ever happen. My head gets cluttered up and my brain gets overwhelmed. So I'm attempting to take some time every so often and do some of those much needed brain space activities so that the clutter doesn't eat me alive. I also had 2 different people, from very different areas in my life tell me in the last month or so that I needed to write out My Story. So I'm trying to wrap my head around that a little. I'm not so great at the story telling thing (ask my husband!), so I'm not sure how that will go and what that will look like. But in the mean time I am trying to actively contemplate it, and see where it goes.

Last but not least #TheGingerGirl and I went roller blading with some friends to the local Skate Place. What a Flash Back that was! We had So. Much. Fun! And holy cow, it was exhausting. Aylin did SO GOOD for her first time out on a big floor. I wouldn't necessarily say I picked right up where I left off, but I did stay upright the whole time, and I did manage a few fun things - like turning in quick circles and skating backwards. We all had so much fun, and agreed it should be a regular thing. The music and disco ball/lights really made it all so much fun. Plus it was a great workout! 

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/1007244 2016-03-04T19:32:35Z 2016-03-04T20:13:23Z The January Upload

That moment when you work on a new blog post and have it mostly finished and then you press the wrong button and the whole thing is lost... So... Here I go again!


Aylin got to spend 3 Saturdays in January taking Art classes at Crystal Bridges Museum. The first week they learned about developing characters (she painted a Chef), the second week they learned about setting the scene (they colored their drawings using water and colored tissue paper), then finally they wrote a story (she wrote about a bear, it was a little terrifying actually). Then while Aylin was at the art classes mom got to enjoy exploring the museum, enjoy a cup of coffee, and then i discovered one of the museums best kept secrets - the library on the top floor overlooking the water and Eleven restaurant.

A few other things that happened in January:

Jeff & Teena had a weekend excursion with Jeff's company over at the Hard Rock Casino Hotel while the grandparents in Harrison kept Aylin and appropriately wore her out (and spoiled her).

Aylin had TACKY day at school, and may I say that she did that well...

Aylin lost tooth #5

We enjoyed some warmer than usual weather and as such enjoyed our walks home from school, occasionally accompanied by her buddy Stella.

We only had one minor snow (which sadly for Aylin did not produce enjoy snow either for a snow day from school, or enough snow to make a snowman).

Aylin at random decided to entertain me with her mad breakdancing/bridging skillz:

I had another video I wanted to share, but apparently because it is 3 minutes long it doesn't want to upload due to the size. So maybe another day I'll get it figured out and add it in... 

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/1007222 2016-03-04T18:51:41Z 2016-03-04T20:18:41Z The December Upload

December a completely unexciting month around the Melton casa... Kidding!

Momma had a birthday and was thoroughly spoiled by the family. We had a delicious dinner out at Tusk & Trotter followed by a walk through downtown to enjoy the Christmas lights.

Aylin had the honor of being on the Trash Patrol for December at her school and she lead a little chant at BASH. She was so proud.

Then of course there is Christmas and all the fun that surrounds it. We decided for the first time to buy a real tree. Aylin and Mom got to attend a performance of the Nutcracker Ballet with friends, and it was SO FUN! Aylin dressed up as Cindy Lou Who for her Grinch Themed First Grade Christmas Party. Aylin decorated a gingerbread house.

Between Christmas and New Years Eve Aylin and Mom went on a last minute trip with friends to Silver Dollar City. Regrettably Daddy-O was not able to join us and had to stay behind to work. We watched It's a Wonderful Life, Frosty the Snowman, and the Rudolph Parade! 

We then had a fun and quiet New Years Eve celebration at home eating snack foods and playing Sorry!

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/964284 2016-01-05T16:33:43Z 2016-03-04T18:51:12Z The November Upload

November was a fun month in the Melton Casa! Teeth were lost, Birthday's were had, Trips were made. Here's a quick recap of our month.

Aylin had lots of fun, she lost tooth #3 and the tooth fairy almost got caught when trading the tooth for her usual gift. We also went out to the final First Friday of the year and braved the crazy that is Toy Land on the square where Aylin got to have a Photo Op with Hello Kitty. She also enjoyed a sprite from a glass bottle, along with park time and the Amazeum Dinos with her best friend Stella.

