Dear Loved Ones 26 October 2014
It’s a crazy birthday week –Happy Birthday to Aunt Jill yesterday, Uncle Willy today, Cousin Emily tomorrow, and Uncle Jess and Uncle Michael on Tuesday! Wow. Hope you guys are enjoying a long extended fall like we are here. It has been by far the most beautiful October of my whole life.
I’m going to diverge from my journal format a bit since I am just home from a lovely trip and haven’t kept good daily tabs on what’s happening around here. My last letter was on October 12th and that next week was mostly spent getting ready for my trip. I tried to stock the pantry, finish all the laundry, pack, have fun with kids on Fall Break, and quell my anxiety about flying cross country with a baby on my lap. Richard was so helpful getting me ready to go and coaching me through my worries about leaving. He even got up at 2:30 am and drove me to Butte to catch a plane!
|On the first day of fall break (10/16) Addie made Lembas bread.|
|I snuggled James to sleep the night before I left.|
I flew to New Jersey on Friday 10/17 with Ammon. We left Butte at 6am and flew to Salt Lake City, then left SLC at 11am and arrived at the Newark airport at 5pm local time. Uncle Mark Melin picked up Ammon and me at 6pm and we battled traffic to arrive at his house at McGuire AFB at 7:30pm. Elena had made some delicious soup and bread for dinner and we had a good visit with the kids before they headed off to bed. Mark then drove me across base to Ft. Dix where my dear friend Erin and her family live (her husband is an Air Force dentist). Heidi Buchert Egan and her daughter Maggie also came down from Seneca Falls for the weekend, so it was a most joyful reunion! We visited for a while then hit the hay.
|This is what Ammon thinks about TSA screening.|
|Ammon asleep at Newark waiting for Uncle Mark|
|Mark Ammon Melin with Ammon Melin 10/17|
|Ammon's face in this picture kills me|
|Ammon taking a ride with Uncle Mark|
|Erin's 4 Kids with 1 of Heidi's 5: Eliza, Brittany, Brandon, Maggie, and Tarah|
Saturday 10/18 was roommate reunion day. We got up and ate a big yummy breakfast with everybody and enjoyed a lazy morning getting ready for the day. Erin arranged for the big kids to babysit Ammon while she took Heidi and me to get pedicures and a delicious local late lunch (what do the Hobbits call a 3pm meal?). We took Brittany to her job at a cute farm that has all the fun harvest stuff. We stopped in to look around and enjoyed delicious apple cake donuts and I bought a cute-creepy Halloween figurine as a souvenir. Then we were off to get our feet done in Mt. Laurel—ahh, relaxing! After that, we went to John & Molly’s, a very local pub and restaurant. I wish I had been brave and chosen something really local like clams, but I just had a huge, delicious chicken and cranberry salad. Heidi has an amazing French onion soup I had a taste of, but I can’t remember what Erin had. We had such a happy, long visit over this meal, it was so nice. While we were there, James called me to tell me that he and Rich had gone out selling Boy Scout popcorn and he had sold almost $500 worth. I love seeing my little cub scout being gung ho about his goals.
|We Three at the Farm|
|Heidi and Erin getting their toes done|
We had a quiet evening of talking and passing around the baby at Erin’s that night. We went to sacrament meeting at Erin’s ward where her husband Rhett is the bishop. Elena and the NJ Melin kids were there, too, practicing for their Primary Program this week. After Sacrament meeting, Heidi and Maggie headed home to New York and I went home with Erin to nap with Ammon. It was the beginning of a very restful and edifying week. I mostly just hung out with Erin, and visited the Marlenas again on Wednesday 10/21. Erin is still doing radiation so she feels tired and burned, but she is an amazing, resilient, strong patient. I am so grateful Heavenly Father let us keep her for a while! I learned so much from Heidi and Erin during my visit. They both have wonderful families and haven been through so much since our last visit (a whole house fire for Heidi and stage 3 breast cancer for Erin, among other things) and it’s so good to learn from their testimonies and examples. Heidi mentioned after sacrament meeting that our reunion felt like that of Alma and the sons of Mosiah and I concur!
“And now it came to pass that as Alma was journeying from the land of Gideon southward, away to the land of Manti, behold, to his astonishment, he met with the sons of Mosiah journeying towards the land of Zarahemla. Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.”
|Jamie, Erin, and Heidi in Provo 20 years ago|
(note the time stamp: 10/24/94)
|Jamie, Erin, and Heidi now (10/19/14)|
|Red, White, and Blue Toes|
Anyhooo…Ammon and I headed home from Newark on Friday night (10/24). Richard and the kids did a great job getting to all their commitments and keeping the house in order. Rich got the water damage on our kitchen floor fixed, cleaned our shower, kept the kids alive and happy, and even did some laundry, so I felt no regrets about leaving. While I was gone, Addie won another Percy Jackson book at the library, so she has all of them now. Heidi went to Activity Days and decorated a cute pumpkin. They are all very excited about Halloween and have their costumes ready to go. Addie is dressing as Molly Hooper from BBC Sherlock; Heidi is dressing as Dr. Who, James as a ninja, Niles as a monster, and Ammon as a skeleton. We are carving our pumpkins for Family Night, so I am going to get them all cleaned out and roast the seeds during the day Monday…yum!
I feel like the holidays are coming so fast, I need to get a handle on things around here! Can’t believe next week is NOVEMBER! Cousin Maeby Post will turn 8 next Monday, then we have a zillion Melin/Gray girls’ birthdays in November, plus Thanksgiving and Christmas preparations. I guess I’d better get up from the computer and get on it! Have a great week loved ones!
Love, Rich and Jamie and Family
|Wednesday afternoon 10/21 I went to visit Elena and the kids. |
I brought them candy legos left over from James' Birthday party and they loved them!
Here are Jared ad Samantha building away!
|My darling niece Sariah with her friend Abby heading out to Activity Days.|
These are some decorations from The Cock & Bull Restaurant/Tavern
at Peddler's Village, PA
|We went to this cute bakery for a chocolate croissant.|
I thought my girls would love that owl cake!
|I bought a knit winter hat and some earrings at this hat shop|
in Peddler's Village. Erin has some hats from here that kept
her head warm during chemo.
|Water Wheel at Peddler's Village|
|There were dozens of scarecrows on display at Peddler's Village.|
We liked this one wearing the Helmet of Salvation, the shield of faith,
wielding the Sword of the Spirit, etc., vanquishing the devil pumpkin.
|To get to Peddler's Village, we had to cross the Delaware River|
from New Jersey to Pennsylvania. We crossed the same place General
Washington did. It's a really lovely river.
|The Delaware River|
|The famous painting of Washington on a tavern there on the banks|
of the river.
|Mushroom forest on Ft. Dix|
|Found my name on bottle of coke FINALLY...|
at Newark Airport!
|Saw my SIL Amie's Mom Cynthia working at the SLC Airport when I changed planes.|
First Officer Hillard is responsible for this, the best photo bomb ever.
|Rich made this amazing bench from a |
Head and Foot board of a bed for my mom.
|Facebook postcard of the week...|
love this one!