Family October Newsletters

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Here is our quarterly Lund newsletter update. It’s nice to hear everyone’s news in their own words, instead of just in my voice 🙂

MATT: 

For best results, queue Bryan Adams. All I really needed to know I learned in the summer of 2013. And then about 1 minute later, when you’re bored with that song, switch over to Pandora’s Blues Rock station. I recently discovered that Blues Rock is one of my favorite genres of music. I could listen to Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar all day long. Now you’re ready to go down a path of discovery with me while I write about things I’ve learned this summer.

5 Months

That’s roughly the amount of time it takes for a thumb nail to grow out. On Friday, May 10 at about 6:00 PM I was in our tent trailer getting it ready for a campout and was working on the door. My thumb was inside the door jamb when Alison decided that the door should be closed. Ouch. My thumb nail turned purple, and then black. But the nail never fell off. So I’ve been watching it grow out. There were 2 sections of the “bruise”. The lighter purple looked like New Zealand and the darker and deeper section looked like Australia. Just this week the nail split and I was able to scrape off the last of Tasmania.

There is no such thing as too many trailers (but don’t ask Crystal)

Unrelated to the previous lesson learned, we took the kids camping in Fruita which is in Capital Reef National Park. The park was awe-inspiring. The legacy fruit trees were amazing. The weather was hot. The camping was great. Towing the tent trailer home was not as awesome. The trailer didn’t tow quite right and kind of shimmied back and forth all the way home. By the time we got to Nephi, the driver-side tire was torn to shreds and about to blow. I put the spare on and drove slow the rest of the way home, cursing the trailer the entire time. By the time we got home, I had convinced myself that I would never tow that *(&@% trailer again and that if we were going to camp any more we would need to buy a cargo/box trailer and store all our camping gear in that (just like a boy scout trailer). 2 weeks later I bought myself a scout trailer and filled it with all our camping gear (we’re better stocked than the scouts). I also bought new tires for the tent trailer and have since discovered the reason it shimmies (it doesn’t like to be weighed down by gear, especially behind the axle). So, now we have 3 trailers: a small flat-bed for hauling garbage, the tent trailer and the scout trailer. Now I just need an RV trailer and a Jeep trailer. Then my collection would be complete. I’m still trying to figure out where to store all these trailers.

After setting up the new camping trailer in preparation for our trip to Zion National Park, Crystal convinced me that we should take the tent trailer instead. After loading it very carefully and driving slowly, the trailer towed perfectly.

Indeed, sleeping in until 8:00 on a Saturday is a sad thing

Dylan loves playing soccer. His team has 4 games this season that start at 8:00.  The field is 20 minutes away.  It takes him 30 minutes to get dressed (that’s after he finds his shin guards, soccer socks and cleats). Needless to say, when we slept in until 8:00, we sadly had to miss Dylan’s game this week. I’ll admit that it made the rest of the Saturday schedule a little easier to handle.

8:00        Dylan     soccer game in Highland

9:00        Cayden Farpoint Space Camp Programming in Lehi

10:00     Jackson soccer game in American Fork

10:00     Maylee’s baptism in Orem

11:30     Dylan’s friend’s baptism in American Fork

1:00        Birthday party for the same friend in American Fork

All Afternoon     Canning tomato sauce and grape juice (we got 37 quarts of sauce and 7 quarts of juice. Yay!)

All Evening          Cards with Leslie, Mom and  Dad

10:00 pm curfew was blown by 90 minutes (oops)

It’s a sad state of affairs when waking up at 8:00 on a Saturday is called sleeping in and you’ve already missed your first appointment of the day. But what a fun day it was!

Wet pant cuffs means you need a new car

I was in my closet changing out of my work clothes one rainy evening and noticed that my cuffs were soaking wet. How could that be? I put it out of my mind until a week later the same thing happened again. So I went out to my car and felt the floor and sure enough, it was soaking wet. It took me a few days to figure out what the issue was and I think the windshield was leaking. But that was the last straw with that car. I never really loved my Outback. It did well in the snow and it was really practical, but it wasn’t really fun to drive. So I traded it in for a Mazda 3. It’s a lot smaller but it’s really peppy and a lot of fun to drive.

Contrary to popular opinion, fatties like me can do back flips

Robb’s family came to visit this summer and we spent a day with the kids at Snowbird. They have a zip-line, alpine slide, rock climbing wall, ski lift, gondola, tight ropes and other fun outdoor activities for kids and adults alike. One of the contraptions there had 2 really long arms (kind of like pole vaulting poles) with bungee cords on the end attached to a harness. People (including fatties like me) can get in said harness and the poles levitate. The effect is much like an oblong rock in the pouch of a sling-shot, dangling on the end of a 5 year old arm. I’m the oblong rock. My goal, while dangling, was to look as graceful as possible while strapped around my waist to the sling shot. My idea of grace is bouncing back and forth while trying to do a back flip. I was successful in completing the backflip but all the laughter from the crowd indicated that I was less than successful at being graceful.