Next up: we (with the help of many friends) managed to pull off a Surprise 40th birthday party for Jeff! I was planning on it for most of 2 months leading up to his birthday. I couldn't have pulled it off without: Amy & Colin who took care of distracting and detaining Jeff before the party; April who helped me with last minute errand running to help me obtain all the things I thought I needed as well as helped with cleaning up after the party; Michelle and Wes Fikes who arrived early to help decorate. We had a full house that night, it was awesome! Jeff was well loved on in celebration of his big Four-Oh!

After Jeff's birthday he headed off to Honduras to help with putting a large kitchen onto an existing community building for a children's home. It was a whirlwind trip - they flew down early Saturday arriving late in the evening, and flew back the following Saturday. It was a great trip. Maybe he'll get around to blogging about it one of these days. Here are a few pictures from his trip.

While he was gone Aylin and I missed him tremendously. Aylin helped me make him a "Welcome Home" table cloth. While he was gone we were well taken care of by friends, family and neighbors. We are truly blessed to be so well loved by our community.

Last, and possibly least compared to all the other fun we had in November, we enjoyed the opening of the new downtown Walmart Neighborhood Market as well as Onyx. It has been so nice having a store half a mile from the house. Being able to walk down to the store for something I'd forgotten during my big Walmart runs, or to stop in after picking up Aylin from school has been wonderful. And having an amazing coffee place that has a fun environment as well as nice and friendly staff, it's been heaven. Onyx Bentonville is my happy place these days.

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/935358 2015-11-18T03:05:10Z 2015-11-18T11:57:17Z The October Upload

October, October. You came far too quickly! I was not yet ready for fall, but you came and went just the same. Ready or not, here you were.

Let's see here. The first week of October was exciting because Jeff had a tooth extracted (the same one that he got to have a root canal on after being damaged in his bike accident ended up not surviving), and Aylin also came down with a stomach bug the day after Jeff's surgery, plus I had parent teacher conferences that day. So that was fun. Two pitiful sweeties at home, while I ran down to the school to have a chat with Aylin's teacher. It was a great conference, I ended up being the last appointment of the day (and last parent meeting period) and she was quite chatty, so I got to learn lots of fun things about how the Ginger Girl spends her days. As has been par for the course, she adores reading and will read anything and everything she can get her paws on. Her teacher recognizes that she has great potential if Aylin will allow herself to be pushed a bit. So she decided that after the fall break, she was going to bring Aylin and a few other excited readers into a group and begin teaching them how to start doing book reports. Aylin really loves it, and her teacher is very strict in making the children be responsible for their learning. It has been really good for her. She struggled a bit the first week, or so until she got the hang of what her expectations were. Her biggest struggle seems to lie in allowing herself to be actually fully challenged. She has a perfection complex where she wants things to come out right the first time (no idea where that comes from.... *looks around sheepishly*), so sometimes she doesn't even want to try if she thinks there's a possibility that she may fail. Her teacher recognizes this, and holds her to a higher standard as a result. Which is a good thing, but it also causes frustration for Aylin. Learning how to stretch with that has been an interesting process, but I can already see how well the reading group she's been doing the last several weeks has helped advance her.

I experimented with my painting a bit, and my sister Becky gave me the inspiration for a fun piece: my Abstract Peacock. I had a lot of fun making this one, and completely lost myself in it for most of an entire day. I started on it relatively early in the day, mid morning, and didn't realize how late it was until suddenly my phone's alarm went off to remind me to start walking to school to pick up the kiddo. I finally finished it up with a few extra touches about a week later.

