January 2000

(basement and footings for new house, Sarah likes dress ups, Melanie likes grownup things, Joseph the inventor, Sam learning to talk, studied “gift bringers” in home school, Linda shows up to church 2 hours late)

Guess what?  We are now the proud and grateful owners of… a hole in the ground!  The basement is dug and the footings poured.  An exciting start for a new year and a new millennium.

We hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.  We sure did.  Our kids are at such fun ages for Christmas.  They sure have unique and distinct personalities.  Sarah loves dress ups, flowers, make up, fingernail polish and jewelry.  If you tried to unload such stuff and fluff on Melanie however you’d hear about it.  Her tastes are harder to put your finger on.  She likes to do grownup things like cooking, helping, and being creative.  She plays games and draws pictures and is a great playmate for Joseph (when they’re not fighting of course).  Joseph is the inventor.  Legos and other building materials made up his Christmas wish list.  Samuel is starting to talk more but he still has a baby/babble accent and sometimes it takes me a minute to realize he’s added yet another word to his ever increasing vocabulary.  He loves his brother and sisters and cousin Lindsay all of which he (occasionally) calls by name.  He’s learning to show his affection for Lindsay in a more gentle manner which is a relief for all parents involved (he used to constantly push her, bite her and seek her out for tormenting).

During December we studied “Gift bringers” from around the world for home school.  Fascinating.  Did you know that Saint Nicholas lived in Turkey around 300 AD and after he died some Italian sailors stole his bones and took them to Italy and built a basilica over him and claimed him as their own?  We celebrated Christmas on the 23rd because Lewis worked on the 24th and 25th, but it was great!  Lewis has been working his tail off lately.  He’s had very few scheduled days off and often times he works those days too.  Plus he’s been working on his new book, plus now that the city finally granted us a building permit (it took 2 months) the real work begins.

Lewis and my cousin Dave were partners in owning the Cri Cri airplane.  Dave is a contractor and made Lewis an offer that he would help us in building our house if Lewis would build him an airplane afterwards.  My brother Lowell is also a building contractor; he’s super busy and won’t be very involved, but we did hire him to get us started on the right foot (or footings as the case may be).  After much research and study we decided to build with ICF (insulated cement forms) rather than standard construction.  The house will be built out of forms that look like giant foam Lego building blocks.  The blocks aren’t solid; they have hollow cores and cut outs.  As we set up the blocks, we also tie in rebar and then will pour cement into the forms.  The cement and rebar form a waffle pattern to create the strength of the house and the foam remains and provides insulation.  This method is supposed to be awesome, I hope it really is.

We experienced a little Y2K glitch on Sunday January 2, 2000.  I drove Lewis to the airport for work around 5:00 AM then returned home for a short nap before getting the children bathed, dressed, and ready for church at 11:00 AM as usual, only to realize that church had started at 9:00 AM!  Oops!  I forgot that at the beginning of the new year we changed meeting times.  I’ve never done that before.  I guess I was thinking about other things.  Joseph completed my humiliation by loudly announcing my error at sharing time in Primary, (I was substituting as pianist so I was there to hear the teachers’ laughter, what a day!)

February 2000

(Flew to Nashville to see Grandma & Grandpa Smith, saw Parthenon and Opryland Hotel, horrible trip home [while Lewis flew first class on another flight], Melanie starts kindergarten, Lewis gets violation for denying jump-seat privilege to FAA inspector Mr. Higgins, building house, Rick Hansen teaches us how to build with our foam ICF block)

Traditionally December is frantic and January is slow, but not this year… On January 9 the whole family flew to Nashville, Tennessee to see my parents who are serving a church mission there.  They’ve been out for about a year and it was good to see them.  We got to stay in their apartment and see firsthand mom’s interior decoration/renovation miracle.  We also go to go to church with them and meet the people that they’ve been talking about.  It was my first experience attending a branch instead of a ward and it was an eye opening.  Our ward is the smallest in our stake and we’re struggling keeping positions filled and the primary is so small, but after visiting the branch I realize how nice we have it.  We got to see the new temple that is being built and some beautiful country.

