Sunday, November 01, 2015


Dear Loved Ones, 
Happy Halloween! I’ve discovered that Sunday nights are better for catching up with the kids than writing our family letter, so I will have to squeeze it into another time. I’m working on it. In the meantime, a whole month has passed since my last letter. It has been such a beautiful fall, I can’t remember an October where we didn’t have any snow or cold snaps. I just picked the last of or tomatoes last week!

October began with General Conference, which was just what we needed. This was the most peaceful conference in the history of our family. We got to listen to every session without much interruption—the little boys played quietly for the most part or napped, the big kids listened and did art or Legos or took notes. No fighting or annoying each other. It was delightful. And the Spirit was so very strong and transformative. We were so grateful for all the memorable talks and lessons and parables that are already blessing our family. The call to personal purity through partaking of the sacrament and observing the Sabbath was heard loud and clear. We are striving to “crank it up a notch” as it seemed clear that one of the themes of the conference was that things are not going to get better, so we need to be better. We shared Saturday lunch and afternoon session with the Jones family, and Sunday afternoon lunch with Mom and Dad Melin and Mike Egeland. So nice to share with people we love.

The next weekend (10/10) our new hospital had an Open House and ribbon cutting. It’s so exciting to have such a beautiful new modern building in Livingston (I’m sad I won’t be having a baby there). The CEO and the Finance Manager are both in our ward, so we were especially happy for them, and all our healthcare professional friends who have such a nice new workplace. That same night, we attended a missionary Open House for Curtis Jeffrey, who left to serve in the Texas Dallas Spanish-speaking Mission. He is the 4th missionary out from our ward.

The kids had a boring Fall Break this year. Addie had to babysit a lot. On Thursday I joined some ward friends in painting and cleaning our friend Sheryl’s house while she was having a chemo treatment. On Friday Rich and I got to go to the temple on a double date with the Joneses. Grandma Melin and Addie baby sat so we could go and we were so grateful. Saturday I took the kids to see “Hotel Transylvania 2” in Bozeman while Rich worked at the Preparedness Fair (Emergency Essentials booth). We also went to Helena and picked up Nana (my mom). She came to visit Matt October 10-24, so she came to our house the 17th-21st. Finally on Saturday night, the girls got to have some fun. The invited some friends over to play games and had a good time.

While Nana was here we had a good FHE given by Heidi and James (Faith in God requirement) and delivered Halloween treats. The next night she got to hear Addie, Izzi, Clara, and Jeanette practice “We’ll Bring the World His Truth” for 10/25 sacrament meeting. They did so well, the made her cry. I took Nana back to Uncle Matt Wednesday night. We met at Wheat Montana just as it closed.

The day Nana left, Uncle Mark arrived to visit from New Jersey. He came to hunt and spend some time with the Parents at the ranch and play with the kids. We had a great time with him, but we really missed his family!  Uncle Mark got to go with Rich to take his scouts backpacking into Yellowstone Park at Canyon Lake. They had a good turn out and a chilly night, but no one got eaten by the grizzle bear that was roaming around. At home we had a fun movie night. The girls had friends over and we had pizza and watched “Far From the Madding Crowd” when the boys went to bed. In the morning I finally got to watch “Love and Mercy” (about Brian Wilson) while I did laundry-both great films! That night Rich took the kids out to the ranch to visit Uncle Mark while I had a long Epsom soak and visited my sick friend.

Sunday 10/25 was Terin Bowden’s farewell. She is leaving to serve in the Texas Lubbock mission with our former stake president, David Heap, as her mission president. We are jealous. Addie and friends sang their song just perfectly, I was so proud of them. Monday was Uncle Will’s birthday. I gave Ammon his first haircut. Uncle Mark and the grandparents came over for pizza dinner and FHE. Heidi and James gave the lesson again (another Faith in God requirement), about three thing President Monson asked us to do last conference. We talked about letting our light shine and being examples. It was a good lesson for some struggles Heidi is having lately. We had a nice visit with the family.