Aylin and I made some fun fall decor:

On fall break Aylin and I spent a lot of time at the Park, the Library, and the Amazeum:

Momma got upgraded to an iPhone when my Moto X decided to kick the bucket. And to top off our fun fall break, we decided that while we were in Tulsa (to go to the nearest Apple store) we'd go ahead and make a day of it and go to the Zoo! That was the best decision yet, it was the perfect day to go to the zoo. The temperature was amazing! There wasn't a lot of people there, and we stayed all the way until closing time and got to have our very own personal tour back through the zoo from a friendly security guard on a golf cart. We were at the back of the zoo when it was 10 minutes till close and he offered to drive us back up to the front (mom was very glad for this because by then my feet were tired), and along the way he provided lots of fun commentary, and information about various animals as we drove by. Such fun! Family memories in the making! One of the fun/crazy things was this big brown bear who likes to terrorize children. It was on the other side of a large (THICK thank goodness) glass wall, so the kids would come right up and get close in it's face. It would lay there and act like nothing was going on, just chillin'. Then suddently it would turn it's head and get right in a kid's face and roar and paw at the kid from the other side of the glass. The kids figured out it's tricks though, and kept at it just to get it to try to eat them, and the screams and squeals were epic.

Then of course was Halloween. Aylin finally decided on Eowyn for her costume. We had fun finding something that would fit the bill (thankfully i found something on amazon in a decent price range that would work) and then added accessories to finish it off. I think we pulled it off quite nicely! Aylin also helped with the pumpkin fun. She picked the pumpkins, one we attempted to do melted crayons on (which worked, but didn't work as well as I would have liked) and the other Aylin picked out the pattern that she wanted me to use and I carved it after she scooped out the guts. Aylin had a blast at the school's Halloween Costume Carnival, which is total chaos, and loved by all the kids and endured by the parents. Then we got to go Trick-Or-Treating around the downtown area near our house with friends, which was fun. 4 adults following around 2 little princesses! Jeff even participated a bit (blow me over with a feather!) he wore his kilt, and a sweatshirt.

Well I think that about wraps up October!

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/905767 2015-11-18T01:58:33Z 2015-11-18T02:05:46Z The September Upload

September Aylin got to go on a fun field trip to see Shrek the Musical! I don't have any pictures, because I didn't attend this field trip, but she enjoyed herself. She mostly talked about how silly they were and how they kept making jokes about "toots" and stuff.

Jeff made a fun gif showing off his beard growth since the bike accident, but at the moment I can't seem to locate it so I'm going to leave this as it for the moment, and hope to get back to it at some point to put the actual gif in the blog...

I (Teena) took my bike out a little more on a few adventures. I'm not as steady as I'd like to be, partly from my vision issues, and partly because I can't touch the ground as well as I'd like so I worry about having to stop at stop signs and not tipping over... Maybe I just need to take it down to Phat Tire and see if they can help me adjust it properly. But I am getting more adventurous on it, and went for a 2 mile round trip ride.

We kicked off rEcess for this semester with a BANG! Always a super fun time.

Aylin got to meet some of her favorite Princesses at the Farmer's Market, and I managed to take home a pretty decent haul that day too! We love us some Farmer's Market days!

I made my very first ever homemade lasagna, and it was a vegetarian one at that! It turned out super yummy!

Of course the amount of dishes that went with that project was horrendous. But still, the lasagna was soooo tasty!!

Aylin and I also spend quite a lot of time at the library these days, and one day she talked me into getting something from the cafe on our way out. So she shared her first every italian cream soda (raspberry of course!)... this face, she kills me!

Oh, and homemade chicken pot pie, can't forget that! As well as some cheddar broccoli soup, as requested by the Ginger Princess.

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/905763 2015-09-16T14:11:57Z 2015-09-16T14:39:54Z The August Upload

The month of August brought with it the start of school. Since we're in a non-traditional calendar we start quite a bit earlier than the traditional schedule schools. But now that we've got many weeks of this next year under our belts as well as a summer vacation I can officially say I love the non-traditional calendar. With only 6 weeks of summer break, we were able to jump right back into our regular week day routine with no problem. First grade has gone really well for Aylin. She is really enjoying her teacher and class. It's fun to hear how her teacher provides expectations of maturity from the students and how that gets parroted at home. "Teacher says she wont accept 'yeahs, and uh-huhs' for answers, only yeses and noes". Our teacher also uses a Dojo app where she gives and takes away points for various things throughout the day, and we get to see that in real time. She uses good descriptions so we have a pretty good idea as to what happens throughout the day, which can help spark dialog later at home with "how was you day at school today?, Can you tell me more about this dojo you got taken away? or I see you got extra points for this, tell me more about that!"I have also volunteered to start helping with Tuesday folders. It's fun to be where I can be available to help with things. Here's some pictures from Aylin's first day of FIRST GRADE!