I was amazed that there is a full scale replica of the Parthenon in Nashville, complete with all the friezes and sculptures.  There is a forty foot statue of Athena, seven-ton doors, the complete set of the Elgin Marbles (replicas of course) and a model of where each remnant fit in the original.  I was amazed.  These are things that I really wanted to see so it saved me a trip to Greece and England.  We saw a video showing the architectural details that make the Parthenon so special:  the slight curve along the base and the tapered columns that make it so interesting.  The building was built as part of Tennessee’s centennial statehood celebration in 1897.  What an ambitious project and I never even knew it was there.

We also went to the Opryland Hotel.  I wasn’t too interested in seeing a hotel, but mom and dad said that it’s the thing to see in Tennessee.  Wow!  There are huge atriums with waterfalls, a river, various plant life… It felt like being in Hawaii.  We spent about an hour and a half with gaping mouths, wandering around in beautiful surroundings.  You could live there.  Our trip was short, only three wonderful days.

The trip home was not without the complications that often accompany pass riding.  There were seats available for me and the children, but the jump seat was taken so Lewis couldn’t come with us.  So I was faced with the task of keeping four little children happy, quiet and safe without any help.  We had to change planes in Atlanta, which is a huge airport.  We had to walk and walk and take a train and walk some more.  People turned and watched us and made comments.  It was embarrassing.  We made it home and were even able to sit together, an appreciated luxury.  But is wasn’t easy and the four hour flight from Atlanta to Salt Lake was trying.  Samuel was bored and wiggly.  He cried, but it wasn’t like the horrible tantrums he had earlier in the trip.  I arrived in Salt Lake exhausted with a terrible headache dragging four equally exhausted children through the terminal not knowing where in the world Lewis was.  Should I wait or just go home and wait for a phone call?  We went home and learned that he had caught another flight through Denver and arrived about the same time as we did.  While I was struggling with four little children, Lewis said he was concerned about us, but tried to make the best of it by relaxing in his first class seat and eating smoked salmon and cheesecake, but the one who was really smoked was me.  This pass riding thing is not nearly as glamorous as it once sounded, but still it enabled us to see my parents.

Since Christmas-time I’ve noticed some signs that Melanie regretted not having a chance to go to kindergarten.  I asked her if she wanted to go and she said yes, but she wouldn’t go if it would hurt my feelings.  Who could resist such sweetness?  So I ate a hefty helping of crow, took her to get another Hepatitis B shot and registered her at Vista Elementary.  Her teacher is Mrs. Hanson.  Melanie loves it – I think it will be a good thing for everyone.  While Melanie’s gone I try to put Sam down for a nap then get Joseph an assignment like math or writing that he can do on him own and spend a few minutes one-on-one with Sarah playing a game or Barbies – whatever she wants.  We both enjoy the time together and it makes her feel special.

On Melanie’s first day of school (January 12) Lewis came home looking rather beat. “I had a hard day today.”  Not long ago we finally wrapped up the years-long FAA mess caused by an accusation made by FAA inspector Mr. Higgins.  His grossly exaggerated accusation led to a court case (which we lost), an appeal (which we also lost), and a law suit (which we won).  The whole affair cost thousands and thousands of dollars and caused years of stress and worry.  Well guess who showed up and asked for the jump seat in Lewis’ plane today?  Lewis respectfully declined, saying that he would willingly allow an FAA inspector, but not him because they had a history and it would cause an unsafe environment to fly the plane.  Mr. Higgins’ immediate response was to give Lewis a violation for “denying an FAA inspector the jump seat.”  Here we go again.  We received the letter of investigation and Lewis wrote a reply explaining why he did what he did.  SkyWest has been very supportive telling Lewis that they didn’t want “the two of them in the cockpit together.”  They said that next time he should say “yes” and then walk off the plane and they’d get another pilot to fly.  Many of his co-workers have called to express support as well.

We have piles of foam block, rebar and lumber to build our house with.  We’ve been working along and progressing slowly but surely. Saturday Rick Hansen – the guy who sold us the block – flew down from Montana to help us for a day.  It was so helpful – things will progress much quicker now.  It helps when you know what you’re doing.

