Author Archives: melissaeandrews

Christmas Music

I haven’t blogged in the LONGEST while. Making a resolution (early) to get back with it in 2013. ¬†ūüôā

I spent a lot of Christmas Day laughing at the boys. Joshua received his first present and thought that was it. ¬†The boy refused to acknowledge or open another present for about 20 minutes. We’d give him a wrapped gift and he’d push it away and say “Noooo”, and return to playing with his ABC apple (courtesy Auntie Leyne and Uncle Claudius). ¬†It was hilarious. Sharlene Ottley said I should have taken the other gifts and re-gifted them at birthdays (it’s a great idea – I don’t think he has any idea what he got, so I’ma look around this evening and see what I can hide – lol).

You are probably wondering where the music is in this post. It’s right here. :-). The boys like to play instruments during worship. Here is Jalen (with some help from Joshua) adding a strong calypso beat (all on his own, mind you) to Angels We Have Heard On High.


Posted by on December 26, 2012 in jalen, joshua, music


Give Me My Life Back!! (Ok, I didn’t mean that)

Today was one of those days when I thought – this being a mother thing is not for me. ¬†My phone has sweet potatoes all over it, and I just BARELY, I mean I was almost two seconds late, rescued it from being tossed into the toilet! (Ok, so I should have remembered to close the bathroom door). ¬†I feel like I’ve been buckling and unbuckling kids into car seats MILLIONS of times, and I’m sick of it. ¬†There are toys all over my house – I’d like to throw them all way and say, “We have imaginary friends and we play with imaginary toys.” ¬†We are going to Trinidad in a week, and I absolutely don’t feel like packing anything for TWO boys, much less stroller and car seats and having to fight with the airline about what I’m allowed and not allowed to carry. ¬†It’s raining, raining, bloody raining and won’t stop!!!! ¬†I was halfway to my mom’s with the boys and had to turn around and go all the way back home because I forgot the bottles.

Jalen being Jalen

But the topper was that I got an email from Goodreads (my online book tracker) and it said, “Melissa, you have only completed 38% of your 2011 reading challenge.” ¬†I wanted to read 50 books this year and I only got to 19. ¬†19!!!! ¬†Last year I read almost 40!!! ¬†38%???? ¬†Melissa Blakeney Andrews has never received a 38% of anything in her life!!!

And so, as I debated going into bed and pulling up the covers and staying under there until Sabbath, I remembered that Pastor Billingy preached some time ago that we should try to only have good things – like thanks and encouraging words – come out of our mouths. ¬†So I’m writing here the things that I can be thankful for today.

da boyz!

1.  My husband keeps the garage clean, so that I can buckle the children in and out of their car seats in the garage Рa dry place Рwithout getting wet.  I can also drive straight into the garage and walk into my house, and not get wet.

2. ¬†I have a car and so don’t have to wait with the children at a bus stop and catch the Metro.

3.  The child who has covered my phone with sweet potatoes and almost threw it into the toilet is exhibiting the typical behavior of a 16-month-old.  I am thankful that he is growing as he should.

4.  I have my quarterly review with my boss in a few minutes and I rocked last quarter; should be a stellar review.

5.  We can afford to travel to Trinidad

6. ¬†Helianthe Monkou and Cheryl Ottley have been AWESOME to work with as we’ve coordinated this “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” event for church on Sabbath. ¬†If I’d had to do all of the matching by myself, I don’t know what I would have done. ¬†And…I am so excited about the response that we received!! ¬†It’s the best we’ve ever had.

7.  My arms and legs are not broken, so I can go and clean up all those toys

8. ¬†I saw several accidents on the road today – I’m thankful for safe travel.

9. ¬†I was listening to Praise 104.1 on the radio and I laughed out loud at the people who dialed in to sing (thankful for laughter – ok, so I shouldn’t have been laughing at them, but this one guy tried to sing “For Every Mountain”. ¬†First off, that solo is for a girl, and secondly, he tried do do a run on every note. ¬†Sing that in your head and do a run on every note, and you’ll bust out laughing too. ¬†LOL)

10.  I am alive

11.  I have all of you as friends

and 12. ¬†I’m going to stop at Caribbean Palace this evening on the way to church and get me a boneless chicken roti and devour it! ¬†(Thanks Simone for reminding me about that!!)

So – I feel better now and am going to clean up some toys.


Posted by on December 7, 2011 in melissa


Baltimore is for lovers

Baltimore is for lovers — fly me to the moon!

It’s over 12 years now that I discovered this truth — Baltimore is for lovers! Recently I saw two friends discover the same. Sitting on a park bench overlooking the water. Simple ambience with the backdrop of a metropolis.

On a sunny day, the inner harbor in particular, can set the mood for love like no other place. It seems to be a place where long-term plans are made, where friends gaze longingly into each others eyes thinking of matchless bliss, consummation and the product of.

Want to be flown to the moon? Start the trip there and never look back.