Next up we had a super fun day at Terra Studio's down in Fayetteville. I had no idea this place was so amazing! I had heard about it, but really didn't know anything about it. We went with friends (the awesome Abby & Sarah), and had a blast! We definitely need to go again! We posed with trolls and gnomes, discovered a Wizard's cave, danced through a labyrinth, played a giant game of chess, and so much more! It was an awesome day!

Next up - I cut my hair EVEN SHORTER!!! Over a month later and I'm still a bit in a daze about it. Most days I love it, but some days I just don't (when do we ever just love our hair every single day, amirite?). I get paranoid that I look too boyish when I go without makeup and am grunging around in my workout clothes to drop the kiddo off at school. Since I can't put my hair up in a pony tail, when it's crazy looking pretty much my only option is to throw a ball cap on, which only adds to my paranoia of looking boyish. So we shall see if I keep it super short or not. But I'm thinking as it gets colder I'm going to be wishing it was a little longer.

Last but not least are cute little snippets of randomness from the month. On the left side you've got Aylin + Daddy-O cuteness. Daddy teaching Aylin nerd stuff, and a walk to the Farmer's Market. Top right Aylin got to ride a pony at First Friday (squeals of excitement!), the pony's name is Prince. Middle is Aylin reading from the spell book in the Wizard's cave at Terra Studio's. Then bottom right is Aylin just being her usual sweet self. I used my straightening iron to tame her wild hair on the bottom one morning before school and she loved how it curled around her face. So she insisted I take a picture to send to her daddy.

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/892082 2015-08-10T14:02:02Z 2015-11-11T16:43:44Z The July Upload

We started July in Charlotte with the Leach clan, complete with Fireworks and all kinds of family fun (see Family Trip to Charlotte). But the fun didn't stop there!

Aylin and I explored the children's area at Crystal Bridges, loving the fact that this is 1/2 a mile from our house. Mind you this was before the Amazeum opened which is a whole other ball of wax... Aylin put on puppet shows for me, sketched silhouettes, and created lots of fun things.

We made blackberry shakes, and Aylin created her very own concoction = pb&j balls! The recipe was something she was very intent on doing by herself. It started with a dash of salt, then she ripped up a few pieces of bread. Spoon fulls of peanut butter, jelly, and maybe ever a bit of honey... then it was all carefully mixed together and balled up. Next you put it in the freezer for a few minutes, and the Voila! PB&J Balls! She was so in love with her recipe that the next day while I was mowing the lawn she decided to make it again without supervision. There was at least one fully failed attempt that I later found in the trash during that time.

Next we finally got to play at the AMAZEUM! We will probably be spending every spare moment at this place, and likely will lose track of many hours at a time... Thank God they serve coffee in the cafe. Someone had momma's in mind when they chose those menu options!

We also spent a day going to the Walmart Museum on the square in an effort to get out of the house, but stay out of the heat. So we killed a lot of time in the museum and their fun little gift shop filled with lots of old time toys. While at the Walmart Museum we got barcoded, Aylin, me, and her hippo that tagged along...

We played on the square some more. Aylin lost her 2nd tooth. She also got to meet Elsa, Ariel, and Belle on the Bentonville square!

Aylin got to meet her First Grade teacher at meet the Teacher night, and explore her new classroom for the upcoming school year.

Aylin learned how to make loom band bracelets, and we found that it's actually easier to make them without the loom, than with. Either using your fingers, or use a set of pencils with an eraser placed between them and tape everything together. Now we have little colored rubber bands everywhere!

