Sunday, April 20, 2014

FAMILY LETTER 04.20.14

Dear Loved Ones,

Happy Easter!
And Happy Birthday to Sariah and Kaylee today, our two cute nieces turning 9 and 7 on Easter Sunday…what a fun day!



Last Monday for FHE we went to Home Depot and picked out a fir tree for our front yard, some succulents for an indoor succulent garden (so mommy has some desert around her), and a few last things for Rich to build our shed. We also let Heidi choose a restaurant for her birthday dinner, so we had Chinese Buffet.

Tuesday was Heidi’s 10th birthday. Rich made her pancakes and bacon for her birthday and she opened presents at the breakfast table. It was rainy and cold, we watched Maren, and the kids just hung out and did art and played games. The Bakers went in to have their twins on Tuesday morning and stopped by the hospital to see them. The twins weren’t born until 3am on Wednesday, but they were delivered naturally, about 5 and a half pounds each. We are so happy for them! Heidi had a friend over for the afternoon for birthday fun, and then we had Navajo tacos for dinner and watched a movie.

Wednesday was another day of mixed rain-sunshine weather, another day of a lazy Spring break. We did chores and played in the yard in the morning, then napped after lunch. Young Women and Scouts were cancelled for Spring Break, so Rich took advantage of a sunny evening and finished our fence and the kids helped.

Thursday we had a big chore day. We got the house cleaned up, then finished all the laundry and cleaned out the laundry room. I took 3 bags of old linens and clothes to the thrift store. We took care of our friends’ dog on Wednesday and Thursday, just letting him out a few times a day and running around with him. The kids really liked that. We had a Low Country Boil for dinner that night and Niles decided that shrimp are “gross.” The rest of the family gobbled it up.

Friday morning Addie babysat while I went to the doctor and had an easy-peasy checkup. I had a groupB strep test and my bp has risen considerably (145/90, and a second reading at 138/80). I don’t have the strep results yet, but it sure would be nice to not have it this time and not have to get antibiotics when I go have the baby. This week’s milestone is that I’m pretty much full term and from now on I can deliver here in Livingston. Later on Friday I met with Jenn Claar to plan details for Carrie Kling’s baby shower, which Jenn is hosting at our house next Saturday. It’s going to be so cool—Michaela Claar has planned the shower as a 10-hour YW project and she and her mom are making it really special. That afternoon Addie went over to Izzi’s house for a late night, Niles, James, and I napped, and Heidi did tons of art. We had a yummy broccoli beef stir fry for dinner and Rich took the kids to rent a game and check out the Livingston Kite Company in the evening. I had some random annoying contractions and took a nice soak. It was a nice mellow family night.

Saturday was Rich’s designated SHED DAY! He got up around 7am and worked on our little shed until the sun went down at 9pm! POOR DADDY! (Actually, he took a break from 3-5 to take the big kids to see a matinee of Rio 2—pretty much their only “special” Spring Break activity). Niles and I took a nap, and then I helped the Easter Bunny get baskets ready. We had some great homemade pizza for dinner followed by Saturday night baths. We got our Easter dinner ready then snuggled up downstairs to watch “HOP.”

Sunday the kids woke us up early to get into their Easter Baskets. We had a nice, though sparse, sacrament meeting—The Blakes spoke. They have been called as service missionaries to lead the addiction recovery program and Wayne is so excellent for that calling. They talked about their new calling and how it ties into Easter and new beginnings. I sang “I Stand All Amazed” and it went along with their talks so well. After church we had a nice ham dinner and Helen Sims joined us—we told her we needed a Grandma this Easter, lol, so she obliged. We had nice naps and are now just relaxing together. I think we will take a walk since the sun is so beautiful and warm today.

Hope you all had an equally glorious and sweet Easter. There are no words for how grateful we are for our Savior, this day, and all it means.

Love, Rich and Jamie and Family

Niles at Heidi's Bday Breakfast 04.15

Heidi opening gifts at her Bday Breakfast 04.15

Sweet Baker Twins


Niles, Addie, Heidi, and James- Easter Eve

Easter Melins

Niles and Heidi Cuttin' Up

James and Niles- cutie brothers

Silly Brothers

Lady Killaz

Heidi and Addie- so grown up!

