Sunday, August 28, 2016


Dear Loved Ones, 

This has been an exciting week, starting school and seminary, fall cleaning, backpacking...we are exhausted but so happy. Our week began with a busy Monday. I enlisted the troops in a group project deep cleaning the great room and they did a great job. Then we enjoyed Family Night in a fresh, clean living room after a nice BBQ dinner provided by Grandpa and Grandma Melin. We talked about our theme for this year, “By Small and Simple Things are Great Things Brought to Pass.”  This includes the 7 Simple Things prescribed by our stake (Personal Scripture Study, Family Scripture Study, Personal Prayer, Family Prayer, FHE weekly, Church Weekly, Temple Monthly), but also small daily choices to be kind and honest. We read a story in the New Era about the power of words, and then Grandpa and Grandma shared stories from the temple where they are serving as counselor and assistant matron. Grandma shared a story about a brother in our ward who came in to do work for family names he had prepared. He wanted to seal his parents to each other, but had forgotten the paper work. Grandma helped him prepare the papers and asked if he would like to be sealed to his parents as well. He got emotional and said, “yes.” Grandma got to serve as proxy for his mother as his parents were sealed to their parents and he was sealed to them. Then grandpa added what I consider to be the moral of the story: while they were serving their last mission in Missouri, Grandma made a goal to write a weekly letter to this man—he was inactive in church at the time and had been for years. When they got home, they invited him to an activity and he started attending church again. Last Saturday, three generations of his family were sealed together. What a wonderful example of doing a small and simple thing and having a great, miraculous result! After the lesson, Daddy and Grandpa gave the children back to school father’s blessings. It was a lovely night and a great start to the school year.

Tuesday we had dental appointments for all the kids, except Addie. She stayed and worked at the office with Rich. That night after dinner, we took the kids downtown to get gelato at Gil’s Goods. We stopped to visit the Joneses to visit and picked up a copy of Park +Life magazine, fresh off the press. I am so excited to be involved (writing/editing) for this cool Jones brainchild.  I’m hoping and praying the project takes off. It’s a great concept and a quality production.

Wednesday was the first day of school for James and freshman orientation for Adeline. James seems to be loving his fifth grade class with Mrs. Pavlovich (formerly Ms. Gillespie, who taught both Adeline and Heidi in 5th grade). Addie’s schedule is a little bit crazy, with seminary and zero hour choir from 6:15-8, then homeschool, then 3 classes at the high school, but it will be good for her. Thursday, Heidi started 7th grade without a lot of fanfare, just the way she likes it. Niles had his kindergarten assessments and was assigned to Mrs. Livermore’s class. On Friday we went to his Open House and explored his class room and play ground. He is in for a super fun year, I think.

Thursday night we watched part of the National Park Service Centennial held in Gardiner. It was pretty exciting times around here since Yellowstone is such a huge part of our culture and economy. Friday night, Rich took the 4 big kids on a backpacking trip with Uncle Mike. They camped at Arch Falls in Hyalite, south of Bozeman. It is so beautiful up there (there is a spread about it in Park + Life this month ;)) and they had a good time. On the way home, they stopped for burgers and games at Fuddruckers. Meanwhile, Ammon and I stayed home and deep cleaned the kitchen. I cleaned the cupboards while Ammon washed the same 5 dishes and himself for an hour or two. He also “mopped” and wiped down the cupboard doors. It was pretty fun. We also finished all the laundry and took a rest (but not a nap) and he was so happy when the kids and Daddy got home.

So tomorrow is Niles’ first day of kindergarten, and next weekend we will be in Boise for Angie’s wedding. James’ birthday is on Labor Day this year, so we are trying to find a way to make it special in the car ;) Holy moly, it’s already September. 126 days left in 2016! We’ll do our best to make them great. Love to all of you, hope you have a good week!

Love, Rich and Jamie and Family

Clean, bright great room on 8/22, ready for FHE!

Family Theme, 2016-17

Ammon showing off his pedaling skillz 8/22

James and Grandma 8/22

Back to School Gelato 8/23

Hot off the press, Park and Life Magazine, Issue #1,  8/23

Park and Life Writing Cred

First Day 8/24

Addie's first early morning seminary class at 6:15am 8/25

First Day, 8/25

Backpacking Selfies! 8/26

Crazy eyes hitting the trail
Heidi and Uncle Mike Melin 8/26

Happy Campers eating breakfast 8/26

Niles and Uncle Mike, 8/27

Heidi, not amused. 8/27
Awesome Family Memories 8/27

Cute sisters, 8/27

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Dear Loved Ones,                                                                                                                          ...