March 2000

(Stake Valentine’s dance, Melanie and Joseph in ward road show, Melanie has chicken pox, pink eye for everyone, double ear infection for Samuel, contacts for Joseph [he hates them], house progressing – basement forms filled with cement, Dave Oakeson slips, falls, and cracks skull, Dennis Rogers chops off fingers)

February brings our annual Stake Valentines dance – my favorite date of the year.  I love to dance – we had so much fun and wore ourselves out.  Melanie and Joseph will both be in our ward road show next month and have spent many nights practicing.  I’m playing the piano so I get to come too.  Joseph is a “Mouseketeer.” Melanie (alias Shirley Temple) will sing a solo (The Good Ship Lollipop) and she’s quite good.  We hope that her current bout with chicken pox will leave nothing but a memory by show-time.  At present, her little body’s blooming like a meadow in springtime.  There is no infertile ground (eyes, scalp, mouth, feet, torso, etc.)  Poor thing.  This is compounded with pink eye for me, Melanie, Sarah, and Samuel (so far) and Samuel’s double ear infection.  We’re having an adventure and know it may be a long road to complete recovery as Sarah and Samuel have yet to blossom with Chicken Pox.

Following an optometrist’s advice, we got contacts for Joseph who has one strong eye and one weak eye.  He was diagnosed as “legally blind” in his left eye as a little boy.  The optometrist suggested that he wear a single contact on his left eye, but Joseph says its too scary to put in and take out so he’s wearing his glasses again.  I don’t know what to do.  I guess we’ll try again later when he’s ready.  He’s only eight years old, he’s still a little kid.

We’ve been busy with school, church callings, dinners for missionaries, primary activities, Regional Conference at the Tabernacle, training meetings, appreciation dinners, scouts, piano lessons, tutoring, writing, and working on the house.  Speaking of the house… the basement forms are now permanent – being filled with cement.  Lewis said it was a beastly job, very hard.  The floor is now in and we’re almost ready to back-fill and start building the exciting “above-ground” stuff.

Our excitement was seriously dampened when my cousin Dave Oakeson who has been helping us with the construction, slipped with muddy boots, fell, broke through a 2X4 and fell in a crumpled heap by the footings.  It was so scary.  He was able to get up and after a quick assessment we decided to take him to the nearest Instacare where x-rays confirmed that he fractured his cheekbone.  Dave has no medical insurance, and we feared he might need reconstructive surgery.  Obviously it is our responsibility to pay for his medical expenses for this accident since he was doing us a favor at the time.  For a while we feared the remaining house money would transform into surgery money and the dream was over.  Fortunately he didn’t require surgery and he’s healing well, the fading remnants of a once colorful shiner is the only visible evidence of the accident, although he still has to be careful while chewing.

Two days prior to Dave’s accident, our new neighbor Dennis Rogers, cut off two fingers at work with a table saw.  With reconstructive surgery he will have full use of his fingers again, except for one knuckle which he sawed through and was irreparable.  It was a hard week.

April 2000

(Linda turns 30, Samuel’s birthday, Grandma Bjork attends Melanie’s grandparent’s day, Sarah learning to write, exterior walls in house up and ready for concrete, Lewis finishes “Piloting Basics Handbook,” Lewis gets engine for Pitts)

This month I turned the big three-oh which sounds old and scary.  To make it worse, my brother and I attended a birthday party for a friend and some woman trying to introduce herself and make small talk said, “Oh, are you two related?  Is this your mother?” MOTHER?!  What?  There are a lot of other relation options besides ‘mother.’  How about sister, cousin, aunt even, but mother? What?  He’s only four years younger than I am for crying out loud.  This is not an auspicious beginning to a new decade.

Samuel had a birthday.  This is the first time I’ve had my baby turn two without a new one on the way.  It’s strange in a way.  Almost all my friends in our book club have basketballs of varying sizes resting on their laps.  But for once I’ll be the thinnest in the group. Ha! Ha!  We’ll accept our advantages wherever we find them.

Melanie and Joseph were wonderful in the road show. Sarah and Samuel were so patient during the endless rehearsals and performances.  Lewis’ parents came to the show and his mom also went to school with Melanie on “Grandparents day.”  Actually that was her last day of kindergarten because she grew to hate it and wasn’t progressing there so she’s home again.  I love teaching my children so I wasn’t sad at all.