Unknown: Time is takes for foot to heal after being slung in a wrist rocket

While showing off my “grace,” I landed on the air mattress on my foot (not feet). Since then my foot has hurt. Still wondering how long it takes to heal.

How many years old do you have to be to be able to sit on the back row in High Priest Group? Not sure, but it’s definitely more than 36.

I was released from the bishopric in June and attended the High Priest Group Priesthood meeting for the first time. I didn’t realize there were so many rules as a high priest. The first order of business was to kick me off the back row. They told me I was too young. I dutifully sat in the middle section and listened to the rest of the announcements. When they finished, I only had 1 question: when is the rock climbing and repelling activity? They told me it was next month but I’m still waiting for the invitation.

It’s a good thing they call 18 year olds to be missionaries

The 18 year olds don’t know enough false doctrine yet to lead the people astray. I attended the High Priest Group Priesthood meeting for 3 weeks and heard more false doctrines in the first 2 weeks than I’ve ever heard in my life. I taught the lesson the 3rd week so I’m pretty confident it was all legit (Robb was there too, he can be my witness). Luckily I was called to be the Venturing Crew advisor and I attend priesthood with the priests now where we “keep it real.”

6 months can be a lifetime

When I wrote my last newsletter, I was depressed about my job and wondering what the Lord had in store for my family. At the same time, Crystal wrote about how happy she was that we had decided to stay in American Fork. I can now say I’m really happy where we are right now too. I don’t hate my boss and I’m even enjoying work (sometimes). I’m half-heartedly looking externally for jobs but I think I need to make at least 1 more strategic move within the company (back to finance) before I can apply my mad-skillz externally. But, clearly I’m in a much happier place today than I was the last time I wrote.

CRYSTAL

I feel like I’ve used up my creative juices writing my newsletter reminder email. Wow- that’s all I had in here? All I can think of are Top 10 titles. Maybe because a few nights ago I took two Excedrin’s to combat a migraine and 6 hours later my brain would just not shut off.  I found myself at the computer watching  the “Call Me Maybe” music video (yes, I still think it is so funny!) and a few of Jimmy Fallen’s top 10 sketches. That guy! I usually don’t like late night hosts, but I’ve seen him a few times and he’s hilarious! He’s just a happy guy who’s not crass. Don’t ruin it for me if he’s not- I think someone out there should be stellar. If you’re ever on an Excedrin buzz check out his Downton Abby spoofs. Ha!

TOP 10 MEMORABLE MOMENTS…. SINCE THE LAST NEWSLETTER:

1. We planted 14 tomato plants and had a summer of saucing. Usually we’d spend the Saturday with all of the kids picking, peeling, blending and boiling but last Saturday we decided to give the kids a break.  Matt and I just hung out in the backyard and peeled so many tomatoes that we filled up two pots and a crockpot .  The girls were playing around the yard while Matt was picking our first good harvest of grapes. “These Are The Best of Times” by Styx came on and I realized that it really was.

 2. This summer is the one I realized that our family is growing up. Cayden was gone two different weeks for scout camps. Ashlyn was gone for a week for 5th grade summer camp. Dylan had cub scout day camp for two days. To top it off, Megan turned 2 which signaled the final end of our baby stages.

3. Surviving the Friends of Scouting drive. Matt was out of town, I wasn’t going to go but in a last-minute attempt to power through it I brought the kids with me to see what I could do. As the last person to arrive, they gave me two routes since that’s what was left. Cayden was stressed out because #1- he had a meeting at the church right afterwards #2 we were already off to a late start and #3 because Dylan was walking like he was the inspiration to the Family Circus meandering maps. Cayden was freaking out and at every door I’d have to remind them to stop fighting so that we could ask people for donations for “our fine upstanding scouts.” Alison started crying because she had to go the bathroom but we were almost at the end of our double route and I was not walking home (double stroller, all kids in tow) and did not want to walk them all back just to finish two houses. No. We were finishing this. No matter what. Dylan was pushing the double stroller all around the place – everywhere – trying to calm Alison down. Cayden was upset because Dylan was EVERYWHERE and Alison was CRYING and his watch had just broken so he didn’t know if we were already late. I’d made the mistake of knocking on the door because I thought things were under control.  The door opened as everything completely unraveled.  This poor young guy (the shock on his face would indicate no kids yet) got to witness Alison loose her bathroom battle with Dylan screeching and trying to cheer her up with crazy strollering antics. I just stood there and apologized and tried to explain the donation process while watching with horror as everything fell apart. He shoved $10 into my envelope out of pure pity- anything to help me get home faster- and I can’t even express my relief that no one was home at the last house. Memorable moment. So memorable.

