(Highlights – Melanie awful at the store – announce expecting Sarah)
Since we’re living in my parents’ basement, we got to share Christmas with them. We had wonderful time.
Our little family had some help with Christmas this year from an anonymous “Santa.” This is the first time we have ever been given anything like that; it felt a little strange. I could think of many others who need help more than we do because we have such a supportive family, but we appreciated it just the same.
I took Joey and Melanie with me to the grocery store to get a few last minute Christmas items. A simple task, so I thought, but Melanie wanted to see if I really loved her I guess, because she decided to be awful. In addition to throwing several hair raising temper tantrums, she grabbed an apple as the cart passed by them and started eating it, then she kept trying to eat the grapes. She wouldn’t sit in the front and she was getting too heavy to carry so I put her in the back of the shopping cart with the food. Later I found that she had sat (or danced) on most of the food and had opened the package that had the meat in it and threw it in a jumbled heap on top of the eggs. I was ready to cry by the time we finally left.
I did get a parent’s “pay day” the other day however. Joey was playing “house” and pretending to be the daddy and was going to put me to bed. We always read scripture stories before putting Joey to bed so he got out the folder that my sister Becky had given us last Christmas with pictures and stories about the last week before Christ’s death and “read” it to me. He could tell me about every picture in the whole book. It surprised me how much he knew and understood. I was so pleased.
I’ve been trying to decide whether or not to announce this yet because I’m not very far along yet, but I’m lousy at keeping these things secret anyway so here goes… we are expecting a baby in late September.
(Highlights – Lewis flies to Florida to pick up twin engine plane, morning sickness and Joey and Melanie “helping” throw up, Joey and library pre-school, Valentine’s dance)
At the beginning of January, Lewis flew “jump seat” on a Lear jet to Florida to bring back another airplane for the flight school he works for (at our own expense). This one is a small twin with about 7 seats in it. For his time and money, he got about 17 hours of badly needed twin time. We’re slowly progressing in our goal of having 200 multi-engine hours by spring hiring time.
I’ve been a little green lately. It’s called “morning sickness” but for me “mornings” seem to last all day. The children think I’m very funny. Several times a day I head for the bathroom and make funny noises into the toilet. Quite often it’s just dry heaves. Joey and Melanie hear me and quickly come to watch and help. They each take a side of the toilet with me in the middle and they cough and hack into the bowl. Melanie often pushes me out of the way so she can have more room. They make me laugh. What great kids. Mom and dad have been great helps; they often watch my children so I can take a nap. Thanks mom and dad.
Joey has been attending a pre-school at our local library. Once a week they have a special story time for children ages 3 to 5 and they’ll have some activity to go along with the theme for the day like a parade or coloring pictures of whatever. I think it has been a very good experience for my little Joey. He’s very friendly and outgoing; he reminds me a lot of my brother Robert. Joey will listen to the stories but so far won’t participate in the parades. They are too “stupid.” He isn’t a crowd follower; he has his own mind and can be quite stubborn at times. I think these qualities will be very helpful in the years to come (if properly directed) because we can’t follow the crowds when they’re doing things wrong. I hope he always has the “power of one.”
Lewis and I went to our stake Valentines’ dance and had a blast! We recently took a ballroom dance class through community education and boy does it make a difference to sort of know what you’re doing. Lewis is a wonderful lead and we laughed as we occasionally bumped into each other and danced until we were too tired to dance anymore. I’m so grateful that Lewis isn’t “too cool” to subject himself to such things because dancing has always been one of my absolute favorite activities. I had forgotten how much I loved it until we took that class together. Thanks Lewis. You’re the greatest!
(Highlights – Lewis low-altitude waiver, air show flying, Melanie hurt by “Barkiller” the dog)
Lewis finished the new fuel tank for the Cri Cri (our little twin engine airplane) and it’s flying again! It still needs some tweaking, but at least it goes. He took a check-ride with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) for a low-altitude waiver, which means he can fly air shows now. He has already been asked to fly both the Pitts (an aerobatic bi-plane) and his little Cri Cri for a local air show in June. I hope the plane’s ready by then.
I finished all 5 volumes of the Work and the Glory series. I figured if Suzanne could do it in 2 months then so could I, the only problem is that the 6th book probably won’t be ready for quite some time and I’ll forget everything by then. Oh well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Also I’ve been feeling much better lately (yea!).