Heidi Laugh

Crazy Lynners' striking a pose

Addie Rose

Addie in profile



Sunday, April 13, 2014

FAMILY LETTER 04.13.14

Dear Loved Ones,        

I’m feeling pretty proud of how this week went—starting a garden, hosting dinner, attending Relief Society meeting, throwing a birthday party, surviving 26 hours without Rich, leading choir and teaching Primary-- especially the part where I spent Friday evening and night having contractions yet I did not (a) freak out (b)run to Labor & Delivery triage (c) have a premature baby. More about that later.

Monday was a little cold and rainy in the morning, but Niles and I went ahead and planted seeds for our garden. Niles was ADORABLE putting the seeds in the starter tray and gently covering them up, saying, “Night-night, seeds!” or “Come out and see the sun soon!” (He’s been watching a lot of Sesame Street and Daniel Tiger where they are doing springy things like planting seeds). We had a nap after lunch and woke up to a sunny afternoon. We had Family Night from the Friend magazine and talked about being good neighbors, being forgiving, and the idea of “kill them with kindness.” I posted this on facebook: “Pregnancy Factoid: As I'm running my bath early tonight due to ridiculous hip and pelvis pain, I noticed I have used up almost 36 pounds of Epsom salts soaking almost nightly this pregnancy. I use those generic 6lb bags from the drug store. But I also love Dr. Teal’s Lavender Epsom salts.” And if you count the Dr. Teal’s that’s another 15 lbs of salt. I should start taking buckets of bath water out to the garden.

Tuesday we played with Maren and made a big Hawaiian dinner for the missionaries. Rich had a meeting in Bozeman and got home late, so we rushed dinner between 6:15 and 6:50 when Addie and I had to leave for Relief Society meeting. We made Kahlua pork that turned out great with a little Soy Vey teriyaki added to the shred, plus jasmine rice cooked in coconut milk, fresh veggies and fruits, potato salad (leftover from Sunday), and of course, panipopo and juice. The elders loved it. I took Addie up to the church to help with the nursery while I went to a “Price is Right—Food Storage edition” game show night. It was just like the TV show, but contestants had to price out food storage items and/or guess their shelf life or best storage method or how much we should store per person per year. It was pretty fun.

Wednesday we watched Maren again and sent Daddy off to scouts and Addie off to a Personal Progress night at Young Women. The other kids and I watched an episode of Nature about animal prosthetics, where a vet gave a wild swan a new beak so it could preen and fish better.

Thursday was a busy day getting ready for Heidi’s birthday party. We had to shuffle it around the calendar because of Spring Break, and then we had to shave off a half hour (4:30-6 rather than 6:30) from what we put on the invitations because the kids had their “Arts in April” art show from 6-7 that night. But it worked out perfectly. Eight friends came over after school and Addie helped me organize them into teams for a few “Minute to Win It” games (Cookie Face, Skittle Sorting, and Sticky Nose-moving cotton balls from one bowl to another using your vaselined-nose). Then we ate a taco/salad dinner and had cupcakes and ice cream and presents, then headed over to the school to see the art projects. Most of the party attendants had stuff in the show, so that was fun. I discovered a great fast/non-messy way to do cake and ice cream, too. Albertsons had single-serve ice cream cups (called “Birthday Cake” flavor with confetti candies in it) on sale, a bag of 8 cups for $1.19. I bought three bags, then made cupcakes, so I could just hand the girls their cups and cakes—SO EASY and cheap. I hope I can find a deal like that every birthday! Heidi signed up for a recycled architecture art class during art week last week. At the art show, her class created a street with their architecture projects lining the street. You could walk down and admire all their buildings made from found objects. They had imaginary clients (they made them up) who came to them and asked for certain things. Heidi had Morgan Freeman come and ask her to design a French Sushi restaurant. Wrap your brain around that. The result was an awesome Eiffel tower shaped building with a huge pool of fish where they catch your dinner for ya, fresh! She’s somethin’ else.

Thursday was somewhat of a recovery day. I washed and dried all the laundry but didn’t fold it til Friday night. I took a good walk and a nap with Niles, and also had a good soak and finished watching the conference talks that I missed (I love having the iPad to stream shows while I soak in the tub—to me, it’s the ultimate luxury). I braced myself for Friday-Saturday when Rich would be gone to Scout Training camp.

