Monday, November 30, 2009

So Much to be Thankful For

We enjoyed Thansgiving with Verlene and Paul this year, in their new house. We missed Crystal (in the MTC) the Stevens family (in Utah and Chile), especially since this will be our last Thanksgiving in Denver. It makes us especially nostalgic. But, it couldn't have been a finer day to put in our memory book. The temperatures were in the low 70s, and after we ate we sat on the back deck and digested. From the deck we could enjoy a spectacular view of the front range mountains. Brandy enjoyed chasing a ball and coming back to get scratched behind the ear. She has a great life. Ed spent a good portion of his time in the study getting Verlene and Paul's new computer networked.
My carrot pudding turned out great.  The flan pan was the perfect pan to cook it in.
After dinner we went over to the church where the Twisted Sisters played a short family gig consisting of Angelina Baker, The Old Home Fill 'Er Up and Keep on Truckin' Cafe, and Over the River and Through the Woods. Matt and Brent Reichman dressed as fat old men and did the speak-singing on the Cafe song. Matt said it was every bit as much fun as he had imagined it would be!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Ed and I celebrated our 28th Wedding Anniversary by going out to dinner with Brittany, who had just arrived from Utah to celebrate Thanksgiving. We went to Pappadeaux's Restaurant in Westminster. Brittany had her first lobster, her first alligator, AND her first oysters on the half shell. It was a real adventure in dining! It took all evening (lobsters are a lot of work), but we still had time and  room for dessert--pecan pie, crème brûlée and pumpkin cheesecake. It's a good thing we only do this once a year!

We have so much to be grateful for as we celebrate our anniversary. We've enjoyed the journey together. We're grateful for our three wonderful daughters, for our friends and family, for the Gospel in our lives, and for the support we get from one another in all our endeavors. We've spent a lot of time lately thinking about all the wonderful things that have happened to us in Colorado. Next year our journey will take a new path as we move to Baltimore. We'll be looking forward together to this new leg of our journey!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Who Loves Crystal?

We're home from Utah, and have given up our youngest daughter to the Mission Training Center. We hope they're nice to her! It was pretty tough, but not as hard as sending Brittany to Afica alone from Denver International Airport. At least we were able to pass Crystal off to people who would take care of her. Although Brittany arrived safely in Africa, it was a long time before we were able to get that confirmation.

We stayed with Mom and Ed for a few days. We really appreciated their love and support. They even re-opened short order grill for Ed when he arrived late Tuesday evening.

Annette and Nikki fed us some turkey soup on Monday (after our long drive through the mountains). I've got to get myself a pasta maker. The home-made noodles were to die for!

We bought a few sweaters for Crystal Tuesday after we realized that the next two months she would not be having the hot, humid climate of El Salvador. Ed suggested the MTC should have simulated climates for the countries the missionaries will be living in.

Here is Brittany giving Crystal one of her last hugs (one with no tears involved, yet). We'll have to send cyber-hugs from now on. It's so tough to have Crystal gone, but we're so looking forward to our weekly email. We missed those after Brittany returned from South Africa.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Amanda is Xerxes

Friday night was Amanda's first starring role in an opera (or any stage production, for that manner). She was Xerxes, the King of Persia, singing the lead role in the opera by Handel. It was really a great evening. She did a terrific job. It was great because the opera had lots of humor in it, so it made the 3 hours just fly by. Even Ed was able to stay awake throughout the entire production despite having taken an early flight home from Baltimore that same morning.

Grandma and Ed (Melzer) were there from Utah. Nora drove up from Centennial, and Justin and his parents came up from Broomfield. Amanda didn't realize that she had the lead role till they staged their bows. When she realized she was the last person to come out for bows it suddenly dawned on her that she finally was the lead singer. It has been a long journey for her, which made it extra special.

The opera was sung in Italian with English and Spanish subtitles. Greeley has a significant migrant population, some of whom might enjoy opera...who knows?

They staged the opera in Iran (Persia in 1979), so Amanda's Xerxes was really the Shah of Iran. It actually added a lot to the fun of the show. They even had a machine gun on stage, which added to the drama. In the fuzzy picture Amanda is the one on the left. I liked her white suit!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


We've spent the last week cleaning house getting ready to put our house on the market. It looks so good now that we hate to move. The trick now will be to keep all the rooms clean at the same time. The realtor took pictures of it yesterday, and it should go online on Tuesday. Check it out! 13984 Quail Ridge Drive. If we could just transplant it to Baltimore, everything would be perfect! Crystal made two beatiful flower arrangements for the piano and dining room table. They were the finishing touches on a lovely new decorating scheme!

Mom and Ed (Melzer) have been out all week helping us get the house ready. They've been doing windows and blinds. They were pretty excited to go home today, but it's been snowing and they'll have to wait till Monday. They're sad, but I promised them I wouldn't make them work anymore if they'd just stay over the weekend.  See, here they are, resting on the couch in their own private family room in the basement. It's not too bad down there now that Ed has figured out how to work the basement TV.

Monday Night Football

On Monday we went to Invesco Field at Mile Hi to watch the Broncos embarrass themselves on national TV. It was the first time Crystal and Brittany had ever been to a professional football game. There were some highs and lows. The highs were mostly in the first half of the game when the Broncos led briefly. Other highs were the great hamburgers we enjoyed, and the mild weather (it didn't snow on us).