We took the kids to Wheeler Farm during “chore time” the other day. We got to gather the eggs from the chickens and milk a cow. Neither Joey nor Lewis had ever milked a cow before.
Melanie adores animals. She likes to hug and kiss them. Unfortunately two weeks ago Lewis’ parents’ dog (half black lab and half Rottweiler – he’s huge!) didn’t appreciate Melanie’s hug and he knocked her over with his head, and although he didn’t actually bite her, he left teeth marks from her forehead down to her chin, along with some bruises. I wanted to kill the dog that day. Its’ hard to see your sweet little kids hurt, especially when all she was trying to do was give him a love. Grrr. She’s okay now.
We loved President Hunter and were grateful to honor him as our prophet. Now that his work is done (wouldn’t you love to be in his position as he goes to the other side) we welcome our new prophet, President Hinckley.
(Highlights – Linda turns 25, Lewis working 18 hour days, Cri-Cri air show clown routine idea, hearing Sarah’s heartbeat)
I turned 25 this month and had a wonderful birthday. Spring officially began on the 20th, but in Utah, we had spring last month and winter again during March. It snowed a couple times and was mostly cold – hopefully it will warm up again soon; we all want to go outside and play.
Lewis has been working his tail off. Yesterday he worked 18 hours and got up again today (Saturday) to go again. In addition to his morning freight job, aerobatic instruction, airplane building, occasional construction helping, cement laying, Cri Cri fixing, Pitts advertising, land sales promoting, flight time building, book writing, etc., he is now also helping his brother James lay carpet on the weekends. What a super man! I am so grateful for all he does and who he is. I am indeed fortunate to have such a wonderful husband.
I got to help with choreography in our ward’s road show. It was time consuming, but really fun. Joey came with me to many practices and knows a lot of the songs and dances. He could have been in the show. He is so outgoing and fun; all the youth adore him. The road show turned out really cute, but I must admit I’m glad it’s over.
There’s an upcoming airshow and I wrote a script for for a clown act to go along with the air show routine. It will be “The world’s first man-carrying radio control airplane.” One clown will be on the ground with a giant radio control box while the other is flying. It should be really cute and it has a lot of potential we think.
I’m feeling better now (pregnancy-wise) and have had the chance to hear the baby’s heartbeat. That’s always so comforting. Everything seems healthy and normal. Melanie is our feisty little red head. Lewis’ mom said Melanie reminds her of Savanna in the Work and the Glory series. She’s full of spunk and is a joy to have around. She loves her bed though, and if you ask her if she wants to go to bed (when she is tired) she will say, “Uh huh,” and walk to her room and start climbing into her crib. Then of course, she needs a bottle, but she is quite happy to take a nap or sleep for the night; it’s great.
(Highlights – Lewis 29th birthday, Lewis book contract with McGraw-Hill, Lewis hired with SkyWest Airlines)
This month has been so eventful; it is difficult for me to comprehend all the changes that have taken place. We have been on our knees many times giving thanks for our miraculous blessings. As you know, Lewis has been writing and we sent in a manuscript to the McGraw-Hill publishing company back in November. Well, as usual, we received a rejection slip, but his time it was accompanied by an encouraging note that they liked his qualifications as a flight instructor and invited him to write another book proposal. So Lewis and I worked together over the next few months deciding what to write, how to organize it and so forth. The resulting book proposal for “Piloting for Maximum Performance” was very good and we had a lot of hope that it might be accepted. On Lewis’ birthday, April 15, he received the best birthday present ever… a letter from McGraw-Hill accepting his proposal. Since then Lewis has signed a contract with them. The finished manuscript is due December 1, 1995. They want approximately 288 pages in length, 107,100 words with 100 illustrations. (They will not accept it if it is 10% more or less than this). This whole process is fascinating to me; they know what they are doing and are quite specific in their required formatting. They sent two small books and several papers with the contract defining what they want, and I’ve read through everything and am confident that we can do it. What an adventure!
