Monday, April 28, 2014

FAMILY LETTER 04.27.2014

Dear Loved Ones,

 April is almost over and boy it has flown by with all the activities and holidays! It has been exhausting, but tons of fun. We loved hearing from Mom & Dad Melin this week and all your adventures and pretty spring pictures! Also loved seeing and hearing about Brother and Sister McCann…what a nice connection to make. We won’t have any good spring pictures for a week or two, but it’s definitely starting to look “NOT DEAD” out there after all the rains we got this week…the green is winning!

Last Monday was our last day of Spring Break and the kids spent most of the day out on the trampoline eating popcorn and popsicles. Everyone had a friend over at some point, and then we worked on the yard in the yard for Family Home Evening. We got our blue spruce planted and Rich finished the gates to the back yard. He also scored some sod for us from the new house down on the corner. We offered to buy it, but they just gave it to us (we had run out last fall and had about 200 sf on the side of the house by the chimney that needed some grass).

Tuesday was Earth Day and we felt so very green, having planted grass and trees the night before, hahaha. Tuesday also marked 20 years since I came home from my mission to North Carolina. I posted some old pix on Facebook and had some fun messages from old mission friends. Rich continued his work on the shed, trying to beat out the evening rains. He’s working on the inside and waiting for a dry forecast to paint it.

Wednesday morning my brother Michael and his wife welcomed their second daughter, Autumn Belle. She’s a cute little chunky monkey and they got some sweet family pictures at the hospital--so happy for them! Wednesday night was YW/YM and Scouts. Apparently the boys did the girls’ makeup for the youth activity. The boy who did Addie’s face did a pretty good job, actually—she looked pretty fancy when she got home!

Thursday morning I had a checkup. I lost 2 pounds last week, but baby grew. I’m measuring a little over 36cm/weeks. My Group B strep was positive so I will have to get antibiotics after all—bummer. The doctor found baby’s head and he is burrowed in and ready for launch. My bp is rising but not drastically, and blood sugar is still fine. So we will wait and see, no definite plans right now, but a tentative induction date of May 16th—Grandma Becky’s and Cousin Larkin’s birthday—fun! I also got a haircut and highlights Thursday, so I’m all set for the next few months.

Friday I did laundry and got the house ready for Carrie Kling’s baby shower on Saturday. I put away all the Easter d├ęcor and also started making some food. I made cookie bars for Addie to take to YM/YW Game Night on Friday night. They were a big hit, so I am sharing the recipe. While Addie went to her activity, Rich watched Indiana Jones with the kids and I rested. It was a cozy rainy night, perfect for a movie by the fire.

Saturday morning Jennifer and Michaela Claar came over and finished up the party prep. Addie finished the cutest cupcakes and I made pinwheel and croissant sandwiches. The shower was from 11am-1pm and we had about 30 people attend. Carrie got lots of nice gifts and lots of love. We also got the news that Melinda Lowe had her twin girls in Billings on Friday. Babies London and Kennadie were healthy but a month early and just under five pounds each, so they will be at the NICU for a while learning to eat and breathe. But it sounds like everything went well and Melinda is fine—EXCITING! Saturday afternoon after the party, the girls had some friends over to play xbox and basketball (Izzi and the Johnson boys). Friends went home and Rich took us all to Mark’s In-n-Out for dinner and we came home for another rainy movie night.

Sunday I missed church because I didn’t sleep much Saturday night, but I got some rest and felt better that afternoon. Rich and the kids went, then came home for naptime. In the afternoon, our home teacher came, then we had some friends over for tortillas and cheese and let our kids all hang out and visit for a while. My PT/friend/former neighbor Meg came over with her family, and our friends the Roberts came, too. They kids got all their Sunday crazy out playing with friends and the grown-ups had a fun visit, too. Addie had some forgotten math homework, so I helped her instead of writing this letter last night. She is trying so hard to keep up as that class moves pretty darn fast for her. We are really proud of how she has adjusted to middle school.

So that’s our week! Hard to believe next week is MAY and I’ll be writing on Summer’s and Jared’s BIRTHDAY! Hope you all have a happy, healthy, sunny, spring-y week. Remember we love and miss you!

Love, Rich and Jamie and Family

Plants on 4/21

My Hairdo on 4/24





Carrie's Baby Shower on 4/26



Addie made cupcakes



Carrie, guest of honor




Catch of the Day Party Favors-Goldfish and Swedish Fish


Carrie, Michaela the Unicorn, and Aron Kling

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!

Babies Change the World

This is a picture of me with Adeline on November 21, 2001, just after she was born in Utah. I am talking on the phone to my Grandpa in Ari...