Friday Niles and I went to Costco in the morning to buy what we hope is his last box of diapers, as well as one for the baby. We also got some training pants for him to lounge in next week. I read some tips from a pediatrician who says training pants are her secret potty training weapon, so we will give those a try. Pray for us! ;) All that walking around at Costco I thought would be good for my sore hips, but it actually made me start contracting. I laid down with Niles around 2pm and they never stopped til I fell asleep around midnight. They were only about 10-15 minutes apart and not painful, but by the end of the night all the pressure made it so I could hardly walk and was running to the bathroom every 20 minutes. I was a little scared the first 2 hours, but when they didn’t get worse, I just told Rich to go on his training trip and I would survive. And I did.

Saturday morning was glorious and the kids were so excited about the first day of Spring Break. I saw on the news that it was going to rain and get cold in the afternoon, so I told them we would do our fun outdoor things in the morning. Addie popped two huge bags of popcorn in the air popper and we went to feed the ducks and take a walk at Sacajawea Park. I ended up driving the car and following the kids to the lagoon since I was not in the best walking shape from the previous night. We had a good time, came home for lunch, and as we finished up, it started to rain. I told the kids they could play Xbox while Niles and I took a nap and that worked out perfectly. Later we made dinner and Rich got home around 6:30 to finish up with us and we settled in and got ready for Sunday. I was so glad to see him!!!

Sunday morning we had choir practice, then Fast & Testimony meeting, then Rich & I subbed Heidi’s primary class and talked about Jacob and Esau. I gave them this quote: “Your most important friendships should be with your own brothers and sisters and with your father and mother. Love your family. Be loyal to them. Have a genuine concern for your brothers and sisters. Help carry their load.” –Ezra Taft Benson, 1986. I love that quote and believe it. Except for a handful of friends who are like family, no one is ever as close or significant as family and those relationships deserve maintenance and devotion.

So here we are! Birthdays galore this week—Heidi, Sariah, Kaylee—and EASTER! We are celebrating Holy Week with an 8 Day Walk with Christ. Message me if you want the Word Document and you can join us. We love you all and are so grateful for Our Savior and His atonement which gives us the gift of repentance, forgiveness, forever families, and resurrection. The hope and glory of it is “wonderful to me.” Have a great week!

Love, Rich and Jamie and Family

Heidi's Birthday Party 04.10-sorting skittles


Happy Birthday, Lynners!


Niles and James at the lagoon

James and swans

James and Niles

Addie feeding swans

Heidi and James

Heidi feeding ducks Saturday 04.12

Niles and James got haircuts 04.12

Sad Spring Break Forecast

How our seeds have grown in 6 days!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

FAMILY LETTER 04.06.14

Dear Loved Ones,

Well, last week was one of our busiest in quite a while. We survived, and we’re ready for another busy week—tis the season! I already wrote about last Monday with the letters to Grandparents and the watching “The Other Side of Heaven” for FHE. That was a nice recovery day and FHE.

Tuesday Niles had an ENT checkup early in the morning. His ear tubes are mostly out—the right one is gone and the left one is almost out. He hasn’t had any infections this cold season, so we are very grateful we chose to do the surgery last year. While we were in Bozeman, we did some heavy duty grocery shopping. I haven’t really done that in a long time—no menus or planning because I got used to feeling too yucky to cook and Rich coming up with something on the fly. So we got that done, as well as some Easter and birthday shopping, then home to recuperate!

Wednesday was a day at home getting stuff ready for conference weekend, Heidi’s birthday party, and Easter. We had to change Heidi’s party from Saturday the 12th to Thursday the 10th because everyone (except us) is leaving town on Friday for Spring Break. This also totally messed up my plans for Easter music on Easter Sunday since half the choir and the Primary kids will be gone then, too. So I re-made Heidi’s invitations for Thursday the 10th, HOLY COW, it’s a busy season! That night was Scouts, Activity Days and Young Women. Heidi’s group updated their memory binders and made conference packets while the YW did an Individual Worth photo booth. Looks like they had a ton of fun.

