Dear Loved Ones,
Things slowed down a little bit this week at Casa Melin Ranch for Free-Range Children. But I know it won’t last long as the holidays approach and the calendar fills up with concerts and parties and my brain is planning awesomeness 24/7. I was just getting my bearings a little this week and got more organized and even MADE things. I blame it on the snow this week—it makes me nesty.
On Monday 11/5, I went full-force on the housekeeping and got laundry done and some nagging nooks and crannies cleaned up. I also put up our Thankful Tree and helped Rich cobble together a Family Home Evening. Grandpa and Grandma Melin joined us and we had a lovely evening. On Tuesday 11/6, it was all snowy and blustery and we had our first real snowfall that stuck—just in time for ELECTION DAY! I love voting in person in Park County. I used to be a mail-in ballot type of girl, but I find the polls down at the fairgrounds so charming and there is a very special spirit in a place where we a free to exercise our agency to govern ourselves as God intended us to do, and where members of the community volunteer service so cheerfully to make all that happen. This year I reverse trick-or-treated and took a bag of the kids’ best candy to share with all the volunteers because they are awesome. In the afternoon as I was picking up kids, we got word that our dear neighbor and friend and former bishop’s wife, Wendy Tyner, passed away. She had been fighting liver cancer. That night we had an election night dinner party (Cranberry Sprite and eclairs for dessert made it special) and James attended the Democrats’ watch party at The Attic downtown. I went to pick him up around 8:30pm after the polls closed, hoping to have some kind of results, but we finally gave up and came home for bed (James is such a night owl—I swear he gets the least sleep of any middle schooler I know; Seminary is going to kick his tail 20 months from now!). Our friend Dan lost the state house election, darn it, but he ran a good fair race and he still hosted an awesome hunting party this weekend. Wednesday 11/7 I did some more house work and worked on some holiday sewing. That night the kids had youth activities and I had the little boys asleep at 6:54pm! Thanks, daylilght saving time! On Thursday 11/8, I continued with my nestiness and made new pillow shams for our living room chairs and got some embroidery projects done. I heard on the news that a terrible fire had burned up whole towns in central California; one of the missionaries I served with in NC and his family of 9 lost their home, church building, and the school where he is principal—heartwrenching! That night, Heidi and Kristina babysat the boys while Rich and I took Addie out to dinner (actually, she took us—she drove her car and we sat in back, lol) and to her National Honor Society Induction ceremony. Now she gets a fancy cord at graduation and gets to peer tutor. She also started doing Lunch Buddies with BBBS (as a Big Sister) this week. She’s a busy little bee and we are proud of her hard work. On Friday 11/9, Addie brought home a robot baby for her child development class. She named him Chandler and he is a fussy little dude, but Addie is managing. She gets to give him back tomorrow afternoon and she will be so glad (just as I typed that, I heard him start crying! It’s 11:15 and she is so tired! Pretty realistic). Friday night I also sent Richard and James off to Greycliff to go hunting with the Vermillions and Alkires. James had a great time—he was in heaven hunting with his buddies! Aiden shot a deer, and they all had a blast. They got home just in time for church this morning. Saturday 11/10 was a quiet day at home. We slept in a bit and did some morning chores. It was still snowy and grey outside. It was the day of Winter Formal, but my kids and their friends didn’t go—which was kind of a relief. I took them to the store to buy “Incredibles 2” and some movie snacks, and I dropped Heidi off to help Sophia with her make up (yes—Sophie went to formal and she looked adorable), then I went to see “Bohemian Rhapsody” by myself. It was really good. Freddy was a character. I picked up some Chinese take-out and went back home. Some of the seminary kids were gathering for an “anti-formal” traditional bowling night. Robyn Jones picked them all up and took them for pizza at Gil’s, then to the bowling alley. I picked them up around 10 for a late movie at our house, though I had taken a melatonin and had fallen asleep around 9:30 already! I was out if it! Sunday 11/11 was our Fast Sunday and lots of words about Sister Tyner were shared. Her husband shared in his regular, beloved Wilford Brimley voice, “I’ve lost my rudder…but I’ll get my feet back up under me soon enough.” SO SWEET. We love him and are so sad for his loss. We had a quiet afternoon at home and watched a movie together by the fire- “Julie and Julia.” It was fun and made more motivated to cook good things for Thanksgiving! Before bed, we practiced some songs and the boys’ parts for the Primary Program next week.
“Life is sweet, bittersweet, and the days keep rollin’ along,” as the Maria McKee songs goes. Tomorrow Addie and I sing “In the Garden” at Wendy’s funeral, as she asked us to a year ago. Wishing you all another great week—we love and miss you!
Love, Jamie and Rich and Family
|Election Day Snow Fall 11/6|
|High School Volunteers at the polls (Gabe Knohl) 11/6|
|Obligatory Sticker shot 11/6|
|Niles at school pick ups 11/6|
|Montana's Birthday 11/8|
|Charlie Vermillion, James, and Silas Hjortsberg at the Election Night returns party 11/6|
|Addie at National Honor Society Induction 11/8|
|NHS sign-in 11/8|
|Addie and Brianna at NHS Induction 11/8|
|Boys asleep before 7pm|
|Addie and my robot grandson, Chandler 11/9|
|James and Aiden Alkire hunting with Vermillions 11/10|
|James and Josh Alkire 11/10|
|Rich and James|
|Silas, Charlie, Aiden, and James with Aiden's deer 11/10|
|James under the Big Sky 11/10|