Sunday, November 29, 2015

FAMILY LETTER 11.29.15

Dear Loved Ones,                                             

What a cozy evening we are having by the fire! Happy Birthday, Aunt Kelli! We missed you this holiday. We have pretty much polished off all our Thanksgiving leftovers and we’re watching the old school “Rudolph” movie together. This month has passed so fast. We had a steady stream of school and church and family events to keep us busy, as well as our first real winter storms. Most notable was Heidi’s first choir concert, and Addie’s first 8th grade concert. The middle school is overbooked, so they held the concerts at different times on different nights (11/10 and 11/12), but we really enjoyed both shows. The musical selections were unique and well-done. I’m really grateful for the music teachers—they are very good at what they do and they infuse our kids with excitement and go the extra mile.

That second week of November was crazy; there were activities every single night. Friday night Rich took his scouts camping. We texted at bedtime and I told him about the terrorist attacks in Paris. We felt sad for the French but also jealous of the decisive action their government took ;) Saturday night our ward had a family Pinewood derby. We didn’t make any new cars but Rich and James raced their old cars and James one third place.

On November 16th we had a cold blustery day so I tried a new recipe for soup. It was a huge hit and we’ve made it again, so I’m including it with this letter. Gnocchi is a great use of leftover mashed potatoes! That night for FHE we had a Book of Mormon marathon reading because the kids were getting tired of reading about wars in our morning reading (“When are we going to read about Jesus?”). We read from Alma 50-56 and had cookies for dessert. So this last week we just read about Helaman’s warriors and this week and we hope to be reading about Jesus’ birth by Christmas time.  I was so happy to hear Dad Melin speak in sacrament meeting today about Helaman’s warriors and see my kids make the connection.

Another big event of the month was Addie’s 14th birthday on 11/22. She had a little pizza-and cupcake party with her friends on Friday night, and then Saturday we took her out to lunch and to a family movie (“The Peanuts Movie”). We are so proud of the awesome young woman she is growing to be.

We had made a few different plans for Thanksgiving, but had felt we should keep our plans flexible and stay home this year. By last Sunday we had chosen some new recipes to try and earned our free huge organic Hutterite turkey and planned a quiet day of eating and reading and watching movies. We were surprised to see mom and dad Melin at church on Sunday. During church, through talking with mom and texting with Angie (Rich’s sis), our Thanksgiving plans emerged. Since Dad has knee surgery and needs to be in the temple, he is unable to drive to Boise to baptize our niece Hannah. So Angie decided to come here on short notice. So we planned Hannah’s baptism for Thanksgiving morning, then planned to double our recipes and share with Mom and Dad Melin, Uncle Mike, and Aunt Angie’s family of 6. It turned out beautifully (as things always do when you follow the Spirit and try to be where the Lord needs you). We were also so glad to be home for another special baptism on Saturday. Our friend Sandi Robinson (the bookkeeper and health insurance agent at our office) and her daughter Nikki, were baptized in a sweet service with tons of support from the Tyner family. There is indeed so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend, and so much to strengthen our faith for the challenges ahead of us.

We are supremely grateful for the strength of a large extended family. We could take every name on the mailing list for this letter and name so many blessings we have received from each relationship. Thanks for being on this journey with us and for all you add to our family life. We wish you a happy week and so much joy as we begin to celebrate our greatest blessing: the birth, life, and atonement of our Savior.

Love, Rich and Jamie and Family
Beautiful Snow fall this month!

Some trees held on to their leaves even in the snow through mid-November

Heidi and the 6th grade choir singing "Hallelujah" 11/10

Niles being creative 

Making gnocchis

Our new favorite dinner

Heidi dressed for Hogwarts

Addie's Birthday Eve Pizza Party

Birthday girl with cupcakes and friends (Fatima and Izzi)

Addie's friend Amelie made her this pillow.
It's Leo Valdez from the Percy Jackson books.

Addie opening gifts before her birthday lunch
(see her new Big Ben nano blocks and Tower Bridge 3D puzzle?)

She got her Hufflepuff scarf and Harry Potter Cookbook.
She went right to work and made pumpkin pasties for her friends on Thanksgiving break.

Rich and I took Addie on a lunch date to Zac's Barbecue.
She had birthday brisket!

Addie and Mom, just hours before she actually turned 14.

This facebook postcard reminded me of Elena--high five.

I stayed home and cooked on Wednesday while Rich took my kiddos to Chico with their cousins.
I made Chocolate Tarts, Sweet Potato Puff, Yellow Squash casserole, Green Bean Casserole, Stuffing, Fresh cranberry sauce, relish tray, and super food slaw.

Family at Chico

Rosalie and James

James, Little Jex, Addie, Niles, Jex, Angie, Danny, Mike, Hannah, Rosalie, and Heidi floating out front.
Taken by Rich


Thanksgiving Dinner KIDS TABLE!

Angie at the buffet

Niles, Ammon, and Grandma eating pie!

Niles and Ammon

Hannah, Me, and James having pie!
(I didn't take baptism pictures, but I will steal some from Ang and add them soon)

Friday we put up the tree and some Christmas decor.
 Saturday we decorated it and watched "The Polar Express."


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