Sarah is learning to write a few words and has discovered a talent in drawing.  Everyone is pleased with the warmer weather and the privilege of playing outside.

Lewis finished his work on his 4th book “Piloting Basics Handbook” and is so relieved to have one less project demanding his time.  The exterior walls of our house are up and we’re supposed to fill them with concrete tomorrow.  I hope all goes well.  Lewis is being so patient; he hasn’t even looked at his newly arrived Pitts biplane engine… yet.

May 2000

(Sam: allergic to milk, eternal ear infections, full of mischief, climbed ladder to top of walls of new house, fell down window well, tripped and put a nail through his lip, fell off bathroom counter and got goose egg on back of head; Lewis:  Mr. Higgins seeking certificate action against him [again], 34th birthday, guest lecturer at Bennion Jr. High, takes tandem paragliding ride, serving in scouts, music recital, Passover with Grandma and Grandpa Bjork, new dresses for Easter, trusses for house)

April… where should I start?  I finally figured out that Samuel is allergic to milk and that was what caused his constant-months-long ear infections that no antibiotics or ointments could touch.  He was miserable and so cranky that I wished I could trade him in for a new non-defective model.  Now he is a new child.  He smiles and laughs again and is full of more mischief than ever.  Like today for example, Lewis was on the top of our new walls preparing for trusses when he heard a tiny voice behind him, “Wow, it sure is high up here.” And there, walking along the top of the wall is our two year old son.  Lewis panicked, grabbed him, carried him down the ladder, and brought him next door to me.  He had snuck out the door and gone exploring on his own.  It’s impossible to keep him away from danger which attracts him like a magnet.  He has also fallen down our deep window well and at another instance tripped and put a nail through his lip.  When I do manage to keep him inside he finds ways to hurt himself there too.  He climbed up and then fell off our bathroom counter making a huge, ugly goose egg on the back of his head.  I keep trying to remember if this is normal two or a special Sam variety of two because he’s driving me crazy.

Remember when I mentioned that the FAA inspector who has given Lewis so much grief in the past requested the jump seat in Lewis’ plane and was denied?  Well, we were mildly surprised and very disappointed when we received notice about two weeks ago that Mr. Higgins is seeking certificate action against Lewis… again.  This time for 45 days. SkyWest is being very supportive and the company lawyer is defending us so we’ll see what happens.  In other news Lewis taught a guest lecture at Bennion Junior High on aviation, fulfilled a dream by taking a tandem paragliding ride at the point of the mountain and celebrated his 34th birthday.  Lewis and I both received new church callings, we’re in scouts now with Joseph and I am still serving in the Stake Primary as well.

We got trusses today and are excited to see the house make some more progress.

June 2000

(Trip to St. George, Zion, and Grafton, Joseph reading Animorphs, Linda gets model rocket, Sarah says “Where’s the pretty white car?  I liked that one better,” trusses on house, Lewis and Linda put up shingles,

Hooray!  Summer vacation is here!  We were all ready for a break.  We went to St George for a quickie vacation.  Lewis was there for work so we just flew with hm.  We went to Zion’s National Park and visited a ghost town (Grafton) and of course the all important swimming in the hotel pool.  The climax for the children was a visit to an outlet store, a toy store specifically.  We allowed each child to pick an inexpensive item and it wasn’t even anyone’s birthday!  Joseph is really into a book series called “Animorphs” and he found an Animorph action figure.  Melanie fell for the squirt guns and Sarah chose swimming goggles.  Even I got a toy.  We found a model rocket kit complete with a launching pad where you insert a key and push a button to make it take off.  We felt like we were the boys in “October Sky.” When we flew home and found the van in the airport parking lot, Sarah looked confused and disappointed.  “Where’s the pretty white car?  I liked that one better.” She was referring to the rental car in St. George and the other children reminisced dreamily about their favorite rental car.  Really there haven’t been that many, but they remembered each one vividly.  I guess they look forward to someday having a non-embarrassing non-ancient vehicle as much as I do, but patience is a virtue and all that.

