January 1997

(Highlights – Christmas in our own home, graham cracker houses, bought a piano, more piano students, Melanie has dental surgery at age 3)

This was our first Christmas celebrated in the comfort of our OWN home!  Our children are at such fun ages and I found myself more excited for Christmas than I remember being in a long time.  In fact, who was it that couldn’t sleep Christmas Eve and was the first up and begging everyone else to get up?  Me.

For the annual “graham cracker Christmas village” Lewis made a fantastic Pitts airplane and I finished it with a licorice “paint” job and cinnamon bear Santa/pilot.  Every year we are amazed at the creativity displayed in a graham cracker/frosting/candy medium and it just keeps getting better!  What a fun tradition

We decided the time was right to get our own piano and the search was on.  After looking for a week and a half we found our piano in the classified ads.  It is about 100 years old, a very decorative upright grand and it even matches our furniture.  Since the Christmas piano recital where my three little students played, I have had a few calls and now have 9 (possibly 10) students and it’s fun to be able to teach at my house instead of having to come “borrow” my mom’s.

Last Monday (Jan 6th) we finally took Melanie to get her dental work done – 3 root canals, 3 crowns, 9 cavities.  Oh boy that’s a lot for 3 year old.  She was sedated and it is a little scary to see your little girl drugged.  She acted “drunk” for several hours afterwards.  She chose a little ball as her prize and was obviously seeing double because she spent the longest time trying to separate the ‘two balls’ that were stuck together.  It was driving her crazy.  She’d pull on it and bite it and nothing would fix it.  Eventually the medication wore off and we are so happy to be on this end of the ordeal.

February 1997

(Highlights –  Lewis & Linda take a dance class, Linda called as 1st counselor in RS, Melanie drops an egg on the counter and tosses the shells in the bowl, Linda remembers a similar experience from her childhood)

Lewis and I are taking a community education dance class on East coast/West coast swing and I love it!  I have always loved to dance and I am so grateful to have a husband who will take the time and effort to earn some new things with me.  His weekly payment is an ice cream cone from Neilson’s Frozen Custard after class.  It’s not a bad deal for either of us really.

I have a new calling in my ward.  I’m now 1st counselor in the Relief Society Presidency and I am really excited about the new presidency.  I think we’ll work well together, and although it’s always a little hard to let go of the old calling, the new secretary is fantastic.  Lewis is working every Sunday again in February so it’s 3 months in a row now that I’ve been solo at church.  I’m so grateful for Lewis and all he does for us and I’m grateful that my little children for the most part are obedient and reverent during Sacrament meeting.  I love my family.

Joey is reading some simple books now and loves to draw and to do experiments from some books we bought.

Melanie is full of spunk and usually getting into trouble.   Now whenever I ask is she did something, she covers her back side with her hand and says, “I don’t want a spanking.”  The other day Melanie wanted to help me make cookies.  She insisted on cracking the eggs.  I reluctantly agreed after firmly admonishing her to open the cracked egg OVER the bowl.  I want the egg IN the bowl, not on the counter.  You could just see the, “Yeah, yeah mom,” look in her face as she cracked the egg on the counter immediately spilling their contents all over the place, then panicking and quickly tossing the shells into the bowl.  I had to laugh.

It reminded me of when I was a little girl and sleepily entered the kitchen one morning and I was cheerfully greeted by my mother who said, “… open the oven Linda,”  “What?” “… open the oven,” I was a little confused, but I tried to obey and much to my surprise, my mom’s disposition quickly changed as she rushed to shut the oven and chew me out.  She had gotten up early that morning to fix a special breakfast, an oven omelet, and she asked me not to open the oven so it wouldn’t fall, but that’s not what I heard.

Sarah has a delightful sense of humor and is usually very pleasant (except during Relief Society).  I look forward to March when she can go to nursery.