Thursday Rich had to go to Helena to take pictures of some businesses, so he set up a lunch date with Mike and they had a good time. We was able to drop off all the birthday gifts for Matt’s family that got snowed in at my house the past month, and it was Amie’s birthday Thursday— perfect timing! Meanwhile at home, I had Maren for an extra day and it was beautiful outside, so I took the kids out for a while. Our sod is greening up—I suppose on advantage to a crazy wet winter is that we didn’t lose that investment. I also finished up the kids’ conference activity books and little prize basket. It’s nice that they are old enough to listen to at least half of it and be quiet the other half. Rich was gone til 9:30 pm Thursday night because he went straight from Helena to his Stake meetings in Bozeman, but it was a nice quiet night with the kids (except the part where I thought they were all tucked in and I got in the bath tub and when Rich got home Niles, Ad, and James were goofing around in my bed!).

Friday morning Niles played with Kenny again, then we went to a prenatal checkup. Here’s my facebook report: I'm 33 weeks today, measuring right on, I've gained 8 pounds but it feels like 50 cuz I've lost so much muscle laying around. My A1c level was 5.4 which means Glyburide is working, and my Bp was 129/80...which is pretty low for me at this point in pregnancy, so yippeeee. Totally boring...no news is good news in the prenatal world;) –So there you have it. Didn’t miss much by skipping 2 appointments! We picked up Addie for lunch after my appointment and let her have a half day since it was 6th grade ski day and she missed the sign ups and there were only 6 kids at school. We stopped by the Shane Center to get tickets for Friday Night’s Les Mis performance and were sad to learn the whole closing weekend was sold out with a long waiting list. Boo! I learned my lesson! So we didn’t get to see Les Mis Friday night, but it’s just as well since the Spring Carnival wore us out. I took a little nap at 2, then went to Winans to pick up our Butter Braid order and James, then came home and got some treats ready for the Carnival snack shack, then went and worked at the Snack Shack from 5-6:30pm. From 6:30- 7:30 I helped Rich wrangle the kids. Trying to help Niles understand the concept of waiting in line for a turn on the jumping castles and slides was quite the adventure. It was nice to see so many youth there doing community service. One boy helping me in the Snack Shack was only in 8th grade—he didn’t get any “credit” for community service, but he just wanted to help out his little 2nd grade brother. I love nice teenagers. We saw a silly moose on the way home from carnival…nice ending to a crazy day.

Saturday we were SO EXCITED for conference. The kids got up early and set up the craft table downstairs with coloring stuff, bingo markers, scissors, glue sticks, and their conference books, then played games until the broadcast started at 10am. Our basement family room is the ideal conference watching venue, we really enjoyed it! We were shocked that Elder Holland got to speak first--we are used to having him WAKE US UP on Sundays, lol—loved his powerful (as usual) testimony, and his topic seemed to be one of the themes of the conference, to stand firm and defend truth in these crazy days. We had yummy taco salad for lunch, and then Addie and I made treats for dinner and dessert during the first half of second session. Rich framed up the shed walls and dug some fence post holes—FINALLY, after waiting a month for a sunny Saturday! Uncle Mike came by and ate dinner with us, and that was so fun! We had some friends over for a girls’ night during priesthood meeting—girls plus Uncle Mike ;) We had a good visit, the girls played Just Dance, and we had dessert after priesthood meeting.

Sunday was another beautiful spring day. We settled in and watched morning session, then had left over salad and sandwiches for lunch. I lay by Niles thinking I would get him to sleep and have a quiet afternoon session, but I ended up sleeping until 4! I got up and took a walk with the boys to help my hips feel better. We had a nice quiet evening and I folded clothes and watched the conference talks I missed after the kids went to bed (which is why I am writing our letter on Monday). I loved the general gentle, patient, but strong tone of all the messages, especially Elder Uchtdorf’s and Elder Anderson’s, and I wanted to hug Elder Oaks after his priesthood message—strong, kind, doctrinal, straight up! I was touched by Elder Walker’s simple and direct message about family history. It made me excited to finish our “ancestor wall” in the living room and tell more stories to the kids. I would really like to share Grandma Moore’s conversion story with them—I think that’s the one branch of the family’s conversion stories they don’t know. This quote might end up on that wall, too: "The more connected we feel to our RIGHTEOUS FOREFATHERS, the more likely we are to make wise and righteous choices." --Elder William R. Walker.