Last, but certainly not least; Jeff had his bicycle accident. I'm sure you'll hear him tell the story at some point, but he basically lost control of his bike while riding along the trail around lake Fayetteville on his lunch break. He says he got going too fast, and hit a wet area while going around a corner and low sided. He rolled, and his bike also rolled. Into him. Serveral times. He ended up with no broken bones, but got hit in the face with the handlebars breaking his top two middle teeth. One tooth is chipped, and the other tooth looks like a spiders web from under an x-ray and is completely dead. There will need to be at least one root canal and crown, it is undecided yet as to whether both teeth will need root canals/crowns. He also got 7 stitches under his chin. Both of his wrists and hands were sprained and swollen for quite some time. His neck, arms and back were also stiff and sore like he'd jammed the entire upper half of his body. He still, almost 3 weeks later, has some soreness and stiffness in his hands and face. His dentist told him he was very lucky he hadn't dislocated his jaw with the amount of impact he sustained. I'm just thankful the damage isn't worse, and that ultimately he walked away from it without any major damage that can't be repaired. He was wearing a helmet and gloves, and both of those were beat up/torn up in the process of the wreck. Both are a testament to how bad the damage could have been. Ironically the bike is fine. The plastic end plugs on the handlebars are broke or missing, and the foam around the handles were scuffed up. But otherwise the bike is just fine.

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/882537 2015-07-17T14:15:41Z 2015-07-18T00:41:30Z Family Visit in Charlotte

Cousin Fun! Lots of silly selfies, pool time, and passing out at night even though "I'm not tired yet"... it was so fun seeing all the cousins together. Aylin really enjoys hanging out with her cousins. Gabe greeted us at the door as soon as we'd gotten in from the airport and swooped in and bear hugged Aylin, picking her up off the floor. By the end of the week Aylin and Isaac were enjoying imaginary role play. Eli and I made the beginnings of homemade ice cream, but then never got around to putting it in the ice cream maker! And who can forget the GIANT LEGO GUMMIES courtesy of Gabe?! "Everythings Okkkaaaaaayyyyy, Because I'm on vacaaaaaayyyyyytion!" Thanks for that Gabe, I don't think that song will ever leave my head! ;-)

The Ultimate GNO - Cajun Canvas had no idea what hit them when the Leach Ladies made reservations to come paint! Wine, Paint, and Sassy ladies! We had lots of fun!

Lovies! (Are Love Selfies a thing? If not they should be...)

4th of July fun! We went to a local church that hosted a fun 4th of July cook out with bouncy houses, a water slide, and a gaming truck. The kids had a blast! Then we went back to the house and enjoyed fireworks in the back yard and family time!

Aylin and Aunt Rachel danced together at the gaming truck.

Discovery Place!!! Wow we had a big day. So many pictures! So much to do and see. We packed in a full day of excitement here! We got to do a 3D dinosaur movie (obligatory mobster photo op), aquarium, tropical forest area with rope bridge and toucans (and giant roaches, OH MY!) bed of nails, elevator chairs, build your own car races, Band photo ops with stage diving (great job E!), learning all about guitars, and of course you have to ride the dino in the kiddie area!

And then I got a surprise day at Carowinds when Rachel found a discount coupon! With overcast skies and threats of rain we got to park close, and never waited more than 15 minutes in line for ANYTHING! We got our Fury on 4x in a row first thing in the morning. We coastered ourselves silly until we just couldn't handle any more. I think we couted 9 coaster rides (including repeat rides), and of course you've gotta get things like the carousel, bumper cars, and the giant swings in too! Then we actually started to get some of that rain so we called it a day since we'd managed to fit everything in before dinner time.

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/882062 2015-07-17T12:58:54Z 2015-07-17T12:58:58Z The June Upload

June was a busy busy month 'round the Melton house! We completed Kindergarten (I say we, because it really is a family thing...parts for everyone to play.) We've been catching lightening bugs, trekking to the Farmer's Market, doing crafts, playing in the sprinkler, playdates, and traveling to Charlotte (there's a separate post for that one coming up). I also rode my bike from the house to Harp's for the first time before school let out for the summer. It was nice to check that off my list and know that not only can i do it, but that it wasn't all that bad. I was pretty nervous about it, my heart was racing and not just because I was getting a bit of a workout. But in the end, I managed to navigate just fine and didn't run into anything or anyone! I even had to find an alternate route when a squad of fire trucks was blocking my way to the store. To think... this is just the beginning of our summer fun! Now on to the pictures!