March 1997

(Highlights –  Lewis gets to train to fly the Regional Jet, goes to Canada for a month for training, Linda plans to take the kids to Virginia to see Becky)

Well, we were anticipating a trip to California to visit my brother Marlow  for Easter, but our plans changed when Lewis received a call from SkyWest asking him if he wanted to go to Canada for training to fly their Canadair Regional Jet (or RJ).  He left just a few days after the call and will be gone for a month.  This means a promotion and a raise and we are very happy about the change, but I still miss him.  I’m using this opportunity to take the children and fly back to visit my sister Becky’s family in Virginia for a little while then perhaps fly up to Montreal and hopefully if we time things right we’ll all fly home together. We’re going to have a real adventure!  Wish us luck!

April 1997

(Highlights – Lewis in Canada for training – Hurley’s story, trip to Virginia, Becky’s career day on motherhood, Joey is now ‘Joseph,’ trip to California, Lewis is working on a new book proposal – Piloting at night, yanking out bushes in the yard, Sarah’s tantrums and super frowns, becoming active in community affairs)

At the Lincoln Memorial

This month Lewis was in Montreal for training, and since he was getting a month long trip, I figured the rest of us should get at least a week.  I mustered up my courage and flew across the country to Virginia to visit my sister Becky with three little children on my own.  Whew.  We made it.  And since we were relatively close to where Lewis was, he was able to come to Virginia to visit for a few days as well.  Joseph (Joey has informed us that he now prefers to be called Joseph) and his cousin David got along like brothers (including occasional brotherly tiffs).  Becky served as hostess and tour guide in addition to her already busy life of serving family and church and teaching piano lessons.  I’m sure she needed a nap after we left, but we really appreciated her efforts.  I was only 6 years old when Becky married and moved away.  During this trip it was wonderful to get to know each other as adults. Thank you!  And thank you for your wonderful example, I learned so much.  I love you.

We also journeyed to the other side of the country for a quick visit to Poway, California to see my brother Marlow and Lorra as well.  I hope I can be as good of a hostess when my family comes here to visit.  Marlow sure works hard.  I don’t know how he can work all day, all night and then all day again with only a few hours of sleep.

Lewis did very well in jet school and loves flying the RJ.  He’s got some great stories about the experience and the guys he was training with.  My personal favorite is the one guy who drank a little too much at Hurley’s and woke up in Arizona visiting his girlfriend.  He was supposed to be in the simulator in Montreal the next morning and it was a bit of a panic to work his way back across the country.  I think the Word of Wisdom is a pretty good thing.

Lewis is working on a proposal for another book entitled “Piloting at Night” and would like to do a series.  He’s also been doing some landscaping (to him the definition of landscaping means ripping out all the prickly bushes – you’d be amazed at how many golf balls and tennis balls they can hold) and hopes that sometime before the millennium our yard looks really good.

Joseph is doing fine in school.  He’s learned so much this year.  Melanie has learned to read and write a few words (MOM, DAD and TOY – all in capital letters of course, they’re easier).  Joseph’s really going to have to run to stay ahead of this little girl.  Sarah gets to go to nursery now (yea!) and not a moment too soon – the terrible “almost 2’s” have hit and she can throw spectacular temper tantrums at will.  And no one can frown like Sarah.  Her frown goes all the way down to her chin – like Beaker from the Muppets – I don’t know how she does it.  I can’t duplicate it.  She also sneaks outside whenever the door is not securely shut and wanders around without fear until I frantically search her out – that’s scary.

I have written letters to the principals of our elementary, Jr. High and high school, as well as a letter to the editor of the newspaper and a letter to one TV station on various issues and have decided that I’m going to make a habit of writing and making my opinion heard on moral issues.  I think quite often the ‘powers that be’ test the waters and if no one squawks, they keep pushing their muck on us.  Maybe my efforts won’t make any changes, but at least I will have made an effort.  I was impressed by the efforts Becky makes to stand up for truth.  She hosted a booth on motherhood for the school ‘career day’ showing motherhood as an honored profession.  I thought that was such a wonderful, innovative way to counter some of the hype our children constantly receive.  Way to go Becky!