ANYWAY…life is good, we are refreshed and ready to face the next six months, come what may and love it. Baby will be here within six weeks—Nana Drews plans to be here for the birth and Great Grandma Lyn will come to stay the first 2 weeks of June, then we will head east and retrace some Pioneer trails and see Grandpa and Grandma Melin. It’s hard to believe it’s time to do all this stuff already, but we are so looking forward to an exciting next three months!

We love you all so much! We hope all is well with all your families.

Love Rich and Jamie and Family
 Art in the Living Room FINALLY
 
YW 04.02.14

Ready for General Conference!

Refreshments

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

FAMILY LETTER 03.31.14

Dear Loved Ones

I’m so behind, this month feels like a hurricane, and April is even busier! Time’s flying! I have been sick the past two days—like all day morning sickness again—but I am feeling much better tonight. Let’s hope for a barf-free week from now on. Here’s a sketchy review of the past week.

Monday we had a great steak dinner for family night followed by a nice lesson prepared by Heidi from the April Ensign about finding lasting happiness. We followed up with yummy ice cream for dessert.

Tuesday Heidi and Dad enjoyed another ski day at Bridger Bowl. It was warmer and sunnier and they had a great time. Niles had a playdate with Kenny Howell in the morning and they played trains almost the whole time!

Wednesday night we had a delicious stir fry dinner that took only 13 minutes to make (not counting the jasmine rice in coconut milk in the cooker, which took 40 minutes). It was epic. Rich went to Scouts early to plan their big Camporee at the ranch this weekend. Addie went to a combined YM-YW Activity, which was practicing their jitterbugging (planned by the Teachers’ quorum—I was surprised the boys wanted to dance again!). I stayed home with the other kids and watched “Cosmos.” The boys fell asleep, so I took a nice magnesium bath and slept well, too.

Thursday I didn’t babysit Maren, so I decided to finally take my road test and get my real driver’s license (I’ve had a permit since last week’s debacle, lol). I made a 1pm appointment, by which time there was seriously a white-out blizzard blowing through town. I left Niles at the office with Rich and drove over to the MVD. The storm let up by the time I did my test and I passed with flying colors (I’m so glad he had me do an easy parallel park). So Mama is street legal once again. The day actually turned out nice, it was sunny and nearly dry when the kids came home. They played basketball out front (thanks for the equipment, Jellis! We love it!) with Niles. I, of course, watched NCAA basketball.

Friday Rich headed out early to set up camp at the ranch for our scout troop. The scouts had worked hard planning meals and activities, and Chad Mickelson planned lots of merit badge and skill tests for Saturday. Sounds like it was a huge success. Bren Lowe is a new scout leader and he brought his 8yo son, Kinnick, to the camp out so Rich called me and had me bring James out to camp with Kinnick. They had a blast. At home, the girls played games and watched a movie, during which Addie made the cutest sock bunnies out of knee socks. They turned out so cute, I let her buy a few more pairs of socks at Shopko to make more. I was riveted to the basketball games this weekend—every single one was so exciting! I have one team left in the tournament (Florida)—I lost six from my brackets this weekend, but they were good fights, one or two point losses. SO FUN!

Saturday morning we did chores, then I left the girls home to watch Niles and went to Melinda Lowe’s baby shower at Naomi Johnson’s house. She is expecting twin girls mid-May. It was a nice brunch, followed by a diaper shower, but she got tons of cute gifts besides a lot of diapers. Instead of regular shower games, we played some get to know you games, which was nice because she is new to our area. We lingered there for 3 whole hours, it was fun and it flew by. I hurried home and Rich was still not back from camp. The girls had done such a nice job cleaning up and entertaining Niles. Later that afternoon, we let some balloons go in honor of Papa Bill’s 89th Birthday, then the girls and I went out to dinner and watched the Women’s Broadcast with The Speas girls (mom Bonnie and YW daughters Haylee and Lexi). We loved being together for the broadcast, and we stayed and visited for a while and watched Arizona lose their game against Wisconsin. Painful, but fun to be with new friends.

Sunday was our 5th Sunday and Fast Sunday. Testimony meeting was so nice. One testimony that was especially touching came from Melissa (I don’t remember her last name) Sister Evans’ daughter. She has returned to church after a few decades of inactivity, and she thanked her visiting teacher (Sis. Cotant, who was the best VT I ever had, too) and home teacher (Bro. Rang) for encouraging her to return, even when she felt it had been way too long and she had made too many mistakes. It reminded me of Elder Holland’s talk about the Vineyard, and how it’s never too late to show up—you will still receive the full reward. Really beautiful, gave me lots of hope, and reminded me of the power of HT and VT and doing what Christ asked us to do: feed my sheep.