We’ve made great progress on our house.  During the month of May we put up trusses with some help from family and neighbors.  Next came sheeting and finally we’re working on shingles.  Lewis and I have done most of that ourselves and Joseph and Melanie have been wonderful to look after Sarah and Samuel so I could be free to work on the roof.  Lewis and I pound shingles and take breaks to dance to our Abba CD up on the roof.  I’m sure the neighbors think we’re crazy, but why not whistle while you work?  We are fortunate to have an ideal working arrangement living next door to the project.  The kids can go outside and call me if they need anything (and they do just that).  Lewis and I enjoy working together and I love being a part of this.

July 2000

(basement has gravel, Lewis singing “Move 16 tons…,” shingles on, interior framing started, Linda deeply affected by a pioneer story about Elizabeth Sermon from Martin handcart company, Lewis has hearing before FAA regarding jump seat incident, engine on Pitts, neighbors’ house broken into, Snoopy mailbox blown up)

The basement of our new home resembles a giant kitty litter box, being filled with 30 cubic yards of gravel.  Lewis has been singing, “Move 16 tons and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt…”  The roof looks like… a roof.  Lewis and I did the shingles ourselves in five days, I thought that was pretty good for a couple amateurs.  Lewis and Dave also did some interior framing so you can see where the rooms will be.  It’s so exciting to see progress and so frustrating when it stops, the process seems so slow and poor Lewis gets tired just looking at the house sometimes.

For Pioneer day, I was asked perform a dramatization about a pioneer named Elizabeth Sermon.  Her children were the same ages that mine are now when she and her family crossed the plains in the Martin Handcart Company.  Her story touched me personally and deeply as I could fill in the names of my precious children when events happened to her children.  Especially when her four year old named Robert had his feet freeze and rot.  I thought of my sweet little Sarah and imagined having to cut off the rotten portions of her feet every night and it brings tears to my eyes.  I am so grateful to be able to feed, clothe and provide shelter for my sweet dependent children.

Lewis had an informal telephone conference in St. George before the “Inquisition” (FAA) over the Higgins-jump seat issue where his lawyer and associates argued that according to SkyWest policy manual and the FAA rules Lewis was completely within his rights to deny the jump seat for reasons of flight safety and they basically responded, “That may be your opinion, but it’s what WE think that counts.”  We have yet to hear their final decision as to how long our “work vacation” will last.

Lewis finally was able to put his engine on his Pitts and it’s starting to really look like a plane.  It’s a great conversations piece and several neighbors have come to have a look.

Our next door neighbors’ house was broken into and several items stolen.  In some ways I think they handled it better than I did.  That used to be my house and the creepy feeling and the “what ifs” affected me as well.  Also Lewis built a custom Snoopy mailbox for our new house and someone blew it up with some explosive device, so now we have a boring normal mailbox like everyone else.  Not everyone in the world is nice.

August, September 2000

(Grandma and Grandpa Smith return from their mission, family dinner at our “house,” cement in basement floor, staircase, upstairs windows, front door, hand-me-down cabinets, interior framing nearly done, preparing for stucco, Parade of Homes, Linda messes up “milk-less” pancakes, Lewis gets 15 day suspension from FAA)

My family (siblings) get together once a month for dinner.  When it was our turn to host, we gathered in and around our unfinished house for a barbecue.   We have a real cement basement floor, a staircase,  windows, a front door, some hand-me-down kitchen cabinets from our neighbors, most of the interior framing done, and are currently preparing for stucco which in on the way.  Lewis and I love ogling over the fabulous homes in the Parade of Homes, but I am happy to say that I still love my pile of cement, foam, and sticks that will soon be a home.

As you know, Samuel can’t drink milk anymore, and for the most part we are adjusting pretty well, but sometimes I have brain lapses.  Becky told me to make milk-less pancakes and I was anxious to try them out.  Melanie watched as I cheerfully mixed the ingredients feeling proud of myself for rising to the occasion so well.  “Mom, I thought you were making pancakes without milk.”  “I am.”  “But you just put milk in the bowl.”  Not until she said that did I realize what I had done.  Habits are hard to break and my brain in auto mode put milk in the milk-less pancakes.

My parents completed their church mission and returned home from serving in Nashville, Tennessee for the last 18 months.  It’s nice to have them back.