May 1997

(Highlights –  Watson’s radio fence, girls eating flowers, Joseph kick ball, Lewis builds pedal Pitts and announces he will build real Pitts, Linda’s brother Robert and Angela engaged, Linda got to help with the ring)

Sarah has become a little person with a big sense of humor.  She giggles at every conceivable opportunity, and often outwits her older brother and sister.  All of a sudden, she talks!  She can say “Joey,” “I don’t want to” (sort of), “Mine” (Of course), and with a delightful smile, “swing..” along with a host of other words.  She is especially adept at the uh-huh, uh-uh concept, and plays the game with a huge slobbery smile.  She has also become fascinated with the chemistry and flavors of dog food mixed with water – poor Watson hasn’t had a real crunchy bite in weeks.

The dog is become accustomed to his radio fence.  After learning the boundaries, and the shocking nature of approaching them he seemed content to stay in the yard.  Not so.  He just grits his teeth (metaphorically) and takes a flying leap across the invisible barrier, taking the electrical jolt and becoming free at last.  Again frustrated in our attempts to keep the wily animal in the yard, we launched a ferocious and fearful campaign of punishing the dog every time we caught him outside the wire; including one rather adventurous chase through the neighborhood.  Finally, with the prospect of electric shock and punishment at being found outside, the dog has at last consigned himself to the boundaries we set, and seems content… for now.  Linda sleeps better now knowing that the dog is able to watch and protect all sides of the house.

Melanie collects flowers: dandelions, mostly, but occasionally produces a bouquet of the little blue ones that grow around the yard.  Grandma taught her that the leaves of the blue ones were edible and at once both Melanie and Sarah became leaf-munching aficionados of whatever grows outside.  That was fine until Grandpa poisoned the weeds.  With Linda’s strict encouragement, our daughters are once again happily snacking on less exotic treats like apples, bread, and cereal.

Melanie is delightful in the shop, and helps Lewis by pounding nails into a large piece of wood on the floor, her face is a picture of concentration and, for a three-year-old, she handles a hammer quite well.

Joey has joined a kick-ball team. Kick-ball is played like baseball, except they kick a large rubber ball and do away with the bat altogether.  Everyone looks like they have a great time.  Except for the kicking part, nobody is really sure what is going on.  The kids stand on the bases and in the outfield, and when someone kicks the ball, they run helter-skelter in every direction –Joey enjoyed running across the infield and sliding dramatically into the grass.  That was, of course, the first game.  Since then, they have played three more games, had a practice and a team picture.  After much patient coaching (Linda is excellent at third base) the kids now run joyously in pretty much the same direction, grab the ball, and chase the runner around the bases. Their faces beam with smiles and their enthusiasm is boundless.  We love kick-ball.

Linda has enjoyed some real success with the children with a system of “considerate points.”  The children earn these by doing something “considerate” for each other.  The points are marked on the calendar, and can be lost, to the children’s chagrin, by being in-considerate.  You see, on “pay-day” the accumulated points are worth a dime apiece.  They are becoming rich by being nice to each other and we have seen a real change in the way they behave

Lewis is finally building a Pitts.  Never mind that its wingspan is only four feet and that it must be pedaled by someone under age 7.  It’s a Pitts biplane none-the-less.  It will be presented to the children on Joey’s birthday.  Sometime after that, construction will begin in earnest on a real Pitts to be powered by a 450 horsepower, supercharged 95 cubic inch Pratt and Whitney engine.  Although it will be a five to seven year project, he is really excited.  We have a partner who plans to furnish all the raw materials, including that beautiful engine.

Linda’s brother Robert is engaged and Linda was delighted to help in picking Angela’s ring.  The process of obtaining just the “right” ring involved a fair amount of planning and even a little clandestine reconnoitering.  Robert had picked out a ring, but didn’t was to commit to purchase it until he had a better idea of what Angela would like.  Linda subsequently took an unsuspecting Angela out to ice-cream at the mall where, coincidentally, there are also several jewelry stores.  Angela didn’t like what Robert had in mind.  Linda and Robert again perused the stores, and through the help of Robert’s friend, obtained a beautiful setting with a nifty tertiary (triangle-shaped) diamond.  As they came out of the restaurant where Robert had popped the question, Angela saw us waiting and smiling and put two and two together and said, speaking of the other ring while looking at the one newly on her finger, “Oh that would have been okay, but I love this!”