You think that’s exciting? Wait, there’s more. Lewis is going to have a real job, a career type job. I didn’t think that would ever happen. I thought we were doomed to stay in limbo forever, but the next week after getting the letter from McGraw-Hill, Lewis got a call from Sky West Airlines inviting him to an interview which is scheduled for May 3. He had about 10 days to rush to get the last 60 or so flight hours to make 200 hours of twin time. He spent about 13 hours a day at the airport flying (and often fixing) his little plane and he made it. 200.1 hours on May 2. The interview was grueling; it was about 4 hours long including interviews with personnel and flight department, a written test and a flight simulator test ride. The interview went well and a week later they called and offered him a pilot position. He begins training next Monday, May 15th. He will train here (unpaid) for three weeks then go to Florida for some more (unpaid) training for 3-5 days. Then he can begin work (with pay, not great pay, but at least we have a foot in the door). We’re not sure where they’ll station us. We are praying that we can stay in Salt Lake, and there is a chance, however it is slim.
He will not be flying his little Cri-Cri in the air show on June 3 (the plane broke after he got his 200 hours and he doesn’t have enough time to fix it), but will probably still fly the Pitts S2B doing aerobatics. I am relieved because with these new changes, we really didn’t have the time necessary to prepare.
(Highlights – Lewis begins training for Sky West, Lewis’ first air show, Joseph chicken pox, Joey cute quote, Melanie sings)
Lewis has been training for his new Sky West job. He’s in class all day and studies all night. I guess they’re trying to get us used to not having him around. He says the information is packed in so hard and so fast it’s like trying to get a drink out of a fire hose. On Thursday, June 8th, he’s off to Florida for simulator training for 6 days. We have received our domicile assignment and we get to stay in Salt Lake, yippee!
Lewis flew in his first air show on Saturday June 3rd. He did an aerobatic routine in a friend’s Pitts Special S2-B and he did a fantastic job. My mom came and my brother’s family came with their little kids to watch the air show and we were happy to see them there. Two funny stories of the day. My niece Susan (age 6) watched in horror as Lewis looped and rolled and spun and finally said, “Doesn’t he know how to fly the plane?” She thought airplanes were supposed to fly straight and level and he just couldn’t figure it out.
Lewis thought my mom’s response was funny. She didn’t know which act was his and afterwards said, “Boy I’d hate to be the guy who followed the blue plane, he was really good.” Lewis smiled and said, “That was me.” She suddenly backtracked and tried to retract the praise, “Oh, well you were okay I guess,” or some other non-committal response, hesitant to give a compliment face to face. Why do we do things like that?
Joey had the chicken pox and was such a good sport. He would sing and play in his “floaty” (oatmeal) baths and was rarely cross. Except for the spots you’d never know he was sick. He has a few “sons” (stuffed animals) which he cares for. He dresses them and takes them everywhere. The other day he told me, “I’m the kind of daddy that doesn’t give spankings, if they’re naughty I just give them a little reason.” He’s such a delight.
Melanie speaks very well now, is learning her colors and can count to 3. She loves to read stories and sing and knows (parts of) quite a few songs, some of which are “Hakuna Matata,” “I’m Being Eaten by a Boa Constrictor,” “If All the Raindrops Were Lemon Drops…,” and “Na na na na Batman.” She is so fun but also very feisty. We are trying to convince her that punching is not an acceptable response when she doesn’t get her way.
(Highlights – Lewis flies another air show at Vernal, Melanie hears someone pass gas and says, “Daddy,” Joseph turns 4)
Lewis flew an aerobatic routine in an air show on July 1st in Vernal and he even got paid for it! He did a great job and we had a fun mini-vacation as a family. We visited the dinosaur museum and quarry and played with my sister Suzanne and Mark’s family who were coincidentally visiting there too. Lewis is also enjoying his job at SkyWest even though it’s all flown straight and level.
Our little Melanie adores her dad. Whenever she hears any familiar sound that might indicate that he is coming (like his voice or the key unlocking the door) she gets excited and says, “Daddy!” The other day while Lewis was at work and Melanie heard someone passing gas, she stopped and listened and said, “Daddy?” I laughed so hard I thought I was going to hurt myself.
We celebrated Joey’s 4th birthday this month. He was so excited. We woke him up that morning by singing happy birthday and after he “came to” he asked, “Am I four now?” He thought it would never really come.
We also went to Mount Timpanogos and hiked to the cave. Joey walked all the way up. I was very proud of him. Lewis carried Melanie. We had a great time.
