Well, if last week was a joyful party, this week was the hangover.
On Monday we said goodbye to Westenskows in the morning, then we cleaned up and went to a special family Presidents Day lunch at Olive Garden. Heidi has been begging for salad and breadsticks for months and she earned them by helping me get ready for guests last weekend. Everyone was astonishingly good, we had a nice time. Later Addie went to Hunter’s Safety and we went out to our anniversary dinner at Rib & Chop House. We were deliriously tired but we had a nice, snowy night out together.
On Tuesday we all were back to the grindstone. I was sad to learn that my dear friend, Beryl Gray (“My Gramma Gray”) passed away on January 18th in Idaho Falls. She and her husband served with me in my first area in Tarboro, North Carolina in Fall of 1992. They were from Wales, but moved to Lincoln, California in 1955 where they raised their 4 daughters. We stayed close, talking on the phone a few times a year until 2010 (Grampa Gray died in 2006), and I’ve been looking for her ever since. I’m sad that I didn’t get to say good bye, but so happy that she is reunited with Grampa Gray and I look forward to seeing them again someday. Thinking of them reminded me of all the good Mom and Dad Melin are doing in Missouri. Your influence on the missionaries around you can last forever!
On Wednesday, Jordyn went to the MTC—we tracked her progress on facebook with her mom. Addie brought Milenna Voyich over afterschool. They studied and played, then went to an Ettiquette Dinner for Young Women that night. They had such a good time. Heidi made bananas and strawberries with Nutella for her Activity Days treat and they made Faith in God binders that will stay at church and keep track of all the things they learn and do this year. I took the boys up to the church to join Rich for Court of Honor. He has a ton of new 11-year-old scouts…I think there are 6, two more coming in the spring, and 5 of the 6 new scouts earned their scout badges at this meeting (I may or may not have been listening to the Uof AZ vs. U of Utah basketball game on my iPad toward the end of that meeting –AZ won!).
Thursday was a quiet evening at home, and Friday, James stayed home sick with a fever and cough. Both the boys just stayed in their jammies and watched Netflix and snuggled on my bed. The morning started off with a text from my best friend, Erin in New Jersey (her husband is Marlena’s bishop). All her tests came back and she has stage three breast cancer—so she can’t avoid chemo and radiation, which I was hoping for. She has her port placed on Wednesday and chemo begins soon. I kept shedding tears on and off through the day, wishing I was in a position to go and help. At the same time, she has amazing kids (16-year-old twins and 14 & 12-year-old daughters…her youngest is 2 weeks younger than Addie) who are spiritually mature and capable, and a great husband, so I know they will handle this as well as is possible. I’ve had really sweet chats with her kids the past few weeks; I am so proud of them and have high hopes for this process. I love her dearly, can’t imagine losing her, so we don’t go there. The bright spot of the day was thinking about Sam Post and Papa Post celebrating their birthdays—Sam turned 8 and will be baptized in Helena next Saturday. We really look forward to that happy day!
Saturday we woke up to tons of snow, pretty much a white out. We decided to go to Bozeman and get a hotel so we wouldn’t miss stake conference. We stayed right next to Costco and that shopping center in Bozo, so we took the kids over to Michaels to choose something creative to do between/during the meetings. We swam and had Costco chicken bakes and smoothies for dinner, then left Addie to babysit the boys and took Heidi with us to the adult session. It was an emotionally and spiritually charged meeting, as you would expect with President Heap being released. He spoke first, then his counselors and the visiting seventies, Elders Dunnigan (area authority) and Walker. Elder Walker was very impressed with the reverence of the meeting and with our Stake in general and said so many times. This must have been sweet for President Heap. The Sunday session was pretty much doing the business of reorganizing the Stake (with the Dabells joining online from South Africa). Our new Presidency is President Jaeson Repscher, first counselor Mike Heatherington, second counselor Mike Kroffs. Then we heard farewell testimonies from the old presidency and their wives, then welcome testimonies from the new presidency and their wives (it’s a weird feeling to be the same age as the stake presidency…makes us feel old! Thank heaven for the Heatheringtons and their experience!). It’s hard to believe it has been nine years to the day since we sat in that same room with Addie and Baby Heidi and offered a vote of thanks for Dad’s service with President Dahl.
Wow, this is a looong letter again. Kudos if you made it through! Grandma Melin asked for pictures for her fridge—we are working on it. We hardly ever print them anymore, but I will send you some good files you can print the ones you like. We wish everyone and safe and happy week, and look forward to seeing our Postie family next Saturday!
Love, Rich, Jamie, & Family
|Niles and James are in the habit of reading together after school. |
Here they are with their feet under the couch, leaning on the ottoman, just a-readin' away.
|Niles also likes to read in his room|
|Melin and Westenskow kids (except Niles)|
Saying goodbye on Monday 02.17
|Two tired mamas! Me & Melissa saying goodbye 02.17|
|Postcard from Melissa in reference to our visiting til midnight on Sunday night!|
|Last Friday's Pre-School Valentine Party|
Kinsley & Bria Lowe; Autumn Larson, Porter Tyner, Naomi & John Larson, Niles Melin,
Brody Johnson, Gloria Jeffrey with Emma Jeffrey and Colton Johnson in front.