[blogged by Vaughn Andrews]


Posted by on December 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


The Unhappy Squirred

He stood on his hind feet, raised his paws and looked imploringly through the window as if to say, “What did you do with my tree?”

After three years of botanical torture we removed this encroaching arbor. Not only was it stretching its limbs towards our abode in unseemly fashion, it was also facilitating the conditions for moss, and mushroom growth right under our proverbial noses.

He loved the tree though. I’d seen him dancing on it. From branch to branch. Skipping and hopping. Climbing and jumping to and fro. ¬†However, on this morning he was in disbelief, despair and astonishment. He had come to the spot where the tree was. But it had been removed. He scratched and scratched, running around the perimeter of what was the base of the tree. He happened to glimpse me peeking at him. Quickly, he approached where I was standing. This is where i received the disdainful look and pout. And then off he went in apparent disgust, into the woods to who knows where.

So a new landscape is on our horizon. ¬†And with it poor old squirrel must find a new stomping ground. Here’s the news dear squirrel: Everything is for a time. Tomorrow isn’t promised. Continue to make the best of what you have today.

[blogged by Vaughn Andrews]

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Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Uncategorized


Chillin’ in Baltimore

So it was a picture perfect day in Baltimore! A little chilly, but with the sun out we thought it would be good to do something outdoors. So at around 2pm off we went to the Inner Harbor.

Upon spotting the dragon boats, Mr Jalen insisted that we must go for a ride. No problem that Joshua was not old enough to get on, ‚ÄėDaddy and I (Jalen) could go for a ride while Mommy and Joshua go for a stroll.‚Äô There wasn‚Äôt much of an answer for that. So off went Daddy and Jalen, while Mommy and Joshua went for a stroll After that, we found the balloon man. ¬†After twisting and turning, Jalen got a nice fish, while Joshua got a fishing rod. ¬†Before long these both popped when Jalen decided to test them on the grass!
[since Melissa usually writes the blog posts, she is happy to let you know that this one was written by Vaughn ūüôā ]
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Posted by on November 29, 2011 in jalen, joshua, outdoors


Party in the House!!

On Sunday, we celebrated Joshua’s first birthday with a little get-together at home. ¬†There were five babies born to a group of us in 2010 – four boys and one girl. ¬†The boys – Micah, Josiah and Jaden – all came to celebrate. ¬†Simone was doing a world tour with her parents in Mozambique. ¬†Hopefully next year her travel schedule won’t be so hectic. ¬†ūüôā

It was a great party; all of the babies had a wonderful time – there really wasn’t a fusser among them (that means they have great mommies. ¬†Ok, ok – the daddies are good too – smile). ¬†The adults had a wonderful time watching the little ones have fun. ¬†ūüôā

We’ve got video footage (above) of the blowing of the candle and cutting of the cake, featuring our three sons – Johann, Jalen and ¬†Joshua. ¬†Then we’ve got stills (below) from throughout the afternoon. ¬†I must apologize for my video – you’ll notice the chandelier blocks Vaughn’s face most of the time. ¬†That’s because several of my guests went and stood in the most vantage spots, then wanted to complain when I wanted to stand in front of them. ¬†I’m sure they’re planning to send me copies of their unblocked footage. ¬†ūüėČ

A note about the music – both Jalen and Joshua love Jack Johnson, though they only know his music from the Curious George soundtrack. ¬†Still – they’ve got good taste. ¬†ūüôā


Posted by on August 3, 2011 in family, friends, joshua



My Blogging Trials and Tribulations

In April, I decided that I wanted to start keeping an electronic record of what the boys were doing and how they were growing. ¬†I’d gotten the Zapd iPhone app earlier that month and really liked how it allowed me to create micro blogs really quickly from my phone. ¬†The only thing that it ‘lacked’ was that there was no way to keep all of the Zaps in one place – they each had their own individual URL.

So I decided to build a website. ¬†Did a little research and narrowed my choices down to GoDaddy and Weebly. ¬†Ended up picking Weebly. ¬†Turns out – I really should have done a bit more research. ¬†There’s nothing at all wrong with Weebly, except that about a month into it, I found out that the free version didn’t meet my needs – I couldn’t embed videos or screenshots. ¬†I found this out on the day I really wanted to embed a video, so I went ahead and signed up for the Pro version. ¬†That worked well for a few weeks, then I ran into the issue of them having a limit on the size of files you could upload. ¬†I had a account and so decided I would store my videos there. ¬†That worked well for a while, except that once people started looking at the videos (which is exactly what we wanted them to do), I realized that Screencast had a bandwidth limit (for the non-techies: ¬†a limit to the amount of videos/files a person could play from my account) and I was quickly approaching it. ¬†So, I signed up for their Pro account. ¬†This website business was quickly becoming quite expensive!!!

But wait – there’s more! Click here to keep reading

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Posted by on August 2, 2011 in technology