Amy and Tyler Arndt of Lewiston, Idaho


Amy and Tyler Arndt of Lewiston, Idaho

Amy (8) and Tyler (6) Arndt like to be in the middle of things. After all, they live in the middle of things. They live near the 45th parallel, which is an imaginary line that circles the world exactly between the north pole and the equator.

Their house is also on the border of Idaho and Washington. They live just to the east of the border line, so officially they’re Idahoans. But when they look out their house’s west windows, they see Washington. “It really looks neat when the power goes out over there,” Amy said. “We had a storm, and their power didn’t come on and ours did. Their side was pitch dark.”

The Snake River is the border between the two states. It also divides the twin cities of Lewiston, Idaho, and Clarkston, Washington—named after explorers Lewis and Clark. Amy and Tyler are explorers of the area, too. They spend a lot of time along the levee, with its parks and winding bike paths. Amy enjoys walking her dog, Weston; Tyler rides his bike. “Sometimes even our whole family goes walking along the levee,” Tyler said.

Their family is very important to Amy and Tyler. They have a sister, Holly (14), and a brother, Jared (12). Their family encourages each other to “be who you are, and be the best at that.” Amy says that one of her favorite things to do is talk with her family at the dinner table. However, the talking sometimes turns into laughing, especially if their dad starts singing and making up silly words to well-known tunes. “I like acting silly with Dad,” Amy said. “Sometimes I laugh so hard that I can hardly breathe. I don’t even make a sound.”

Tyler enjoys bowling with the family and tries to beat Jared’s score. When it comes to sports, Tyler looks up to Jared. “He plays a lot of sports,” Tyler said. “I’m just starting to play baseball and soccer.”

“I used to play T-ball with girls my age,” Amy said. “But I’m more into dancing now.” Amy has danced ballet for over a year and has begun taking tap lessons. She especially enjoys dancing in recitals, and she thrives in front of an audience. She is also taking piano lessons and is learning fast. “My sister helps me on the piano,” she said.

The Arndt family moved to Lewiston right before Christmas in 1997, so it was especially hard to leave their friends. But they both enjoyed looking at the Christmas lights on the homes across the river. “It was really neat at Christmastime because all the homes on the hill across from us were decorated with lights. Amy and Tyler are still learning the fun things about being here,” Sister Arndt said.

Amy and Tyler have found many things that they like about their new home. Amy likes the swings on her school’s playground, which she didn’t have at her other school. Tyler likes having a long summer vacation, which he didn’t have at his year-round school.

But they still miss their friends and the regular sunshine of their past home. “Sometimes we have very rainy days here,” Amy said.

“It really storms,” Tyler added. “Sometimes it storms so hard we can’t go out in the rain.”

The stormy weather encourages them to be creative and think of new things to do indoors. Once, they turned their garage into a roller rink and roller-bladed around paths they created. Tyler often builds submarines and airplanes with building blocks. Amy uses her small toy oven to bake cookies for her family. She also likes to play with her toy horses. “They’re not real horses,” she said, “but I want to get real horses sometime.”

Amy is interested in science and wants to be a veterinarian. For now, she practices for her future career by “doctoring” her stuffed animals. Caring for her dog, Weston, also gives her good practice. She enjoys watching real animals around the levee, especially the bunnies and quail.

Tyler wants to be a policeman, partly because he enjoys helping people. He befriended a boy who had just moved to Lewiston. This friend didn’t have a pair of roller-blades, so Tyler lent him his pair and let him roller-blade first.

Both Amy and Tyler help out at home. They do the best they can on the chores that they are assigned, even though they don’t always enjoy it. “I don’t like doing my chores, period,” Amy said with a laugh.

However, Amy takes pride in cleaning her “house zone” well each week. One day before a party at their house, Amy helped extra well. She said she was cleaning “girl style,” which meant that she was decorating, too.

Washing the dinner dishes is the only chore that Tyler doesn’t like. “I like lunch dishes, though, because sometimes we use paper plates.”

Amy and Tyler also help out at church. Tyler has given a prayer, talk, and scripture in Sharing Time. At first he was nervous. “But I like it now,” he said.

Amy was baptized this year. “My daddy baptized me, and he made me stay under the water for a long time to make sure I was all the way under.” When she came up, she took a big breath and said, “I’m all clean.” Later, she added, “I felt really different when I was baptized. I felt clean afterward and wanted to stay clean.” Whenever Amy has to make a hard decision, she asks herself, “What would Jesus do?” She always tries to help people and even animals who need help.

Tyler has made a lot of friends at school. “There’s only one other Church member in my school class,” he said. The two of them are close friends, since they are in the same Primary class, too. But they also include other classmates when they play. His favorite part of class is “free choice,” because he can choose to do any activity. During this time, he invites other classmates to play with him.

His favorite scripture story is about the brother of Jared. “The Lord touched the brother of Jared’s stones, and they turned to light,” Tyler explained. He likes this story because the brother of Jared had faith in Heavenly Father and helped the people get the light they needed. Tyler also likes this story because he is a brother of Jared, too (his brother’s name is Jared).

Both Amy and Tyler enjoy reading about Jesus Christ in the scriptures. Of all the scripture heroes, Tyler thinks he is most like Jesus because like the Savior he was created in the image of God. Whenever her parents ask what the family should read in the scriptures, Amy is the first to answer. She always suggests reading Luke or John.

Amy and Tyler have grown even closer since their move to Lewiston. No matter where they live, “home” for them is wherever their family is together—and wherever they can laugh around the dinner table.

[photos] Photographed by Kim Howey

[photo] 1. Amy practices the piano.

[photo] 2. Tyler playing at the beach.

[photo] 3. With Holly and Jared on vacation at the Oregon coast

[photo] 4. The Arndt family (left to right): Sister Arndt, Amy, Holly, Brother Arndt, Tyler, and Jared

[photo] 5. On their deck overlooking the Snake River

[photo] 6. Playing together at the levee

[photo] 7. A view of Lewiston and the Snake River from Washington

[photo] 8. Looking through the circular slide

[photo] 9. Tyler swinging at the playground

[photo] 10. Amy collects sand dollars during a family vacation to the Oregon coast.

[photo] 11. Taking Weston, the family dog, down the slide