 4. Walking home from the Friends of Scouting fiasco and watching all of the young men and women walking to the church with their parents. And realizing that this wasn’t what all of the posters at the church had advertized, “For young men, young women and their leaders.” Now, it seemed like this meeting included me. And I had to break the news to Cayden that I’d forgotten that he’d needed his church shirt on a Tuesday. It was in the washer…. Not the drier. I put Megan to bed. Handed to a soggy Alison to Ashlyn with apologizes. I threw something on, Cayden found a size smaller shirt that he squeezed into (so sorry!) and we slid into our seats only 5 minutes late. It was a good meeting and at the end they showed a video to the youth. As the lights dimmed, Paul Kay popped onto the screen. It was electrifying! It was a great video about making sure that youth go to the temple. It reminded me of my need to go to the temple and the blessings it brings to me.  This message was even more memorable than the crazy rush to get there or trying to feed everyone at 8pm when I finally got home.

 5. Our summer of camping. First stop (July): Capitol Reef. It was full of hiking, heat, exploring, pies with ice cream and playing cards by the light of a propane lantern…  but the most memorable moment was the amphitheater near our campground. We spent almost every evening there and had the place to ourselves while the kids put on shows- usually magic shows.

 6. Second camping stop: Zions (August). Full of more hiking, heat, late night card playing, meteor showers, but the most memorable moment?  Playing in the river. Every. Single. Day.  We were worried about filling 4 days of camping. No need when you can go swimming. Every. Single. Day!

 7. As much as I want to, I can’t forget about the squirrels. One afternoon in Zion’s while Matt was helping the older kids with some Jr. Ranger business, I held down the fort at the campground so that Megan could nap and Alison could rest (ie- watch a show). After guarding our trashcan from militant squirrels I dozed off and woke up just as a squirrel jumped straight into my lap. I’m normally not a screamer, but I started screaming as loud as humanly possible and I could not stop. I jumped out of my chair so fast that the squirrel went flying. The truce between us is off. No dozing off anymore. A little too memorable…

 8. We saw almost every Lund this summer and got to host a lot of them: LaNae’s family, Mar’s family, Robb’s family along with Lorin and part of his family. We hosted BBQ’s and dinners so that everyone could visit with whoever was in town. Playing cards at night with Mom & Dad Lund and Leslie while drinking dirty cokes. Playing Werewolves with Mom & Dad Lund and LaNae’s family. Cousins on the trampoline. Grilling pizza. Staying up late talking about how we met our spouses –the real story- with Robb & Ginny and Mar & Kara. Good memories!

 

 9. Finally biking the Murdock Canal Trail.  There is something I just love about being outside together as a family. After a failed attempt to find this trail a month earlier, we tracked it down and took Robb’s family. We loaded up 11 bikes and a bike trailer and drove off.

 10. Dylan’s baptism.  The confirmation had such a strong spirit and I had the overwhelming impression that he is a loved child of God. Part of the blessing said that Dylan has so much energy but that the Spirit is quiet and that Dylan will learn how to recognize it. It reminded me of his baby blessing- just the strong spirit and direct message that Dylan is special and has a great work to do. I sure love Dylan, every bit of him.

All in all, a wonderful summer. A fun, busy, crazy, memorable summer. Love you all!

Cayden    (13)

I’m in Eighth Grade, and my favorite class (so far) is Exploring Technology.  Basically, we play around on computers. Right now in it we are learning Flash Animations. I am in the academy program (advanced), and I am in accelerated math (we’ll finish 9th grade math this year).

I want to be a programmer when I grow up.  I don’t know a full language yet, but I sort-of know C++ and C#. I really want to learn Java, and finish C#.

I am pretty good at web design. I know jQuery, JavaScript, HTML, CSS,
Ruby, and Python. I have a website, but the school either has an adaptive firewall, or the teachers watch what websites people go to and block everything un-educational. Whichever it is, it’s blocked.

I’m planning to start another website with its own domain soon. I’d have to put ads on it to pay for it yearly (or monthly, I don’t know how it goes).

Down here we had a Space Center. It was at a school, but it closed down. After that, they opened a new one, and are going to open another, better one at another school. They haven’t programmed the machines yet, so they are getting volunteers to help out. My friend and I joined them, and we program every Saturday.