We love happy endings.

June 1997

(Highlights – Joseph gets stitches and later a tick in his head, his eyes are improving, Joseph and Melanie paint the stump in the backyard… and the dog, Sarah paints the kitchen floor, Melanie messy accident and wipes on everything in sight, Mother’s Day and a ticket to Hawaii)

May presented a few “firsts” for our family.  On May 12th Joseph crashed his bike and needed 5 stitches on his head.  Can anyone tell me why 5 stitches should cost over $180?  I don’t get it.  We didn’t even go to the emergency room or anything.  Then on Memorial Day we went shooting in the desert with some friends and the next day while I was combing Joseph’s hair, I noticed a small scab that seemed to be coming loose.  I pulled it off and was surprised to hear Joseph yelp with pain.  I looked at the flesh colored “scab” in my hand and legs suddenly appeared.  Yes it was a tick.  I panicked realizing I had done it all wrong and hoped the head was out and poor Joseph was really scared and disgusted.  He’s okay now though.  We do have one good piece of news about Joseph; I took him to the eye doctor and he was amazed at Joseph’s progress with his bad eye.  When he got his glasses he could see 20/200 with his left eye and that’s with the glasses ON.  Now, seven months later using his patch, he can see 20/40 with his left eye and his glasses.  Basically that eye had to learn how to see.  I feel so grateful that we caught it as soon as we did.  We are really blessed.

The infamous painted stump

Melanie and Joseph have wanted to paint an old tree stump in our backyard.  Why?  Because it would be fun.  Lewis finally said, “Yes,” and then promptly climbed in the car and headed for work for several days.  Hmmm.  I had two very excited kids bouncing around saying, “Dad said we could,” and what could I do?  I helped them get the paint ready.  I helped them find suitable painting clothing.  I gave strict instructions that the small paint bucket and disposable brushes were not to be brought back into the house, but placed in the big outside garbage can when they were done, and I sent Joseph and Melanie outside while I kept Sarah inside away from the mess.  About 5 minutes later, Melanie came into the house waving her loaded paintbrush around the kitchen.  I quickly took the brush and carefully placed it inside a bag and hid it at the bottom of the kitchen garbage can so I could begin cleaning her up.  Immediately afterward, Joseph came into the house waving his paintbrush, so I took that one and hid it as well.  Then I began the process of cleaning off his arms, glasses, face, hair, etc. and asked, “Where is the paint bucket I told you to throw away?”  “Oops, I forgot.  I left it outside,” so I went out to get the paint bucket and saw that our black dog now looked like a skunk.  “Who painted the dog?!” Melanie quickly replied, “Maybe Sarah did it?” I learned that Watson was “bothering” the kids so Melanie swatted him with her paintbrush.  I chased the dog around the yard with the hose for a while trying to clean him off, until I gave up and returned inside.  I was greeted with the scene of Sarah painting the kitchen floor with the paintbrush she had carefully dug out of the garbage.  Aah!  What a day!

The next morning (Lewis is still gone of course); I woke up to, “Mom?”  I went downstairs and found that Melanie had had a MESSY accident (fortunately a rare event) and was bare naked and looking rather sheepish.  “Melanie, where is your underwear?”  She pointed to where she had tossed them into the TV room.  So I began to clean up and as I returned to her room, I could still smell it, so I asked, “Melanie, did you wipe on anything?” She had dumped out the entire contents of her drawer looking for pajamas the night before and now she began pointing to various articles lying on the floor which she had used trying to clean herself up with.  Again I took the offending articles upstairs to wash them.  I returned to her room.  Sniff, sniff, “What else Melanie?”  She had wiped a little poop on nearly every piece of clothing she owns.  While I was cleaning up that mess she was taking care of herself, she had found a clean outfit and sat down to dress.  Unfortunately her behind was still messy so she had smeared gunk on the carpet and on the once clean outfit.  So I had to scrub the carpet and wash the “new” clothes she had put on and finally stuck her in the shower.  Oh the joys of motherhood.

