Dear Loved Ones
I know I have said this before, but it is so hard to get in the habit of a weekly letter again once you have lapsed for so long. I want to recap all that has happened since our last letter at Halloween time, but that would take forever and the task seems insurmountable. So I start with July. Let’s recap July and go from here.
First, though, I have to share with you that I have been feeling prompted to write so strongly, I’m almost afraid not to obey. It has been several weeks and I have been trying to ignore it, but today was the final straw. We had a 5th Sunday lesson with our Bishop today where he shared a message from Elder and Sister Nelson at Roots Tech this year: “I invite you to prayerfully consider what kind of sacrifice—and preferably a sacrifice of time—you can make to do more family history and temple work this year.” One of those things I know I should be doing is writing this letter, since it will one day serve as a history of the Richard T. Melin Family. And if I keep up weekly, it takes no time at all!
July began, as always, with our Roundup Parade on July 2nd. This year it fell on a Sunday, which was pretty tricky. Heidi is working hard with our Sister Cities organization to take a trip as an ambassador next year to our Sister City, Naganohara, Japan. Many of her fundraisers happen over the roundup weekend, so we didn’t have the option to skip any activities this year. The parade was fun as usual, and I had a good time volunteering with Heidi in the Burger Booth at the Arts Fair during the roundup. Rich enjoyed (??) getting up with her at 5am to clean the fireworks debris off the golf course each morning before 7am tee times. On the 4th we spent the morning at the Strupp’s slip-n-slide BBQ party, and the afternoon at the Burger Booth. We watched fireworks at the empty football field each night with dear friends as our kids ran and danced and played with sparklers and glow sticks and we felt deeply the blessings of freedom and the restored gospel.
Later that week my mom came to visit with my niece Isabelle (7/6-7/10). We did a lot of resting and visiting, but also eating downtown, shopping at thrift and antique stores, and floating the river. It was all splendidly fun! That week, Niles also began Tiny Kickers Soccer Camp for 3 weeks. He had a great time. He has so much kinetic intelligence; all the ball sports seem to come easy to him. I am glad for him—he is fun to watch.
The next week, my sister Jill came to visit and it was also a sweet time (7/14-7/19). She brought Ben and Ally with her. Ben is Niles’ and Ammon’s idol, so they followed him around all week and he was so kind to them. Ally and Addie were like 2 peas in a pod and Ally got to hang out with Addie’s friends lots. Her last night here, they went to a movie night at a friend’s house and went out to talk on the roof of their backyard shed. Ally ended up breaking her arm jumping off the shed—what a souvenir!
The day after Petersens left, Adeline left for our Stake Trek over on the MT-ID border. She and her trek mates walked 23 miles over the border into Salmon, Idaho. It was a tough trip and I expected her to be tired and whiny when we picked her up, but she was glowing! Joyful! Elated! Edified! Sure, she was tired and dirty, but she was changed. It was ALL you ever hope your kids will experience and I have felt overwhelming gratitude for those who made it such a transformative experience for her. WE CAN DO HARD THINGS!
Addie got home Saturday night, we went to church together Sunday, and then Richard left for Scout Camp after church. Sunday night, Heidi babysat the boys with a Disney movie night while Adeline and I attended the Trek Fireside. Talk about the Spirit of god like a fire is burning! The sacredness of the Spirit in that room was AMAZING. I cried almost straight through from the opening hymn, “They the Builders of the Nation” and the slide show and the testimonies, and the closing song, “Come, Come Ye Saints,” which—let’s be honest—was mostly SOBS. Such a beautiful night! My heart was so full, and so was my girl’s!
Monday was all about getting ready for girls’ camp, and early Tuesday morning I sent Addie and Heidi up into the Crazy Mountains to have the time of their lives. I plan to write a blog post about the lessons we have learned this week, but suffice it to say they had another transformative experience. Adeline backpacked 11 miles—5.5 up and 5.5 back—and did it joyfully. I admire my girls so much and we feel so grateful for all the time and talents and sacrifices that go into providing these experiences for them.
Richard had a good time at Scout Camp as well. Nephews TJay (CA) and Danny (ID) came and went to camp with him, so that was good stuff. He had cell service, which is a rarity on any camp out. We had a good time texting our adventures to one another last week. He is such a great dad and scoutmaster and man. I am so grateful for his hard work and service. I know our family is so blessed because of it. He is also working extra hard at the office as well. We have gone from having 5 people working, then 3, and now 2.5—Rich, our brand new agent, Jennifer, and our part time bookkeeper, Kim. We are grateful for good employees, but Rich is still working 10-12 hours a day and lots of night time catch-up sessions after the kids are asleep. Bless his heart. I know things will balance out soon, and I’m grateful he is willing and able to juggle so many things at once to provide a nice life for his family and serve his scouts.
This has been an incredibly busy season for our family, but we are all growing in good ways, busy doing good things. I am grateful to have turned a corner with my health after being bedridden and so sick for nearly four months. I saw a chiropractor/naturopath who helped me clean up my diet and supplement it properly and I have been steadily losing 5-7lbs per month since April with LESS working out, more playing with my kids and enjoying life. Such a blessing!
As always, we’d love to hear how your family is doing. We love you all and hope you have a great week
Love, Jamie and Rich and Family
|Heidi and Me volunteering at the Burger Booth|
|Ammon and James at the park|
|Niles at Soccer Camp|
|Me and my mum 07.08|
|Ally and Addie|
|Me, Ally, Ammon, Jill, and Addie downtown 07.15|
|Pobrecita! Ally's broken arm|
|Ready for trek! 07.20|
|On the trail 07.21|
|Cousin Danny came with us to pick up a glowing, joyful Addie from Trek 07.22|
|Richard with his scouts at K-M Scout Camp|
|Camping under the stars in a ghost town!|
|Summer, HEIDI, Sidney, Haylee, ADELINE, Emily, and Izzi leaving for CAMP 07.24|
|Addie with Kara (Heidi's bff) and Naomi (my bff ) |
on the 4th year/YCL backpacking trip
|Hiking high in the Crazies|
|My tough little backpacker|
|Heidi and Kara are joined at the hip and WE LOVE THEM!|
|Brothers welcoming Addie home|
|Welcome home hug from Niles|
|Addie showing me ALL THE THINGS from camp|
|Cutest camp shirt ever|
|Niles and Ammon on the last day of soccer 07.26|
|Addie's Indian Paintbrush crown made by Emily|
|Matt and Naomi Johnson (camp leader) with the amazing YW who backpacked 11 miles:|
Miki, Kaitlyn, Emily, Addie, Izzi, Kara, Eden, Clara, and Awesome Kim (assistant camp leader)
|Adeline and Eden full-on meditating in the creek at the top of the Crazy Mountains|
|Saying goodbye to Cousin Danny on 07.29|
Addie, Heidi, Danny, Niles and Matthew