I’ve been reading a lot lately. George Lucas was going to make more movies, but instead, he gave the outline to an author, who wrote books. I am just about to start the last of the series.

I helped start a filming group with some of my friends, and already it’s grown to seven people. We call ourselves “Project N” (I had a lot of input in the name, N is my favorite letter). We had some videos on YouTube, but then we took them off and decided to embed them in a website in the future.

Ashlyn

I am in 6th grade and it is the best grade I have ever been in! We do the funnest activities like diet coke and mentoes! These are some things I really like: piano, chocolate an[9998d smiley faces. Here are some faces I like 2 make:   :), :-), J, 8), 8{), L, :(:) pig, O), :^), (3, and many more.

Over the SUMMER we went to Zion’s National Park. Our camp site had a river by it so we went swimming a lot. Once while we were gone our mom stayed behind and a squirrel jumped into her lap! This SUMMER we also went to Fruita Capitol Reef National Park. The weather there was so nice. There was an amphitheater there and we often did “magic” tricks and jokes.

Dylan (Age 8)

I am 8. About a month ago I was baptized. It felt really warm and I couldn’t wear shoes or socks. It was really fun to get the Holy Ghost and it was fun to see everyone around me in the circle. I felt happy!

The party after the baptism was really, really crowded. For part of it I stayed behind the couch- it was my club where baptized people could go. We had dinner and dessert!

My friend party was a Lego party. We did contests and ate Lego cake. The Lego contest was to build cars and knock Lego guys over with them. I made a car that can never be broken. Even if I threw it off a cliff it wouldn’t break. It doesn’t even break if I throw it down the stairs as hard as I can which is almost like throwing it off of a cliff!

My legs hurt because I slide down the stairs.

STUFF I LIKE TO DO:

  • Building with my blocks

  • Play with marble tracks

  • Build forts

  • Make things with snap circuits

  • I’m in soccer and I always score goals because of this one trick that not very much people know

  • Cry (It’s true)

  • Looking at the time to see what it is

  • Eating dog biscuits (really quinoa patties)

  • Homework on COMPUTERS

  • Lunch on Tuesday because it’s pizza day

STUFF I DON’T LIKE TO DO:

  • Homework

  • Being bored

  • Being super-duper hungry

  • Looking at clocks that don’t work

  • Being poked by a pencil

  • Saturday chores. They are cleaning my room, putting away my cubby clothes (clean laundry), make my bed and piano practice. The worst is cleaning my room because it’s always very too messy.

STUFF THAT’S HAPPENED TO ME:

  • Swimming every Wednesday in the summer

  • The University of Utah Natural History Museum- My favorite part was making my own volcanoes.

  • We went to Fruita. My favorite thing was getting pie from the pie shop. The worst- getting scared by a snake. It looked like a rattlesnake.

  • Payson Lakes for Fathers & Sons

  • Zion’s- The Visitor’s Center was so big! Playing in the big, huge river where we made mud pies was my favorite. The water was so cold and it was a very, very, very hot day. The light blue water was deep and the dark blue water was good enough. The river was so long. It went all the way from our campground all the way to the place we made mud pies. It was so far that we had to take a shuttle bus to get there.

  • At Fruita we went to the Visitor’s Center to go on a hike to a waterfall. The hike was very long and I found a cave.

 Jackson (Age 6)

I like October because it has Halloween and I like to dress up. I want to be Iron Man for Halloween! Wahahahaha! I already have the costume. The “Halloween House” has so many of the scary things like a big castle and a purple dinosaur with spikes. They give you free glow sticks!

My second favorite month is the month of VALENTINES because you get Valentines cards with treats! I like everything about it!

Right now I am in September and I started school. I am in 1st grade. I like that my teacher has helpers that get to go up into the class and get to do the door-holders, like “Door Holder 1” and “Door Holder 2.” There are two lunch box helpers, “Lunch Box Helper 1” and “Lunch Box Helper 2.” I’ve been a lunch box helper before and it was fun! And tomorrow I’m going to be a number helper.

I just started a new team of Soccer! I’m really good at soccer! I hardly need any water for me to drink during the soccer game.

A little while ago we went to Fruita and Zion’s. I found some fun things like cool sticks and a big-horned sheep. We went on hikes and climbed on rocks. I got two Jr. Ranger badges because we did all of these things like go to ranger programs and pick up litter.

That’s it! TTFN! (Ta-Ta-For-Now!) Bye!