Speaking of motherhood, for Mother’s day Joseph made a beautiful card for me at school, Melanie picked me flowers and Lewis bought me a ticket to Hawaii.  However the tickets expire at the end of July and we are flat broke, so we’re really trying to budget and save and sell/broker either of two airplanes so we can actually go.  It would be a dream come true if we actually get to go.  Wish us luck.

July 1997  – written by Lewis

(Highlights – Linda plans to homeschool, Joseph’s 6th birthday, model Pitts, new kitten – Cosette, Lewis teaching classes, Linda sees John Stockton, swimming pass to Murray Park, Lewis has a new book contract for “Piloting at Night,” we’re going to Hawaii and hint that Linda may be expecting)

Another month is upon us and we haven’t yet written about the last one. You’ll please forgive us if we write a little about both.  Joey’s school ended at last with a field-trip to the Hogle Zoo.  Linda went with the class, personally accompanying a troop of five five-year-olds.  She reports that the challenge of so many times five for an hour is plenty—the animals were well entertained.  With school out, the challenge is to create next year’s curriculum for teaching at home.  Linda went to the Utah home school convention to reconnoiter and get a few ideas.  She brought home some excellent reading and math programs as well as a bit of enthusiasm to get started.  Joey, Melanie and Sarah are delighted with the prospect of studying at home.

Joey turned six this month.  I made toy Pitts Special for him and his sisters to ride around in.   Progress moves forward slowly on the construction of the real Pitts outside.  There are still no parts in the shop, but we have researched the design a little more.  We will be building a version called the Falcon 450, which involves shortening the wings and fuselage a little and enlarging the canopy.  My partner and I have also located an excellent engine shop who would be willing to build up the idea Pratt 985 for the airplane.  I have been forbidden to order construction plans for the airplane until the Cricri is sold – we hope it sells by the middle of August.

One of Paul and Janet’s kittens –er, their cat’s kittens—has joined our household.  She is getting accustomed to the dog and seems to take delight in attacking my feet from under the bed.  She is not as pretty as the long-lost Cosette, but at least she stays around when we put her outside.  Watson is a little jealous that the kitten is often invited indoors while he is left outside.  He makes wistful faces, sometimes barking pitifully until he comes into.  Once inside, he rushes to the kitten’s dish and promptly inhales all of her food – no matter what it is.  Now, when the kitten sees Watson in the house, she runs to her dish to inspect it, upon finding it empty, she looks up at the dog and hisses.  We think they’ll get along fine.

I taught an FAA sponsored seminar on the material in our book.  It was scheduled for the same day as the Jazz/Bulls final playoff in Salt Lake City.  I was lucky to get 12 or 13 people to show up.  They seemed interested and asked the local FAA representative to schedule another.  I sold all of the copies of the book that I had on hand (3).  Speaking of the Jazz, Linda and a neighbor went on a small outing with the children to the Bingham Copper Mine.  While they were there, who should come in to the visitor’s center but John Stockton himself, with his own children.  The kids were awed, to say nothing of Linda.  Kind of neat to see such a great ball-player playing with his kids.

Summer at the pool

We purchased a family pass to the Murray park swimming pool.  We go swimming almost every day.  All of the children are progressing beautifully in their swimming and we all have suntans/burns.

We’ve been handed another book contract with our publisher.  This one is for a book called “Piloting at Night.”  It’s due on December 30 of this year.  We’ll have to fly to get it written in time, but it is going well.

As to the rest, much is going on and we are very happy.  We hope this finds all you well.


Lewis, Linda, Joey, Melanie, Sarah, and ?

August 1997

Hawaii 1997

I’ve always dreamed of being able to go to Hawaii and we actually made it happen.  It was awesome, and yet the trip did have its hitches.

Our budget was super tight.  We got the tickets super cheap and found the cheapest hotel available.  We couldn’t afford to go out for meals so we prepared instant oatmeal using hot water from the coffee pot.  Oatmeal for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but we got to eat it on the lanai which makes it taste better right?