Here we have the "Last Day of School" mix:

1) Aylin is very proud of her Field Day participation award

2) Last day of Kindergarten!

3) Last walk to school as a Kindergartener

4) Last lunch in the cafeteria with mom and Silly Selfies

5) Aylin with her teacher, Mrs. Scott, on her last day

6) Last day of school fun treat!

7) Last day of school crazy class pic.

Next up the "Play Time" mix:

1) Splash Park fun

2) Sprinkler fun

3) Experimenting with textures on clay at the Kids Art Park (at the Farmer's Market)

4) Same as #3 :)

5) Helping in a giant weaving project to be auctioned off, also part of the Kids Art Park

6) Gotta get a pic in the miniature Sam Walton pick up truck

7) Garden Tea Parties with a friend

8) Checking out the kids area at Crystal Bridges with friends

9) Shouting into the horn at Crystal Bridges with friends

And now for "Our Back Yard Visitors"

We've enjoyed the deer sightings in our back yard. It's been pretty surreal to see so many deer, in daylight hours, IN TOWN.

Next we have my "Random Pic(k)s"

1) All dressed up for a date with daddy!

2) A nice quiet (and cooler than normal) June evening, keeping the skeeterz at bay with my torch.

3) Getting our Farmer's Market on with the new wagon!

4) My bike parked at Harp's!

Aaaand last but not least "Flying to Charlotte"

1) Gotta ride the moving sidewalk!

2) Hysterical giggles, we're so excited!

3) Ooooh pretty!

4) Sleepy kiddo

5) City lights over Charlotte

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/871307 2015-06-19T18:05:45Z 2015-06-22T21:17:33Z The May Upload

So May was a pretty full month! We had a little over a week break from school, during which the first Bentonville Film Festival was held. We also enjoyed our First Friday Flick for the summer at the Lawrence Plaza - Big Hero 6, and Aylin had a friend from school meet her to watch the movie with her. That sweet little guy made his mom wait with him in line nearly 30 minutes to get a flower balloon before the movie so he could give it to Aylin. Precious! And who could resist a walk to the library with a banana split on the way home?! Not US!

Then for mother's day we enjoyed a day at Crystal Bridges with Papa Joe and Grama Linda and company. Aylin adores her Uncle Robert, and she spent most of the trip in the museum attached to him. We also enjoyed a meal at Flying Fish where Aylin made everyone try her fortune telling fish - lots of fun!

Then to top it all off Aylin and I both got haircuts and will be donating our locks. We are both loving our new short do's, just perfect for summer time! Now if we could just get it to stop raining... Aylin also had a project to complete for her class - Flat Stanley. We were supposed to pick a place or business in Bentonville and learn about it, and then bring our findings back to the school to talk to the class about it. Aylin picked the library, because that is one of her favorite places to be. We had fun gathering materials for the project.

Well that's the skinny on the month of May in the Melton Casa. Stay tuned, June and summer break are upon us!

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/864358 2015-06-02T14:59:04Z 2015-06-03T01:09:20Z Aylin and Teena Haircut Donations

Aylin has been musing lately about getting her haircut, but waffled pretty significantly as to whether or not she was going to just cut a few inches off, or go dramatically short. Then a friend from school got her hair cut from very long, to a cute bob cut and then Aylin decided a cute short cut might be fun after all. Then we talked about how if she did get it cut short we would be able to donate her hair to children who have lost their hair due to cancer or other illness. So we decided to take the plunge. I was also in the mood for a dramatic cut myself, and she seemed like she maybe needed a little extra nudge, so I decided to cut mine short enough that I could also donate. So here are our before and after pictures...

Before, from the front

Before, from the back

After, from the front

After, from the back

We are both very pleased with the results, and enjoying the simplicity of the short (and very warm weather friendly!) haircuts.