ALISON (age 3)

          At the moment Alison is going through a “fearful” stage. Right now she is scared of the dark. We tried putting a night light by her bed, but that threw shadows from her headboard onto her wall and she kept crying and saying there was a monkey in her room. It took me days to figure out that it was just the shadow from her bed. We moved the nightlight to the wall across the room.  No furniture to cast shadows over there, right? Shadows from the ceiling fan were thrown all over the ceiling- large spiky shadows. That about did her in! So for now, we are just letting her sleep with her bedroom light on, in all of its glory, all through the night. Sometimes we’ll turn it off before we go to bed and she’ll sleep the rest of the night with it off, but other times we get up in the morning and the light is back on. Alison’s happily asleep within minutes of laying down so I can’t complain- it doesn’t keep her awake- but I’m not sure when to start bringing her back to a normal sleep habit or if this will even take care of itself.

          Alison’s other paranoia is her Sr. Nursery class. She’s never really had a problem with nursery, junior or senior, until one day a few months ago when they brought her to us and she had a complete breakdown and just could not stop crying. She was shaking which is very unusual. After I was done teaching Sunday School, I brought her back to class and stayed with her for the last hour but she just could not stop shaking and crying. She won’t talk about what happened which is also strange. Every Sunday morning she really stresses out and hates the idea of going to church until we reassure her that she won’t go to her nursery (Sr. Nursery) and that she can go to Megan’s nursery (Jr. Nursery). After that she just relaxes and is happy to go to church. It is definitely related to her class and whatever happened that day. Matt and I have talked to other parents and no one else is having similar issues and the nursery leaders didn’t see anything either. So we are just going to let her go to Megan’s nursery so that she enjoys church and then put her in Sunbeams next year. Whatever happened has caused a real anxiety and fear and I am just glad that it is specific to that class and not to the whole church block in general.

          But let’s bring up the good stuff now! Those other paragraphs are sad L At home Alison is a happy girl! She plays with Megan all morning- their favorites are Legos, babies and Minnie Mouse. When Megan goes down for a nap in the afternoon Alison likes to help me with cooking and laundry… and then loves to sit down with a show. I think we both enjoy the quiet moment before the craziness of after school life begins.

          Alison likes to be the leader for whatever game she and Megan play. I think it is her chance to have a say in things since the rest of the day she is grouped into the “little sister” category. While the older kids are at school she immediately dons her “big sister” cap and leads Megan into all sorts of activities. They disappear into a room and the playing begins! When Alison does start a fight with Megan (yep, we are already doing that) and she has a time-out moment for hitting (yep, we’re already doing that too) she is quick to acknowledge what she did and give Megan a kiss. That is a first- I think everyone else has had a stubborn streak when it comes to admitting what went wrong! Megan is always quick to forgive and they are off to playing again!

          Alison is a funny girl. We like to read Curious George and whenever I change the words to “The man with the purple hat” or when I turn “curious” into “crazy” she laughs and always, always corrects me. It’s our game J Usually I sing a church song to her at night, but lately I’ve been singing those cute little songs from my elementary school music class, like “Playmate, come out and play with me” or “I Love You, A Bushel and a Peck.” Those are the ones she requests now. She loves it when the friend says, “I’m sorry playmate, I cannot play with you, My dollies have the flu, BOO-HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO.” Right now we’re in a library story time. The first day she sat with me on the blanket and didn’t move, but now she’s feeling more comfortable and has started doing the actions with props. This is a fun stage and I can tell you that Alison loves life and her family.

MEGAN (age 2):

            Megan turned 2 in August and it seemed like our family dynamics changed along with it. All of a sudden I no longer had “the babies” – although Alison hasn’t been a baby really for a long time, Megan still was. When Megan turned 2 I realized that the babyhood stage of our life had ended. It was strange but good too. Our kids go through the terrible two’s early – 18 months or so –  and Megan was no exception. Looking back it must have been teething- constant teething – so much crying. But when that ended Megan emerged with a smile and has been smiling every since. She is such a happy girl. Alison is happy but in a serious way. Megan is happy in a joyful way. She runs with a bounce in her step and it is easy to make her happy.

            Right now Megan is a mimic. If I say anything, she tries hard to repeat whatever strange word I said. She always likes to keep track of people. Daddy, work? Ashlyn, school? Cayden, school? It goes on like that all day! She quizzes herself on colors all of the time. Purple sock? My favorite thing is that she calls Alison “Lali” – like “Ali” with an “L” first.

            Right now Megan loves sunglasses- Alison’s plastic ones. Whenever she can swipe one from Alison she does. Alison can’t decide if it’s annoying or cute. I think Megan’s Christmas wishlist will include having her own sunglasses.

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