The North Dakota Coxes (Four of us left)

Some things simply matter more than others

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving

As Christmas approaches, I simply must step back in time...Way back to Thanksgiving, and share some of the fun we had with Shan and AJ's families. I could journal about each picture, but in the interest of time and -- saving time, I'll let the photos speak for themselves. Enjoy! As usual, just a sampling of a memorable, fun weekend - and the last we will have at AJ and Josh's MN home, since they are moving on. Change is bittersweet, y'know?
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to anyone who stops by this blog!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas time is (almost) here!

I (MELANIE) decided this looked fun (thanks Alisa).
1. Have you started your Christmas shopping?
Started? I don't really Christmas shop...:S

2. Tell me about one of your special traditions.
Christmas music begins after halloween. Even if the rest of my family doesn't do it, I do.

3. When do you put up your tree?
Usually after thanksgiving, but this year it was mostly mom and dad that did it.

4. Are you a Black Friday shopper?
I never have, so no.

5. Do you travel at Christmas or stay home?
Usually travel, unless the rest of the family is coming here.

6. What is your funniest Christmas memory?
Alisa brought up the temporary trash can/toilet. That basically tops all.

7. What is your favorite Christmas movie of all time?
Definately Elf. Hands down.

8. Do you do your own Christmas baking?
ummmm no... :D I help sometimes

9. Fake or real tree?
I don't remember ever doing a real tree, but the romanticism of it seems wonderful.

10. What day does the actual panic set in to get it all done?
I HOPE I'm not panicing since I don't have to do anything.

11. Are you still wrapping presents on Christmas Eve?

12. What is your favorite family fun time at Christmas?
Being together, watching kids.

13. What Christmas craft do you like the best?
I made a snowman out of glass balls and a sock and other stuff this year. I was proud.

14. Christmas music, yes or no? And if yes, what is your favorite song?
YES!!!! Secular: Santa Baby, Christmas Time is Here, The Christmas Song( aka Chestnuts roasting on a open fire)
Religious: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Good King Wenceslas, Oh Come All Ye Faithful (especially in Latin) ET AL

15. When do you plan to finish all of your shopping?

I realized that most of these questions were not directed at teenagers, but oh well.
So now that you've read this, TAG you're it! Copy the questions on your blog and answer them! It's so fun seeing what everyone's traditions and favorites are!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Happy Birthday to our new Seventeener!

What can I say about Little Miss Sunshine? She's older, bigger (in that long, lean way we all wish we had), and smarter than when she charmed us all by coming into the world - and reciting movie lines before some can talk - but she's just as sweet and beloved as ever.

First day of junior year; she sure knows how to pose!

Always gathering up people she loves for warm fuzzies and photos!
(Recognize the quilt? It's the one Suzie made...)

Yes, that's Kenneth Cope, who spoke and sang at their big summer event, then gave photo opps to his faves... okay, maybe everyone who asked. ;-} But he's now one of her MANY Facebook friends.

Carl Fredrickson and his house, from UP-- Alias Mel and one of her best buds

I think she has a million photos like this one of her and another best bud during the musical. When someone becomes famous, all those photo duos she's snapped will come in handy...

These pics are only a sampling of Mel and all she has going on... But her favorite thing about her birthday (and there was much to smile about)was that all the married sibs called her! Thanks, you awesome big brothers and sisters, for staying so connected to these much younger cabooses!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A mini - update; more to come...

When has November been so warm in North Dakota?? Suzie was loving the sunshine and we took a handful of silly pics, of which this is representative. ;-}

Mel's wings, Suzie's wearing them, both are dancing - life is made for moments like this...

As for Mel, she kept busy through the Fall with this year's musical, "Beauty and the Beast", where she was a young girl in the "little town, little peaceful village..." Yes, a chorus girl - but it was better than being a man (last year she was a pirate), and she sure knows how to make her little parts into BIG fun!
I also have to tell you that she made the choice to not practice or perform on Sunday, limiting her options for parts. Tough choice. Awesome kid. No, awesome young woman, and I know she will always be glad she honored whom she honored by her choice.

The lady in the photo is actually her viola instructor, but they are great buds - and it's the best picture I got. Ana M. probably has a roomful of great shots: she went to every show since Ammon was Lumiere... (Speaking of Ana, she took nice photos of Mel and Ammon at his prom last year, but I forgot to post them in a timely manner, so all anyone got to see were her CHS date...So sorry. Now seems much too much later.)
So there you have it. Our Indian summer came late, but it came, and we are grateful for every mild second of it. And, we are ready to PARTY THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS WITH FAMILY!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy Birthday to Suzie!

Our caboose, our final purchase, our BABY turned 14 and loves being a young woman! She thinks she's pretty big stuff, though we all know she's still a half-pint; But she's a pretty awesome person, and I think the whole clan joins in wishing her well (thanks to those who called) as she embarks on the year when she:
~Can start driving (learner's permits are still an option at 14 in ND - but don't worry, she won't be on the roads anytime soon;-)
~Can go to dances
~May have/attend boy/girl parties
~Becomes a Mia Maid
~Finally gets a phone! (I know, sibs, it seems we're spoiling the baby; it IS one of those things that's moved downward age-wise. But it's a convenience for Mom, Dad and Mel as much as a "keeping up with peers" device for her (and she's still got more limitations and less perks than anyone...just ask her!)
Suzie's doing good things in her life. She's got her share of quirks and faults, like the rest of us humans, but we want her to know, as she wanders into the world of more responsibility and accountability, that we love her and are proud of her!
Happy Birthday, Suzie!