The next night was James’ pack meeting. The grandparents and Mark came to that, too, and Addie helped the Young Men set up for the Trunk or Treat the following night. I took Heidi on a much needed date. Wednesday Uncle Mark went home (L) and we had our Trunk or Treat and Chili Cook Off at the church. It’s always a busy night, but the kids had a blast. Addie dressed as Annabeth from Percy Jackson, Heidi was Prussia from the anime show Hetalia, James was he Scream, Niles was a caterpillar, and Ammon was a pumpkin.  Friday was another busy Halloween day. James had a class party at 2:15. Then the middle school had an awards assembly where Addie was 8th grade student of the quarter. Then we went back to James’ school for the costume parade, then back to the middle school to get the girls ready for the Halloween dance. Rich picked them up and came home at 6pm. We had stew and yummy apples for dinner and carved pumpkins and watched “Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Room on the Broom” (later the girls watched Les Miserables).

Saturday we quickly did chores, and then headed to Bozeman to visit Museum of the Rockies and pick up pizza for our pre-Trick-or-Treating dinner with friends. We took the little kids down a few blocks of Yellowstone Street for the first time ever, and then we let the big kids go with their ward friends. Hedi decided to stay home and had out treats since we were only gone for an hour. It was nice to meet up with the Johnsons and Roberts for a while, the kids had a blast.  I’ll be honest, I hate Halloween, but I try to make it fun for the kids. I am celebrating that it’s OVER! Now it’s time for a month of gratitude, which is my FAVORITE.

Happy, happy birthdays last week to Aunt Jill, Jex, Uncles Willy, Jess, and Michael, and Cousin Emily Post. We love you all and we are so glad you were born! Thanks to Uncle Mark for dinner lst Monday and all the good visits and love and advice. We are blessed to have you in our family, and hope you took lots of our love home to your family—we really miss you all!  Tuesday Cousin Maeby turns 9 and next Saturday Aunt Angie and Uncle Clinton Mullins have birthdays, so enjoy your special days guys! We love and miss you all and look forward to hearing from you and seeing all your Halloween pictures.

Love, Rich and Jamie and Family

Niles saying goodbye to Great Grandma Lyn 09.30

Grandma, Uncle Ralph and Aunt Marti, and Me saying goodbye 09.30

Having fun with the PONDERIZING idea
(photo courtesy of Stand and Shine Magazine for YW)

Niles at school 10.08

Last Day of the Season at Mark's In and Out 10.10

Heidi painting a mural at the hospital Open House 10.10

James got his costume in the mail 10.10

Heidi and Addie picking up Nana 10.17

Crazy Girls 10.17

Scout Camping in Yellowstone 10.24

Cold Scouts 10.24

Beautiful Sky
looking SE from our house 1030am 10.26

Ammon's First haircut 10.26

Ammon with Uncle Mark Ammon 10.26

Niles at Trunk or Treat face painting 10.28

8th Grade Students of the Quarter 10.30

Azalea, Milena, Addie 10.30

James as The Scream at Eastside School costume parade 10.30

Daddy and James pumpkin carving 10.30

Addie and Niles 10.30

Pre- Trick-or-Treating pizaz dinner with Johnsons 10.31 6pm

Jack-o-Lanterns on Halloween!

Our boys after Trick or Treating 10.31

On Yellowstone Street with Brody and Colton Johnson

Addie with her Trick or Treating Posse 10.31
Carter, Tyler, Addie, Sophia, Isabel, Oliver and Amelie
--photo courtesy of Amelie's Mom, Chieko

Out in the foyer at church with the fussy kids on 11.01--Ammon doing "CPR" on Draya Bowden

It's finally NOVEMBER! Time for Daily Gratitude :)

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Dear Loved Ones ,                                                                                We've enjoyed a great first week o...