(Highlights – Melanie’s 2nd birthday, Lewis & Linda 6th anniversary, Sarah’s birth, Lewis flies another air show, Lewis finished rough draft of book)
September is a very special month in our family. We celebrated Melanie 2nd birthday and our 6th anniversary. Then came the birth of our beautiful, healthy baby Sarah. She weighed 8 lbs 9 oz, and was 21” long. The smallest baby yet in our family. With Lewis being gone so much, I was really nervous about when this little baby would come. We have had some negative things happen at Lewis’ work and I really didn’t want to complicate matters by calling him home from flying somewhere. But of course I really wanted to have him there with me. After waiting and waiting, I finally asked to be induced on one of Lewis’ days off. They gave me pitosin (at University Hospital) and when I had progressed enough, my midwife broke my water, then wham bang – one hour later I had progressed from 6 cm to having a baby in my arms. With Lewis, my mom and my midwife Tina helping me, I didn’t even need any drugs! What a marvelous experience, what a miracle! Still when I look at her, I find it hard to believe that she was inside me just a short time ago.
Joey is attending a pre-school story time once a week at the library and also a cooking class through the community education called “Munchies for Munchkins.” He feels very grown up taking classes and really enjoys going. He loves his new little sister. Melanie holds little Sarah and says, “I love the baby, I love it!” Like most little 2 year olds, she loves her a little hard, and I find myself needing to protect the baby constantly from hugs (squishes) and two little children who think they can pick her up as soon as I turn my back.
Lewis is working hard. He flew one more air show for which I am grateful because that will help pay for the hospital expense. Also he finished the rough draft of his book and we have been busy editing and getting ready to send it in. We’re nervous about that part. It’s so final.
(Highlights – Lewis finishes book manuscript, Sarah baby blessing, Robert comes home from his mission, Melanie biting people)
Lewis finished his book manuscript and sent it in 6 weeks early to McGraw-Hill. We look forward to seeing it in print, but we don’t know how long it will take. We blessed little Sarah on Sunday and appreciate our family’s love and support.
We were delighted to welcome my younger brother Robert home from his mission in Guatemala. We’re still living in my parents’ basement and Joey and Melanie had been sleeping in my brother’s room so we made a partition in the family room to create a new bedroom for them. It’s a novelty and the children love it. One wall has two cut out “windows” in it and they love playing “store” and “library” through them.
We enjoyed our family Halloween party. It was much more fun than the trick-or-treating was. Joey dressed up as a ghost and Melanie was a cute little witch.
Joey has a “school book” to teach letters and numbers and he loves playing all the games. He is a smart little boy and I love to see him learn. Little Melanie is having a problem with biting. We’ve tried having her bite soap as a consequence for biting people, and she is getting better, but is not cured yet. She bit her little cousin Tammy on the cheek, much to Janet’s (her mother) and my horror. It is amazing that such a sweet little girl can do such awful things, but we’re working on it.
(Highlights – Murphy’s Law month, Lewis set off sprinklers in hotel room, had to resubmit book)
November has been what you might call a “Murphy’s Law” month for our little family. First of all, at least one person was sick for any given day. Then we went to the library and were surprised to be fined $40 for a damaged book we knew nothing about. I had a roll of film that I was so excited to get developed, mostly pictures of Sarah (her blessing and several snapshots so I could send one to my sisters Becky and Lorra) and was horrified to find that there had never been any film in the camera! I know that sounds rather stupid, but we thought it had a new roll in it and the camera gave no indication that it was empty (the film advanced and stopped after 24 exposures).
The surprises continue with another bill from the hospital for little Sarah for nearly $200 (we were previously assured the hospital bill was all paid for and after questioning them about the bill they said, well this is for the baby’s doctor’s care which wasn’t included), the same day I also received a notice from the hospital that they are now charging 18% on the unpaid balance for my midwife’s fees (around $800). Additionally, I had to take sweet Melanie to our doctor which cost about $100.
Also while Lewis was in St. George a while ago for work, he hung his shirt up in the bathroom to steam the wrinkles out and accidentally broke the fire extinguisher sprinkler which flooded the room. The hotel billed their insurance and the insurance turned around and billed us $735 for damages.
Lewis’ editor called and said the review board found minor discrepancies between the hard copy of the book and the disks we sent and we had to resubmit everything. Also, two photographs were rejected so we’re still working on that.
Nevertheless, we have much to be grateful for: we have a happy marriage, 3 great kids, our knowledge of the restored gospel, supportive family and so on and so on. We are truly blessed. Besides, the scriptures say “after much tribulation cometh the blessings.” So who knows what the Lord may have in store for us?