I’m expecting a baby and the morning sickness hit big time, I wish it had waited until after the trip, but it wanted to start right now.  Darn it.

We wanted to go snorkeling.  There had been a lot of storms recently and several of the beaches were closed because there was an infestation of jelly fish.  We didn’t know this and found a quiet uncrowded place to snorkel.  After a short time Lewis was stung across his back.  Since it was close to his heart it made him really sick and we thought we would end up spending the trip in the hospital, but a kind person noticed our plight and told us how to dress the wound with vinegar and he eventually improved.

Then it was my turn to get injured.  I’d never snorkeled before and accidentally kicked my leg right into a coral.  I got a piece of shell embedded deep in my knee.  The wound was bleeding pretty profusely and we headed to a life guard station for first aid supplies.  He didn’t have tweezers but he had a pair of scissors.  After much trial and error we were finally able to pry out the piece of shell using the scissors.

By the end of the day we both looked like zombies.

Later we found another place to snorkel that wasn’t infested by jellyfish.  I’m still new to the snorkeling thing.  It’s scary being in the ocean, it’s different than watching fish in an aquarium where there is a piece of glass protecting you from whatever is on the other side.  Here you are basically inside the aquarium.   I was nervous but doing okay until a ginormous fish appeared out of nowhere directly in front of my face.  I screamed, which doesn’t work very well when you’re underwater.  In cartoons people can run on top of the water to escape scary things, I know for a fact that doesn’t work because I tried it.  The fish thought the whole scene was hilarious and circled around for another pass.  His equally large buddy joined in the game of taunting and tormenting me.

The snorkel mask doesn’t allow any peripheral vision and there were two huge fish that loved to get a reaction by startling unsuspecting snorkelers.  I named them the “Aaaah” fish because that’s the sound I made when they came near.  I didn’t think the game was as fun as they did and escaped to the beach to take a break.  From there I could tell where these two fish were because I heard occasional cries coming from the water.  They found another person to taunt.  I didn’t know fish could have a personality, but these fish really did.

The trip fulfilled a lifelong dream of going to Hawaii, but it was not at all like I expected.  It wasn’t glamorous, it was pretty real.  Maybe we can try again in a few years?

 September, October 1997

(Highlights – Linda over morning sickness, starts homeschooling, teaching piano, cleaning ceramics, takes botany class from grandma, birthdays, 8th anniversary, sold Cricri to Thailand, Lewis accused by FAA of flying aerobatics over a runway, Melanie complains that she is “cute” and only wants to be beautiful or gorgeous)

I’m feeling much better – as Melanie put it “the baby isn’t jumping on my guts anymore.”  It’s nice to be normal again.  After serving for 3 years in the Relief Society presidency I was released and put in as assistant for achievement days.  It felt strange the first week or so not to be sitting up front but we have enough going on that I don’t think about it anymore.

I took the plunge and entered the sub-world of home schooling.  We really like it and have a lot of fun together.  Melanie is involved in a co-op pre-school 2 days a week and loving it.  It’s my turn to teach this week – we’ll see how it goes.  I’m still teaching piano 2 days a week and cleaning porcelain in the mornings.  Also I took the “Botany 150” class through my mom’s school.   I really learned a lot.  Also I’ve started scrapbook for each of the kids and it’s really fun, but it is rather time consuming.

I made a birthday cake every Sunday during September (to celebrate at each grandma’s house) for Sarah and Melanie.  Also Lewis and I celebrated our 8th anniversary with a dinner and movie date.

