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!

Aylin Jan - Feb 2015

Here are a few fun things that have been happening the last couple of months with Aylin:

1) The Ginger Girl is going to start taking ballet - She is SUPER EXCITED (if I cold make those words glow and sparkle maybe then it would truly convey her excitement). We're joining some friends from community group where the ballet is taught at a church and they use praise and worship music. It'll be fun to have friends to do an after school activity with. At the end of 3 months they do a recital, and Aylin is already geared up for it even though she hasn't yet attended her first class. She's also thoroughly convinced that she already knows every thing there is to know about ballet and she's just going to go dance with friends. I love her confidence, but sometimes... Oy.

2) And before ever introducing the idea of ballet lessons to the Ginger Girl simply cannot keep still if there is a groovy beat (or soft and flowing music, just any music at all really), so here she is dancing along at one of our runs to Starbucks.

3) THIS is a super fun kiddo. She was a real trooper when some of my intricately planned details ended up in the trash. The PLAN had been that on this particular Friday I would attend her school's monthly assembly (otherwise known as BASH) where she'd get called as a February Birthday, and then I would stay for the day at the school and assist with the class Valentines party. However the class party ended up moving to Thursday instead and I had a conflict and was then unable to attend. So I still attended BASH, where she not only got her Happy Birthday recognition, but ALSO got an AWARD for Extraordinary Effort (WOO)! Then I stayed and had lunch with her and we did crazy things like take goofy photos and look up silly cat pictures on my phone.

4) This is the sweetheart who was ecstatic to have her Daddy go attend the "Doughnuts with Dad" event at school with her.

5) The Ginger Girl enjoying her raspberry Hot Chocolate at Kennedy Coffee which HAS HER NAME ON IT (Oh my goodness the excitement was so real). We had a super fun family date night where we went to Chili's for dinner followed up with yummy hot drinks for all.

6) The Ginger Girl growing up without my permission... The headphones and ipod in her big chair just really get me. How did she get this big?!

7) The Ginger Girl on her FAVORITE thing EVAR at the playground. This girl just HEARTS swings. I'm confident that if we had one in our yard we would almost never see her. When she talks about recess at school it almost always involves the swings and who she was with on the swings. 

8) PIANO - Oh my goodness! I can't even, ya'll. My heart is so full right now. When we first acquired the piano from the sweet Acosta family Aylin was not interested in being shown how to play (reference previous point about knowing all about ballet before even taking a lesson...) so I just let it be for a while. I didn't want to force it and for it to become not fun. My mom sent me a lot of my old piano music - including lots of the beginners workbooks that I used when I learned how to play so many moons ago. Well we've hit a sweet spot finally! She wanted to learn how to play an actual song, rather than something she made up. So we're starting out very slowly and "lessons" only take place when they're requested. But we're both loving the process right now, and I'm ecstatic to be able to teach her.

9) And last but not least (And clearly my photos are out of order...) The Ginger Girl all dolled up for our sweet friend's - Joel & Cari - wedding. What a beautiful day that was, and we all had so much fun! Woo!

A day with The Ginger Girl and her Valentines

My day with the Ginger Girl at school:

First was BASH (!!!!!!!)

Birthday recognitions

Extraordinary Effort winner for her class

Then I surprised her and told her that I'd be coming back to have lunch with her, and the following is a result of our sillies at lunch:

And as a tag-along for Valentines since I wasn't able to make her Valentines day party these are the super cute Valentines we made for her class. I can't even tell you how tickled I was when she announced that she wanted to *make* her Valentines this year. We had made them the last few years at preschool, but I was sure she would want one of the store bought Frozen themed (or Hello Kitty!) Valentines. But NO! She wanted to make them. "You're a hoot valentine!"

At the Valentine Party