We got the final word on the latest FAA violation which resulted in a 15-day suspension of his pilot’s license.  We are glad that’s over and really, really don’t want to play that game again.

October 2000

(water and sewer hooked up to house, working on plumbing, driveway is mud trap, Lewis and Joseph pick up Osprey, morning sickness (Anna), home school Halloween party, Melanie taking gymnastics, Sarah sticks clothespins all over me, Samuel: locks out Joseph and plays with his toys and sneaks out after bedtime to go outside)

We now have sewer and water hooked up from the street to our house.  We could turn on a sink… if we had one, and if the pipes were connected to it, and… Lewis has been working on the never-ending plumbing project.  Sometimes he can see a light at the end of this abysmal tunnel, but frequently, black PVC obscures the view.  Our very long driveway of our flag lot is a mud trap for unsuspecting vehicles.  We’ve had to call my Dad and ask him to get his tractor to rescue a few foolish vehicles that try to drive on our mud driveway and get stuck.  When the digging is done, it will be nice to get some gravel down.

Joseph and Lewis drove to California to pick up a partially built plane called an Osprey.  Lewis and Dave will finish it and he, Dave Oakeson and Gary Nelsen will be partners.  This will fulfill Dave and Lewis’ “trading labor” agreement.

I have been dealing with so called “morning sickness” but unfortunately it really has been all-day-everyday sickness.  I hope it goes away soon.  We are having fun in home school.  Our home school group organized an awesome Halloween party for the kids.

Joseph loves inventing spaceships, submarines, etc. with his best friend Kenny.  Melanie has been taking gymnastics and now does cartwheels and rolls all over the house.  Sarah is learning to be a good helper and likes to tease.  Lately I’ve been finding clothespins all over my clothes that she stealthily applies while I’m not paying attention until I notice that Sarah is giggling.  I hope I locate all the clothespins and get them removed before I go out in public somewhere.

Samuel… oh Samuel.  He has his own agenda and we are merely bystanders.  He likes to think he is in control like most two year olds, but he is smart enough and mischievous enough to often win.  One day while trying to “convince” Samuel to take a nap, we put him in a corner bedroom and closed the door. Soon came the expected yelling, but it wasn’t Samuel asking to come out, it was Joseph demanding to be let in.  Samuel had locked the door, which can only be opened by a key I don’t have, and happily played with Joseph’s remote control plane which was ‘hidden up high’ and definitely off limits.  Another night Lewis is gone and I’m not feeling well, I put the kids to bed, locked the door and went to bed.  Soon I hear Samuel’s voice outside!  He had unlocked the doors and went to get an apple and play with the kitty.  AAAHHH!!! I am going to put in a request for extra guardian angels for this boy.

November 2000

Adventures with Samuel

(Morning sickness subsiding [Anna], plumbing finished, Lewis working on electrical, Lowell working on ductwork, looking forward to four way inspection, Lewis: training as jet captain and growing a beard, no phone service for a week, Samuel: climbs a dresser and it falls over, goes streaking, cuts his thumb open, smashes his hand in a door, tries to cook eggs and popcorn, Melanie does a handstand on her bunk bed and falls off, falls off again and gets a black eye)

I am nearly three months along and am feeling much better now.  The new house will not be inhabitable by Christmas but it shouldn’t be too long afterwards.  Lewis finished the plumbing and is working on the electrical system.  We hired my brother Lowell to do the heating duct work.  Next on the agenda will be the four way inspection and after the city gives its nod we can put up drywall.  That will make a huge difference in the appearance of things and brings us ever closer to the end… sort of.  It won’t really be done of course, but it should be move-in-able.

Lewis will be upgrading to jet captain at Skywest and has been going to training for this new position.  His new work schedule means less time to work on the house and will require us to contract out much of the remaining work.  We’re glad though.  It’s been nearly a year (two if you include last year’s planning, remodeling, surveying, subdividing, selling, dealing with the city, etc.) and everybody’s just tired.  While in the classroom, Lewis has taken a break from the razor as well as the cockpit during training.  He’s growing a beard because he “can” (as a pilot it’s not allowed for safety reasons as it would interfere with the suction capability of the oxygen masks) it will come off soon. Although I’ve never liked facial hair, I must say he still looks as handsome as ever.