After a school choir concert, with Alyssa, her next-door friend from baby-hood, who's an easy foot taller now!

A quilt she made for a YW project, with help from a couple of seasoned quilters in the ward

Basking in the sun: one of her favorite things...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Arizona, Albuquerque, and American Mothers

Tim and I went on a vacation of sorts in early October, while Mel and Suzie slaved away at school. (Hey, it wasn't my idea to leave them home; they're so stinkin' dedicated...) First, we were with the Gibbys and Ben Coxes in the Valley of the Sun for Conference weekend. Space and the limitations of my photography mean you get less than we did. But it's still worth a peek...

(David was enjoying the cool of the tile floor.)

A peek at the grandies, that is... All the adults were busy, you see. ;-}
And I think it's official enough to mention that, while there, we learned of another Gibby on order! Hooray for #5 for them, 12 grandies for us! Bless you, Emily, through the grunge days of pregnancy...

Then we went to Albuquerque (for work meetings) during the International Balloon Festival!
Hundreds of hot-air balloons in as many designs and from all over the world:

We were there early in the morning, and the views were far better than I can provide for you. Trust me, it was memorable!

So many balloons, so little space on a blog...

That's the moon in the western sky, as the sun was coming up in the east; Mr. Moon actually looked much bigger and more impressive...

And, even though I'm posting no beautiful pictures of New Hampshire in the Fall, I still want to mention my visit there for board meetings of American Mothers, Inc.
The leaves were not yet changed (it was still September-the week of my birthday), and I really didn't spend much time enjoying the glories of NH: we, the board members of this national non-profit organization, were in meetings from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. each day! But it was a great learning experience, and I was reminded again that there are thousands of moms across this country who feel as I do: that motherhood is the most important, most meaningful career of all, and the sanctity of home and family has to be watched over and even fought for by organizations like American Mothers - thus my involvement. A worthwhile cause deserves a little crusading, you know? ;-] If you want to know more, you can check out the website, The site itself is evolving, as is the organization, because even great ideas have to be marketed well...
Of course, the best organization for guarding and guiding families is the organization that was created by God Himself to help families get Home to Him: the Church of Jesus Christ. Which brings us full circle, to my mention of Conference weekend. Lacking the eloquence of others, and especially of those who spoke with the power of the Spirit, I close my mouth, and my post, with gratitude for a weekend that fuels us for six months. What a blessing!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Travelin' Mama

I've been to New Hampshire, Arizona and New Mexico - and spent a lot of days at home, I confess, though none of them were empty or boring - since my last post. Since I'm not much for journaling and more of a photo album blogger, I'll leave it at that until I post with visuals. Ta Ta For Now!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lazy Days of Summer Slippin' Away...

Whoever coined the phrase "better late than never" didn't yet know of this generation of instantaneousness. The phrase is a dinosaur, along with anything not broadcast quicker than a flea's life. Allow me to make my case in my own wandering way...
The summer has been good for the ND family: with time together with our extended families as well as all our delightful offspring and their most excellent spouses and children; cool weather (but enough hot for a little outdoor enjoyment); our first decent garden since living in ND (zucchini, anyone? Yes, my seed-planting enthusiasm paid off punitively); and the laid-back lifestyle we chose (excluding Tim - he has maintained structure and workaholism against our best efforts), we can hesitantly say we are ready for school to start. (Ummm, well, maybe not really.) But we've shared nothing of our easy-livin' Summertime here on our photo album-blog, and now that the days are shorter and school starts in a matter of hours, it seems a little late.
But I am what I am. So, for your enjoyment (or perhaps just mine), here's a random sampling of those lazy days of summer; if it seems so late it's lame, well, better late than never.
Oops. Fleas are dead all around me.

Tim enjoying his birthday gift. I must love this guy...

The reunion is well-documented on "Bench Branches", our BIG family site. But I had to include one shot of the Red Hoarde...

No, I didn't open my eyes during the prayer. It hadn't started yet. But this is what you get with a room full of little people...

One more of the whole fam damily:

Is Suzie a bookish nerd?

...Or just crazy?? Only her family knows for sure (that she's truly a blend)!

Alisa's visit with baby Karly was sweet stuff... was the invasion of Stella and James, with AJ in tow!

I drove Mel and Suzie (and others) to a MUY especial YW Encampment, where they hung out with Sister Dalton and Kenneth Cope!

Then I took a drive to Laura Ingalls Wilder's childhood home On the Banks of Plumb Creek, near Walnut Grove, MN

Before school could resume, Mel and Suzie had to have Transformer shirts (Not really, it just happened that they both had them and dressed similarly one day; sometimes serendipity takes a hand)...

...And buy popsicles from a real neighborhood, music-blaring ice cream truck - life should always be this good!