I got sick during church and didn’t feel better until Monday night. Something is shifting in my gut—perhaps a baby dropping—but I had heartburn and a backache that grew into a headache, then morning sickness all day Monday. Boo hoo. So I am a little late in getting this letter out. For FHE tonight (3/31), the kids wrote letters to Grandpa and Grandma, so look for those. We also watched “The Other Side of Heaven”—inspired by the beautiful stories coming from our friends, The Lewises, finishing up their senior mission in New Zealand. They told us that the congregation sang “How Great Thou Art” in Maori for them on Sunday…gives me chills just thinking about it!

Mom and Dad Melin, we are so grateful that dad is getting such good care from the VA there! We were glad to read your letter and hope that dad’s mole removal takes care of any and all cancerous cells. We wish Cousin Samantha and Aunt Amie and Great Uncle Matt happy birthdays this week. We love and miss you all.

Love, Rich, Jamie and Family

Mint Chocolate Chip Cones for FHE treats 03.24
Heidi and her friend Alison skiing Sunnyside 03.25.

Alison and Heidi

Heidi and Dad at Bridger Bowl



Niles and Maren 03.26



Niles after letting his balloon go 03.29.


James and Niles watching for the girls to get home from the bus 03.31.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

FAMILY LETTER 03.23.14

Dear Loved Ones,

I can’t get over how fast this month is flying and time in general. I find it surprising because usually when you are waiting for something (like a baby) and feeling not-so-awesome, time drags. I suppose I should just count it as a tender mercy and be glad that in 7-8 weeks, this pregnancy will be behind us! I am just sorry for all the things I keep forgetting or that sneak up on me! My poor kids!

So, the week in review… Monday was St. Paddy’s and all I did to help celebrate was give the kids pins and necklaces to wear to school. It’s all I could muster. Rich and Heidi went on the 4th grade ski trip to Bridger Bowl (not Big Sky like I said last week) and they had a great time. The weather turned grey and snowy on them, and Heidi got off to a rough start, but by the end of the day she was feeling so proud of herself and her progress. They get to go again on Tuesday to make sure all the skills have sunk in. I did take the kids to get Shamrock shakes after school, but then we had Thai Peanut Stir Fry for dinner and postponed family night until Tuesday so we could have a “Frozen” party.

On Tuesday, I was still a little under the weather and I was happy that Niles had a playdate with Kenny. Maren came and fell right asleep for her morning nap and I was happy to join her! It was a beautiful day, so the kids and I actually sat out back in the sun for a little while, it felt wonderful! That night we had a “Frozen” party—our Blu-Ray copy of the movie came in the mail so we made some cookies after school, ate a quick dinner, and headed downstairs to watch the movie for our Family Night. I hadn’t seen it before, I thought it was a cute story, especially that the true love was sibling love, and all the Scandinavian cultural references.

Wednesday we continued with some of our spring cleaning projects. We got our some Easter/Spring decorations and while Maren napped, Niles and I made some tissue poof balls in bright colors to hang around the great room. We figured we’d be ready to welcome spring on Thursday whether it showed up or not. After school we invited all the Denniston kids over to watch “Frozen” AGAIN, and they had a pasta dinner with us. That night we had to take everybody up to the church again so I could go to a meeting with Addie about Girls’ Camp and Rich could do scouts. Niles missed his nap and crashed about 5 minutes after we came home at 8pm.

Thursday morning I decided to be really brave and finally go renew my expired Driver’s License. I arranged for Niles to have a play date with Porter Tyner and headed over to the MVD. I will copy and paste the tale of my adventure as posted on facebook…suffice it to say, I still do not have a DL. Thursday was the first round of MARCH MADNESS, so I did a mountain of laundry and watched basketball for four hours by the fire. It was one of the most fun evenings I’ve had in a while (that sounds really sad, now that I type it, but it’s true).