We had an adventure the week of Thanksgiving when somehow AT&T accidentally disconnected our phone service altogether. For nearly a week we had no phone which was a frustration and yet I must admit in some ways it was rather peaceful.  Thanksgiving was a wonderful time with family.  We have so much to be thankful for.

Now for “Adventures with Samuel”:  this month he climbed on top of a dresser and the whole thing fell over, stripped and went upstairs announcing to Grandma that he wanted to go swimming, he sliced his thumb open with a pocket knife (we took him to the doctor where they “glued” him back together again but he promptly reopened it and we spent the next week making and replacing butterfly bandages three and four times a day because he’d ruined the old one), then to make the other hand match he smashed his fingers in the church doors, he’s also decided to start cooking – one morning he got up and cracked some eggs into a bowl, but Lewis caught him so he didn’t get much further, another day he fixed himself some microwave popcorn – the kitchen still smells of burnt popcorn.  Sweet Melanie added to our adventures by falling out of the top bunk of her bunk bed twice.  The first time we heard the “thud-whaaaaaa” Lewis rushed to her aid only to come back laughing a few minutes later.  She was doing a headstand on her bed and thought she’d be safe because she was facing the wall but fell over backwards.  The second “thud… whaaaa”  was a few days later (sans headstand) and she got a black eye from hitting something this time, so she has a beautiful shiner to remind her of her dream about falling off a cliff.  These dang kids can’t even sleep peacefully.  But of course I love them anyway and life would be so boring without them.

December 2000

(Christmas, Sam dresses in sparkly dress and crown for nativity, story of Lewis dressed as tennis player for pioneer day,  Sam stabs couch, Lewis passes jet captain written and oral tests, gas line for house, caught a gravel tuck in our mud trap)

Nativity with cousins

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!  It was fun to get together for our family Christmas dinner, party, and visit from Santa.  One of the highlights of the evening was the nativity where the children dress the parts.  Luke 2 is read, and dozens of pictures are taken.  Samuel noticed that all his cousins were playing “dress ups” but he didn’t quite catch the theme so he borrowed one of Sarah’s fanciest dress up dresses and a pretty crown to join the party.  He had no idea why everyone laughed.  It reminded me of the time when Lewis was a little boy and he noticed the primary parade going down his street in costumes.  He decided that dressing as a tennis player would be the perfect costume to join in the fun so he quickly donned a pair of red swimming trunks and carried a tennis racket to join the parade and earn the coveted treats he knew were sure to be at the end.  One little girl asked why he was dressed like that and he replied, “I’m a tennis player,” “But it’s a 24th of July pioneer parade,” Then he noticed that indeed all the other children’s costumes did sort of look the same.  Oops.

One day while I was away shopping, Samuel retrieved a knife from the kitchen and used it to stab and slice the back of the couch.  Aaaaah! This kid!  We sewed and repaired the damage as best as we could and then rearranged the furniture so the back is no longer exposed and the temptation hopefully removed.

Lewis is still in training for his new position as Jet Captain.  He’s finished the class work and passed his written and oral tests.  One co-worker was caught cheating on his written final and will most likely be fired.  What a sad mistake to make.  Now Lewis has a simulator check ride another check ride in the jet, IOE  (initial operating experience) and so on.  So it will be a few more weeks yet.

Consequently the house didn’t progress much last month.  It was somewhat discouraging to read last month’s post where I mentioned that the four way inspection was next.  We’re still not ready for that, but Lewis has been working on the electrical with the help of my dad and it’s getting closer.  Questar Gas did finally put in our line to the house after weeks of nagging/begging.  We also have gravel in our garage and road base along our driveway so the mud trap is less of a threat, but we did manage to capture the gravel truck pretty good.  Dad felt helpless as he knew that his nice tractor looked like a little bug compared to this giant stuck truck, but the driver had another huge truck bail him out.  We had a neighbor suggest we lure beautiful new vehicles to our mud trap and keep the best one and throw back the ones we don’t like.  What do you think?

Click here for link to previous year (1999)

Click here for link to next year (2001)