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/849107 2015-04-29T21:04:41Z 2015-04-29T21:59:14Z The April Upload

It's been a hectic April getting settled into the new place and trying to find a new rhythm. We love having the freedom to get up and go and walk wherever we please. It's so wonderful to literally have the Compton Gardens and Crystal bridges trails as our backyard playground. But we also enjoy a relatively slow and peaceful routine, and so far life has been anything but slow. Now that I have the ability to, I've been trying to help out more in Aylin's classroom. I tagged along on a field trip, and I try to get in and help out with reading folders once a week or so. It's been fun getting to know the kids in her classroom, and get to where they recognize me. Aylin has also really enjoyed walking to school. I halfway expected her to whine about the longer walk to school since we were basically doubling the distance from what she had been used to with walking to the bus. But so far I have yet to hear a complaint (knock on wood), even when it's raining. She even refused a ride from her dad once when it was raining because she wanted to walk. I have been enjoying the pleasure of being able to get out and about on my own. Treating myself to a coffee, or meeting a friend for lunch (or coffee) without having to have someone come and pick me up first is pretty neat! I'll be pretty ecstatic when the new Walmart Neighborhood Market opens up on the square, because it's on Main, and it'll be a straight shot up the sidewalk for me just about a half a mile from my house. It's also been fun meeting people in the neighborhood. Lots of friendly people. We have a sweet couple who live right next to us who have really taken to Aylin and just let her jabber on and on. It makes a momma's heart feel good when other people love their kiddo, even when they don't have to.

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/849080 2015-04-29T20:41:35Z 2015-04-29T22:04:30Z Wild Wilderness Field Trip

I got the opportunity to tag along on a field trip with Aylin's class last week. We visited the Gentry Safari and the petting zoo. The kids had an amazing time. I rode along with another mom and we met the buses in Gentry. It was pretty wild being on the bus, though, packed with kindergarteners driving through the safari. I honestly didn't get to see much because I sat on the inside aisle seat so that the kids could stand on the seats and plaster themselves against the windows. I did manage to snap a few shots of the big cats, as well as a few others. Then I got to attempt to keep up with 4 of the kiddos and escort them through the various exciting sights through the petting zoo. That part was pretty fun. The kids got to feed the giraffes lettuce. Then I was given a loaf of bread to pass out to the kids to feed to any critter that would get close enough to eat it. Although most of the critters just got food thrown at them as the kids got timid once they got close to things. Especially the kangaroos. Notice how Aylin was the farthest away in the picture with the kangaroo. She was not getting ANY closer than that. Apparently the swift movements put her way out of her comfort zone where animals are concerned. We saw monkeys, pot bellied pigs, kangaroos, peacocks, rabbits, goats, various types of exotic birds. Lots of fun was had. Here is my picture collage to mark the day. :)

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/845115 2015-04-22T22:10:17Z 2015-04-25T15:04:02Z Snaggletooth

So this just happened today...

She's been waiting and waiting to finally lose a tooth, and now she's a member of the snaggletooth club!

Now she's anxiously awaiting the arrival of the toothfairy!

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/834867 2015-04-02T17:28:05Z 2015-04-02T22:09:14Z The Melton Move

So. THAT just happened! Let me tell you just how AWESOME, and BIG our God is. I mean, truly, He's just blown me away.

This all just started 2.5 weeks ago (Sunday, March 15th to be exact). Aylin and I had gone and had a girls day with friends, and Jeff went to go have some quiet time of his own. While out he decided to go driving around downtown Bentonville and came across a house with a for rent sign in the yard and decided to call the number. When Aylin and I got home from brunch and shopping Jeff was not yet home from his drive/quiet time. When he did get home he asks me "So, how'd you like to go look at a house?" My response was... "Um, okay". My mind totally had not been on homes. As some of you may know, I had been rather consumed with wanting to move to the downtown Bentonville area ever since I lost my eye sight and my ability to drive. And over the last several months I'd decided to just let God have that. It would happen when the time was right. I needed to quit focusing on it, and letting it consume me. So the question caught me off guard. So we went to look at the house. Cute house, perfect size for our needs, ideal location, priced in our sweet spot. So much to love about it. So we decided to fill out the application right then and there. We got the call that our application was approved the following Wednesday afternoon - the same day that my mother was flying in to visit us. By Friday afternoon we had put a deposit down and given our notice for the house we were in. Here's the crazy part. We moved in by the next weekend! Mom and I spent the next week working like crazy to get everything boxed up and ready to move, and the Amazing Sue Addington came in and packed up my whole kitchen in just a few hours! THEN our super awesome community group went way beyond any expectation I may have had (and lets be honest, I was in such a tizzy I really had no expectation here. God was so at work that I really could hardly keep up.) they showed up on moving day and loaded the truck, CLEANED MY OLD HOUSE (seriously I love you guys!), then unloaded the truck ALL INSIDE OF 4 HOURS!