So let me tell you a story called Me and My Expired License:
On Thursday I gathered all my documents and headed to the MVD with my shamefully expired drivers license. Our MVD office is run by ONE PERSON so when I got there at 10:30am, there were 3 people sitting in the hallway outside of the office because the ONE PERSON had to take someone out on a road test. Thirty minutes and three customers later, I was at his desk where he looked over all my stuff and said, "Okay, you've got everything, but I have three people testing today so you'll have to come back another day. Wanna make an appointment?" [ummm, yes, I have been calling since September trying to make an appointment, thanks for asking!] So I made an appointment for 8am Friday.....
I got up all early Friday so I would look awake and alert in my DL photo and went to take my tests. One person had already beat me to the desk, and once he was done, I sat down, paid my fee, had my new pic taken, then took the stupid written test. Then we got ready for the road test. The ONE PERSON at the desk went to print out my test form and he got a notice from the Social Security Administration that said the name on my DL AND Passport doesn't match the name on my SS Card so I have to get a new SS card before I can get a license. [I never changed my card from my maiden name because I spent about a month of lunch hours in the SS office in Utah County after we got married and never got my number called, so I gave up. Meanwhile, I have had 3 different drivers licenses AND a passport issued to me in my married name since then with no problem]. I just start laughing because it's such a FREAKING JOKE. He prints out an SSA info page and makes ANOTHER appt for me to come for my road test Monday afternoon....
So I pick up Niles from Rich's office (it's 8:45 am) and pick up our marriage certificate and drive TO BOZEMAN to the SS office. I take a number and sit in the lobby from 10:03 til 11:27am with a hungry almost-three-year-old. They finally call my number, I go to the window and say, I need to do a name change and get a new card. I hand them my expired DL, my passport, and my marriage certificate. They type something up for about a minute, scan my marriage certificate, and hand me a paper that says my new card is on the way--LESS THAN THREE MINUTES--and we are out the door. We didn't want to waste a trip to BOZO so we got gas at Costco and shopped at Walmart. When I got in the car to drive home I heard on the news that Mercer beat Duke...frickity frick, I would have loved to watch that game.
I'm telling you, if the government ever has anything to do with my healthcare, I will DIE FIRST. I would rather die at home in my bed than in a lobby waiting to process the bureaucracy. Inefficiency at its finest! Now for some basketball!!!!!

Friday was the continuation of the License Saga, which really wiped me out. I took a nap, made dinner, then snuggled my Family and watched basketball all night. Saturday we continued our spring projects. It was too wet and cold AGAIN for fence-building, but Rich continued prepping the garage fro another project while I continued organizing in the house.

Saturday morning was the great rotation of Niles’ wardrobe—I cleaned out all his drawers of what is too small or unseasonal, packed it away for the baby’s “grow-into” box, then brought in the 3T-4T Grow-Into boxes (full of clothes handed down from James and Jason Strupp). Turns out we had SIX size 4T white church shirts, so we are sending some to Cousin Cooper! Heidi went to a birthday party in the afternoon, James had a play date with Curtis Denniston, and so Rich and I took a nap with Niles while it was quiet. Later we had a make-your-own-pizza dinner with the missionaries. Turns out our ward Elders were on “exchanges” and Elder Brock’s older brother got permission to visit and be his companion this weekend. It was fun to see two brothers working together, a special experience for Elder Brock for sure. We had a really fun visit with them.

I’ve had a terrible time sleeping the past week, and it really caught up with me Saturday night. I was just too achy and tired for church today and was sad to miss high council Sunday. We had a quiet afternoon, then a yummy dinner and some more basketball by the fire. This has been a crazy exciting tournament so far with so many upsets! My North Carolina teams are out, but Arizona is playing as I type and I think they are headed to the sweet 16 next week.

I’m a little foggy and can’t think of anything interesting or insightful to say. We are just grateful for a happy, peaceful life, grateful for the blessings our loved ones have received, as well. We love you all and wish you another great week!

Love, Jamie and Rich and Family
Heidi and Rich at Bridger Bowl 03.17




My cutie Heidi eating lunch at Bridger Bowl


Heidi hanging out in her "Elsa Cape" Sunday Night

Addie hangin' by the fire Sunday night
 

Addie, Heidi, Elders Brock, and James after dinner Saturday night.

I saw this on facebook and it made me laugh...luckily Rich provides me with these luxuries regularly, except the No Audience...I think the kids see me sit down and it means I am THEIR captive audience...I haven't had a peaceful bathroom break in a decade!