Brittany and Crystal had fun with the "free" pompoms, and we were happy that Dad's friend, Jack, was a Steelers fan. At least someone was happy about the outcome of the game.

Here is a picture of Brittany with her sad face at the end of the game.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Crystal's Special Day

Crystal goes to the Mission Training Center in a week and a half. We had such a fun day yesterday in her honor. She spoke in church in the morning. Grandma and Ed had driven all the way out from Utah to be with us. Barbara, Kent and Isaac came from Lakewood, and Verlene came from Aurora. Crystal's talk was on Service. We enjoyed hearing her observations and stories about how service had affected her life. We were very proud of her. Amanda sang a solo, "The Good Shepherd," accompanied by Brittany. It sounded so beautiful and really added to the spirit of the meeting. We enjoyed visiting over lunch after church. I enjoyed going to choir afterwards while the family (with extra thanks to Grandma) cleaned up.

After choir we had an open house for Crystal where we served pupusas, a great Salvadoran tortilla-like treat. If you want to see pictures of the pupusa's or ward members who came to the open house, visit Crystal's new blog (where I'll be posting her missionary emails) at It was a good day.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Beautiful Day in Baltimore

Crystal and I visited the National Acquarium in Baltimore. It was fun going back to the Inner Harbor and walking around before the Acquarium opened. There were lots of joggers enjoying the weather. It was strange thinking we'd be living by the ocean again. Ed has lived slightly less than half his life on a coast (west or east). This move will tip the scales for him. Soon it will be more than half on the coast.

We didn't get a house we couldn't live without, but we've been surfing the internet since we've been home. It's nice for me to be able to imagine the cities now that we've been there. Crystal has found a few houses we might be interested in. Our realtor will go preview them for us.

The Acquarium was really nice. We liked the manta rays. They must have a hundred of them. I also loved the jelly fish. They have a whole exhibit of just jelleyfish. We didn't have time for the dolphin show. We'll have to save that for our next trip.

We're looking forward to a fun time with family this weekend. The guest suite is ready and waiting!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Temple Day

The temple is Washington DC is so beautiful, but, boy is it hard to get to! What should have been a 35 minute ride from our hotel turned into a 1 hour and 45 minute ordeal this morning. We left at 6:30, and made it in time for the 9 a.m. session. They have serious traffic problems here. It makes Denver look like a walk in the park! Once we got inside, however it was beautiful and peaceful. There were two sisters in the Washington DC South mission. That's the mission Crystal's roommate, Heather, is going to. She finishes the MTC in 2 weeks, so it was fun meeting one of her possible  future companions.

We got back to the hotel about noon, and then we went out with our realtor, Ron. We saw a lot of houses. Some have possibilities (if we gutted the kitchen or re-designed the master bedroom). It's nice we didn't fall in love with something. That way I won't feel like I'm at risk of loosing it if we don't make an offer today. We'll try to make another house hunting trip in the beginning of December. Now we'll go home and get ready to sell our house! The dry-wallers are there now fixing our unsightly ceiling crack.

Ed took us out to a fish dinner in the Inner Harbor tonight. We were also able to scout out our route tomorrow morning to the National Acquarium!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Crystal and I went to Gettysburg today. It was my first experience driving in Baltimore, but Brenda (our GPS unit) got us there with no problem. We have a big white Mercury car, which we call "The Boat." It's unattractive on the outside, but very comfortable inside, very much like riding around in an easy chair. I found Gettysburg to be a very emotional experience. We watched a movie and saw a giant diorama. I can't listen to the Gettysburg address without crying. It's like a very beloved passage of scripture. I'm so grateful for the sacrifices of those who fought to preserve the Union. We did the short driving tour of the battlefield, as we needed to hurry back to meet our realtor. It reminded me of Custer's last stand with trees and greenery.

We saw lots of really great trees. Some of them were red and yellow. This was one of our favorite trees. We found it in the cemetery at Gettysburg. We hope to have a dozen such trees in our back yard when we move to Baltimore.

In the afternoon Crystal and I went out with the realtor. At first I felt sorry for Ed that he was missing out on all the fun, but after we saw some pretty depressing houses I felt like Ed was lucky that we were sparing him the pain. Later we saw a few houses that were little nicer. None of them were as nice as our house in Broomfield (inside), but they alll had better yards. The acre-sized lots were just beautiful.

Ed had fun at work today, mostly because he got a new badge that says "Vice President" on it, and because he got his own little refrigerator in his very large office. He gets pleasure out of small things!

Tomorrow we'll go to the temple in the morning, and out with Ron (our realtor) in the afternoon. Going out with Crystal is great. She is just as good at remembering house details as her dad. She's been trained at the feet of the master!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cousins in Maryland

Crystal, Ed and I are in Baltimore today, and Eli Stevens showed up and spent the afternoon with us. It was fun seeing him. He's turned to a real East Coast kind of guy now. He's truly gone to the dark side. He looked healthy and happy, and as always, was very entertaining to talk to. He was nice to just spend time in the car with us, while we drove around and looked at different neighborhoods and houses for sale. We didn't go inside any houses, but we loved the wooded neighborhoods with all the leaves on the streets. It is very beautiful. We grilled Eli about his girlfirend. That wasa also fun.

After it got dark we went out to dinner for some crab cakes, which were a real treat. I want to go to bed now, but Ed and Crystal pointed out that it's only 8 p.m. We might go for a little ride. So little time and so much to see and do! We