I have to pause just to take a breath, and soak that all in! Holy WOW!

Truly, ya'll were the perfect picture of the Body of Christ at work. Without my mom, Sue, and every single sweet person that came to help us move (YES! Including those kiddos because they worked hard too!) it could not have happened in the timeline that was so clearly orchestrated by Our Father. He had this planned out long before we had any idea. He knew when my mom purchased her plane ticket that we would need her help to move. He knew the size of the house we would need, and he knew the exact spot that we needed to be in.

God has big plans, and this is just a small step in that direction as we keep on following the path He has for us. Thank you all for stepping in on our journey these last couple of weeks! I really cannot thank you enough. Once my kitchen (and my head) are back in order there will be much banana bread making, because what says "Thanks so much" more than banana bread?!

So come see us! We'd love to have you!


The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/825158 2015-03-16T13:26:27Z 2015-03-17T00:19:06Z Happy 10 Years Jeff & Teena!!!

Jeff and I had the pleasure of celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary last week, and just like on our wedding 10 years ago the weather that followed over the weekend was just as beautiful as it was that day. Sunshine and 70's, so nice!

We celebrated the day with a few sweet things; I posted 10 sweet-talking sticky notes around the house in amongst items so that Jeff would find them during his usual morning routine. Jeff sent me some lovely flowers. We're planning on doing something special when Grama Jeanne comes to visit us. She'll be coming this week, and staying for 2 weeks. So at some point in there maybe we'll get us a weekend away or some other fun couples date type stuff.

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/825150 2015-03-16T13:14:05Z 2015-03-17T00:19:14Z Aylin's First Cavity

So Aylin got to experience the joy of getting her very first cavity fixed last Monday. I really hadn't expected to have to deal with that quite so soon... Clearly we need to work on getting those toofers cleaned better. Anywho... The dentist highly recommended we use the "happy gas" even though our insurance didn't cover it. So we went with it, and I'm glad we did. She was pretty nervous to start, and even cried just having to put on the "piggy nose" (happy gas) because "it was weird". But after having it on for about 60 seconds the happy kicked in, and she was quite the goofball. She cracked herself up several times, and told the dentist and his assistant that everyone that worked at the dentist office should wear shorts, swim suites, flip flops, and piggy noses for their daily uniform at work. He got quite the kick out of her. He also joked that he should start an anonymous twitter account for "things kids say while on nitrous", I'm sure it would be a hoot if Aylin was any indication. So here are our pictures from the event.

Honestly the worst part was a combination of waiting for the numbness to wear off, and that half asleep tingling sensation while her mouth slowly came back to life. She fussed with and bit on her lip enough while it was numb that she'd made it raw and swollen. She reacted to it the same way I do; it lasted FOREVER. She had the work done at 4pm and the numbness still hadn't gone away by bedtime at 7:30. Thankfully she was worn out enough that even though she cried herself to sleep, it didn't take long for her to just give in and fall asleep.

The Meltons
tag:blog.themeltonplantation.com,2013:Post/821550 2015-03-09T14:11:16Z 2015-03-09T14:11:16Z Cindy Lou Who Hair - Aylin Style

Last week was Dr. Seuss' birthday, so we had a fun day each day last week where the kids went to school with some wild and wacky theme. One day was crazy shoes day, and pajama day, etc. Friday was dress as your favorite Dr. Seuss character day, so Aylin wanted "Cindy Lou Who" hair. We started out with the side braids, and I was going to tease up the top and put a bow in it, but we literally almost missed the bus because the hair was taking way longer than expected. So I ended up doing a third braid up top and just looping them all up and around. And unfortunately, since we were late to the bus stop, I didn't get any pics of it while it was still cute and fresh. So these pics are from the end of the school day...

The Meltons