Lewis flies the Cri Cri

Our good news is that Lewis sold the Cricri, believe it or not it’s going to Thailand and we’re delighted to close that chapter of our lives.  Our bad news is we’re in trouble with the FAA as Lewis was accused of violating FAA regulations (flying aerobatics over a runway and flying after dark without lights) by a vindictive FAA inspector named Lynn Higgins.  Although Lewis is innocent on both counts and has witnesses (he rocked the wings – no aerobatics) this guy seems intent on pinning him with something.  Rumors have spread from the FAA offices to Lewis’ workplace that “we caught him doing loops and rolls over Airport II, we’re going to get him.”  The scary thing is that these stories are bold-faced lies and could damage his reputation and it’s frightening that they sound so positively gleeful when they say “we’re going to nail him.”  If he’s found guilty, Lewis could be fined and even have his pilot’s license suspended.  It will take months for the whole drama to unfold and we hope for the best.  If you want to learn more about the Cricri experience, read Lewis’ post

Also Lewis is working on his new book “Piloting at Night” which is due at the end of December.  No of course there’s no stress at our home.

The other day I helped Melanie dress in an adorable ruffled, puffed sleeved outfit and she immediately began to cry – she complained that she was “cute” and she only wanted to be beautiful or gorgeous.  I didn’t know 4 year olds knew the difference but she does and has definite opinions on the matter.

Joseph is our Spider Man.  He can climb anything including the walls down the hall and any doorway.  He is reading the scripture readers and doing a great job – he delights me.  Sarah is very observant and has a delightful sense of humor.  She can also throw spectacular temper tantrums true to her age, but generally she’s quite pleasant.  Her new favorite phrase is “watch me.”

November 1997

(Highlights – bought green truck now we have 2 vehicles for the first time, Lewis and Linda Vancouver trip, Disneyland trip with kids)

I used to joke around in high school that if I ever got a car it would be a pea green pinto with one orange door, that was the ugliest vehicle I could think of and figured with my financial wherewithal that’s what I’d get.  Well with the Cricri money we bought (cheap, like were given) and fixed up (er are fixing up) a sea foam green Dodge pickup truck with, yes, an orange tailgate.  So be careful what you tease about, you never know.. .the truth is we are delighted to have 2 vehicles for the first time in our married lives ( and I am delighted that Lewis gets the truck while I get the car).  Today Lewis took the truck to work and I could still get around – what a blessing.  Also we are out of debt except for the house (which is a big “except”).

We have not heard another work about Lewis’ FAA incident.  We hope that somewhere down the line of investigation that they just drop it.

This month Lewis flew to work to Vancouver, Canada where he had a 30 hour layover so I went with him and we had a mini-vacation.  My mom was so good to watch the kids and my brother Robert and Angela took them to church and sat with them during meetings.  Reports came in to me from all over the ward that they arrived on time and sat in the front of the chapel and did a terrific job, they’ll be great parents.  In fact they may make me look bad.  If Robert and Angela can do it…

Our little family also enjoyed a wonderful excursion to Disneyland this month and were back so quick my parents hadn’t even noticed that we left.  Time spent with family is a great investment.

December 1997

(Highlights – FAA charges and drama)

Lewis flies the Cri Cri

We finally got word from the FAA and they did NOT drop the little Cricri incident.  They have proposed a 90 day suspension of Lewis’ pilot license and a permanent black mark on his record.  I had hoped to hire a lawyer to go to court, but Lewis called and found out that a lawyer’s fees would be around $10,000 and if we have to appeal it would climb to $16,000 which is worse than just being unable to work for 3 months.  We think maybe we could just get some legal advice on a per hour basis and fight it ourselves.  Also Lewis said it is a common tactic for the FAA to double the penalty if you try to fight them and lose.  Furthermore usually if a pilot flies for a living the FAA will substitute a fine in place of license suspension but for some reason they didn’t give us that option.  We also found out that the FAA inspector who created this mess, was denied helicopter flying privileges the same day as the incident and was most likely trying to “kick the dog” because he didn’t get what he wanted. It is a circus, but unfortunately it isn’t very funny.

The good news is that Lewis has talked to many pilots at work, including the chief pilot, and is confident that he will not lose his job over this, which to me would be the scariest part.  So we’ll be okay.

Although the whole thing is absolutely ridiculous, and completely undeserved, I was thinking that even our Savior Jesus Christ suffered through a mockery of a trial on trumped up charges… art thou greater than he?  I guess this will be a learning experience and will be for our good, and we still have hope.

To learn more about the Cricri experience read Lewis’ post.

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